Sep302010

Wyndham Rewards Visa to back-up your Starwood American Express miles

Wyndham Rewards Visa card is actually a high value card for people interested in airline miles, particularly SkyTeam Alliance, United and Continental flyers. All purchases earn 2 points per dollar and Wyndham hotel brands earn 5 points per dollar. Most other Visa hotel loyalty cards from Marriott, Hyatt, and Priority Club only earn 1 hotel point per dollar for general purchases and the points-to-miles transfer rates for hotel points is less than the Wyndham Rewards rate. 

Wyndham Rewards has a fixed points-to-miles exchange rate at 2.5 points = 1 mile. This is among the highest points-to-miles transfer rates of all hotel programs.

Comparison of Wyndham Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest points-to-miles transfer rates

Starwood’s American Express card earns 1 point per dollar for non-hotel spend and 1 point = 1 mile for most airline partners. SPG American Express is a popular card for airline miles, however, American Express is not accepted by many merchants and the SPG points-to-miles rate for United and Continental is a lower 2 points = 1 mile rate.

Wyndham Rewards is essentially giving 0.8 miles per dollar in credit card spend. This rate is 60% higher than the SPG American Express rate (0.5 miles per dollar) for United and Continental miles.

$4,000 in Wyndham Rewards Visa credit card spend earns 3,200 Continental or United miles for cardmembers. SPG American Express only earns 2,000 CO or UA miles with $4,000 in non-hotel spend.

SPG gives 1.25 miles per dollar for 1:1 airline partners points-to-miles transfers at the 20,000 points level. $20,000 in SPG American Express spend earns 25,000 miles. But transfer less than 20,000 points and the exchange rate is 1 point for 1 mile. 

Spend $20,000 on Wyndham Rewards Visa and your 40,000 points will convert into 16,000 miles with any of its 17 airline partners. You will earn 25% more miles with SPG 1:1 airline partners when exchanging fewer than 20,000 Starpoints for airlines partnering with both programs.

Airline Partners

SPG has 30 airline partners and many more international airline partners than Wyndham Rewards. Although, if your travel includes China, then Wyndham Rewards has more airline partners for this region with Air China, China Southern, China Eastern and Hainan Airlines.

Domestically SPG has opportunities with Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian. Wyndham Rewards has different U.S. domestic partners than SPG with Midwest and Spirit Airlines.

Bottom line for the Loyalty Traveler

Wyndham Rewards Visa is a good back-up credit card for miles with 17 airline partners, particularly for Skyteam members.

  • Skyteam Airlines Aeromexico, China Southern, and Czech Airlines are Wyndham Rewards airline partners not available through Starwood Preferred Guest.
  • Continental and United earn miles at a better rate with Wyndham Rewards Visa than SPG American Express.
  • Midwest Airlines and Spirit are other airline partners not available through SPG.
  • China Eastern and Hainan Airlines are Wyndham partners, but not SPG partner airlines.

16 airline partners and Amtrak for Wyndham Rewards (Airlines in bold are not SPG airline partners)

8,000 points = 3,200 miles, unless stated otherwise

  1. Aeromexico (8,000 points = 5,120 km)
  2. Aeroplan – Air Canada
  3. Air Berlin
  4. Air China (8,000 points = 5,150 miles)  (1.55 points = 1 mile)
  5. American
  6. Amtrak
  7. China Eastern (8,000 points = 5,150 miles)  (1.55 points = 1 mile)
  8. China Southern (minimum transfer = 1,250 points for 500 miles)
  9. Continental
  10. Czech OK
  11. Delta Skymiles
  12. Hainan Airlines (8,000 points = 5,150 miles)  (1.55 points = 1 mile)
  13. Midwest
  14. Southwest (8,000 points = 2 credits)
  15. Spirit
  16. US Airways
  17. United

30 airline partners and Amtrak for Starwood Preferred Guest (Airlines in bold are not Wyndham Rewards partners)

  1. Air Berlin
  2. Air Canada- Aeroplan
  3. Air China
  4. Air New Zealand
  5. Alaska
  6. ANA All Nippon Airways
  7. Alitalia
  8. American
  9. Amtrak
  10. Asiana
  11. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  12. British Airways
  13. Continental (2:1)
  14. Delta
  15. Emirates
  16. Flying Blue-Air France/KLM
  17. Hawaiian
  18. Japan Airlines
  19. Kingfisher Airlines
  20. LanPass
  21. Mexican Frecuenta
  22. Miles & More – Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss, LOT Polish, Brussels
  23. Qater Airways
  24. Saudi Arabian Airlines
  25. Singapore Airlines (2:1)
  26. Southwest Airlines
  27. Thai Airways
  28. US Airways
  29. United (2:1)
  30. Varig (2:1)
  31. Virgin Atlantic

 

Related posts:

Loyalty Traveler Hotel Points-to-Miles exchange rate tables (9-27-10)

Loyalty Traveler compares hotel rewards credit card benefits (9-1-10)

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

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  1. Starwood does allow transfers to Amtrak (1:1). I don’t think you actually get the 5,000 bonus for 20,000 redemption. It is actually listed as a separate redemption option (transfer for train trips).

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