Posted by Ric Garrido

Wyndham Rewards seems to not have thought through its restructured seven tier award categories last month. The program now plans to change to eight award tiers March 14 in what looks to be a global realignment of hotel awards.

Free Nights Just Got Faster

Get a free night faster than ever before. Starting March 14, 2013, we are introducing our lowest point level ever and lowering other tiers so you can experience a free night faster!

  • Our lowest tier is decreasing from 6,000 to 5,500 points!
  • We are adding a new 8,000 point tier between 5,500 and 10,000 points so you can stay at hotels for FREE more quickly
  • Our highest point tier will be 30,000 points. The 35,000 and 45,000 point tiers are being eliminated.
  • Properties within the current point level may move into different point levels. This means that point levels for individual hotels may increase or decrease beginning March 14. You’ll be able to see the new point levels on March 14.*

Wyndham Rewards

  • Tier 1 = 5,500 points
  • Tier 2 = 8,000 points
  • Tier 3 = 10,000 points
  • Tier 4 = 14,000 points
  • Tier 5 = 16,000 points
  • Tier 6 = 20,000 points
  • Tier 7 = 25,000 points
  • Tier 8 = 30,000 points

My introduction to Wyndham Rewards was the opportunity to buy 50,000 points for as low as $2.50 per 1,000 points in May 2011 through the DiscoverAmerica.com spring sales sponsored by the U. S. Travel Association and American Express.

In summer 2011 I made a couple of road trips across the western US and redeemed points for Ramada Hotels with rates around $125 and award nights at 14,000 points. My cost for Wyndham Rewards points was under $45 per hotel night.

The knowledge I have about Wyndham Rewards is primarily from redemptions over the past two years at Ramada Hotels.

My basic concern is the changes will result in a reduction at a few hotels that were 45,000 points in places like New York, but we will likely see hotels in brands formerly capped at 16,000 points per night rise in cities like Boston, Miami, New York and San Francisco.

Overview of Wyndham Rewards hotel stays using points

Wyndham Rewards is the largest hotel loyalty program globally by number of hotels with more than 6,500 properties across 14 brands. Most hotels are located in the USA.

  • Ramada®,
  • Days Inn®,
  • Baymont Inn & Suites®,
  • Hawthorn Suites®,
  • Howard Johnson®,
  • Dream®,
  • Night®,
  • Knights Inn®,
  • Microtel®,
  • Travelodge®,
  • Wingate® by Wyndham
  • Super8
  • Tryp
  • Wyndham Hotels and Resorts®

Wyndham Rewards has always been confusing for award tiers with three different award types depending on whether you redeem for US/Canada, international or Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Tryp.

Most hotels in USA/Canada were Tier 1-4

Tier 1-4 for US brands excluding Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Dream, Night and Tryp. Dream and Night and Tryp are New York properties.

Last month Wyndham Rewards changed some New York hotels with no member warning. Wingate Manhattan Midtown changed from Tier 4 at 16,000 points per night to  35,000 points. Soon after Wyndham Rewards posted a new award chart with seven tiers for US and Canada awards.

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International Hotel Rewards have their own tiers with 15,000 points being a common tier level.

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Ramada is the primary international Wyndham Rewards brand. Days Inn is another common brand. Super 8 in China does not participate in Wyndham Rewards. Tryp is a brand added to Wyndham Rewards a few years ago and locations are primarily in Latin America. Travelodge in Canada only started participating in Wyndham Rewards during the past year.

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Properties like Ramada Innsbruck, Austria should drop from 45,000 points to 30,000 points with the new reward chart.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Flagship brand Wyndham Hotels & Resorts reward nights have always had a separate reward chart. Most of these hotels were 15,000 to 30,000 points the past few years with select hotels at 45,000 points.

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New York should be the big beneficiary of the top tier 30,000 points with next month’s changes. Dream and Night hotels in New York should drop to 30,000 points per award night.

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Wyndham Rewards real competitive advantage is its high points-to-miles exchange rate for frequent flyer miles.

Points exchange into miles at the rate of 1,000 points = 400 miles with most airline partners. And with all hotel brands earning 10 points/$1, except Hawthorn Suites (5 points/$1), the ability to earn 1,000 points for $100 in hotel spend makes the program highly valuable for earning points at budget and economy hotels that can be exchanged into miles.

Hopefully the Wyndham Rewards program does not adjust its points-to-miles transfer rate in the coming months.

4 Responses

  1. […] Wyndham Rewards changes to 8 award tiers March 14, 2013 […]

  2. Hello,
    We appreciate your sharing your concerns with us. One of our goals this year is to make free nights faster by creating a new 5,500 point tier which is the lowest spend required for a free night across loyalty programs. We have also eliminated our two highest tiers (35,000 and 45,000) so fewer points are required for our more expensive hotels. Similar to other hotel programs, the points required are adjusted periodically for individual hotels based on average daily rates which fluctuate over time, which means there are hotels that may increase in point level. We wanted to provide advance notice to our members about the changes in case they are planning to make a free night reservation in the next several weeks. As noted on our website, points needed for a free night are based on the hotel’s tier at the time of reservation and may be different at the time of the stay. If a point adjustment is needed, our Member Services Center would be happy to help after the stay is completed. We hope this helps to clarify. We posted this reply on another Blog entry on Boarding Area as well.
    Have a great weekend,
    Wyndham Rewards

    Comment by Wyndham Rewards on February 22nd, 2013 at 1:30 pm
  3. In response to the feedback that you requested a list of hotels that are changing categories beginning March 14, 2013, we have posted a chart at https://www.wyndhamrewards.com/trec/consumer/special.action?partner=fnstiers&variant= . While we have a large number of properties changing categories, we have not made overall changes to our hotels in more than 3 years. Now that hotel prices are changing in many markets, we are making some adjustments. Note that we strive to make free nights as accessible as possible for our members so we are lowering our first tier hotels from 6,000 to 5,500 points, lower than our major competitors. We are also eliminating our top two tiers of 35,000 and 45,000 to make our higher-end hotels more affordable.

    If any of our members have made free night reservations for March 14 and after at a hotel that is moving to a lower tier, we would be happy to adjust the points after your stay if you contact Member Services at 1.866.996.7937. If the hotel you are thinking about is moving up in points, we suggest you make your free night reservation prior to March 13 to ensure the current point pricing.

    As always, thanks for your feedback.

    Comment by Wyndham Rewards on March 1st, 2013 at 2:35 pm
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