Mar312015

Big changes for Wyndham Rewards May 11 and I redeemed all my points yesterday

Today I received an email announcing big changes for Wyndham Rewards coming May 11, 2015.

The new program, amongst other things, will deliver:

· ‘Go Free’ – 15,000 points = Free Night… Anytime, Anywhere: The first global program of its scale to introduce a single, flat redemption rate, allowing members to easily redeem for a free night at more than 7,500 Wyndham Rewards hotels around the world – from value-oriented hotels to beachside resorts.

· Flexibility to ‘Go Fast:’ At 3,000 points, members can redeem with points plus cash for an award night at the majority of Wyndham Rewards hotels.

· 1,000 point minimum earned every stay: Regardless of room rate, all stays will result in a minimum of 1,000 points earned.

Quick Analysis:

‘Go Free’ 15,000 points for a free night is the most intriguing part of this announcement. Wyndham Rewards has made a couple of changes to their reward chart in the past two years. In the past, most hotels in the major economy brands were priced at 14,000 or 16,000 points for your typical Ramada hotel. Wyndham changed to the current hotel tier system starting with reward nights at 5,500 points and up to 50,000 points.

The change seems to indicate hotels that are now 5,500 points will rise to 15,000 points and hotels at 50,000 points will drop to 15,000 points.

That certainly adds value to Wyndham Rewards points for free nights at top tier hotels. Low tier hotels tend to be low priced, so not much of a loss if reward rates increase.

Wyndham Rewards tiers

Wyndham may be the industry leader for the chain with the most hotel brands. They have 15 brands after the acquisition of Dolce Hotels & Resorts last month.

Wyndham Brands-a 3-31-15

Wyndham Worldwide has 15 brands 3-31-2015

Wyndham Worldwide has 15 brands 3-31-2015

How is this going to work when a top tier hotel is 15,000 points and a low tier hotel is 15,000 points?  Wyndham Hotels & Resorts can be pricey properties. There are some upper upscale Wyndham Grand Hotels around the world.

Wyndham Mills House award

I redeemed 50,000 points yesterday for a Days Inn in Orlando, Florida at 10,000 points per night to save $390 in May.

Now I might consider using those points differently if I truly can book any Wyndham brand hotel for 15,000 points per night. I was thinking about driving from Orlando to Charleston, SC using a Drive Out of Florida one-way rental rate I found for the first week of June.

Those 50,000 points can buy three nights at the Mills House Wyndham Grand in pricey Charleston, SC when the published low rate is $1,089 for three nights.

Wyndham Mills House Grand $1090

 

Wyndham Cash & Points

· Flexibility to ‘Go Fast:’ At 3,000 points, members can redeem with points plus cash for an award night at the majority of Wyndham Rewards hotels.

This will probably be something similar to Choice Privileges where points needed for an award can be purchased. The interesting aspect to watch for is whether the Cash & Points option will be an opportunity to buy discount Wyndham points?

· 1,000 points minimum earned every stay: Regardless of room rate, all stays will result in a minimum of 1,000 points earned.

Wyndham brands all earn 10 points per dollar, except Hawthorn Suites is 5 points per $1. The 1,000 points minimum will potentially be double points at many hotels if your stay rate was $50 per night. For the most part, this change will not be too significant, except for one-night budget hotel stays like a Super 8 or Travelodge. You will earn more than 1,000 points anyway for any hotel stay over $100.

This is exciting news from Wyndham Rewards with what looks to be an opportunity to spend fewer points on stays at currently high tier reward hotels.

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.

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Pingbacks

  1. […] Big changes for Wyndham Rewards May 11  –  Loyalty Traveler      Look it here, the Cartera of hotels wants to become relevant again….Hmmm, let me wait until the smoke clears…Here is a review of the Wyndham credit cards by Doctor of Credit. I repeat, proceed with caution due to the atrocious history of this hotel company! I have enough hotel points for the moment, not going to mess around with Wyndhams and Red Roof Inns. Heck, I even have 9k something La Quinta points that expire in June, any idea what to do with them or how can I extend their life? […]

Comments

  1. I can’t get excited about this because of this wording:

    Not all Wyndham Rewards Hotels participate in go fast Award Program.

    So…. this might not be such a great deal after all. Depends on WHO participates. What if all the hotels that were 30-50K are not a part of this? They might still fall under the old tiers….

  2. I just cannot imagine a program where booking a small town budget motel, such as a Super 8, will cost the same, per points redemption, as an expensive upscale domestic or international property. The devil, of course, will be in the details…

    Just makes no sense to me.

  3. @Greg – thanks. Should have known I’d get burned taking an image of Wyndham brands from my files rather than a screenshot today.

    I missed the departure of Dream and Night, but they were such a limited presence that I never saw one of those hotels anyway when they were part of Wyndham.

    15 brands is still hard to keep track of when trying to remember the difference between Wyndham and Choice brands.

    I deleted Dream and Night reference and changed the Wyndham image to the Wyndham brands shown today on the website.

    Thanks again.

  4. I can’t fathom that this will work out as well as it potentially sounds, at least not for any extended period of time.

    P.S. Enjoying my current stay in Momterey.

  5. This change raises the Wyndham Rewards redemption rate on more rooms than it lowers them on. And it reduces the value of the points.

    The 14k and 16k rooms I exclude because the numbers are close enough, both in points required and number of nights/searches for each in my data set. Looking at the other results, however, shows at least 3,200 hotels increasing in redemption cost while only 425 are reduced. The change actually reduces the average cents/point valuation of a Wyndham Rewards point from 0.5610 cents to 0.4773 cents, a cut of ~17%. The median point value drops from 0.5946 to 0.4666 cents.

  6. That would be expected that point value would drop when looking at the 7,500 hotels worldwide. Most hotels will increase in reward cost.

    The 425 hotels with reduced reward price is the real deal. Most Wyndham brand hotels are well under $100 per night. Among those 425 hotels reduced to 15,000 points for a reward night on many hotels with rates in the $150 to $300+ range. The overall change is a net positive for those who use loyalty points for hotels they would not otherwise pay for due to high price.

    This will be a game changer for points travelers if Wyndham allows members to earn 15,000 points on 15 stays at $50 night. Members will earn 15,000 points for $1,500 or less in spend.

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