2017 hotel loyalty program changes so far have seen Club Carlson eliminate 2-for-1 and 4-for-2 Gold elite member rates in Europe, Hilton announce it is doing away with standard reward pricing, Hyatt Gold Passport launching World of Hyatt on March 1 and now Wyndham Rewards appears to have eliminated one of its most valuable benefits available with GoFast and GoFree rewards.
GoFree points rewards are still available for 15,000 points per night at hotels worldwide and GoFast rewards for 3,000 points and a cash copay from $25 to $150 per night are still in place. The change is the type of rooms available with these points rewards.
Update Feb 17: I also see Wyndham Rewards has increased copay amounts for GoFast Rewards at several hotels I looked at three days ago in Europe. Hotels that were 49 EUR + 3,000 points are 61 EUR today. Most of the same hotels I see today are about 11 or 12 EUR higher copay than they were three days ago.
Wyndham Rewards stays using points eliminates redemptions for high category rooms, including suites?
One of the little publicized benefits on travel blogs for Wyndham Rewards is one that I kept relatively low key on Loyalty Traveler, since I am one of the few hotel loyalty travelers who finds great value and personal benefit in Wyndham Rewards points for hotel rooms.
Wyndham Rewards room nights booked with points have allowed members to book high category hotel rooms, including suites at many hotels. This is a benefit I used many times over the years.
The changes came to my attention this week when I called Wyndham Rewards customer service about 12,000 points missing from my account for a canceled reservation I made last week for a Ramada hotel stay in Europe.
One of my biggest complaints about Wyndham Rewards is the need to call customer service for hotel reservation cancellations. Dealing with customer service is a real drag.
My customer service phone call was even more upsetting when the agent came back on the phone and told me my reservation was canceled and 9,000 Wyndham Rewards points were re-deposited in my account.
The customer service agent mistakenly canceled my upcoming 3-night reward reservation stay I booked in January for a hotel suite on a GoFast reward using Wyndham Rewards points. When my reservation was reinstated, I no longer had a suite. That pissed me off.
Wyndham Rewards compensated me for the customer service error by rebooking the reservation and crediting my account with 9,000 points. I have a deep discount room rate, but I no longer have a suite for my 3-night hotel stay.
I also had a 2-for-1 Radisson Blu hotel stay booked as an alternate hotel in the same city, but I canceled that reservation last week in favor of the Ramada suite. No longer an option for Club Carlson 2-for-1 bookings in February 2017 either.
There have been a lot of negative changes in travel programs this past month.
No More Wyndham Rewards Suites on Points Found Anywhere
I made an analysis last month of Ramada hotel rewards for 8 properties in Romania for my July trip to Europe.
Loyalty Traveler – Roaming Romania in Ramada Hotels (Jan 17, 2017).
What I did not mention in my post on Ramada hotels in Romania is nearly every Ramada had one bedroom suite availability with points reward nights for dates I checked in July 2017. The opportunity to stay in major tourist cities of Romania in confirmed suites for $30 to $45 + 3,000 points per night placed the country and Wyndham Rewards points at the front of my travel plans for July.
After losing my suite reservation for February, I looked again at Romania to create reservations for my summer trip. There are no longer suites offered at any of these hotels when redeeming points. I could not find any hotels anywhere worldwide still offering suites on points reward stays.
January 16, 2017 Ramada Cluj-Napoca suite on points
2 Kings, 2 Bedroom Suite = 3,000 points + 41 EUR with Wyndham Rewards Go Fast rate or 15,000 points Go Free reward for July 20-23, 2017.
February 17, 2016 Ramada Cluj-Napoca standard rooms only on points
King Bed Room = 3,000 points + 41 EUR. There are no higher category rooms available.
I checked more than a dozen hotels in different parts of the world to see all offered only standard rooms with points rewards. Looks to me like this incredibly valuable feature of Wyndham Rewards is truly gone.
The opportunity to book suites with Go Fast and GoFree rewards using Wyndham Rewards points was one of the best deals around using hotel loyalty points for confirmed suites at many hotels.
Another lucrative hotel loyalty program benefit bites the dust in 2017.