There have been so many changes to hotel loyalty programs in the past three years that I needed to check again to see which hotel programs count award stays for elite membership.

Redeeming points for award stays while earning elite membership credit comes in handy when you are trying to reach 25 to 30 stays or 60 to 75 nights in your favorite hotel chain in a calendar year.

Hotel Stays and/or Nights completed in a calendar year qualification for high hotel loyalty program elite membership.

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Ramada Hotels with 826 hotels worldwide is one of 12 primary brands in Wyndham Rewards hotel loyalty program. Ramada has the primary global presence for the Wyndham Rewards hotel members with Ramada Inn locations in 59 countries outside the USA. The average daily room rate reported for the Ramada brand was $80 per night in the last Wyndham 2014-Q1 financial report.

Iraq, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Montenegro, Ukraine are places where you are hard pressed to find another major hotel chain. You can cuddle with a pillow in the comfort of your Ramada room when the streets outside might be scary at night. Besides current and former war zones, Ramada hotels complement tourist countries with locations like seven hotels in Switzerland, seven hotels in Romania, four in Peru, 35 Ramada hotels in Germany, 14 in Turkey and 35 in the UK. New Zealand, Australia, New Caledonia, Brazil, Mongolia, Thailand and Tunisia are among the 59 countries outside the USA with Ramada Hotels.

Some of these foreign locations offer hotel award nights at 10,000 points or less per night.

Ramada Macedonia

Ramada Plaza Gevgelija, Macedonia is the only western brand hotel around town for 70EUR per night or 8,000 Wyndham Rewards points.


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Wyndham Rewards launched the ‘Unpack Your Bonus’ summer promotion offering from 2x to 10x points for hotel stays from July 1 to September 15, 2014.

Wyndham Unpack your bonus-3

Members must register and then select one out of ten suitcases to ‘unpack your bonus’. The result will be the points multiplier of 2x, 4x, 5x or 10x for the first four hotel stays during the promotion.

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There are still Wyndham Rewards points available for purchase at discount rates through U.S. Travel Association’s Daily Getaways website. Points are available for purchase until July 4, 2014 or until sold out.

The market has spoken and consumers do not perceive sufficient value in Wyndham Rewards points to make purchases even at a highly discounted rate of $5.40 per 1,000 points when paying with American Express or $6.00 per 1,000 points with another credit card.

Personally, I find there are decent savings with Wyndham Rewards points. If St. Regis and Park Hyatt are your style, then a Wyndham brand probably is slumming it. If Sheraton, Hyatt Regency or Hilton are your choices, then there are comparable Wyndham brand hotels in some places.

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This week I have been drafted as a surrogate first grade teacher for the last week of school. A couple of promotions and offers for free and discount points are out there to remember and consider.

Marriott Plus Points

Marriott has an offer where you can pick up 250 points per day, up to 2,000 points per every 30 days from now until November. This means remembering the deal for 8 days in a 30-day period maxes out the monthly offers.

I am terrible at remembering daily promotions. I received two emails this week that I had 250 points posted for 500 free points to my Marriott Rewards account for the Twitter and Facebook follow and like from last week.

It is still possible to pick up around 10,000 points with this offer.

Here is my post from last week on Marriott Plus Points social media promotion.

Daily Getaways leftovers 

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This post summarizes dozens of hotel loyalty promotion offers in the major hotel chains currently available in the month of June 2014 for hotel stays this month and beyond.

Last update: June 3, 2014

Please send me an email at if you know of a good hotel promotion not listed here.

Summer 2014 Hotel Loyalty Promotions

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The Mills House Charleston, South Carolina is centrally located in the heart of Charleston’s historic district. The hotel dates to 1853, yet all modern comforts are available at this Wyndham Grand property including restaurant with indoor and outdoor courtyard dining, outdoor swimming pool and a multi-level parking garage connected by walkway to the hotel.

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The first day of 2014 Daily Getaways deals on Monday, May 19 are sets of Wyndham Rewards points for $6.00 per 1,000 points or $5.40 per 1,000 points when paying with American Express. This post explains why I think buying Wyndham Rewards points are a decent deal and why there will be far less competition to buy these points through Daily Getaways in 2014 compared to the past three years.

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U.S. Travel Association’s Daily Getaways returns May 19-June 20, 2014. A preview of 2014 offers will post May 12, 2014. Daily Getaways are daily travel package offers where one travel company is featured each weekday (Mon-Fri)for a flash sale. Hotel loyalty points, airline discounts, car rental discounts and Las Vegas packages are common in the 25 days of sales.

These annual sales have allowed me to pick up hundreds of thousands of hotel points in Wyndham, Choice, Hyatt, IHG, Club Carlson and Best Western. Marriott typically offers discount gift cards and Hilton HHonors has high levels of points for sale.

In 2013, I purchased 152,000 Choice Privileges points for $579.60. These points are one of my primary strategies for budget travel in Norway on my trip in September. Most of the 85 Choice brand hotels in Norway are 16,000 points per reward night for Clarion Collection, Quality and Comfort Inn hotels. Many of these hotels are $200 per night and several are ranked as the #1 hotel for the location on TripAdvisor.

My purchase of Choice Privileges points in 2013 means I can stay at hotels in Norway for about $60 per night. Using my $600 in Choice points will save over $1,000 on published hotel rates in Norway.

Wyndham Rewards at $5.40 per 1,000 points

My purchase of 60,000 Wyndham points for $324 in 2013 Daily Getaways let me book a 5-night stay in New York City for $70 per night at the Wyndham New Yorker when the hotel was listed at 14,000 points per night last week. The hotel went up to 50,000 points in what seemed like a knee-jerk reaction to my posting about the 14,000 points rate. The hotel has now floated back down to 30,000 points per night.

Wyndham New Yorker 30K

Wyndham New Yorker reward rates change in a New York minute. I booked this hotel for five nights at 14,000 points per night last week on the morning of March 5. the reward rate increased to 50,000 points on the evening of March 5 and is now back down to 30,000 points today. I figured the 14,000 points rate was a mistake last week and the hotel should have been priced at 30,000 points per night. Room rates were near $1,200 after tax. I am saving over $800 on the published rate for this stay and 80,000 points on the reward rate now posted for the hotel.

Other sample rates for hotel points in 2013 Daily Getaways.

Hyatt Gold Passport – great price at $10 per 1,000 points, but very few packages offered and difficult to buy.

  • 24,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points = $260 ($234 with 10% Amex discount). 100 available, maximum purchase = 1.
  • 30,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points = $330 ($297 with 10% Amex discount). 35 available, maximum purchase = 1.
  • 36,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points = $415 ($373.50 with 10% Amex discount). 15 available, maximum purchase = 1.
  • 69,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points = $775 ($697.50 with 10% Amex discount). 15 available, maximum purchase = 1.

Best Western Rewards – These points did not sell out and were available for about one month after Daily Getaways ended. Hilton HHonors and IHG Rewards Club also did not sell out in 2013 on the day of the sale.

  • 10,000 Best Western Rewards points = $67 ($60.30 with 10% Amex discount). Maximum purchase = 5 for 50,000 points.

$60 for 10,000 points is not that great a deal when hotel rewards can be up to 36,000 points per night. Yesterday I studied Best Western hotel room rates and reward rates for Norway.

Norway BW Skei

Best Western Skei, Norway sits deep inland at the edge of a fjord in Norway’s fjord country.

  • 1,199 NOK = $201 USD
  • 20,000 points = $120.60 in Daily Getaways 2013

Most of the Best Western hotels I have checked in Norway have rates around $200 per night or 20,000 points. Buying Best Western Rewards points during Daily Getaways reduces the cost of a night to $120. I might be buying some more points this year for a couple of Best Western hotel reward nights in Norway.

Choice Privileges – Last summer I purchased Choice Privileges points on hopes that I was going to Europe in autumn 2013. Dozens of Choice hotels across Europe, even central Paris and London, dropped reward night rates to 8,000 points per night. Choice points were under $4 per 1,000 points in 2013 Daily Getaways meaning a week in Paris cost less $32 per night at one of the dozen Choice Hotels in the city. Those October plans to Europe fell through.

My current plan is to focus on Choice Hotels in Norway for my September 2014 trip where there are 85 hotels to choose from and most have reward nights at 16,000 points per night. $64 per hotel night is a bargain in Norway and all hotels provide a free breakfast and several Choice hotels I checked serve a complimentary light evening meal too. The food component on its own is a $64 value in Norway’s economy.

Loyalty Traveler Choice Hotel Points on Daily Getaways (June 27, 2013)

  • 20,000 points = $102 ($91.80 with American Express payment). 190 sets available, maximum purchase = 2.
  • 32,000 points = $134 ($120.60 with American Express payment). 660 sets available, maximum purchase = 2.
  • 36,000 points = $156 ($140.40 with American Express payment). 795 available, maximum purchase = 2.
  • 40,000 points = $166 ($149.40 with American Express payment). Purchase price is $3.74 or $4.15 per 1,000 points. 325 sets available, maximum purchase = 2. 

It was possible to stay 10 nights in Paris and/or London in September-November 2013 for under $300 with 80,000 Choice Privileges points. Currently most hotels in Paris are priced at 25,000 points.

Choice Privileges only allows international reward bookings within 60 days of arrival, except for high elite members. Choice Privileges also has seasonal pricing on reward nights which changes about every 10 weeks.

Clarion Collection Hotel Opera Pavillon, Paris, France
  • Feb 1, 2014 – Apr 15, 2014:  25000/room
  • Apr 16, 2014 – Jun 30, 2014:  25000/room

The next posted periods for Choice Rewards will likely run from July 1 – September 15 and September 16-November 30.

In 2013, the season Sep 16-Nov 30 saw the majority of Choice Hotels in Europe drop to 8,000 points per night. No guarantee we will see these low reward rates in 2014, but they have occurred at some season each year for the past few years.

Club Carlson

50,000 Club Carlson Points = $194 ($174.60 with Amex card)

  • Available: 142
  • Max quantity: 2

100,000 Club Carlson Points = $385 ($346.50 with Amex card)

  • Available: 71
  • Max quantity: 2

Club Carlson points are particularly good value for Club Carlson Visa card members who get one free night on reward stays. 100,000 Club Carlson points could buy 4 nights at some of the top hotels in the Radisson chain for $87 per night if that same price is offered in 2014.

Hilton HHonors was selling 150,000 points for $742.50 (American Express rate). Those packages did not sell out in 2013.

Marriott sold gift cards in different denominations at 20% off. A $100 gift card cost $80.


My Strategy: Bank Hotel Points during Daily Getaways

Since 2011, buying points in the U.S. Travel Association Daily Getaways has been one of my primary strategies for acquiring hotel loyalty points. I don’t want to spend dozens of nights in economy and midscale hotels to earn points in chains like Best Western, Choice and Wyndham. Buying them outright and banking the points until a good hotel reward stay opportunity comes along is something that has saved me thousands of dollars in hotel rates over the past three years.


Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

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Wyndham New Yorker is now priced at 50,000 points per reward night. The Tier 4 free night reward did not last too long after my Loyalty Traveler post this morning.

Wyndham New Yorker 50K

The hotel went from Tier 4 at 14,000 points this morning to Tier 9 at 50,000 points per reward night this evening.

Wyndham Rewards 9 Tiers

I hope you were able to take advantage of the low reward rate today while it lasted.

Loyalty Traveler post: Wyndham New Yorker at 14,000 points per reward night (Deal Gone).

This hotel deal did not get much traction in social media today, even at 14,000 Wyndham Rewards points.

Thank you Wyndham Rewards. You enticed me to return to New York City for a 5-day visit and I look forward to experiencing the Wyndham New Yorker hotel stay and Manhattan again.

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