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.*
- 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.
- Days Inn®,
- Baymont Inn & Suites®,
- Hawthorn Suites®,
- Howard Johnson®,
- Knights Inn®,
- Wingate® by Wyndham
- 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.
International Hotel Rewards have their own tiers with 15,000 points being a common tier level.
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.
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.
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.
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.