Oct112016

Am I the only person donating all my Starpoints to charity for Wyndham Rewards bonus points today?

Deal is Dead before it began.

Here is Wyndham Rewards’ explanation.

Today’s Wyndham Rewards trade up was offered in the spirit of generosity. Before the offer even began, there were obvious and significant examples of fraud. Much to our dismay and disappointment, we have to cancel this promotion.  We will, however, make a donation of 5 million Wyndham Rewards points to charity as the work they do on behalf of others is real magic.

We know some of you had the best intentions, and we want to reward you with what you’ve earned.  If you believe you’ve met all of the terms & conditions below, and have already submitted via email, we will be in contact in response to your inquiry.

We’re sad to have to cancel this promotion, but remain dedicated to winning your loyalty.

https://a.pgtb.me/dBfc49

I chuckle when I see blogs like One Mile at a Time and View from the Wing analyze the value of Wyndham Rewards points. I doubt even The Points Guy or Frequent Miler has seen any value in Wyndham Rewards points since the program eliminated their airline transfer ratio from 10 points = 4 miles to 10 points = 2 miles several years ago. I know Mommy Points has actually stayed in Wyndham brand hotels, but she does not point out the GoFast reward night option either in her post on today’s promotion.

The tell these bloggers reveal to show they are not too familiar with Wyndham Rewards is every blog only mentions the ability to book any Wyndham Hotel worldwide on a GoFree reward for 15,000 points per night. There is some value in that, but by far the real value I find in Wyndham Rewards, as someone who actually uses my points for hotel stays, are the high value opportunities with Wyndham GoFast Rewards at 3,000 points + copay for each reward night.

In this post I explain Wyndham’s today-only offer and why I am taking advantage of the opportunity to donate all my Starpoints to charity and receive 4x in Wyndham Rewards points for my donation.

Donate all your Starpoints to charity today and get 4x Wyndham Rewards points

This is a bizarre promotion and the terms will keep most people from taking advantage of the offer today.

Wyndham Rewards SPG offer

SPG Members, it’s time for a LOYALTY INTERVENTION!

Not all loyalty programs are created equal. On the heels of being named U.S. News & World Report’s #1 hotel rewards program, a new survey by leading consulting firm IdeaWorks has named Wyndham Rewards the most generous among leading hotel loyalty programs, offering more than 2x the reward value return (13.6% vs 5.6%)1 of the last place program.

Now Wyndham Rewards wants to spread the magic of its award-winning program by giving SPG members an unprecedented opportunity to swap their points at a 4 to 1 ratio, plus receive a status level match, but they have to act fast.

Here’s how it works:

  • On Tuesday, October 11 from 12p.m. – 11:59p.m. EST, SPG members have the historic opportunity to donate their points to charity in exchange for 4x the points with Wyndham Rewards – plus a status match.
  • To participate, members simply need to donate their entire SPG point balance to their preferred charity, and then send proof of their donation to Wyndham Rewards by sending screen shots to wyndhamrewards.fulfillment@wyn.com.
  • Two screen shots are required – one showing confirmation of the point donation and a second showing the member’s account activity page with a zero balance.
  • There is no cap on how many points members may donate or earn. Members may expect to receive the points and match within 10 days.

Wyndham Rewards is the only program in the world to offer its members a free-night stay at any of its nearly 8,000 hotels for a flat 15,000 points with no blackout dates. Not a member? Join for free at www.wyndhamrewards.com/join.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Loyalty Intervention offer (“Offer”) is open to new and existing Wyndham Rewards® members (“Members”) who reside in a participating country, territory, or region.  Offer is valid Tuesday, October 11, 2016 from 12:00 p.m. – 11:59 p.m. EST only (“Offer Period”).  All Wyndham Rewards Program Terms & Conditions apply. Visitwyndhamrewards.com for complete program terms and conditions and to learn more about the various Wyndham Rewards Member Levels. All capitalized terms not otherwise defined in these terms and conditions shall have the same meaning as in the Wyndham Rewards Program Terms & Conditions.  Offer may not be valid with any other offer, promotion, or discount. Offer is subject to cancellation or change, at any time, and without notice. Wyndham Rewards, Inc.’s (“Wyndham Rewards”) decisions are final on all matters relating to this Offer.  All trademarks cited herein are the property of their respective owners.

Offer

During the Offer Period, Members have the opportunity to donate substantially all of their points in the Starwood Preferred Guest program (“Competitor Program”).  All points verified to have been donated through the Competitor Program’s Charity Partners program will be matched with four (4) times the same number of points in their Wyndham Rewards account (“Trade-In Bonus Points”). Additionally Wyndham Rewards will upgrade Members’ new or existing Wyndham Rewards Member Level to a level equal to, but not higher than, their current loyalty elite tier/status level in the Competitor Program (“Status Match”).

Claim Process

To claim the Trade-In Bonus Points and Status Match opportunity described in the Offer, Members must transmit the following information, during the Offer Period, to wyndhamrewards.fulfillment@wyn.com: 1) Your Wyndham Rewards member number; and 2) A screenshot of your points donation receipt from the Competitor Program indicating the referenced transaction was completed during the Offer Period; and 3) A screenshot of your final points balance with the Competitor Program upon completion of the transaction; and 4) A screenshot or current Competitor Program account statement indicating your status level and recent transaction history.  All information received is subject to further review and confirmation, as needed, by the Wyndham Rewards Program personnel.  Member is solely responsible for any fees, costs, taxes or any other liabilities associated with any Competitor Program transactions.  In most cases, Members will receive their Trade-In Bonus Points and Status Match within ten (10) days of a qualifying submission.  If Members have questions concerning the Offer, they should contact Wyndham Rewards Member Services at 1.866.996.7937 or visit wyndhamrewards.com.

Trade-In Bonus Points

As a condition of eligibility for any Trade-In Bonus Points awards, Members’ Competitor Program account: 1) may not reflect any other transactions within the preceding 24 hour period; and 2) may have no more than 499 points remaining in their Competitor Program account upon completion of the transaction or transactions; and 3) all transactions must be completed within the Offer Period.

Status Match

Status Match will allow members to upgrade their new or existing Wyndham Rewards Member Level to a level equal to, but not higher than, their current loyalty elite tier/status level in the Competitor Program. The Wyndham Rewards Program offers Members the following membership levels (“Member Levels”): Blue (achieved upon enrollment), Gold (achieved upon Member completing 5 Qualifying Nights in one calendar year), Platinum (achieved upon Member completing 15 Qualifying Nights in one calendar year), and Diamond (achieved upon Member completing 40 Qualifying Nights in one calendar year)*.  Wyndham Rewards Member Level upgrades will, generally, be processed according to the following schedule:                                          

Competitor Program Status Level

Wyndham Elite SPG match

However, Wyndham Rewards personnel will determine the equivalent Wyndham Rewards Member Level that matches the Member’s current Competitor Program loyalty elite tier/status level, based upon a review of the number of nights, stays, and/or points required to meet the comparable elite tier/status level.  Only elite tier/status level will be matched (Competitor Program benefits may not specifically be matched).  Members who receive a Status Match under the Offer will retain such level until December 31, 2017.

*A Qualifying Night under the Wyndham Reward Terms & Conditions is defined as a paid, stayed night during a Qualified Stay at a Participating Hotel (see Section I of the Wyndham Rewards Terms & Conditions for definitions of “Qualified Stays” and “Participating Hotels”), so long as the Qualified Stay has an average daily rate of $25 per night; (ii) a paid, stayed night at a Go Fast Award Participating Hotel, which night was obtained by using a Go Fast Award pursuant to these Terms and Conditions; or (iii) a stayed night at a Participating Hotel, which night was obtained by using a Go Free Award pursuant to these Terms and Conditions.

https://a.pgtb.me/dBfc49

Key Terms to Know for Wyndham Rewards Promotion

As a condition of eligibility for any Trade-In Bonus Points awards, Members’ Competitor Program account:

1) may not reflect any other transactions within the preceding 24 hour period; and

2) may have no more than 499 points remaining in their Competitor Program account upon completion of the transaction or transactions; and

3) all transactions must be completed within the Offer Period.

The first term prevents the strategy of transferring most of your points to Marriott Rewards and a limited number to Wyndham Rewards. The second term requires you donate all but 499 Starpoints today.

Those two terms likely eliminate 99% of people who would even consider a transfer of some Starpoints for 4x Wyndham Rewards points.

Why I am Transferring All my Starpoints to charity today

The reason why I am all-in for transferring all my Starpoints is the SPG program is one I have not found too useful for me in the past few years. I was SPG Platinum for many years and I am only 31 nights away from lifetime Gold elite. I was even invited to be an SPG Amex Star brand evangelist for Starwood Preferred Guest American Express in 2012. I knew at the time that the public relations group for Starwood Hotels who organized the SPG Amex Stars promotion were not too familiar with Loyalty Traveler blog or they might have realized I am not a credit card promoting blogger. Honestly, I might feel differently about SPG if I had never participated in the SPG Amex Star program. I realized that year that I don’t really care for luxury hotels after several free stays in St. Regis hotels in San Francisco, Kauai and Miami Beach area.

I have only stayed at 4 Starwood Hotels since 2012. As I looked through my last four years of SPG activity this morning, I see more reservations booked and canceled than stays completed. I find better value with other hotel chains in places I travel. Like last month, when I booked a Luxury Collection hotel in Bratislava, Slovakia for 5,000 Starpoints + $90, then canceled to stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Bratislava for 4,000 points and 28 EUR. HHonors Diamond status gave me complimentary breakfast and a suite upgrade. I have no elite status with SPG in 2016.

Two nights of my trip last month were spent at the Ramada Salzburg Austria on GoFast Reward nights for 3,000 points + 52 EUR per night. I saved 80 EUR per night on the room rate with 3,000 Wyndham Rewards points. A repeat of that two night hotel stay is like getting 160 EUR in room rate savings for 1,500 Starpoints.

Loyalty Traveler – Hotel Review Ramada Salzburg City Centre (Sep 28, 2016).

A redemption value of 100+ EUR for 1,000 Starpoints is a deal I’ll take any day.

12,697 Starpoints account balance today.

My plan is to donate 12,500 Starpoints to charity today and earn 50,000 Wyndham Rewards points.

The funny thing is last night I went to bed thinking about the value I could get from my 12,697 Starpoints with a 1:3 transfer to Marriott Rewards points.

12,697 Starpoints = 38,091 Marriott Rewards points.

I had the idea last night that I would try to accumulate about 100,000 Marriott Rewards points for a trip to South Africa in 2017 and take advantage of the numerous Protea Hotels available for 7,500 points per reward night. I figured I could spend two weeks in South Africa on free nights with Marriott Rewards points.

Wyndham Rewards points are hard to acquire

I already had the mindset that I would transfer all my Starpoints to Marriott Rewards points. The reason this Wyndham Rewards promotion appeals to me is Wyndham Rewards points are much harder to acquire than Marriott Rewards points. I don’t follow credit card points closely, but I don’t think there are any transfer partners to Wyndham Rewards points. There are all kinds of credit card partners for exchanging points into Marriott Rewards points.

Unless you have a Wyndham Rewards credit card, then you need to stay at Wyndham properties to earn points or wait for Daily Getaways to roll around next April-May.

Wyndham Rewards only allows 5,000 points to be purchased in a calendar year at $11 per 1,000 points.

The points I currently have were primarily acquired from U.S. Travel Association Daily Getaways sales. I purchased the maximum 30,000 points in April-May 2016 during this year’s sale.

Loyalty Traveler – Why I bought 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points today (May 5, 2016).

Wyndham Rewards may not be a hotel loyalty program for your needs, but it sure meets my needs in many places

Rather than posing a hypothetical potential value of Wyndham Rewards points at a handful of Wyndham hotels for 15,000 points on GoFree reward nights, I’ll show you two other Ramada hotels I have been to in 2016 and would love to return for more GoFast discount reward nights.

Here is a list of worldwide Ramada Hotels locations with about 200 hotels outside the USA/Canada.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is an expensive hotel city, especially on weekends.

A 4-night stay at Ramada Apollo Amsterdam over the weekend from Thu July 13 to Mon July 17 is either 15,000 points or 3,000 points + 49 EUR per night.

Ramada Apollo July13-17 rates

One of the little known aspects of Wyndham Rewards is the availability of higher category rooms for the standard reward night rate. The image above shows the option of a 2 twin beds Deluxe room or 1 King bed Executive room. Both of these room types are higher category rooms than a Standard room.

Ramada Apollo room rate July13-17

Ramada Apollo Amsterdam July 13-17 on a 4-night stay

  • Queen Bed Standard Room = 525 EUR or 60,000 points or 12,000 points + 196 EUR.
  • 2 Twin Beds Deluxe Room = 651 EUR or 60,000 points or 12,000 points + 196 EUR.
  • 1 King Bed Executive Room = 651 EUR or 60,000 points or 12,000 points + 196 EUR.
  • Wyndham Rewards 12,000 points saves 455 EUR = $503.57.

Today I can exchange 3,000 Starpoints for 12,000 Wyndham Rewards points and I know I can book a hotel in Amsterdam next summer to stay four nights for about $55 per night rather than pay 155 EUR ($171 USD) per night at the Ramada Apollo Amsterdam.

Loyalty Traveler – Hotel Review: Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre on Wyndham Rewards GoFast rate (April 7, 2016).

Ramada Vilnius Lithuania on a 4-night stay

I will be traveling through the Baltics again next summer after thoroughly enjoying my week in Lithuania in April 2016. One of the hotels that truly impressed me in Vilnius is the Ramada Vilnius, a 5-star hotel in the historic city center. TripAdvisor gives the hotel highly favorable reviews. Don’t think a Ramada can possibly be a luxury hotel? Check out my photos from a site visit.

Loyalty Traveler – Five Star Ramada Hotel & Suites Vilnius, Lithuania (April 10, 2016).

Ramada Vilnius GoFast July13-17

Ramada Vilnius July 13-17 for a 4-night stay

GoFast Reward 12,000 points + 196 EUR ($216.76 USD).

Ramada Vilnius paid rate July13-17

Ramada Vilnius paid rate for 4 nights in Double Bed room type = 612 EUR.

12,000 Wyndham Rewards points saves 416 EUR ($460 USD).

That is one more example for why I am donating my 12,500 Starpoints to charity today in a trade for 50,000 Wyndham Rewards points. There is no way I’ll get nearly $2,000 in redemption value from 12,500 Starpoints or even 38,000 Marriott Rewards points. There are many hotels in Europe where I can get $2,000 in room rate discounts one night at a time through Wyndham Rewards GoFast rates.

In my quick searches for hotel reward nights at Ramada properties in Europe this morning, I found a one bedroom suite available next summer where Wyndham Rewards points drops the room rate from 201 EUR ($222 USD) per night to 41 EUR ($46 USD) + 3,000 points. Since there is only one suite available, I won’t tell you the location.

Exchange 750 Starpoints for $176 room rate savings?

I’ll make that exchange any day.

 

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.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

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  1. AAAHHHHH – I was just donating my points when I happened to pull up your post and saw it was cancelled!! Thank God I saw it first! This was going to be an amazing deal if used right! Bummer…

  2. While I am disappointed I lost the opportunity to gain 50,000 Wyndham Rewards points today, I am more disappointed that this promotion has created so many more travelers who will not give Wyndham Rewards a chance after this fiasco.

    Personally I have enough Wyndham Rewards points to meet my needs into 2017 when the next Daily Getaways will hopefully run in April or May 2017 with an offer for Wyndham Rewards points on sale again (2016 sale was $10/1,000 points; maximum 30,000 points).

    Even if they don’t offer Wyndham Rewards points for sale through Daily Getaways, Wyndham Rewards allows members to buy 5,000 points eah calendar year. My wife and I can buy 5,000 points each for $110 total by December 31, 2016 and another 5,000 points each for $110 to earn 20,000 points for $220.

    As I have shown in this post, I know I can easily find big hotel room rate discounts using Wyndham Rewards points in Europe at hotels perfectly suitable for my travel needs. Similar to how Radisson Blu in Europe is a higher market segment compared to the average Radisson in the USA, I find Ramada to be a higher level city hotel brand internationally compared to Ramada in the USA.

    3,000 Wyndham Rewards points have good value in hundreds of places around the world in Ramada Hotels.

    There are around 850 Ramada hotels worldwide and about 25% of those hotels are outside USA/Canada. Keep an eye out for reward nights offering higher category rooms, even suites.

  3. I am more disappointed that this promotion has created so many more travelers who will not give Wyndham Rewards a chance after this fiasco.

    On the bright side, that’s less competition for your award redemption!

  4. Ric, hopefully you hadn’t completed step one, transfer from SPG to charity to deplete your account, before they pulled the plug…

  5. nsx at FlyerTalk – redeeming Wyndham Rewards points today for several discount hotel nights in 2017.

    @colleen – No. I posted this article and then immediately saw the offer was canceled.

  6. “As I have shown in this post, I know I can easily find big hotel room rate discounts using Wyndham Rewards points in Europe at hotels perfectly suitable for my travel needs.”

    That assumes that Wyndham doesn’t decide to unilaterally create another no-notice “fiasco” and arbitrarily devalue their program, as they’ve done before.

    http://loyaltylobby.com/2014/05/21/wyndham-rewards-stealth-devaluation-last-day-to-redeem-at-current-point-requirements/

    http://www.flyertalk.com/the-gate/blog/26610-wyndham-rewards-quietly-adds-tier-9-level-%E2%80%94-with-no-notice.html

    I certainly understand your angle (and I’ve used Wyndham as an occasional program because there ARE ways to get value from it as currently constructed, as well as in the past), but I would be loathe to make much of a long term commitment to a program with a history of really sketchy moves like this. My commitments are going to be more earn (or buy) and immediate/close to immediate burn (such as the days when with the right US Airways 50% bonus transfer promo + Discover America price, you were buying a miles at a price where a round trip around the world in Star Alliance first class from the US to Europe with a stopover in Asia was about $600 all-in, or buying now with Discover America and quickly cashing in awards before charts devalue).

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