Apr052019

Any value left in Wyndham Rewards?

Wyndham Rewards unveiled its latest iteration on April 3, 2019. The primary change is from all hotels worldwide available as GoFree rewards for 15,000 points to a three tier system at 30,000 points; 15,000 points and 7,500 points. The vast majority of hotels remain at 15,000 points. GoFast reward nights correspond to three tiers at 6,000 points, 3,000 points (unchanged) and 1,500 points + a cash copay equivalent to 70% of the Best Flexible Rate. This appears to be an increase from the 65% cash copay instituted in early 2018.

Loyalty Traveler – Program devaluation – Wyndham Rewards GoFast copay now pegged to room rate (March 26, 2018).

  • Wyndham Rewards = 8,735 hotels worldwide.
  • Wyndham Rewards 30,000 points hotels = 164 hotels.
  • Wyndham Rewards 15,000 points hotels = 6,084 hotels.
  • Wyndham Rewards 7,500 points hotels = 2,462 hotels.

One of the few improvements is to the website search function for Wyndham Rewards property locations. The search filter allows search by points category. This is a useful feature to me since my primary interest is 7,500 points hotels where there is still some good value to be found with Wyndham Rewards points.

The Rise and Fall of Wyndham Rewards

I have used Wyndham Rewards periodically over the past ten years. The heyday for the program was 2015 to 2018. This was the period when Wyndham Rewards went to a straight 15,000 points per night for any hotel worldwide. While that offered some great value at dozens of hotels, the real value I found in the program were GoFast rewards at 3,000 points + a fixed copay amount ($25 to $150) offered a good rate discount at hundreds of hotels around the world.

The other aspect of the Wyndham Rewards program that provided outsized value were some hotels offered higher category rooms, including suites, for standard reward rates.

Until last year GoFast reward rates had a fixed copay. Wyndham Rewards changed that in March 2018 to a floating copay amount equivalent to 65% (now 70%) of the Best Flexible Rate and that basically killed the value of the program for me.

I was regularly getting $30 to $50 per 1,000 points in redemption rate value using GoFast Rewards for hotels like Ramada Apollo Amsterdam booking stays in $250 per night Executive Panoramic rooms for 3,000 points + 62 EUR. That hotel is where I redeemed many thousands of points over the past four years.

Ramada Apollo Amsterdam 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points saved $500 (Feb 26, 2018).

Paying 70% of the Best Flexible Rate means this hotel is generally 2x-3x more expensive in copay than it was when I stayed there in February 2018.

Another change to Wyndham Rewards is there were far more hotels offering higher category rooms and suites on reward stays two to three years ago. There are still some gems, but you have to search for them.

Since there is now a 70% copay on GoFast reward nights, the GoFree reward night is the only real deal on high category room types. A $300 room night for $70 + 3,000 points was a steal. A $300 room night for $210 + 3,000 points is hardly worthwhile.

Wyndham Halcyon Resort La Souterraine, France

Presidential Suite for 15,000 points/night

Sure, there are still some fine deals at 15,000 points per night, but who actually has a large stash of Wyndham Rewards points to burn? I don’t put my effort into accumulating points in this program. And there are not many Wyndham brand properties that are best in class for a particular area. At least not since Ramada Vilnius Lithuania left the program.

Ramada Vilnius Lithuania Hotel Review – notably luxurious for brand (April 14, 2017).

My six figures account balance I burned through over the past four years was accumulated primarily when U.S. Travel Association Daily Getaways sold points for $2.50 to $6.00 per 1,000 points for a few years and it was possible to buy 100,000+ points.

In 2017 and 2018 Daily Getaways Wyndham Rewards points were $175 to buy 15,000 points.

Where are the Wyndham Rewards deals now?

Since I don’t know when or if I will ever have 15,000 Wyndham Rewards again, I looked at 7,500 points hotels to see if I can still find any worthwhile deals. I can definitely see earning 1,500 points for a GoFast night. Any $40 hotel night with Wyndham earns at least 1,000 points.

Ramada Constant, Romania

Sep 9-12, 2019

This hotel offers upgraded Efficiency King Room with Balcony for 3 nights at 1,447.20 RON = $342.19 USD or $114 per night.

Ramada Constanta GoFast rate is 1,500 points per night + 375.20 RON.

3 nights = 4,500 points + 1,125.60 RON ($266.15) or $89 per night.

For this hotel, 1,500 Wyndham Rewards points saves $25 per night on room rate. That is $16.67 per 1,000 points redemption value, which is probably near the higher end value for Wyndham Rewards points in the new Wyndham Rewards program. On the other hand, $89 per night will likely land an incredibly nice apartment in Constanta through other booking sources.

I have made several more rate analyses at other hotels, but the bottom line is Wyndham Rewards was a program that I found was good for several years for a very small subset of hotels, primarily where there were upgraded rooms available at standard reward points levels. Since the program now pegs the copay amount of GoFast Reward nights to 70% of Best Flexible Rate, there are far fewer hotels where Wyndham Rewards points provide good value at low points levels. The best deals now are found with GoFree 15,000 points reward nights.

I cleaned out my Wyndham Rewards account for New Year’s Eve at Ramada Apollo Amsterdam in an Executive Panoramic view with a mind blowing city fireworks display. There are so many hotel choices and I don’t think I will find much use for the new Wyndham Rewards given the current limitations of the program.

Happy New Year 2019 fireworks video from Amsterdam (Jan 1, 2019).

For me, the Wyndham Rewards party ended on New Year’s Day 2019. It was a phenomenally good time while it lasted.

 

 

 

 

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. Wyndham plays at being a good hotel chain but in reality the vast majority of their hotels are low level “motels” that might offer good prices but might just as likely end up on some dirty hotel video series on YouTube. When you add in how bad they are at point promos and other details it doesn’t help them. Sure some of their top tier hotels are a good value but it’s not worth staying at the crappy ones to earn enough points to enjoy the good ones.

  2. @DaninMCI – you express my thoughts on why I would not use Wyndham Rewards hotel stays to accumulate points. Sure, 30 nights at $50 per night might earn 30,000 points, and possibly 60,000 points depending on promotions. Unless I had a specific kind of travel, like cross country road tripping, or if I had a job that caused me to be staying at some of their more upscale Wyndham or Dolce hotels due to location, I think there are too many other better hotel options.

    Same with credit cards. I would not pick Wyndham as my loyalty points choice for spend on credit card.

    I used Wyndham Rewards points in the past for places where I was attending travel conferences and needed to pay for my own room and the hotel in the area offered a suite for points. I used Wyndham Rewards points for a few nice hotels like Mills House Charleston, Ramada Amsterdam, Ramada Vilnius and Ramada Plovdiv (Polovdiv, Bulgaria is another city where the Ramada is great location and one of the finest hotels in city).

    There are some Dolce properties that are good value, but I won’t put much money into earning or buying Wyndham points without a specific redemption in mind.

    Choice Privileges are where I find incredible value. Really looking forward to my Choice Privileges points reward stay in Oslo this week. Nothing shabby about many of the Nordic Choice Hotels options in Norway.

  3. As you already allude to Ric, Wyndham’s value to me is travel pattern derived. There are a lot of places in the US and Canada where Wyndham and Choice are the only game in town. You seem to like Choice more. I don’t know a lot about their points, but I do know their elite benefits are terrible.

    As a Wyndham Diamond, I can almost always get a suite upgrade, and corporate have been pretty good when I’ve been denied this by the property with no good reason. Check in agents seem to be pretty poorly trained, but this is a blessing in disguise as very few people bother to push about this. Yet I’ve found that when I push, I generally get it, though it usually takes them checking with their manager.

    Again, let me be clear, this doesn’t make it worth going anywhere to stay at their properties. However, if you’re somewhere where the only chain options are a Quality Inn and a Super 8, you might as well get the suite at the Super 8.

  4. Ric, I did the same as you by doing the credit card thing a few times and purchasing points on Daily Getaways. Wyndham properties are just too darn inconsistent for me to find this program useful anymore. I have burned my points reserving rooms for friends or relatives when they needed someplace to crash or providing a room for some church members when they had a relative in a hospital in another city and weren’t well off enough to pay the expense. I’ve got 15K and my wife has 30K left. Once we burn those, were done with Wyndham. I also think you will be much happier with Choice as I have seen a real improvement in their portfolio.

  5. Choice is my primary program so far in 2019. Just finished a 6-night stay at Clarion Prague Old Town on 8,000 points per night ($40 based on rate I attained points or $58 to buy them through the current Choice Privileges buy points promotion). Received a balcony room upgrade for the stay. I have averaged more than 20 reward nights per year with Choice Privileges since about 2014.

    Currently experiencing The Thief Oslo, Norway again. A $380 room night for 20,000 points.

    https://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2019/03/20/choice-privileges-buy-points-50-bonus-is-great-deal-for-many-hotels/

  6. Wow. A suite upgrade at a dumpy Ramada. Yeah. No. What next, Magnuson diamond status? I would rather AirBnB than waste money at any Wyndham property. The few good properties in that portfolio are tarnished by the thousands of junk properties.

  7. @FNT Delta Diamond – Strange logic to equate staying at a good hotel to be a waste of money due to thousands of crappy hotels where you do not stay.

    By that logic, I am wasting my money, or 20,000 Choice Privileges points in my case, paying for The Thief Oslo or Amerikalinjen Oslo, Norway because there are 1,000 crappy Econolodge motels across the USA.

    https://www.luxurytraveladvisor.com/hotels/amerikalinjen-hotel-opens-oslo-march-2019

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/norway/oslo/hotels/the-thief/

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