By Eric Rosen
June 24, 2019
Courtesy of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Hotel points can be just as important as airline miles or credit card points when it comes to mapping out your travel rewards strategy. Not only can travelers earn and redeem hotel points for stays all over the world, but they can often also convert points into airline miles or exchange them for unique experiences like concerts and private dinners.

Wyndham Rewards is one of the largest hotel loyalty programs in the world. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of it.

What is Wyndham Rewards?

Wyndham Rewards is the loyalty program of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, which comprises a whopping 19 distinct hotel brands with over 9,000 properties in more than 80 countries plus vacation rentals and club resorts like Shell Vacations Club and Cottages.com.

There are some you’ve likely heard of or even stayed at before, including Ramada by Wyndham, Days Inn by Wyndham, La Quinta by Wyndham, Travelodge by Wyndham and Howard Johnson by Wyndham. Most of these properties are geared toward value-seeking travelers on a budget.

Brands with higher-end hotels include TRYP by Wyndham, Wyndham Grand, and Dolce Hotels and Resorts by Wyndham, the last of which counts the tony Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa and the Aspen Meadows Resort in Colorado among its properties.

Wyndham Rewards has also partnered with Caesars Rewards so that members can enjoy benefits at Las Vegas and Atlantic City hotels and casinos such as Caesars, Harrah’s, The LINQ, Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace, and Planet Hollywood.

Courtesy of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

How to Earn Wyndham Rewards Points

Wyndham Rewards members can earn points a few different ways. The first is by actually staying at Wyndham properties, for which members earn 10 points per dollar spent on room rates, or 1,000 points per stay, whichever is greater. You can earn 10 points per dollar when booking activities like architectural tours, wine tastings, and live performances through the brand’s destination portal, too.

Wyndham Rewards fields an online shopping portal where members can earn multiple points per dollar spent at various partner retailers’ sites. Simply log in with your membership number, click on the merchant you want to shop at, and you will be redirected to their site. After making your purchases, you should see bonus points hit your account within a few weeks. Some recent deals included two points per dollar at Bloomingdale’s, three points per dollar at Apple, and four points per dollar at Macy’s.

Wyndham Rewards also has two co-branded credit cards issued by Barclays. The Wyndham Rewards Visa with no annual fee usually offers sign-up bonuses of around 15,000 points upon first use. It earns three points per dollar on Wyndham purchases, two points per dollar at gas stations and grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart), and on utilities, and one point per dollar everywhere else. Cardholders receive automatic Gold status with Wyndham Rewards.

The Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature with an annual fee of $75 usually offers a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points – 15,000 after your first purchase and an additional 15,000 once you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. It earns five points per dollar on Wyndham purchases, and then two points per dollar in the same categories as the no-fee card, and one point per dollar on everything else. Those with this credit card enjoy Platinum elite status.

Just note that points expire after 18 months of account inactivity, so you must earn or redeem within that period to keep your points alive. All points expire four years after being earned, regardless of account activity, so use them or lose them.

Courtesy of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

How to Redeem Wyndham Rewards Points

Wyndham Rewards recently changed its award structure. It offers go free awards, which are simply free nights for which you redeem points, and go fast awards that require a mix of points and cash to book. Both are broken down into three categories.

The three go free award categories cost 7,500 points, 15,000 points, or 30,000 points each, depending on the hotel. If you want to book a go fast award, it will cost you 1,500 points, 3,000 points, or 6,000 points plus cash co-pays.

For example, a night at The New Yorker, a Wyndham Hotel, costs $360, 30,000 points, or $265 plus 6,000 points. On the other hand, a night at the Ramada by Wyndham Phoenix Midtown costs $110, 15,000 points, or $77 plus 3,000 points. In general, you should get around 1 – 1.5 cents per point in value if you redeem for an award night.

Apart from hotel stays, members can redeem their points for experiences through the brand’s activities portal instead of paying cash. They can redeem points for merchandise like electronics and clothes or for gift cards through Wyndham’s online catalog. It is also possible to redeem points for charitable donations. However, the value you get for your points with all these methods tends to be abysmal, so avoid these options unless you have tens of thousands of points to burn.

Wyndham Rewards Partners

Wyndham Rewards has a few other partners where you can earn and redeem points. Members receive 100 points per day on qualifying car rentals with Avis and Budget and 250 points for every DoorDash food order.

The program partners with 13 airlines including American Airlines, Air Canada, Hawaiian Airlines, and United, as well as Amtrak, so that members can earn miles on their hotel stays instead of Wyndham Rewards points. With most of those partners, regular and Gold elite members earn one mile per dollar spent on stays, and Platinum and Diamond elites earn two miles per dollar spent. On the redemption side, you can convert 6,000 Wyndham Rewards points into 1,200 airline miles (with 11 partners) or Amtrak points, which is a terrible return on your earning, so skip this option.

Elite Status Tiers and Benefits

Wyndham Rewards members can achieve elite status by staying a certain number of nights in their hotels each year. Paid stays with an average rate of $25 or more and award nights count toward status.

The program currently has three tiers of elite status, starting with Gold for completing five nights. At this level, members earn 10% more points on stays, have access to preferred rooms, late check-out and a dedicated customer service line.

Those who stay 15 nights or more qualify for Platinum, which includes additional benefits such as earning 15% bonus points, early check-in times, a status match to the Caesar Rewards program, and rental upgrades with Avis and Budget.

The top tier of Wyndham Rewards status is Diamond, which is earned after 40 nights. The additional perks at this tier include earning 20% bonus points, eligibility for suite upgrades, a welcome amenity at check-in, and the ability to confer Gold status on another member.

All members, regardless of elite tier, enjoy free Wi-Fi, and can redeem their points for awards. Any elite nights you earn above and beyond the tier you achieve in the current year can be rolled over toward qualification in the following year, which is a nice feature.

Courtesy of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Pros and Cons of Wyndham Rewards

With 9,000 hotels across the world, there are plenty of places where you can earn and redeem Wyndham Rewards points. Hotel award redemptions tend to be a pretty good deal, and the co-branded credit cards earn bonus points in several different categories.

On the downside, Wyndham does not have very many luxury properties, so if you want to use your points for aspirational or once-in-a-lifetime stays, this is not the program for you. Earning elite status is easy, but perhaps not worth it given the few perks you will actually enjoy. The program also recently changed its award redemption structure, so it might do so again with little notice.

How to Sign Up

It’s free to join Wyndham Rewards, and doing so will get you complimentary internet when staying at Wyndham properties, so you might as well sign up here.

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