Wyndham Rewards Changing Award Pricing (And More)

Wyndham Rewards, which has over 60 million members, has just announced some major changes.

Wyndham Rewards’ radical 2015 program changes

For context, I think it’s important to briefly talk about the changes that Wyndham Rewards made in 2015.

At that point they overhauled their loyalty program in a way that almost no other program has before. They decided they’d charge the same number of points for reward nights at all properties, regardless of whether you’re staying at Wyndham’s cheapest or most premium properties.

All properties cost 15,000 points per night. While Wyndham doesn’t have that many “aspirational” properties, this was certainly exciting for those of us who like to redeem at premium properties, though perhaps it alienated a lot of people as well.

Well, Wyndham is now basically completely undoing that.

New Wyndham Rewards program

Wyndham Rewards has announced some major program changes that kick in as of April 3, 2019.

Here’s what you need to know:

Wyndham is introducing tiered award pricing

First of all, Wyndham is introducing tiered award pricing. Currently awards at all hotels cost 15,000 points per night, while going forward they’ll have three tiers of hotels, which will cost 7,500 points, 15,000 points, or 30,000 points per night.

Whether these changes are positive or negative depends entirely on how you’d usually redeem. It’s a massive devaluation if you’re redeeming at Wyndham’s top properties, since the cost of stays is going up 100%, while it’s a big improvement for those who just want to redeem at Wyndham’s cheapest properties, where we’re seeing the cost of stays go down by 50%.

While we don’t yet know exactly which hotels will fall in which categories, View from the Wing says that about one third of properties will drop to 7,500 points per night, most properties will remain 15,000 points per night, and around 200 properties will increase to 30,000 points per night.

La Quinta is joining Wyndham Rewards

In early 2018 it was announced that Wyndham was acquiring La Quinta. La Quinta has nearly 1,000 hotels around the world, and Wyndham is already the world’s largest hotel group in terms of the number of hotels (but not in terms of the number of rooms, as that title goes to Marriott).

Now La Quinta will finally be joining Wyndham Rewards. As of April 3, La Quinta Returns will be discontinued. Through March 31 you can manually convert your points from La Quinta Returns to Wyndham Rewards at a 1:1 ratio, and then Gold members and above will automatically have points converted in the new program.

However, those who aren’t elite members and who don’t proactively convert will have points transferred at a ratio of 2:1 rather than 1:1, so make sure you transfer points before the deadline.

Wyndham is changing elite bonuses

In 2016 Wyndham Rewards introduced an elite program. They’ll be making some changes to the benefits soon.

Starting in April 2019, Wyndham Rewards Gold, Platinum, and Diamond members will earn extra points for qualifying stays:

  • Gold members will earn 10% more base points
  • Platinum members will earn 15% more base points
  • Diamond members will earn 20% more base points

This replaces the annual bonuses that members received. Platinum members received an annual bonus of 3,000 points, while Diamond members received an annual bonus of 6,000 points.

Since members earn 10 base points per dollar spent, that makes the breakeven point for Platinum members $2,000 of spend, and for Diamond members $3,000 of spend.

Bottom line

It’s interesting to see Wyndham Rewards alter their program so much after the changes they made several years ago.

At the time they said the new program was being introduced so it was simple and rewarding, and they’re now providing similar reasoning for these new changes. As Wyndham’s SVP of Global Loyalty and Partnerships describes it:

“We know members love the simplicity and generosity of Wyndham Rewards but we also know they want greater flexibility when it comes to where and how they can redeem their points. With these changes, we’re making thousands of hotels available for half the points and what’s more, drastically expanding the ways in which they can earn and redeem those points, making it easier than ever for them to engage with the program.”

Are you happy to see Wyndham introduced tiered award pricing, or sad to see the fixed cost awards go?

Comments

  1. Wyndham has a few upscale properties and a slew of bottom-of-the-barrel brands, but when I think Wyndham I think of dilapidated, vermin-infested, filthy roadside dumps like Days Inn, Travelodge, Super 8, AmericInn, Ramada, Howard Johnson and Baymont.

  2. @Randy, I think that is mostly fair, though here in the Midwest, most AmericInns are fairly nice mid-tier hotels, and are a lot of the time the best option in small towns. This is probably a net negative, as I would imagine most of the hotels dropping to 7500 points are old, dirty, and a place to meet hookers, whereas I am certain the hotels increasing to 30,000 points are the only hotels at Wyndham most of us would want to save up our points to redeem

  3. I had enough points for 5 , 15k redemption. glad I redeemed all mine for Charleston SC the Mills and Wyndham Chicago Waterfront for my stays in May 2019.

  4. I was sucked into the program through a timeshare presentation, though I’m glad I did not buy any from them.

    I stayed 3 times in 2018 and would never do it again.

    Properties that they have in New England are terrible and most alkow smoking , house homeless, etc.

    They are coming apart, not clean, and overall terrible though they are priced not much lower than much better competitors.

  5. @Vander I’ve stayed in an occasional Super 8 when options were limited and sometimes I’ve been really impressed.

    But I can still smell the horrid Days Inn in Rutland, VT. I’ve just decided to avoid Wyndham properties in all but the most desperate situations.

  6. I just hope that they will have a discount for ret,disable veterans at
    Wyndham as they have had at La Qunita (Military elite)as points are slow to earn and taken from you in
    a heartbeat!!
    As Microtels, Baymont inns is the bottom for me as the rest i.e Super 8 Days inn and especially any Ramada(plain nasty) is the armpit! of Wyndham.
    been all over the country for last 8yrs staying at La Quita(Has turned into a dog kennel that allows humans)and Wyndham properties.

  7. I’m really saddened by this devaluation. I just redeemed for a stay in Maui that would’ve been quite pricey if I’d paid cash. The trick was to stay (small towns with few options and/or just check in and out at the local dive) during the “stay twice, earn a free night” promo. It saved me hundreds. I was already planning my next visit. Boo.

  8. I’m very disappointed in this change and doubt it’s based on customer feedback as they say.
    I do disagree that Wyndham is mostly garbage properties. I stayed 40 nights+ at days inn and Baymont and other than one days inn abq they were all plenty nice.

  9. What is the signature Wyndham reward card going to be. It that card going to be Gold.can we use the 60,000 points we have now.

  10. I have a one night 15k stay with LQ property April 28th and have left 7k in my account, in the past I was able to call and use cash and points to book a night.
    So I wonder if I can still do that ? if not I would think about canceling my booked night and combine my points. I had in the past both credit cards and cannot apply yet for another.

  11. I certainly disagree Wyndham Worldwide has over 20 brands in 80 countries and is the largest franchise hotel chain in the world they will not risk and customer service fows to damage the best loyalty program in the hospitality industry I stand beh in nd them 100% KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK WYNDHAM

  12. I have yet to try to use Wyndham rewards and not run into a reason that I cant. The last 5 times have been a huge hate. It is a farce!!

  13. Just used up my 120,000 points for two 4-night stays in NYC at TRYP and New Yorker in June and September. I cannot imagine these hotels will remain at the 15,000 point value come April. It would have cost just under $4000 to pay for these rooms cash.

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