How to earn, redeem, and maximize Wyndham Rewards points — from budget-friendly hotels to newly added vacation rentals, there are options for everyoneFebruary 25, 2021
Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
- The Wyndham Rewards loyalty program includes over 9,000 hotels across 19 brands around the world.
- You can also use Wyndham points to book vacation rentals through Wyndham’s partnership with Vacasa.
- It’s easy to earn Wyndham points with stays and by making purchases with co-branded credit cards.
- Read Insider’s guide to the best travel rewards credit cards.
Although it’s often overshadowed by bigger and flashier hotel loyalty programs like Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors, Wyndham Rewards deserves some attention, too. The chain comprises over 9,000 properties in more than 80 countries around the world. Its 19 brands are mostly targeted to budget-minded vacationers and include well-known names like Wyndham Grand, Ramada, AmericInn, Days Inn, La Quinta, Travelodge, and Howard Johnson, among others.
Through a partnership with Vacasa, a vacation rental platform, Wyndham Rewards members can also redeem points for vacation rentals and resorts in North America, Belize, and Costa Rica, and as of February 25, all of Vacasa’s properties are available to book with points. In total, Wyndham members can now use points to book over 50,000 hotels, vacation rentals, and resort properties worldwide.
Travelers can enroll in Wyndham Rewards for free – and you might as well do so since members enjoy free Wi-Fi during stays. From there, you can begin earning points on stays immediately, and even hit the first rung of elite status with just three nights in 2021.
That will unlock perks like earning bonus points on reservations, having the option of selecting preferred rooms, receiving late checkout, and more. The program also recently revamped its lineup of co-branded credit cards, making it even easier to accrue points quickly and redeem them for free stays.
With just three award levels, Wyndham Rewards isn’t as sophisticated as some of the larger loyalty programs out there. But its simplicity is one of its strengths since members can leverage their travel activity for rewards relatively effortlessly.
Here’s everything you need to know to start earning, redeeming, and making the most of Wyndham Rewards points.
How to earn Wyndham points
There are myriad ways to accumulate Wyndham points, but to start, let’s talk about hotel stays. Regular Wyndham Rewards members (meaning those without elite status) earn 10 points per dollar, or 1,000 points, whichever is more, at participating properties, as well as at over 30 Caesars Entertainment destinations like Caesars, Harrah’s, Bally’s, and Paris in Las Vegas. You need to book your stays directly through Wyndham to earn points or credit toward elite status. Reservations made through a third party, like an online travel agency, will not count.
If you stay at Wyndham properties enough, you can achieve elite status, and accelerate your earnings even further. Here are the current levels.
- Gold status: You reach this after three nights in 2021 (usually it’s five) and earn 10% bonus points on stays, so 11 points per dollar instead of 10
- Platinum: Achieved at nine nights in 2021 (usually 15) and earn 15% bonus points, so 11.5 per dollar instead of 10
- Diamond: Reached at 24 nights in 2021 (instead of 40), and earns 20% bonus points, so 12 per dollar instead of 10
The more you stay, the more you earn, but these modest bonuses might not be worth putting in a lot more time at Wyndham hotels than you would otherwise. Instead, you might want to open a Wyndham co-branded credit card that includes elite status automatically.
Earn points from Wyndham credit cards
As with other hotel loyalty programs, one of the easiest and fastest ways to earn points quickly, and enjoy some elite status perks to boot, is to get a co-branded credit card.
Interestingly enough, Wyndham launched a line of three new credit cards with exciting bonuses and benefits. Folks with any of them can stretch their points even further with a 10% discount on go free (all points rather than points and cash) award redemptions.
Wyndham Rewards® Earner Plus Card
All you need to do is log in with your membership number, click on the retailer you want to shop with, and you will be redirected to its site. You can typically earn between 1 and 30 bonus points per dollar spent with various stores like Home Depot, Macy’s, Staples, Lowes, Grubhub, Apple, and more.
Other ways to earn Wyndham points
Among the other easy ways to rack up Wyndham Rewards quickly are booking activities like live performances, walking tours, and museum visits through the brand’s destination portal to earn 10 points per dollar. Link your Wyndham account to your one with Marathon Gas and Arco Make It Count, and you can save money on fuel as well as earning 2 points per gallon (you can also redeem points for gas purchases, but it’s not a great deal).
You can also score 2,500 points on your first meal kit from Home Chef, and earn 500 points for each additional box. Finally, you can join Opinion Rewards Panel and earn 500 points after completing your first survey.
The best ways to redeem Wyndham points
There are several different ways to redeem Wyndham points, but the best will likely be for hotel stays.
go free awards
Wyndham Rewards has an extremely simple award chart with just three tiers for outright points redemptions called go free awards. Per night, hotels cost either:
- 7,500 points
- 15,000 points
- 30,000 points
It should be noted that nights at participating hotels start at 7,500 points, but accommodations at club resorts or vacation rentals cost 15,000 to 30,000 points per bedroom per night. Wyndham makes it very easy to find hotels by destination, brand, amenities, and points required through its search engine.
To put that into context, let’s say you’re planning a Hawaiian vacation and want to see your options. Unfortunately, you won’t find any 7,500-point hotels. However, there are about a dozen options at the 15,000-point level, including properties like Club Wyndham at Waikiki Beach Walk on Oahu, Kona Coast Resort on the Big Island, and Club Wyndham Bali Hai Villas on Kauai, among others. For 30,000 points, you can book a night at the Days Inn by Wyndham Maui Oceanfront.
In general, popular city and vacation destinations will have higher-priced hotels, while those in more out-of-the-way locations will be less expensive. Before booking anything, divide the dollar price over the number of points you need for a night, and aim to get between 1 and 1.5 cents per point in value.
go fast awards
Wyndham Rewards also lets members use a mix of points and cash for some awards. As with straight points bookings, the choices break down into three tiers.
- 1,500 points plus cash
- 3,000 points plus cash
- 6,000 points plus cash
So the points rates are set, but the cash co-pays can vary depending on nightly prices. Note that nights at participating club resorts and vacation rentals will cost 3,000 to 6,000 points plus cash per bedroom. Let’s put this into action and take a look at how these awards end up looking.
The Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Waikiki is one of those 15,000-point per night hotels in Hawaii. In March, nights start at $139, 15,000 points, or $98 plus 3,000 points. So you’re getting a value of around 0.93 cents per point on a go free award, and 1.37 cents per point with a go fast award. These values do tend to shift a lot, so before selecting your option, make sure to price out the various choices.
Convert Wyndham points to airline miles
You might not know this, but you can also convert Wyndham points into miles with 10 airlines including American Airlines, Air Canada, Frontier Airlines, and United. The conversion ratio is generally 5 Wyndham points to 1 airline mile, starting at 6,000 points (so you end up with 1,200 miles). That’s not a great rate considering you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to over 40 partners, most at a 3:1 ratio.
Redeem for timeshare maintenance fees
Folks who participate in one of Wyndham’s timeshare or vacation club programs can redeem Wyndham points for maintenance fees at a rate of 10,000 points for $50 in value. Again, skip it since this is not a high return on your earning.
Credits with Caesars Rewards
If you spend a fair amount of time in Las Vegas, you can leverage Wyndham Rewards’ partnership with Caesars Rewards and convert your Wyndham points into points with Caesars at a 1:1 ratio and then use them to cover the cost of playing at casinos, for meals at nearly 250 restaurants, as well as for tickets to shows and other performances.
Other ways to redeem Wyndham points
Apart from hotel stays, Wyndham Rewards members can redeem their points in a few other interesting ways.
- Experiences: Through the program’s activities portal, you can use points instead of cash to book things like pub crawls, food tours, cooking classes, and more. However, you only get around 0.4 cents per point in value, so avoid it if possible.
- Merchandise: Use points for things like a Costco membership, a Rosetta Stone course, BarkBox subscriptions, and more — only don’t make a habit of it since your points aren’t worth much when cashed in this way.
- Gift cards: If you want to save some money and use points to purchase gift cards instead, that’s an option. Again, you’re not getting great value from your rewards this way, so don’t do it often.
- Charitable donations: Use points to make donations to worthy causes like Save the Children and the National Parks Conservation Association. Redemptions start at just 500 points.
You won’t find too many aspirational, world-class hotels among Wyndham’s portfolio. However, the chain’s huge global footprint and simple award chart, not to mention solid co-branded credit cards, make it easy both to earn and redeem points around the world.
Just avoid non-stay redemptions in order to maximize your rewards, and if you’re a frequent Wyndham guest, consider getting one of the new credit cards so you can boost your earnings toward free stays even faster.
Eric Rosen is a travel and credit card expert who has been helping readers reap the rewards of loyalty programs for over a decade. Eric is based in Los Angeles, though you’ll often find him globetrotting to destinations like Australia, Kenya, and Laos on assignment.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.
Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.
Source: Read Full Article