Posted by Ric Garrido

I disagree with Gary Leff at View from the Wing calling the Wyndham Rewards category changes a ‘bloodbath’ devaluation of points on March 14.  For most  Wyndham Rewards members used to redeeming points for hotels in the U.S., the changes will mostly be no big deal.

The changes are more severe for Canada and international hotels where hundreds of hotels will rise by 50% or more in points cost, but the vast majority of Wyndham Rewards 7,000+ hotels are located in the USA and these Ramada, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Super 8, Microtel, Travelodge and other brand hotels in the states do not look like that many will increase in points cost for award nights.

Wyndham Rewards posted in the comments section on View from the Wing and Loyalty Traveler to share their posting of pdf files showing the hotels increasing and decreasing in award tier on March 14.

Wyndham Rewards pdf for hotels increasing award tier.

Wyndham Rewards pdf for hotels decreasing award tier.

Their word choice could have been better.

View a list of properties with increasing point levels or decreasing point levels right here!

Looking over the pdf files reveals that most hotel awards for U.S. properties are only increasing or decreasing in award tier with the shift from seven categories introduced in mid-2012 to eight categories in effect march 14, 2013. The amount of points for most hotels is actually not increasing or decreasing.

Wyndham Rewards is not doing itself a favor by saying thousands of hotels are increasing points level when the points required for an award night are not changing with the new tier system March 14.

Despite the Wyndham Rewards pdf showing thousands of hotels increasing in award tier, the impact is nil for many of these hotels.

Tier 2 to Tier 3 = 10,000 points for hotel award night (no points increase).

Tier 3 to Tier 4 = 14,000 points for hotel award night (no points increase).

Tier 4 to Tier 5 = 16,000 points for hotel award night (no points increase).

Some of these hotels might have been a lower cost award before the mid-2012 system, but in my travels I never really saw many hotels at the 6,000 or 10,000 points level where I would choose to stay anyway. There are many budget hotels in Wyndham Rewards that I choose to avoid for hotel stays.

Canada and plenty of international properties are seeing a big rise in award cost with many hotels increasing 40% or more in points. Brazil looks bad, but that is to be expected with the influx of international travelers expected over the next three years.

Why the changes with Wyndham Rewards hotel award tiers are so confusing!

Wyndham Rewards is changing their hotel award category structure and new award levels go in effect March 14, 2013.

Wyndham Rewards announced created a seven tier system in 2012 and then changed that system to an eight tier system. The confusion with the pdf files are the charts are based on the reassignment of hotels to the seven tier award system that just occurred recently in the past couple of months.

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Comparison of award tiers as reference for evaluating Wyndham Rewards changes.

The difficulty tracking the changes with Wyndham Rewards is the fact that there was no easy way to get a list of hotels in the different award categories in previous years. With over 7,000 hotels globally, the largest hotel loyalty program worldwide by number of hotels, I have never seen a list of all their properties organized by award category.

Wyndham Rewards basic award structure in 2012 was divided into three types with US/Canada brands in four tiers, international brands with its own tier levels at different points levels and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts having its own award levels.

2012 award structure for US/Canada properties in all brands except Wyndham Hotels & Resorts listed hotels in one of four award tiers:

  • Tier 1 = 6,000 points
  • Tier 2 = 10,000 points
  • Tier 3 = 14,000 points
  • Tier 4 = 16,000 points

Hotels in 10 Wyndham brands in US and Canada all were under one of these four award tiers.

  • Ramada®,
  • Days Inn®,
  • Baymont Inn & Suites®,
  • Hawthorn Suites®,
  • Howard Johnson®,
  • Knights Inn®,
  • Microtel®,
  • Travelodge®, (Travelodge in Canada only started participating in Wyndham Rewards in 2012.)
  • Wingate® by Wyndham
  • Super8

In my travels over the past couple years I have used points for hotels in Tier 3 or 4 hotels when taking road trips across the western U.S. Awards were priced at 14,000 to 16,000 points for a free award night at a hotel that would have been $90 to $130 per night.

My Wyndham Rewards hotel award redemption value range was typically about $6.50 to $9.50 per 1,000 points. That was a great deal on points I purchased through U.S. Travel Association’s Daily Getaways offers the past few years when points were sold for about $2.50 to $3.50 per 1,000 points.

Certainly there are some hotels rising significantly in cost. New York is hard hit, but all the other hotel chains have increased award night rates in New York. There is no safe haven in that city for cheap award nights.

Days Inn Jamaica – JFK Airport rise from 4 to 7 an increase from 16,000 points to 25,000 points.

Days Inn Hotel New York City-Broadway from 3 to 8 rises from 14,000 points to 30,000 points.

Howard Johnson Manhattan Soho from 4 to 8 rises from 16,000 points to 30,000 points.

A good hotel set for seeing award changes is California where most of the hotel loyalty programs have raised award rates for 2013. Beach resort and city vacation destination hotels is where I would expect significant devaluations to be seen for California hotels. In 2009 when Hilton HHonors created category 7 our local Embassy Suites went to the top of the pack and the Hilton Garden Inn was category 6.

Days Inn Monterey-Fishermans Wharf Aquarium went from 4 to 5 and remains at 16,000 points.

Days Inn Monterey Downtown 4 to 5 and still 16,000 points.

Super 8 Santa Cruz/Beach Boardwalk East 4 to 6 increases from 16,000 to 20,000 points.

Super 8 San Francisco Fishermans Wharf AREA 4 to 6 increases from 16,000 to 20,000 points.

 

International hotels have mostly increased in points needed for award nights.

Some of the international tier changes look brutal. 

Brazil award increases are to be expected with World Cup 2014 and Olympics 2016 bringing millions of visitors to the nation. Seeing a number of Tryp Hotels going from tier 4 at 16,000 points to Tier 8 at 30,000 points reminds me of when Hilton HHonors acquired Scandic Hotels and all hotels in the brand were 10,000 points per night in 2003. Many of these hotels were raised to much higher tiers the next year.

Australia looks like big increases.

Canada is hit hard with many hotels rising from Tiers 3 and 4 to Tiers 7 and 8. These are jumps from 14,000 to 25,000 points and 16,000 to 30,000 points.

Overall the changes look far more significant in the international market. Germany has many hotels rising from 10,000 to 14,000 points per night.

For Wyndham Rewards travelers in the U.S. the changes look minimal regarding the increase in award cost, unless you happen to be set on hotel awards in New York City.

Personally the value I find with holding Wyndham Rewards points are for those road trips where I find myself in rural towns with only Wyndham, Choice and possibly Best Western. I do not see any of the hotels where I have redeemed Wyndham Rewards in the past three years in California, Nevada and Oregon increasing in award price.

Related Posts:

Wyndham Rewards changes to 8 award tiers March 14, 2013 (Feb 19, 2013)

Travelodge in Canada joins Wyndham Rewards (Nov 21, 2012)

Wyndham Rewards 4x points or miles July 17-Sep 13, 2012 (July 17, 2012) I posted a 7-tier Wyndham Rewards chart last July so obviosuly I was incorrect in thinking the new award tiers started in January 2013.

Wyndham Rewards Gift Me Promotion Nov 17-Feb 1, 2012 (Nov 18, 2011) – in this article I reference that Wyndham New York property is 45,000 points award night.

Europeans earn 60,000 Wyndham Rewards bonus points for 8 stays 1 July – 30 September (July 5, 2011) – This article mentions 45,000 point award hotels in Amsterdam and St. Petersburg, along with many 10,000 points per night hotels in Germany.

Wyndham Rewards points on DiscoverAmerica.com is Good Buy (May 4, 2011)

3/3/2013 Corrections: Wyndham Rewards apparently introduced the seven tier award system at least by July 2012. The reassignment of hotels was not something I even noticed until January 2013 when MommyPoints showed the change in New York hotels. I have edited this article to change the incorrect statements that the seven tier award chart was introduced in January 2013.

6 Responses

  1. I agree that the change in points required is actually not bad. The hotels I want to use Wyndham points for are in Manhattan, the Tryp and the Wyndham. These both went down from 45,000 to 30,000.

    Comment by entrada on March 3rd, 2013 at 9:56 am
  2. “Personally the value I find with holding Wyndham Rewards points are for those road trips where I find myself in rural towns with only Wyndham, Choice and possibly Best Western. I do not see any of the hotels where I have redeemed Wyndham Rewards in the past three years in California, Nevada and Oregon increasing in award price.”

    And that’s the difference between you and Gary. I’m not sure he’s ever taken a road trip in his life!

    Thanks for the clarification Ric. Wyndham should probably pay you to act as an interpreter between their bean counters and their customers! Hard to believe a company can bungle the communications this bad. Think about the airlines — they make huge changes and tell us that it’s an enhancement. Wyndham makes (somewhat) small changes and portrays it as a massive devaluation. Hilarious.

  3. Thanks for the update. I generally agree with you that WR points are best “for those road trips where I find myself in rural towns with only Wyndham, Choice and possibly Best Western.” Since I have more Choice points through Discover America, I tend to use my harder-to-get WR points for destinations where the Choice option doesn’t exist or is a poor hotel.

    That said, I do sometimes use these points overseas. Like I’m planning on going to Port Douglas, Australia later this year. Hotels in Australia seem particularly expensive, so using points is a very good idea. Currently, WR wants to charge me 20,000 points for Port Douglas. That seems OK, because the hotel runs about $250. But I don’t understand why it’s 20,000 points, if it’s currently Cat. 4 moving to Cat. 5. Can you explain that to me? Thanks!

  4. [...] night.  Loyalty Lobby explains the Hilton hotels increase and the Starwood hotels increase, and Loyalty Traveler explains the Wyndham increase (though many Wyndham hotels aren’t increasing in price). Hilton Category [...]

  5. @iahphx – the property available in Port Douglas, AU is a Ramada. It is a tier 5 location which means it requires 16,000 Wyndham Reward points. With international stays a tier 4 would have been 20,000 points so the tier change is a good one for you in this case if you stay at the Ramada location.

  6. [...] hotel awards globally to 8-tier award system effective March 14, 2013. Loyalty Traveler post Wyndham Rewards goes transparent and award changes not too bad in USA (Feb 28, 2013) and  Wyndham Rewards changes to 8 award tiers March 14, 2013 (Feb 19, [...]

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