Time to Burn Your Wyndham Points? Another Program Diminishes Trust By Devaluing Without Notice

Mommy Points discovers that Wyndham Rewards has made a no-notice devaluation in their award chart.

Previously, the most expensive hotel redemption for most of their brands was ‘category 4′ at 16,000 points per night. Which is why when they would run a 16,000 point bonus promotion they would advertise it as a free night, anywhere.

But now, apparently, some hotels have gotten more expensive than that, out of the blue — a lot more expensive. She reports that the Wingate Midtown Manhattan has gone from 16,000 points to 45,000 points per night.

Airline mileage transfer rates remain the same (for now).

  • 8,000 Wyndham Rewards points -> 3200 airline miles
  • 17,500 Wyndham Rewards points -> 7000 airline miles
  • 30,000 Wyndham Rewards points -> 12,000 airline miles

I’m inclined to just transfer all of my Wyndham points to airline miles before this is devalued as well.

Especially because the program has demonstrated a willingness to devalue without any advance warning and without any grace period.

You can simply wake up and find your points worth less than they were the day before. Which tells me that the best time to use your points is now.

I haven’t investigated how widespread the changes are, but any program that will bump up the price of an award from 16,000 points to 45,000 points overnight and not tell anyone about it isn’t one I’m confident keeping a balance with.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Thanks for the heads up, luckily I used most of my points at this exact hotel (Wingate Midtown) a few months ago. It was a good value so the devaluation is not surprising, but the lack of warning tells me that this program is not trustworthy and I will be going back to Starwood whenever possible.

  2. Thanks for the heads up. Was thinking about cashing in my points anyway… had 29k, just bought 1k more for $11 and glad to trade the 30k Wyndham pts for the 12,000 United miles…just shy of enuf for a free one way ticket…

  3. Any suggestions for how to save a few orphaned Wyndham points? I’ve got 7800 points — not enough to transfer out.

  4. I dumped 48k into 19.2k AA just in case. I’ve got loads in United and am not up on some of their other partners. Plus, I am a big fan of the one-way (off-peak) with N. American gateway stopover. Just not sure when I can use it!

  5. I’m guessing we’ll be seeing more of these. Essentially it is points inflation. Just like with money, if you keep printing more of it (or giving more points way through promotions, sign-ups etc.) then you end up with inflation.

    Upside (if you can call it that) is that you can expect to see more generous offers – maybe a 50k+ Chase card etc.

  6. Just sent 130K Wyndham to AA. Was holding out for another hotel transfer bonus from the likes of US but I still have a large stash there. I figure if a merger occurs I’ll have a very large combined AA-US balance eventually. UA miles are too easy to earn via Ultimate Rewards, and I just don’t redeem enough DL. So AA was the only good choice.

  7. The last of my WR points could be burned on hotels when the hotels have sky high regular rates because of a special event in town (e.g. a big game) but the price in points may even make it worth buying WR points. Of course this means that I am less incentivized to collect WR points than before since I can just buy the devalued points directly from WR when it makes sense.

  8. This isn’t new. At least 5 months ago the Manhattan Wyndham was 45K a night and the Wyndham resort in Kauai was 40K a night. I remember that from the Wyndham promotion this past summer when you could earn 16K points for staying in one of their recently acquired Hawthorn Suites properties.

  9. Gary,

    These loyalty programs need to be careful, for the exact reason you’ve mentioned in the past:

    The whole point of a program is to incentivize marginal spend — to capture the business when the customer has a choice, and more specifically, to extract extra $ out of their pocket when they otherwise would have spent more elsewhere.

    Otherwise, why give discounts on spend you’re going to get anyway? If I’m already going to stay at the Wyndham because they are the cheapest option, I don’t need points to get me to stay there. So that’s the kind of business people will get when they realize a loyalty program has become worthless.

  10. 5 months ago, the Wingate by Wydham on W35th in Manhattan — just like the Ramada New Yorker one street up from the NW corner of Penn Station — was 16,000 points per night. I had redemptions at both properties most of the months last year. ;)

  11. Turned and burned them all. I just transferred about 200K of my Wyndham points to my AA and US accounts. I don’t trust these guys anymore. I’m still battling for my last 16,000 points for the original promotion they had back in August and not the one after when the chaos started. I’ve called, emailed a million times, have been told on the phone and by email by several different people that my final 16,000 promotion points would be added to my account after sending in credit card statements, etc. and still nothing. I’m really sick and tired of all of this. If they don’t give me my final promotion points then that’s fine because I’m done with these scumbags.

  12. I would roll the dice and hold off a few months to see if US or any other airline has a transfer bonus before cleaning out the wyndham account

  13. @RQ
    i feel the same way but then i wonder how much these guys can be trusted… the more we wait, the bigger risk of devaluation of the points-to-miles ratio.

  14. Burned for AA miles. I wanted to bulk these up anyways, losing the NYC hotels that were good value was the clincher.

    I still would buy WR during Discover America promos… as long as I can burn them right away. .4-.5 CPM without a bonus? Sign me up.

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