Wyndham has shared some details of changes to their award chart coming March 16th. They are positioning it as a reduction in the number of points for award nights, and the elimination of the highest point categories as well.
Here’s the details they’ve spelled out:
- Our lowest tier is decreasing from 6,000 to 5,500 points!
- We are adding a new 8,000 point tier between 5,500 and 10,000 points so you can stay at hotels for FREE more quickly
- Our highest point tier will be 30,000 points. The 35,000 and 45,000 point tiers are being eliminated.
- Properties within the current point level may move into different point levels. This means that point levels for individual hotels may increase or decrease beginning March 14. You’ll be able to see the new point levels on March 14.
They produced this chart, which I found rather confusing:
I tried to simplify it, putting the ‘active’ categories next to each other to see whether point requirements have gone up or down for each.
But here’s the thing. It would look as though many of the categories were going down in price if you simply matched up line-by-line what they’ve presented. And nothing appears to go up!
Not really. Remember than up until last month almost all Wyndham Rewards properties cost 16,000 points or less.
That’s why I’ve drawn that box in red with what appear to be new, higher award categories compared to what Wyndham was charging last year. They introduced even higher ones it seems for a few properties and for just a matter of a couple of months that may be going away. ‘Raised price in order to appear to lower it.’ But we won’t be fooled.
They never announced a devaluation at the beginning of the year, just started charging as many as 45,000 points per night for some hotels.
Now they say that instead of the top category being 16,000 for most brands we’re going to get an award chart with a top category of 30,000. That isn’t a good thing.
But we don’t know how bad it is, whether any given hotel gets more expensive or how much more expensive, until the day the new chart goes into effect.
As they say,
Properties within the current point level may move into different point levels. This means that point levels for individual hotels may increase or decrease beginning March 14. You’ll be able to see the new point levels on March 14.
It isn’t entirely fair to evaluate the magnitude of the change or call it a devaluation until we can compare award prices property-by-property. But it sure looks like a devaluation based on the information Wyndham has given us, and are only kept from a better understanding by Wyndham and their refusal to release the point costs of hotels until the day that those costs change.
My advice is to make any forward award bookings now, before the new pricing goes into effect March 14. You can cancel award reservations later, if you find that a given property goes down in price it can be rebooked, and if you find you didn’t need the reservation in most cases you can cancel and get your points back as well.
And remember also that Wyndham has relatively reasonable points transfer options to a number of different airline programs as well.