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!

Awesome, right?

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.

  1. Zz said,

    Who’s left to devalue the hotel award chart this year? Hilton and Hyatt? You think that will happen?

  2. The Miles Professor said,

    I have never stayed at a Wyndham and have never collected points there through stays, but earned almost 100,000 points last year. One was through Daily Getaways when I purchased 50,000 points. Another was when they had a promotion for 16,000 points per stay at their new properties that just opened and I booked 3 stays.

    Their points transfer to United miles (which are hard to get as you can’t transfer them from Amex Membership Rewards or Starwood) at 8,000 Wyndham points to 3,200 United miles. I was able to get 38,400 United miles for about 0.8 cents each. So watch the Wyndham promotions!

  3. Nick said,

    Revenue must be quite solid in the hotel industry. Hyatt has already published their devaluations. (which really weren’t that bad) Now it’s just Hilton and Starwood.

  4. Ric Garrido said,

    The hotels at award levels of 6,000 to 16,000 points did not include Wyndham Hotels or international hotels in 2012. The four tiers of awards at Tier 1 = 6,000; Tier 2 = 10,000; Tier 3 = 14,000 and Tier 4= 16,000 applied to the hotels in the US.

    Wyndham Hotels and other Wyndham brands internationally had different award levels and some of those were over 30,000 points prior to the changes in NYC earlier this year.

    Obviously Wyndham Rewards did not think this through carefully when they introduced new award levels with a seven tier chart last month and now announce new changes to award levels for next month with eight tiers.

    I assume the program is going to set up the new tiers globally so many of the international hotels at 15,000 will need to go either up or down since that level will no longer exist.

    This looks to be a major global realignment of hotel award tiers for Wyndham Rewards.

  5. Tim2 said,

    Look for that sweet point/mile transfer to get tge axe soon. Possibly before or immediately after daily getaways

  6. iahphx said,

    I’m a minor participant in the Wyndham Rewards program, as I typically buy about 80,000 points a year in the Discover America Daily Getaways program. I have to “fight” to get these points, as many savvy frequent flyers want the points simply to transfer to the airline programs (at a rate which is a little less than a penny a point, to my recollection). But I’ve found the “sweet spot” in WR to be in situations where you need a basic, decent motel in an usual, expensive place. Think places like Sitka, Alaska or Gardiner, Montana. So it’s worth having a few points for when WR is the best lodging option. Can anyone tell if these “garden variety” hotels (like Travelodges) are materially increasing in points here?

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  8. entrada said,

    What about the Tryp in NYC? I enquired last week about using points at that property and the rate was 45,000/night!

  9. bluecat said,

    I cashed out and got VISA gift cards. So happy not to have to look for Wyndham hotels to see if I can maybe spend my points….who wants Days Inn anyways?

  10. Gary72 said,

    Hilton has significantly devalued as of today…Example, HGI Times Square goes from 40,000-80,000; Barcelona Hilton goes up 20,000 points….etc.

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  12. Wyndham Rewards said,

    Hello,
    We appreciate your sharing your concerns with us. One of our goals this year is to make free nights faster by creating a new 5,500 point tier which is the lowest spend required for a free night across loyalty programs. We have also eliminated our two highest tiers (35,000 and 45,000) so fewer points are required for our more expensive hotels. Similar to other hotel programs, the points required are adjusted periodically for individual hotels based on average daily rates which fluctuate over time, which means there are hotels that may increase in point level. We wanted to provide advance notice to our members about the changes in case they are planning to make a free night reservation in the next several weeks. As noted on our website, points needed for a free night are based on the hotel’s tier at the time of reservation and may be different at the time of the stay. If a point adjustment is needed, our Member Services Center would be happy to help after the stay is completed. We hope this helps to clarify.
    Thank you,
    Wyndham Rewards

  13. Gary said,

    @Wyndham Rewards up until a few weeks ago you could get any property in the US for 16,000 points. Now the top price is 30,000 points. It is disingenuous at best to call that a price reduction.

  14. Wyndham Rewards said,

    @Gary, just so you’re aware, there actually have always been some properties over 16,000 points in the US at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Tryp Hotels, Dream & Night hotels. I hope that helps to clarify.

  15. Gary said,

    @Wyndham Rewards indeed, I did not say that every hotel was 16k — but every hotel in the majroity of brands were 16k, and Wyndham Rewards consistently offered 16k point promotions that were marketed as a free night promotion anywhere the consumer wanted.

  16. Why I no longer like the Marriott credit card - The Frequent Miler said,

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  17. Wyndham Rewards said,

    In response to the feedback that you requested a list of hotels that are changing categories beginning March 14, 2013, we have posted a chart at https://www.wyndhamrewards.com/trec/consumer/special.action?partner=fnstiers&variant= . While we have a large number of properties changing categories, we have not made overall changes to our hotels in more than 3 years. Now that hotel prices are changing in many markets, we are making some adjustments. Note that we strive to make free nights as accessible as possible for our members so we are lowering our first tier hotels from 6,000 to 5,500 points, lower than our major competitors. We are also eliminating our top two tiers of 35,000 and 45,000 to make our higher-end hotels more affordable.

    If any of our members have made free night reservations for March 14 and after at a hotel that is moving to a lower tier, we would be happy to adjust the points after your stay if you contact Member Services at 1.866.996.7937. If the hotel you are thinking about is moving up in points, we suggest you make your free night reservation prior to March 13 to ensure the current point pricing.

    As always, thanks for your feedback.

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  19. Betsy said,

    Can’t modify a rewards stay?!!!!! this is ridiculous – I booked a rewards stay in late February for 5 nights at the HoJo Anaheim @ 10k/night. I didn’t know about the upcoming tier changes and want to shift my reservation by a few days and they said NO. they said I have to cancel my reservation at 10K/night and rebook it at 20k/night – that’s insane! so then I said ‘fine, just cancel the first 3 nights and I’ll just keep 2 nights” and they said “NO again, we’ll have to cancel the whole thing and rebook the 2 nights at 20k/night” – HUH? apparently there is no way to ‘modify’ a points stay. spoke to a supervisor, asked for the policy in writing was told ‘it’s just our policy’. Will NEVER stay, recommend wyndham or any affiliate including HoJo again.

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