Wyndham Comes Clean: Publishes List of Hotels Going Up in Price March 14th

On February 19 I wrote about the massive devaluation to the Wyndham Rewards chart that’s coming March 14. Some properties are going up in price by 87.5%.

Equally bad was that Wyndham wasn’t telling us which hotels were changing categories, we were going to have to wait until that happened in order to find out. That, to me, is always the worst form for any program — major changes without advance notice.

Now Wyndham has listened and responded to that critique, although I do not find two weeks’ notice to be anything close to sufficient.

They’ve come to the comments on this blog (something they’ve done on occasion in the past as well), and shared a list of hotels going up in category (.pdf). I didn’t bother counting how many properties this is — when I copied and pasted the file into Excel it took up over 6000 lines (some hotels listed out on one line, and some on as many as three). An absolute bloodbath.

They’ve also provided a list of hotels going down in category (.pdf) That list is about one-fifth as long.

Here’s what they explain in the comments,

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..

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.

Wow. If the claim is that they haven’t increased the award price of any of their hotels in more than three years, that’s simply not true.

And if the claim is that they haven’t created new award categories during that time either, that’s fairly misleading.

Through the end of 2012, the top redemption category for U.S. Wingate, Hawthorn, Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8, Baymont, Mircotel, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, and Knights Inn hotels was 16,000 points. In January some of those jumped to 45,000 points.

They are eliminating the brand new 45,000 point cost, leaving the most expensive tier at 30,000 points.

And they claim to be doing us a favor (“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..”).

Surely hotel rates are higher than they were in late 2008 and 2009. But they’re not materially higher than in 2006 and 2007. Certainly not to the extent that the gutting of the Wyndham Rewards chart can be attributed to it.

Thank goodness they haven’t devalued mileage transfers at this point.

But at least folks now can know which properties will be changing categories, and make plans accordingly — book hotels now (even speculatively, since most award nights can be cancelled without penalty within cancellation guidelines) that you think you may need in the future if the property is going up in price, request a refund in points if it happens to be going down.

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 InsideFlyer.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. many going up multiple multiple categories – –

    Monterrey MX from 1 to 5
    in Oman from a 2 to a 7
    Singapore DAYS INN from a 4 to a 7 (yes, a Days Inn a cat 7)
    several Ramadas in Saudi Arabia from 3 to 8 (!)

    Blech !

  2. Lack of respect for loyal customers from Hilton and Wyndhamn will drive me away from them for good. Devaluation is understandable, but what Hilton and Wyndham have done is plain robbery of loyal customers for what they promised them. And it’s pathetic.

  3. Gary, while I’m not happy about the changes, I think you’re way off base calling it a massive devaluation. In fact, I’m not sure it’s much of a devaluation at all. Look at the list more closely – a lot of the hotels on the “increase” list are actually staying the same or going down.

    There are tons of hotels “increasing” from 2 to 3. However, that’s actually not a change at all – both are 10,000 points. Same with any hotel that changes from 3 to 4. Hotels changing from 4 to 5 increase by a whopping 1,000 points. And there are several top tier hotels that are “increasing” from 6 to 8 or 7 to 8 (check out the “Tryp” hotels in NYC). Those are actually going for 45,000 points currently (check wyndhamrewards.com). They’re on the increase list, yet they’re going DOWN.

    My guess is that there are as many hotels increasing in POINTS as there are decreasing in points. Releasing this list so that hotels requiring the same amount of redemption points are on the “increase” list wasn’t very good marketing, but if you look past the sheer magnitude and look deeper into the values, it’s not nearly as bad as it seems.

  4. Hey Erik, do you really consider the ‘reduction’ from 45,000 to 30,000 to be legitimate? I think it’s an increase. It’s a sham to move a property to 45,000 and a month later to 30,000 and try to roll it out as a reduction. That’s not a program I’ll ever move my spending to.

  5. Thanks, Erik, for the perspective. Wyndham suffers from the same programs of many other second-tier loyalty programs: mismanagement. But that doesn’t necessarily hurt travellers, as mismanagement often leads to good redemption opportunities.

  6. I agree with Erik. I noticed a number of properties going up categories but the actual amount of points staying the same. They changed the categories also so you have to compare the actual points needed before and after for each category. So you cannot really compare it to what other hotels chains have done. So just because a hotel has gone up one or two categories does not mean it requires more points.

  7. I believe Wyndham treated the January devaluation (on selected properties) and the upcoming March devaluation (comprehensive) as one. Really, there is no need to get excited about the increase and decrease between these two recent devaluation. No one in his out her right mind would think that the NYC properties would stay at 16k per night when the going rate is more than $400 a night.

  8. So what about the chumps that redeemed at the 45k level over the past month? Hosed I guess.

  9. Dumped all my points into miles transfers a month ago….They have a reputation of changing things without notice – I’m SURE the next move will be miles transfer devaluation.

  10. I made a preemptive reservation for a Disneyland trip at the HoJo. The price went from 10k to 20k. That is just a minor devaluation, right?

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