Wyndham 48,000 Point Bonus – Like Buying Miles at Less Than 1 Cent Each

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I’m not a huge Wyndham fan, but their loyalty program often runs lucrative promotions and their points can easily be converted to many frequent flyer programs. This week Wyndham Rewards launched a new promotion offering 16,000 bonus points, up to a max of  48,0000 points, for stays at any of the 20 participating properties between now and December 31.

Here’s how it works: You must be a member of Wyndham Rewards (join here if you’re not already), book a stay at any of the 20 participating properties at a qualifying rate (the Best Available Rate) between September 12, 2012, and December 31, 2012, and complete hotel stays by January 3, 2013. Members will receive 16,000 Wyndham Rewards points for up to three stays within the promotion period at any of the 20 properties regardless of the number of rooms booked. Member stays with check-out dates after January 3 will not count.

You can find the list of participating properties here, but they include:

California: Wyndham Irvine Orange County Airport
Colorado: Hawthorn Suites Denver Tech Center
Connecticut:  Hawthorn Suites Hartford Meriden
Florida: Hawthorn Suites Orlando Altamonte Springs
Georgia: Wyndham Atlanta Galleria
Illinois: Hawthorn Suites Chicago-Hoffman Estates
Illinois: Hawthorn Suites Northbrook-Wheeling
Illinois: Hawthorn Suites Chicago-Schaumburg
Kentucky: Hawthorn Suites Louisville
Michigan: Hawthorn Suites Detroit Auburn Hills
Michigan: Hawthorn Suites Detroit Farmington Hills
Nebraska: Hawthorn Suites Omaha
North Carolina: Hawthorn Suites Charlotte Coliseum
North Carolina: Hawthorn Suites Greensboro
North Carolina: Hawthorn Suites Raleigh
Ohio: Hawthorn Suites Cincinnati Blue Ash
Texas: Hawthorn Suites Dallas Park Central
Texas: Wyndham Dallas Suites – Park Central
Texas: Wyndham Houston West Energy Corridor
Utah: Hawthorn Suites Salt Lake City Fort Union

Though you could use 16,000 Wyndham Rewards points for a free night at a Category 4 property, remember, Wyndham Rewards has tons of airline partners, and points transfer at a 2.5:1 ratio, so 16,000 Wyndham points equals 6,400 miles on airlines like American, Delta, US Airways and United, so the full bonus would equate to 19,200 miles with those and a few others like Frontier and Air Canada.

Wyndham points transfer at a ratio of 3.33:1 to Southwest miles as well, so the full bonus would be worth 14,400 Southwest Rapid Rewards, the equivalent of about $240 in Wanna Get Away fares. Points transferred from Wyndham to Southwest also count towards their amazing companion pass. 

You could book three separate nights at a property like the Hawhtorn Suites Detroit Auburn Hills where I found rates starting as low as $54.99 a night. The total with taxes came to $65.14, so three nights would cost $195.42 and would earn you 1,650 more Wyndham Rewards points just under their normal earning ratio of 10 points per dollar.

Rates are as low as $54.99 at some properties.

So essentially, you’re paying $195 for 19,200 airline miles on (let’s say) United – or about 1 cent each. You can get this earning ratio even lower if you find cheaper hotels, but its a great way to “buy” super valuable airline miles.

You can also double dip with Wyndham’s fall promotion where you earn 5,500 bonus points or 1,000 airline miles after your second and fourth stays (so a total possible bonus of 11,000 points or 2,000 miles) through November 26, 2012, bringing your total bonus to around 55,000 points just on those three stays (or around 61,000 if you decide to go for all four). That equates to 22,000 miles that you’ve bought for $195, bringing your cost per mile down to 0.89 cents each. A-mazing.

And before you worry that you’ll have to travel to Detroit or Cincinnati this winter, remember that Wyndham is the only major chain that will give you the points whether you check in in person or not (keep in mind, they’ll also charge you for the room), so you could score these bonuses with ghost reservations where you don’t actually stay, as long as you pay for the room. Note: some properties may cancel your stay, but if you are savvy, you can definitely pay for these stays and get the bonus points without stepping foot inside a Wyndham.

So while you are spending some money out of pocket, you could be getting airline miles for less than 1 cent each with this promo, and if you’re looking for a cheap way to top up your account, this could be a good way to do so – especially considering US Airways lucrative 100$% Buy Miles promo was targeted, the Share Miles 100% bonus is coming to an end, and United’s “up to 60%” bonus is anything but a sure thing.

Hat tip: Deals We Like.

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