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Wyndham may not top your list of aspirational loyalty programs, but the chain’s been working very hard to make its offering one of the most compelling in the industry, starting with an entirely new way to redeem points for award stays. Wyndham’s move to a flat 15,000-point redemption level has been popular with members, and while there were some hiccups in the beginning, the situation seems to have improved significantly.
Still, something big has been missing — elite status levels — which Wyndham is finally ready to share with us today.
Here are Wyndham’s new status levels, which go live on May 18:
- Blue: Every member starts at this level, which includes free Wi-Fi and a “Plus Award” valued at $5 per night (more on that below).
- Gold: You’ll earn this status after five qualifying nights. Gold includes the perks above plus basic room upgrades, late check-out, a dedicated phone number and a Plus Award valued at $10 per night.
- Platinum: You’ll reach this tier after 15 qualifying nights. Expect the basic perks above plus early check-in, 3,000 bonus points each year and car rental upgrades at Avis and Budget.
- Diamond: This top-tier status is available once you stay 40 qualifying nights. You’ll get the basic perks above plus an annual 6,000-point bonus (instead of 3,000 points), suite upgrades (based on availability at check-in), a welcome amenity (such as a fruit basket), Gold status to gift to a friend and a Plus Award valued at up to $150 per award night.
Here’s how the perks break down:
The most unique element of Wyndham’s new program is the chain’s “Plus Awards,” which offer a unique experience when you redeem points for a stay in any of 25 destinations around the world. Blue, Gold and Platinum members will accumulate discount certificates for each award night, while Diamond guests will get two tickets or passes for every award night they book. Expect free perks like museum passes in Chicago, theme park tickets in California or a food tour in Mexico City.
Wyndham’s offering another unique perk as well: rollover nights. So, for example, if you stay seven nights in a year, you’ll earn Gold status and your two extra nights will carry over to the following year. Rollover nights will also give infrequent guests an opportunity to experience elite status — if you stay one night every year for the next five years, you’ll have Gold status for year six.
That doesn’t mean you’ll start out with tons of rollover nights from previous years, however. Your initial status level will be based on nights accumulated so far this year or your total from 2015 — whichever number is higher. Wyndham is expecting to start the new program with more than 100,000 Diamond members (of 45 million members in the program), so many of you should be very happy about this news! The new benefits kick in on May 18, but you should be able to see your new status by logging into your account beginning today.
What about a status match? I wouldn’t expect to see anything within the next few months, but there’s always a chance a match or challenge will pop up later this year. Wyndham also wasn’t able to share any details about potential changes coming to its credit card lineup (like instant elite status), but the Wyndham Rewards Visa Card is still worth considering thanks to the 30,000 bonus points you’ll earn after $1,000 spent within the first 90 days — enough for two free nights at any Wyndham property, and now you’ll get a Plus Award for each night you redeem.
Featured image courtesy of Dolce CampoReal Lisboa, Turcifal, Portugal.
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