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TPG Contributor Vikram Birring explains a strategy for saving on expensive Wyndham stays when you’re short on points but don’t want to pay the full cash rate.
Recently, I was planning a trip to Peru, in which like many travelers, I had an evening arrival flight in Lima but an early morning departure to Cuzco. There is really only one option in this case: to stay at the Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport, the only hotel connected to the airport. However, this hotel costs a steep $219 refundable, which after 10% tax turns out to be $241, for an overnight stay — and it’s more than $300 per night if you book a rack rate.
Luckily, Wyndham has one of the most generous cash plus points options of all hotel programs, in addition to offering a very popular flat 15,000-point redemption option. While exploring my booking choices, I noticed a 3,000 points plus $95 Go Fast option. I looked into the price of purchasing points, which was $11 per 1,000 points, with a limit of 5,000 points per year. I purchased 3,000 points, and once the points appeared in my account, made the booking. The total cost was $33 to purchase the points, plus $95 for the hotel and $9.50 tax, for a grand total of $137.50. This still isn’t cheap, but it’s a nice savings of $103.40 (about 43%) for staying at the same exact hotel in the same type of room.
After completing the stay at the Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport, I can definitely confirm that this property is a good choice for an overnight before flying to Cuzco or another destination. The hotel is just steps away from the airport, you get a free drink at check-in and the restaurant offers tasty ceviche, among other Peruvian dishes.
Buying points for points + cash stays is an option with various hotel programs and can be used in cities all around the world. It’s definitely something to keep in mind if you need to book a one-night stay and out-of-pocket prices are high and you don’t have the points to bail yourself out completely. The only flaw is that such stays often won’t count toward elite requirements, which is also unfortunate if you need stays to qualify for promotions — such as the current ones recently discussed on TPG.
Also, note that Wyndham points purchases are processed by Points.com, so they won’t earn you any category bonuses for hotel spending. However, you could put the cash part of your Wyndham Go Fast booking on the Wyndham Rewards Visa (no annual fee) or the Wyndham Rewards Visa Card, (annual fee) which earn you 3 or 5 points per dollar on Wyndham hotel purchases, respectively.
Featured image courtesy of the Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport.
Have you used a similar strategy to avoid paying cash for an expensive one-night stay?
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