Best Uses for Wyndham Rewards Points
So assuming you were lucky enough to purchase some Wyndham Rewards points from the Daily Getaway deals today, you will soon have many more Wyndham Rewards points in your account (I can't remember exactly how long it took last year for the points to post, but it wasn't too long). I'm sure many of you already know exactly what you plan to do with your new points, but not everyone is an old pro with Wyndham Rewards, so I want to review some of the redemption options for the points so that we can all maximize the Wyndham Rewards points that we now have. Also, I want to clarify that just because the package you got advertized a night or nights at a specific brand hotel, that does not mean you have to use the points to stay there. You can use the points however you wish, and there are some suggestions below to get you started.
Free Hotel Nights:
You can use your hotel points for free nights at Wyndham family hotels. Those include: Wingate, Hawthorn, Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8, Baymont, Mircotel, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, and Knights Inn. Within the US and Canada, free nights range from 6,000 to 16,000 points per night.
- 6,000 points for a night at a Tier 1 hotel
- 10,000 points for a night at a Tier 2 hotel
- 14,000 points for a night at a Tier 3 hotel
- 16,000 points for a night at a Tier 4 hotel
My parents have a reservation later this year in Midtown Manhattan at a nice hotel for just 16,000 Wyndham Reward points per night. For that rate in Manhattan you can pick from the Ramada New Yorker Hotel or the Wingate by Wyndham Manhattan Midtown, both of which seem to receive pretty good reviews. Considering the going rates in Manhattan, both are often great deals. Rates for the dates they are going are around $400/night. That is a point redemption value of 2.5 cents each, which is phenomenal considering these points were purchased at .28 cents each last year from the 2011 Daily Getaway Deals promo. That is redeeming for almost a 9 times increase over what we paid - amazing!
International hotels outside of the US and Canada, and other brands not listed above including Dream, Tryp, Night Hotel, and Wyndham properties, use their own award chart that differs from the one above. Those rewards often require many more points, sometimes tens of thousands of points per night. It is worth checking those, as there can be some good deals, but I prefer the simple award chart listed above.
Wyndham Reward points can also be redeemed for airline miles at a pretty favorable rate, especially given the cost at which the points were purchased via the Daily Getaways. Transfers can be made by clicking on "Other Travel" and then "Airline Miles". Transfers do take a few days, but I don't remember it really going over a week or so.
For many airlines (and Amtrak), the transfer rates are:
8,000 Wyndham points: 3,200 airline miles
17,5000 Wyndham points: 7,000 airline miles
30,000 Wyndham points: 12,000 airline miles
In all cases 2.5 Wyndham points = 1 airline mile.
Some of the airline programs available at that redemption rate include:
- American Airlines AAdvantage
- Delta SkyMiles
- Frontier Early Returns
- US Airways Dividend Miles
- United MileagePlus
Southwest Rapid Rewards points are also available at a transfer rate of 8,000 Wyndham points = 2,400 Rapid Reward points. That is roughly $40 in "Wanna Get Away" fare credit, so considering that those 8,000 Wyndham points probably cost you around .3 cents each ($24) that isn't a bad deal. Of course, if you are pushing for the Companion Pass, then this could be a good way to help get you there!
However, I value airline miles conservatively at around 1.5 cents each (at least), so assuming you paid about .3 cents per Wyndham point via the Daily Getaways, then your 30,000 Wyndham points cost you around $90 (yes, I know 30,000 wasn't an option to purchase today, but I'm going with it since it is a denomination you can transfer to an airline). I would value the 12,000 airline miles you will get by doing that exchange at a minimum of $180 (1.5 cents per mile). To me, that is at least doubling your money spent today, using some conservative numbers.
You can also redeem points for gift cards (not a terrible value, but not as good as the free nights or airline transfers), car rentals, merchandise, and more.
What I Will be Doing:
Between my husband and I we were able to purchase 96,000 Wyndham points today. I wish we had scored a couple more packages, but I am happy with what we got considering the insanely high demand! For those 96,000 points we paid $297 total (with the Amex 10% discount). That means that our cost per point came to about .31 cents per point. Some people probably did a bit better, and some probably did a bit worse depending on what packages they bought and whether or not they used an Amex card. Those 96,000 points could get us six nights in Midtown Manhattan at a Tier 4 hotel (like the ones mentioned above) for an effective cost of $49.50 per night, or they could get us 16 nights at a Tier 1 hotel at an effective cost of $18.65 per night. They could also get us 36,000 airline miles that I value at least at around $540 with 6,000 points left over. I know for sure I will be setting aside 24,000 points for potential Grand Slam hits for myself, my husband, and my kiddo. Those 24,000 points will transfer in increments of 8,000 points: 3,200 US Airways Dividend miles to each of our accounts. Well worth it for the miles and a potential hit in the 2012 Grand Slam, if it happens.
Otherwise, I plan to let the points just sit for now. I may use some for free hotel nights if I need them, and the rest will likely convert to United or US Airways miles when I need them for a future redemption. You almost can't go wrong with any of the redemption options listed.
So now the big question is, what will you be doing with your points?
Also, the fifth and final week of the Daily Getaways deals are up! Hyatt points are returning (though in very limited quantities).