How I leveraged a hotel partnership to extend expiring hotel points
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Points and miles have real value. So, I dislike letting any of my points and miles expire. Some loyalty programs, such as Delta SkyMiles and Best Western Rewards, offer rewards that never expire. But, rewards in most loyalty programs expire after a particular period of inactivity. And, rewards in several loyalty programs expire at a set time after earning the points.
It’s easy to keep your points and miles from expiring in programs that require account activity. But, there’s usually no way to extend rewards that expire a set time after they were earned. So, when my husband noticed he had 1,025 Wyndham Rewards points that would expire on Dec. 31, 2020, I offered to find a way to spend them. Instead, I found a way to extend his points. Here’s how I did it.
When do Wyndham Rewards points expire?
According to the Wyndham Rewards terms and conditions, Wyndham Rewards points expire four years from the check-out date of the stay during which the points were earned.
However, you’ll also lose your points if you don’t have any account activity for 18 consecutive months. Account activity is defined as “any point-earning, redemption or transfer activity involving a change in the Member’s Wyndham Rewards point balance.”
Earlier this year, Wyndham Rewards paused point expiration for points that would have expired four years after checkout until Dec. 31, 2020. But, there may not be a further extension to this expiration pause. And, Wyndham didn’t pause point expiration for points that would expire due to account inactivity.
How to check when your points expire
When you log-in to your Wyndham account and navigate to the My Account page, you may see a notification on the left-hand side about when your points will expire. But, don’t trust this notification. For example, the message told me, “8,500 of your points will expire on 05/31/2024.” However, when I clicked on Learn More, I saw the following:
So, unless I’d clicked to Learn More, I may not have realized that I’ll lose all my Wyndham points on Jan. 7, 2022, without any account activity before that date. As such, I recommend setting a note in your calendar for the soonest of these two expiration dates. This way, you can be sure to use your Wyndham points before they expire.
How to use expiring Wyndham Rewards points
Typically, my husband and I would have used the expiring points for a hotel stay. We’d even booked a stay in Hawaii using Wyndham points for a trip earlier this year. But, we had to cancel this Hawaii trip due to the coronavirus pandemic. And we’re currently traveling full-time by RV. So, redeeming for a hotel stay before the end of the year isn’t an appealing option.
Luckily, after recently writing program guides for several other hotel loyalty programs, I knew that most programs offer other redemption options. Some programs even offer several non-travel redemption options. In addition to award nights, you can also redeem Wyndham Rewards points to:
- Book tours and activities
- Obtain fuel discounts at select Marathon Gas stations in the U.S.
- Buy merchandise from the online points catalog
- Purchase gift cards
- Donate to charity
- Obtain rewards in a partner loyalty program
Since only 1,025 points would expire at the end of 2020, I wanted an option that would provide value without using many Wyndham points. I shortly looked into getting fuel discounts at Marathon Gas stations but was disappointed by the low redemption value.
Caesars Rewards is one of the partner loyalty programs you can transfer to, though. So, since my husband has Diamond status with Caesars Rewards, I decided to look into what transferring his expiring Wyndham points to Caesars Rewards could get us.
How I leveraged Wyndham’s partnership with Caesars Rewards
Back in 2017, Wyndham Rewards and Caesars Entertainment launched a partnership. My husband has used this partnership to maintain Diamond status in both programs for a few years now. But, until recently, we hadn’t considered transferring rewards between the two programs.
When you transfer Wyndham Rewards points to most partner programs, you lose some value. For example, you can transfer 6,000 Wyndham Rewards points to American Airlines AAdvantage and get 1,200 miles. But, based on TPG’s valuations, you’d be giving up points worth $66 for miles worth $17. And, in most cases, once you transfer the points to a partner, you won’t be able to move them back to the Wyndham Rewards program.
But, thanks to the partnership between Wyndham Rewards and Ceasars Rewards, you can transfer rewards between both programs at a 1:1 ratio.
You can transfer Wyndham Rewards points to Caesars Rewards rewards credits in increments of 10,000 points. So, on Nov. 7, we transferred 10,000 Wyndham points from his account to Caesars Rewards. The confirmation message stated the transfer would occur within seven to 14 days.
Four days later, we noticed the rewards credits had arrived in his Caesars Rewards account. You can transfer up to 30,000 Caesars Rewards rewards credits to Wyndham Rewards each year. The transfer ratio is 1:1 in increments of 5,000 rewards credits.
On Nov. 11, we transferred 10,000 rewards credits from his Caesars Rewards account to Wyndham Rewards. The confirmation message for the transfer noted that the transfer could take six to eight weeks to process.
But, six days later, the points appeared in his Wyndham Rewards account. As you can see below, the Nov. 7 transfer coded as a redemption while the Nov. 17 activity coded as a partner activity.
Now, he won’t need any account activity for another 18 months. However, he has 2,425 points set to expire on Aug. 31, 2021, due to the four-year expiration policy. So, if we don’t redeem for an award night by then, we’ll need to swap rewards around again to extend his Wyndham points’ expiration.
The partnership between Caesars Rewards and Wyndham Rewards is a great way to maintain status in both programs. In looking for a way to use expiring Wyndham Rewards points, I also discovered that the Caesars and Wyndham partnership is also a great way to keep Wyndham Rewards from expiring.
Even if you don’t have Wyndham Rewards points expiring soon, this post is an excellent reminder to think outside the box. After all, there are often ways to earn rewards, redeem rewards and benefit from loyalty programs that aren’t immediately obvious.
Featured image of Deerfield Beach and the Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort by Jeffrey Greenberg/Getty Images.
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