Travel on Points

ToP Guide to Wyndham Rewards

The ToP Guide to Wyndham Rewards analyzes the loyalty program's strengths and weaknesses and highlights a couple of sweet spots.
Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

ToP Guide to Wyndham Rewards

The ToP Guide to Wyndham Rewards analyzes the loyalty program's strengths and weaknesses and highlights a couple of sweet spots.

Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Most of us who travel on points focus on Hyatt, Marriott, and Hilton, while paying little attention to other hotel brands like Wyndham. Yet Wyndham Rewards is a decent program that shouldn't be ignored completely. Although Wyndham certainly has a ways to go before it competes with the big 3, its program still offers good value in a couple of spots. This ToP Guide breaks down the program's footprint, elite benefits, options for earning points, and award chart, and gives ToP's take on the program as whole.

Footprint and Brands

Wyndham's footprint is quite massive at 8,900 hotels across 22 brands, according to their website. By comparison, Marriott has about 8,100 properties across its 30 brands, and Hilton offers 7,000 properties across 18 brands. That said, Wyndham does not focus on luxury or high-end properties nearly to the same extent as the other major hotel chains.

Wyndham's portfolio of brands doesn't have many aspirational properties. (Image: Wyndham)

Wyndham Rewards Elite Status

Wyndham Rewards offers 4 levels of elite status: Blue, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Blue is the basic level offered to all who enroll in the program. Blue elite status doesn't include anything notable other than free wi-fi.

Gold status requires only 3 nights to qualify. Gold earns you:

  • dedicate member services to handle your calls,
  • preferred room choice subject to availability,
  • 10% bonus points on paid stays, and
  • late check-out (including on award stays).

Late check-out is available only at participating hotels, is subject to availability, and is limited to up to 2 hours after the hotel's standard check-out time.

Platinum elite status requires 9 nights to qualify. This level offers:

  • all the benefits of Gold elite status,
  • 15% bonus points on paid stays,
  • early check-in (including on award stays),
  • status match to Caesar Rewards Platinum status, and
  • a free upgrade on your car rental through Avis or Budget at participating locations in the US and Canada.

Early check-in is available only at participating hotels, is subject to availability, and is limited to up to 2 hours ahead of the hotel's standard check-in time.

Diamond elite status requires 24 nights to qualify. Diamond earns you:

  • all the benefits of Platinum elite status,
  • 20% bonus points on paid stays,
  • suite upgrades on paid and award stays,
  • status match to Caesar Rewards Diamond status,
  • a welcome amenity in the form of a complimentary snack of beverage upon check-in (at select hotel brands), and
  • the ability to gift Gold elite status to another person once per calendar year.

Suite upgrades are limited only to participating hotels and subject to availability. According to Wyndham Rewards' terms & conditions, hotels determine suite availability at check-in.

Free breakfast and confirmable suite upgrades are notably absent from the list of benefits at any of these elite tiers.

Wyndham elite status is easy to earn but doesn't offer much. (Photo: Wyndham)

Earning Wyndham Rewards Points

You can earn Wyndham Rewards points by transferring credit card points, spending on Wyndham co-branded credit cards, or through paid stays at Wyndham properties, among other options.

Wyndham Rewards Transfer Partners

Wyndham Rewards is a transfer partner of Citi and Capital One, both at a 1:1 to ratio. Earning Citi ThankYou Points can be easy with the right set of cards. For example, the Citi Premier Card(review) is currently offering an all-time high sign-up bonus of 80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. The Citi Premier has a $95 annual fee.

Capital One also offers many ways to earn Venture Miles quickly. This includes the Capital One Venture X Card(review), which currently offers 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This card has a $395 annual fee.

Wyndham Co-Branded Credit Cards

Wyndham offers three co-branded credit cards through Barclays: the Wyndham Rewards Earner Card, Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card, and Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card. Each of these cards offers a 10% redemption discount on points redeemed for certain awards (more on this below), as well as a booking discount for paid stays.

The Wyndham Rewards Earner Card has no annual fee, and offers complimentary Gold level status and an annual bonus of 7,500 points each anniversary year if you spend $15,000 on the card. This card earns 5x Wyndham Rewards points at Wyndham hotels and gas, 2x on dining and at grocery stores, and 1x on all other purchases.

The Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card has a $75 annual fee, and offers complimentary Platinum level status and an annual bonus of 7,500 points each anniversary year with no spending required. This card earns 6x at Wyndham hotels and on gas, 4x on dining and at grocery stores, and 1x on all other purchases.

The Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card has a $95 annual fee, and offers complimentary Diamond level status and an annual bonus of 15,000 points each anniversary year with no spending required. This card earns 8x at Wyndham hotels and on gas, 5x on marketing, advertising, and utilities, and 1x on all other purchases.

Earning Points through Paid Stays

Wyndham Rewards is quite generous with rewarding members for paid stays. For every qualified stay at a Wyndham Rewards hotel or vacation club resort, you earn 10 points per dollar or 1,000 points—whichever is more. Remember that elite members earn bonus points on top of this base rate, as described above.

According to Wyndham Rewards' T&Cs, points earned from stays is limited to room rates. This means room charges such as meals and beverages should not count towards this.

Interestingly, the terms & conditions state that stays booked through independent travel agents may also count as qualified stays. In fact, the T&Cs tell guests to “please check with your independent travel agent prior to booking to confirm whether or not the applicable stay will be deemed a Qualified Stay.” So this could very well be YMMV. However, the T&Cs actually exclude online travel agencies, meaning that bookings through websites like booking.com or expedia.com should not count as qualified stays.

Guests earn 10 points per dollar on paid stays before factoring in any bonuses from elite status. (Photo: Wyndham)

Other Ways to Earn Wyndham Rewards Points

Wyndham offers many other ways to earn points. These include bonus points for online shopping, Avis car rentals, purchasing gas at participating Marathon locations in the US, and ordering meal kits through Home Chef. These and other methods to earn Wyndham Rewards points are available on this page.

Redeeming Wyndham Rewards Points

Wyndham offers some incredibly cheap redemption rates for award stays, making this one of the program's biggest strengths. Meanwhile, unlike many other hotel programs, Wyndham Rewards lets you redeem points for different kinds of vacation rentals.

Redeeming for Hotel Stays

Wyndham offers two types of awards: “go free” and “go fast.” Both of these awards are split into three tiers.

go free award is a redemption option that allows you to redeem between 7,500, 15,000, or 30,000 Wyndham Rewards points for a free night at a participating hotel, or 15,000–30,000 points per bedroom at a participating club resort or vacation rental.

A go fast award is a redemption option that allows you to redeem 1,500, 3,000, or 6,000 points for a discounted rate at a participating hotel. With a go fast award, you can also redeem between 3,000 and 6,000 points for a discounted night at a participating club resort or vacation rental, meaning you can use your Wyndham Rewards points as partial payment for a stay. Not all Wyndham properties participate in go fast nights.

Wyndham has a Locations page where you can sort properties according to their go free and go fast redemption rates.

Wyndham does not charge resort fees for go free or go fast award stays. The only exception to this are award stays at Caesars hotels booked with Wyndham Rewards points. Those stays may incur resort fees.

Redeeming for Vacasa Rentals

Vacasa is a vacation rental management company with vacation rentals in North America, Belize, and Costa Rica. Wyndham's exclusive partnership with Vacasa allows Wyndham Rewards members to redeem their points for Vacasa rentals.

Rentals cost 15,000 points per bedroom, per night. For example, if a rental has two bedrooms, it costs 30,000 points per night. Since the redemption price is not tied to the cash price of the rental, Vacasa rentals are one of the sweet spots of the Wyndham Rewards program. Even better: you do not pay any taxes or fees when redeeming points for Vacasa rentals!

To book, find the home you want to rent on Vacasa's website. Then, you have to call Wyndham Rewards at 800-441-1034. You cannot book online using points.

If you cancel more than 30 days before check-in, your points will be refunded. But if you cancel 30 or fewer days before check-in, your points will not be refunded.

Vacasa rentals start at just 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points per night. (Photo: Vacasa)

Redeeming for Cottages.com and Landal GreenParks Rentals

Wyndham also has partnerships with Cottages.com, which offers cottages in the UK, Ireland, France, and Italy, and Landal GreenParks, which offers bungalows and apartments in nature areas throughout Europe.

Rentals cost 15,000 points per bedroom, per night, just like with Vacasa. Holders of any of the three Wyndham co-branded credit cards can redeem at a discounted rate of 13,500 points per bedroom, per night.

Redeeming Wyndham points for Cottages.com and Landal GreenParks rentals works similar to Vacasa rentals. For Cottages.com, you first browse through Cottages.com to find your cottage. Then, call Wyndham at 1-866-232-8628 to book with points. Cancellation policies are subject to the conditions found at www.cottages.com/legal/booking-conditions and may vary by property and time of year.

For Landal GreenParks, find your desired Landal property on this website. Then, call Wyndham at 888-862-8053 to book with your Wyndham Rewards points. Landal GreenPark redemptions are non-refundable within 28 days prior to check-in date.

Other Ways to Redeem

Like other hotel chains, Wyndham offers the ability to redeem points for more than hotel and resort stays. You can redeem Wyndham Rewards points for things like gift cards, merchandise, and tours and activities, among other things. As always, we do not recommend redeeming points for these as you will not get as much value out of your points.

Our Analysis

Wyndham Rewards is actually a decent program, with ease of use being one of its strongest qualities. The award chart is straightforward and Wyndham is one of the few chains to neither have peak/off-peak pricing nor dynamic pricing. Also, Wyndham's surprisingly large foot print rivals that of Marriott and Hilton, meaning you are bound to find a free room in many different corners of the world. That room might just not be very fancy.

Indeed, the lack of luxury and aspirational properties is one of Wyndham's main weaknesses. Although Wyndham certainly has some nice hotels in its portfolio, few if any compare to the likes of the Park Hyatt, St. Regis, or Waldorf Astoria brands. Most of us are unlikely to plan a vacation around staying at a particular Wyndham property.

Elite benefits are another weak spot of the Wyndham Rewards program. Not even top tier elites receive free breakfast or confirmed suite upgrades. At least elite status is easy to achieve, with top tier Diamond status only requiring 24 nights to qualify. Low effort, low reward. This makes Wyndham Rewards' tagline serendipitously appropriate: “You've earned this.”

The program's two sweet spots are very cheap award nights and Vacasa rentals. Discounted award nights start at just 1,500 points. This is crazy low, especially considering you earn at least 10 points per dollar on paid stays. So after a one-night $150 stay, you could have enough points for a free night.

Meanwhile, Vacasa rentals offer the ability to rent vacation properties starting at just 15,000 points per night. Fans of vacation rentals can skip the absurd cleaning fees associated with Airbnb and the like and instead redeem Wyndham points with no additional taxes or fees. This alone is reason enough to keep Wyndham Rewards on your radar.

Final Thoughts

Wyndham Rewards doesn't receive nearly the same amount of attention as the Hyatt, Hilton, or Marriott loyalty programs. The program certainly lacks luxury and aspirational properties, and elite status isn't very rewarding. But Wyndham offers some incredibly cheap awards with a massive footprint throughout the world. For those of us traveling on points, we're more likely to find ourselves redeeming Wyndham points for a short stay when the other big hotel chains don't offer as compelling a value.

What do you think of Wyndham Rewards? Come join the discussion in our Facebook group!

 Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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