Wyndham Rewards Adds Elite Status & Award Redemption Perks

Last year Wyndham Rewards made some revolutionary program changes. A lot of us in the miles & points hobby are all about aspirational redemptions, and Wyndham embraced that more than any other hotel brand I’ve seen (forgetting the fact that “Wyndham properties” and “aspirational” don’t typically go together in the same sentence).

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Under the revamped Wyndham Rewards program, free night redemptions cost 15,000 points per night. That’s true whether you’re redeeming at one of their Super 8 properties or one of their Wyndham Grand properties. When this change was made, it represented a huge decrease in award price for their top properties, while it represented a huge increase in price for their lower end properties.

Admittedly the main reason a change like this worked for Wyndham was that they don’t have all that many premium hotels. If Hyatt or Starwood did this, the impact on redemptions at Park Hyatt and St. Regis would be massive.

Still, I think the changes were positive and engaged members, regardless of how they actually redeemed their points in practice. At a minimum people like the thought of aspirational redemptions.

Well, it looks like that was just the beginning, as Wyndham has just announced two further changes, as reported on View from the WingWyndham Rewards is adding elite tiers and adding further benefits when you redeem points.

New Wyndham Rewards elite tiers

While Wyndham has long had a loyalty program, they haven’t had an elite program as such. That’s changing.

Wyndham Rewards is adding four tiers, which go into effect as of May 18, 2016:

  • Blue level — available upon enrollment
  • Gold level — available after five nights
  • Platinum level — available after 15 nights
  • Diamond level — available after 40 nights

Wyndham-Rewards-Elite-Benefits

As you can see, the additional perks are as follows:

  • Gold members get dedicated member services, preferred rooms, and late check-out (up to two hours late, subject to availability)
  • Platinum members get early check-in (up to two hours early, subject to availability), a 3,000 point annual bonus, and Avis and Budget car rental upgrades in the US and Canada
  • Diamond members get a 6,000 point annual bonus, suite upgrades (including on award nights), welcome amenities, and the ability to gift Gold status

Wyndham Rewards is also introducing rollover nights, meaning if you stay 80 nights in a year you’ll get Diamond status for two years. Rollover even applies at the Blue level. So if you stay four nights in one year, those four nights will roll over to the following year, and staying one night the following year would get you Gold status.

New Wyndham Rewards redemption perks

Wyndham Rewards really wants you to redeem your points, so they’ll actually treat you better on award stays than paid stays.

Per View from the Wing, members will receive the following perks when redeeming points:

On free night awards (“go free”) the benefits are:

  • Base member: $5 Voucher for a local experience each night
  • Gold: $10 Voucher for a local experience each night
  • Platinum: $10 Voucher for a local experience each night
  • Diamond: 2 Free Tickets valued up to $150 (“from gastronomic tours in Mexico to desert safaris in Dubai.”)

On cash and points awards (“go fast”) the benefits are:

  • Base member: $5 Voucher for a local experience each night
  • Gold: $5 Voucher for a local experience each night
  • Platinum: $5 Voucher for a local experience each night
  • Diamond: $10 Voucher for a local experience each night

My thoughts on these Wyndham Rewards improvements

I give Wyndham Rewards a lot of credit for what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to make the program aspirational, which I of course love. The reason they can afford to try and do this is because they don’t have a very aspirational portfolio on the whole. Historically I’m guessing very few people were loyal to Wyndham properties, as opposed to booking them simply because they were the cheapest and most convenient option.

I’ll be curious to see if they’re able to change that perception through a great rewards structure and elite program.

At the same time their summer promotion is overly complicated and has too many restrictions, so really isn’t good if they’re trying to attract new members.

Wyndham-Rewards-Promotion

Regardless, on the whole big kudos to Wyndham Rewards for their creativity here.

Do the positive changes to the Wyndham Rewards program change whether you’d consider being loyal to them?

Comments

  1. Do any of their properties have Executive lounges? If some do, what is their accessing policy? Some people including me value access to executive lounges very much.

    Thanks.

  2. I’m Platinum, but this won’t change anything (certainly no reason to shoot for Diamond). I stay there when the other DC area room rates go crazy, or to take advantage of some promos (5K extra for Visa Checkout, etc.). On my trips there the early check-in/late check-out don’t mean anything to me.

  3. I’m diamond and I love it..! The only gripes I have is that some times I have to mention my upgrade options…. And I haven’t received an activity voucher.. Can’t wait for that 100.00 gift card! I should have about 3 or 4 coming !And I’m actually in a go fast suite as I type this.. (Laurel days inn)

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