Potentially very lucrative mileage opportunity courtesy of Wyndham promotion

Up front I should say there are a few asterisks to this, so don’t get too excited just yet.

Wyndham Rewards has a pretty generous promotion whereby they’re offering 16,000 Wyndham Rewards bonus points for a stay at any of their 20 new Wyndham and Hawthorn Suites properties in the US. This promotion is valid for stays between August 6 and October 6, 2012, and you can earn the bonus a maximum of three times, for a total of 48,000 Wyndham Rewards points.

What makes this promotion so lucrative is twofold:

  • Wyndham Rewards points can be converted to airline miles at 2.5:1 ratio. 8,000 Wyndham Rewards points can be converted into 3,200 miles, so each stay essentially earns you 6,400 airline miles. Wyndham partners with airlines such as American, Delta, US Airways and more.
  • Wyndham is the only major hotel chain that credits points on “phantom stays.” That means you’re entitled to points as long as your credit card is charged. Per their terms: “If the property requires a credit card for a reservation, the Member is a no-show, and the hotel charges his/her credit card for the first night of the no-show stay, the Member will receive points for such night as if he/she had stayed.”

There are some pretty inexpensive hotels on the list, like the Hawthorn Suites Chicago Schaumburg. It has rates of $53.27 including tax:

So crunching the numbers, three stays would cost you $159.81, and you’d earn a total of 19,200 miles, which is roughly 0.83 cents per mile. That’s a spectacular value.

Now here’s the catch — there seem to be about 100 different opinions as to whether or not this promotion is targeted. The promotion has been sent to people that are subscribed to receive special offers from Wyndham over the past several days. The terms and conditions in those emails state the following:

To qualify for the “16,000 bonus Points” promotion (the “Promotion”) and earn 16,000 Wyndham Rewards® points, the member must (i) be an active member (ii) click through the email and book a stay at any of the 20 participating properties at a qualifying rate between August 6, 2012 and October 6, 2012 and complete their hotel stays by October 9, 2012.(the “Promotion Period”).

The wording is interesting in that usually if an offer is targeted they’ll say the promotion is only valid for recipients of the email. This simply states you have to click through the email to book the stay. The above is the link you would click to book the stay, so I doubt it’s actually targeted. Many have reported contacting Wyndham customer service and getting a “link” sent to them just to be on the safe side. I sent a message to Wyndham through their website requesting a link to the promotion and confirmation that I’m eligible, so I’ll report back on my experience.

If anyone else finds out more, please share it in the comments section. This has the potential to be a very lucrative promotion.

(Tip of the hat to Travel By Points)


  1. Just an FYI, the subject line for the email that I received is “Your point balance, member offers & Summer Rewards”.

  2. With all the blogs reporting this deal the hotels are going to have a ton of phantom stays. Not sure how Wyndham is going to view this. Looks like someone will have to bite the bullet to find out.

  3. Just emailed them. This is the response on the website:

    “Thank You!

    We have received your message. Currently, we are experiencing higher than normal volume and apologize for any delay in our response. Your patience is greatly appreciated.”


  4. I actually live 10 minutes away from the only California hotel for this offer. Any tricks to get the lowest price? Codes, dates to stay, etc?

  5. Please don’t call them “phantom stays.” That term makes it sounds like something unsavory is going on. They are merely “no shows” and nothing more.

  6. For the CA hotel, try weekend nights and AAA rates. I did and was able to book an $84 rate when the regular rate was I think $99.

  7. I think you have a typo, each stay will earn 6,400 miles (16,000 / 2.5 = 6,400 not 6,800). Anyways, is booking a 3 night stay at $269.66 a good deal for 48,000 points = 19,200 miles?

  8. @MJM, i was able to find friday to monday stays for $79 a night with the “Stay 3 get 20pct off” deal that is hardcoded into their site

  9. But be careful to check the particular rate’s T&C if you go into a hotel’s special offers looking for a lower rate because for one I noticed that its T&C said it could not be combined with other promotions so I decided to be safe and stick with the standard types of rates like AAA.

  10. @ Grant — Whoops, you’re right. Fixed the typo, thanks. I’d say that’s quite a good deal as well. Definitely cheaper hotels out there, but that’s still roughly 1.5 cents per mile, which is quite good. Just keep in mind you’ll probably want to spread out your stays, because three consecutive nights may be counted as one stay.

  11. @Grant — I’d listen to Lucky. That rate is for three consecutive nights and that may be only one stay. The promotion is per stay not per night. Also the T&C’s for that rate says it cannot be combined with other promotions or special offers, which is the bit I found concerning.
    @Todd, I received the email actually both emails myself so I am on board for trying. You could sign up for the rewards program and sign up for emails and see if it comes to you the old-fashioned way.

  12. Ha-Ha, the AA rate has the same language about not combining with other promotions or offers so whaddya know. Anyway, AAA is a qualifying rate under the rewards program so that has to be what counts, and the stock language I was worried about must have to do with not getting an even lower rate somehow??? I guess the bottom line is all this blog reading is making me hyper-vigilent about T&C’s.

  13. I found the e-mail buried in my inbox. It looks like a normal monthly points balance e-mail but down in the lower left corner is a thumbnail that goes through to the promo.

  14. I booked a room in Schaumburg for 8/24 and it’s very unlikely I will be within 500 miles of Schaumburg that night. Will post what happens.

    Cost-wise, this is a very similar rate to what Wyndham sold points for during the US Travel sale in the spring, so it’s hard to see them balking that much at a bunch of no-shows.

  15. Can this be stacked with the 4X points after 1st stay promo that runs to Sept 13th? That would really make it worth a run.

  16. How da heck you guys made reservations? The site is totally screwed up – when I enter any hotel name – it does not find it!

  17. Just booked a couple of nights at the Wyndham! This is almost as fun as “meeting” all those FTers at the Poetry Slam in Raleigh, NC last year during Grand Slam. Too bad my plane was delayed 😛

  18. Oh yeah! I forgot. Don’t forget to transfer these points over to an airline program when there’s a transfer bonus, like 50% to US Airways that seems to happen annually. That would make this 28,800 US Airways miles total for $150, or 0.5cpm 😀

  19. I don’t think they care about ‘ no shows’ , they still make their money and don’t have to clean the room after you “check out”

  20. What moron designed their website? I have to have TWO DIFFERENT member numbers just to make a reservation? WTF?! Really, really annoyed right now…

  21. Everyone should start reading the Flyer Talk thread on this. Yes, technically Wyndham does not care about no shows , but the individual hotel has a right to cancel your reservation if you dont show up. There have been a couple of posts where people booked a place without the intention of showing up, but the hotel cancelled the reservation the day after. The no shows didnt get charged, but they didnt get the points either. You have to find a hotel that wont cancel your reservation is the key here if you plan to do a no show.

  22. Hmm. I received the email, and one of the hotels listed is about 5 minutes from my office, so I could do a quick check in on the way home. So, no worries about the no-show issue.

    However, the cheapest rate I can find is ~$63/night all in. Is it still worth it at that rate?

  23. @ Corky Putt Putt: I wouldn’t compare this to the sale of points in the AMEX Daily Deals, where (a) they had perfect capacity control over how many packages of points they were going to offer; (b) the revenue flowed into corporate (and presumably was credited to the frequent stayer program), whereas no-show stays revenue flows to individual properties. I’d say the situation is rather different.

  24. By transferring to Amtrak and then to Hilton HHonors (in batches of 5k Amtrak for 10k HHonors) you can turn those 48000 Wyndam points into 19,200 Amtrak points and then into 40,000 HHonors points (you’ll need to buy 1k Amtrak for ~$27.50 for the final 5k:10K transfer). I plan on trying for a no show this weekend cause my OC Wyndam is ~$140 a night!

  25. @Grant Thomas: 3 consecutive night count as 1 stay so you would earn only 16000 points for that stay. Also if you use any other promo like “stay 3 nights and get 20% off” the terms and conditions say “it may not be combined with any other promo”.

  26. @ Corky Putt Putt: I completely agree with PH. This is COMPLETELY different than Discover America. Wyndham Corporate got 100% of the proceeds during Discover America. Whereas during this loophole the individual hotels will be getting ~95% of the proceeds and Wyndham Corporate/Rewards will be getting ~5% of the proceeds. So Wyndham Corporate will be taking it in the pants bigtime here. I expect the “no-show” T&Cs to be changed as well now that so many bloggers have hat-tipped this deal to death.

    Boarding Area Bloggers: The Deal Killers of the World.

    Well done on likely killing another good deal by overpublishing it. 😉

  27. Thanks Lucky! This sounds like a pretty good deal. Wyndham points can also be useful other than only transfer to miles under some circumstances, such as hotels at certain national parks, and the US Grand Slam hit. But I think I won’t be able to get to any of these 20 locations during the promotion period, so my question is, is there any report that no-show stay actually works? Thanks again!

  28. Thanks for posting this Lucky! I’m in Northbrook (not at Wyndham) as I write this. I quickly booked tonight at Hoffman and tomorrow at Wheeling (Schaumberg rates went higher so didn’t bother with them). I hope to come out of this with 32000 points. I got the targeted email a week or so ago – saved it but then I forgot about it. Your blog reminded me! Appreciate it!

  29. thanks for your posting. i happened to find and register into your list only a few months ago and i found your forum so valuable for a frequent traveler like me (i spent 210 nights in hotel in 2011). simply want to thank you again! i will contact wyndham to request a link, too.

    i followed your msg (a few months ago) to earn 61,980 points for only one night one stay at radisson (great promotion). that was my first time to become a club carlson member. now, club carlson has another promotion for two-night stay to earn 10,000 points. is that vaulable or worthwhile compared to hilton (double/triple points, triple delta miles at certain hotels) or marriott promotion?

  30. I have an early morning meeting near the hoffman estates location so I booked a room for the night before. It will be great to sleep in a bit and get points.

  31. I was a no show for a stay on Saturday at the Hawthorne Suites in Utah. They initially pre-authorized my credit card for on the arrival night but it looks like they never pulled the funds from the card so I guess that hotel is not authorizing no show participation in this promotion.

  32. Has anyone confirmed that you didn’t have to get the initial email to get all 16K points? I booked and then emailed to ask if I will get them but I have not heard back yet.

  33. Sent them an email asking to be enrolled couple of days ago. They replied that the offer is for targeted members, but there’s going to be another promo later this year.

  34. I received the following response from Wyndham after asking them to send me the email in question:

    Thank you for contacting Wyndham Rewards®.

    A promotional email was sent to a targeted group of U.S. Wyndham Rewards members and past guests of Revere announcing the 2012 Revere Promotion. Members must click the link in the email they received and book their stay during the promotion timeframe at one of the 20 participating Revere properties to receive the 16,000 bonus points.

    If you did not receive this special offer via email, then I regret to advise you that you are not eligible for this promotion.

    The selection of Wyndham Rewards members and past guests of Revere was determined by our Marketing department.

    If you have additional questions, please contact Member Services at 1-866-996-7937 or via email at customerservice@wyndhamrewards.com. Our Member Services hours are Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 11:00 pm EST or Saturday and Sunday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm EST.

  35. My charge for Schaumburg has posted for a stay on 8/24 and I’ve gotten the points for the cash expense but not the bonus points. Did not come within 500 miles of Schaumburg.

  36. Same here as @Doug.

    Now show for one night. Credit card charged. Points credited for the charged amount. But no 16K promotional points for the night.

    May take a while?

  37. i just got the invite email to this. anyone have success with getting the 16k points yet? and no-shows working?

  38. @Eric

    i received the email too today but in the small print it says “the member must… complete their hotel stays”.
    so i am really curious about no-shows… because that does not technically mean completing a stay.

  39. @lantean,
    I think it simply means you need to check out by that date. I don’t think this statement excluds the no show bonus.

    However, anyone got the 16,000 bonus by no show stay?

    I received the promotion email today (9/4/2012). Would like to try a no show stay.

  40. does anybody have a success story of earning 16,000 points via no show stay?

    i booked a no show stay tonight and I see my credit card has a pending charge. waiting for the coming results …

  41. To update,

    My first no show stay was on Aug 24,2012 (CO on Aug 25). The points for the stay were posted right after the check out date. However, the 16K promo points were posted between Sep 14, 2012 and Sep 20, 2012, 3-4 weeks after C/O date . (I don’t remember the exact date and have to check the weekly email from awardwallet to see the time frame. The Wyndham website shows post date as Aug 25 though. )

    I then booked another two at less than 50 dollars each. The miles for the stays have been posted to my AA account. (The no show stay on Oct 1st earns me 1500 miles, while the one on Sep 29th earns me 500 miles). I will come back to update whether the 16K *2 points post to my account or not.

  42. Final Update,

    The 16K*2 points for the stays of both Sep 29th and Oct 1st are posted today.

    150 dollars net me 16K*3 points and 2000 miles, which are converted to 21K miles ultimately. 0.7 cents/mile.

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