Saving $1,000 Thanks to Wyndham Rewards

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I’m kind of crushing on Wyndham Rewards more and more these days since their flat 15,000 points per award night rewards system is simple, their award availability is good, their Go Fast cash + points award options can be really useful, and their new promo makes it possible to earn a totally free night in just two paid stays. The promo is absolutely mattress run worthy if you live somewhere with cheap Wyndham properties and think you will redeem your points in an expensive city, but more on that in a minute.

 

Let me first give you a real world example of why I am loving Wyndham Rewards right now…

Josh is currently traveling a lot for work, but we are the ones on the hook for the travel expenses. This is simultaneously both my dream and nightmare. It is my dream because I can maximize anything and everything travel related, and it is my nightmare because buying plane tickets and multiple hotel nights in pricey cities every other week from our own accounts adds up really quickly. This plan was better than moving to an expensive city though, so we are making the most of it.

One of his work destinations is New York City, and we all know that is an expensive city for hotels, and for pretty much everything else, too. So far we have done pretty well keeping an average of $200 or less per hotel night, but there are some dates coming up when prices are just nutso. On some of the upcoming very expensive nights, a modest Staybridge Suites or Hyatt Place type property in Manhattan is legitimately close to $500 per night – and we need several nights.

On that particularly expensive week it was obvious we had to get creative to keep costs down. I have a few go-to tactics when the hotel rates get high, but some of my standby points and programs were coming up empty because hotels are just really full and standard rooms are scarce. However, the program that was the shining star on this very expensive NYC week was none other than Wyndham Rewards. Not only did they have several totally decent properties with 15,000 points per night Go Free awards available, but the TRYP Times Square South also had Go Fast awards available for 3,000 points + $150 per night.

I don’t have a ton of Wyndham points at my disposal, so being able to stretch them out and spend just 3,000 per night along with a cash co-pay of $150 per night at a hotel that is selling rooms for $500+ is an absolute steal in my book.

Using 9,000 Wyndham points for the three night stay will literally save us $1,000 in hotel costs that week in NYC! The TRYP properties do require you to call 1-866-996-7937 to book awards over the phone, but frankly I’m glad about that as they had Go Fast awards available when none of the other properties did, so I’m assuming that having to take the extra step of calling is what worked in our favor.

Now Wyndham Rewards isn’t perfect. Their main problem is that points expire both due to account inactivity and also after a certain point no matter how much activity you have in your account. You must have account activity every 18 months to keep your points active, and you also have just four years to use points before they expire no matter what you do. You can check these expiration dates in your account, but it is one of the stricter hotel points policies out there in that there are two simultaneously running expiration clocks.

At the rate we are traveling at the moment, that expiration date isn’t that large of a concern for me personally, so I do plan to take advantage of the current Wyndham promo that awards 7,500 bonus Wyndham Reward points for each of up to two stays if you pay via MasterPass. I can book a room at a Super 8 type of property around here for less than $50 all-in per night, probably less than $40 per night if I look hard enough. If I do that twice I have earned enough bonus points for a free night I can use somewhere such as Manhattan when rates are several hundred dollars per night.

I don’t think that Wyndham Rewards will ever become my primary hotel loyalty program, but that isn’t stopping it from playing a very important supporting role in our current strategy and it surely didn’t stop it from saving us $1,000 very real dollars in the near future.

Is Wyndham Rewards one of the programs you turn to when looking for ways to travel more for less?

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

Comments

  1. I’m headed to Branson, MO, next month, for two nights. Each night will be in a different Wyndham property at a price competitive with other brands. The upside will be the 15,000 points that can be used later in an expensive city.

    For a long time my go-to brand has been IHG, but this will be a nice change-up with good benefits.

  2. We just used 3 Wyndham nights (free on points) in Chicago..right on the river..excellent location. Would have never been 15,000 points with any other hotel brand.

  3. TRYP Times Square South is in my #1 potential spot for next summer’s adventure. We’re a fam of six. I’d love your thoughts on the property & location. We’re planning to take Amtrak from Boston, so it looks like we have a quick walk. No points accumulated, yet, so trying to decide if I should go for it.

    • I’ll ask Josh after he stays there. He isn’t really one to review hotels, so I won’t have a full report but I will at least share what he tells me!

  4. Tell me more about Mattress Runs.

    Can you just check into the hotel, but not stay?

    Is there a way to find the lowest cost hotel like that near me, besides searching each city?

    • Yes, you just check-in but don’t have to stay. I don’t know a quick way beyond just checking individual locations around you that you know are often cheaper than others.

      • We have 2 Sundays nights in September booked at a local Wyndham. Rate is $37/night. We will check in, snatch the shampoo and leave.

        We’ll use our free night to extend a condo stay in Sedona next winter.

        I love Wyndham for its wide array of redemption options that include condos in great locales, thatched cottages in England, stone villas in Italy and mid-century modern houses in Palm Springs. Who needs a hotel??

  5. Have you heard that you can only have 2 people per room in the all-inclusive Wyndham resorts? We have run into this problem so Wyndham hasn’t been a good program for us.

  6. Yup! I will be taking advantage of this when I do 2 separate stays in Cedar Rapids Iowa this weekend! Traveling on business-and racking up points to use for pleasure 🙂

  7. I had the plan, too: get points on solo trip when I don’t really care where I sleep, then cash in at the high end later. I was all ready to arrange 2 nights at a Super8 near Chicago to pick up a ton of Wyndham points. Then started reading reviews. I admire Wyndham’s honesty for putting them online, but really…I don’t want to find what some other guests found. Maybe the problem is Chicago motels. Maybe the under $50 rooms near you are a notch up, but now I’m not so sure about my clever plan. Maybe I’ll look for a cheap Ramada instead and settle for a smaller victory.

    I haven’t given up, but I’m rethinking the plan. I’m happy it works for you. I’ll report back when I figure this out.

    • Well, I don’t plan to actually stay at the $50 Super 8 properties. I mean, the deal is better if you do need/want to stay there, but I plan to just check in and earn the points at a good rate. If I were going to earn the points on actual stays, I’m sure I would have to stay somewhere that costs more in order for it to be somewhere similar to what my family is used to on our travels.

  8. While I read so much about how wonderful SPG and Hyatt are for their loyalty programs, and they are, they really are anything but it you’re trying to stay in an expensive city on points. Choice and Wyndham often come to my rescue in such cases, as they do in tiny places where luxury brands are never found.

    • For sure – I love SPG and Hyatt even in big cities, but if you limit yourself to just one or two programs then you are limiting your options. More options is always better, and I love having Choice and Wyndham as secondary programs.

  9. I’m confused why you would mattress run to a Super 8. Couldn’t Josh just make two paid Wyndham stays during some of his travels (assuming not at $500)? Seems like that would make more sense that spending money on hotels you don’t need?

    • Yes, and we might. However, the stars have to align to make it worth it since he is right on the money for the number of stays he needs to hit status with Hyatt, so if we peel too many stays away from tthat when the dollars are roughly the same, then we will just have to make that up later. However, I would prefer to have real stays earn those points, so we will see. That is one of the reasons I haven’t booked the mattress runs quite yet.

      • Very true. In our case though this is essentially like paying rent because he is a contractor and we are the ones choosing to not move to live near work. Instead, he commutes to their offices around the country every other week and we cover the travel costs as part of the contract.

  10. I’m sure you are aware that no one actually pays the rack rate for these hotels so it’s a little silly to say you saved $1,000.

    Anyone can go on the Wyndham site and buy 3,000 points for $33 and then use that plus the $150 cash to get the “$500 room”. This room costs Wyndham $20-30 to turnover so who do you think is really getting a good deal here?!

    Alternatively you can go on hotwire last minute and get comparable hotels in NYC for $100-200/night. That’s the price you should use as a baseline when calculating how much you “saved”.

    • I laugh when people say no one pays those rates, because we absolutely have had to pay the going rates, though of course we try to shave as much off as we can. We are spending a ton of very real cash on hotel nights these days, and rates really are $500-ish that week. I canceled a Hyatt Place reservation in NYC for those same dates that was right at $1,500 all-in (and that was a good deal compared to others), and replaced it with this that cost $450 + taxes and 9,000 points. That is $1,000 we aren’t having to spend that we would have been spending. I just priced out a 3.5 star for those dates in NYC in a similar neighborhood on Hotwire and it came in at over $1,300 without knowing what hotel you are even signing up for with obviously no refund/change capabilities. Some dates are just as expensive as they say they are, so I’m thrilled we are keeping $1,000 in our account thanks to using a few Wyndham points.

      • The rates you pay are always subsidized by the points you earn, including endless promos, credit card spending earning, affiliate link earning, progress towards status etc. That can easily shave off 20-40% from what you are “paying” with the listed rate.

        I’m sure if you make a refundable reservation now and then check hotwire 2 days out you will get a much better price. You can usually figure out which hotel you are getting too.

        Which dates are you looking at?

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