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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.