A couple of weeks ago, Wyndham hotels made a change that was actually pretty good. They went from a typical category-based award chart for their hotels to a flat, 15,000 point award for all of their hotels. This was great news for all Wyndham guests that want to stay at the higher category hotels, though not so great for all of those in the lower tiers.
The New Wyndham Award Chart
Award programs love to complicate things for users all while explaining that it is better this way. Just look at the new award programs for both earning and redeeming with Delta – not simple or good!
But, Wyndham is truly simplifying the program by moving from a multi-tiered award chart to a single award redemption – 15,000 points. They will have an option for what they are calling Go Fast awards that will allow you to mix 3,000 points and some cash for stays as well (though not all locations will participate).
Here is what their current award chart looks like:
The new chart is simple – 15,000 points. That means it will be an increase for hotels in the Tier 1-4 categories, but since many of those hotels may not charge much to stay at in the first place, it may not matter. Some of the hotels in the lower tiers are chains such as Howard Johnsons, Super 8, Knights Inn, Days Inn, etc.
The good part is that it is bringing the top tier hotels down 35,000 points. This move will go into affect May 11, 2015.
While I have stayed in several Wyndham properties over the years, I have never redeemed for them since it was less hassle to just pay the cheap rates for the rooms. But, one of the nicer Wyndham properties I have stayed at, I stayed at years ago and used Hotwire for – a Wingate. It was a very nice hotel and, had I needed to pay the actual rate at the hotel, it would have been almost $200. That kind of hotel redemption is one that this new rate system would work well with.
Could The New Card Offer 3 Free Nights?
– Current Wyndham Card Offer 30,000 Points (I do not receive a commission for this)
There is a current Wyndham credit card (issued by Barclaycard) and it offers 30,000 points after the first purchase. With the new program, that is basically two free nights. It also comes with an anniversary bonus of 5,500 points – enough for a Tier 1 night at the current award levels.
However, while searching for some things, I noticed that Barclaycard actually has language in their page summary (that appears on search engines) that specifies 3 Free Nights after first purchase. Looking back at that language over the years, they did have an offer like that a long time ago (several years ago) so it may just still be in place from then. If that is the case, they really ought to work on updating their language as it also says “NEW” offer. 🙂
But, it could also be language loaded too soon for the new offer. It would not be a stretch to imagine such an offer being extended. For a while, they had an offer that was 30,000 points after first purchase and an additional 15,000 points after spending $1,000. That bonus amount would be the same as 3 free nights under the new program.
Barclaycard is known for having low requirements for receiving the bonuses on several cards. For the longest time, all one needed to do to get the sign-up bonus on the US Airways MasterCard was to make a single purchase. They currently have a single purchase requirement in place for the Wyndham card now as well.
I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a night bonus offer and was available after a single purchase. While they may institute a requirement such as needing to pay the $69 annual fee as well before the nights post (this is similar to the way the US Airways card was handled over the last year).
For Wyndham and Barclaycard, such an offer could be advantageous. When issuers have a bonus that involves some type of free night certificate/voucher, they normally carry an expiration date of a year or less. With points, they can expire but any activity can keep them alive. If they have free nights over points, you may only have a single year to use them. If not, they expire and you would lose the bonus.
At any rate, the card is to be released after May 11 at some point so we should know then what the offer is. In the meantime, if such a card is of interest to you, you may want to consider holding off on Barclaycard applications for a while as they can be quite stingy in giving out cards (though in the past they gave them out like crazy).