Daily Getaways season is in full swing in our neck of the woods, and I try to highlight the most worthwhile deals, as related to family travel. I debated on whether tomorrow’s Wyndham offer deserves a dedicated post, and ultimately decided that it does.
Wyndham points are relatively hard to acquire since the program doesn’t have a transfer partnership with any flexible currencies. Also, you can only purchase 10,000 points per calendar year/per account, with the exception of this Daily Getaways deal.
First, here are important details on the offer:
If you are not familiar with Wyndham program, let me quickly point out the pros and cons:
1) Large footprint, with many properties located near national parks.
2) You can now redeem points towards one-bedroom units at Wyndham vacation resorts, which is good news for families.
4) You can redeem points towards all-inclusive Wyndham resorts for just 15,000 points per night. Those can be a good deal during peak season. They used to allow you to bring kids for free, now there is (usually modest) surcharge.
5) They offer a “Go Fast” rate where you can use just 3,000 points in exchange for a substantial discount. It’s usually a good deal when you are redeeming points on cheap properties.
1) The website can be a huge pain to deal with. To get an idea on what’s in store, read about my experience here Wyndham refuses to train reps or upgrade the website despite me and many others contacting them via Twitter about this issue.
2) If you have to cancel a reservation, you will usually have to call. They may or may not redeposit points promptly. Last month I had to cancel a reservation and points were not redeposited after three days.
3) “Go Fast” deal is not as good as it used to be. I’ll have more on it in another post, but the short gist of it is that you will no longer be able to get an outsized discount on expensive Wyndham properties.
4) Wyndham points expire 4 years after you earn them and there is now way to extend the expiration date. Sure, it’s a long timeframe, but still.
5) Wyndham has a reputation for devaluing the program without notice. That’s why I strongly recommend you don’t buy these points without a specific goal in mind.
Alternatives to buying Wyndham points
Let’s face it, paying $175 per night is anything but cheap. I will highlight some instances where the juice is indeed worth the squeeze, but first let me share some ways to potentially acquire Wyndham points for much less.
1) Apply for Wyndham co-branded credit card with $75 annual fee.
Non-affiliate link Unfortunately, right now the bonus is 30,000 points (it was 45,000 points in the past). Still, it is a decent offer, and as far as I know, you can cancel the card and re-apply at a later date. Keep in mind that the card comes with Wyndham Platinum status, and there is a possibility to leverage it towards a deeply discounted stay in Atlantis resort.
2) Participate in their lucrative “stay two times, earn 15,000 points” offer.
You can book two separate nights at a cheap Days Inn and potentially collect 15,000 points for $100 or so. You do have to physically check in, but you don’t have to spend the night in the room.
If you have an early flight and need to find a hotel, it could be worth it to book a Wyndham property, assuming it has decent reviews. Be aware that the rate has to be at least $25 per night in order to qualify. Also, Go Fast rate doesn’t seem to trigger the promotion, as I’ve discovered last month. YMMV
Update: if you don’t mind attending a timeshare presentation, read the comment from reader Erik.
Instances where paying $175 per night is a great deal
The key to leveraging hotel points in the most advantageous way is twofold: short stays+peak season. If you are traveling during off-season and need to stay somewhere for a week or longer, you will almost always come out ahead by booking via AirBnB (my referral link, you will get $40 off your first booking of $75 or more) or VRBO
But if you need to spend 2-3 nights at a popular destination during high season, the combination of cleaning fees and high rates will usually make hotel points a better option. Read more on this topic here
Wyndham deals I consider to be a good deal for families:
Wyndham Bonnet Creek resort is a very popular place, located close to Disney. There are many amenities, so even if you decide to skip the parks, your kids won’t get bored. For 15,000 points per night you can get a 1-bedroom unit:
To me, burning points here for few nights during peak season is definitely the way to go. Otherwise, check out SkyAuction or VRBO.
Wyndham Clearwater Beach resort is an excellent deal via points, especially during spring months. Basic hotels in the area go for $250-$300 per night, so the ability to get a new-ish beachfront condo for only 15,000 Wyndham points is a steal:
I wil be the first one to admit that Clearwater Beach is not my favorite area in Florida. That said, there is lots to do here, so if you want an active beach vacation, this is the place to be. See my posts on vacationing in Clearwater here and here In fact, I just used 30k Wyndham points towards 2-night stay at this resort. Be aware, there is also a hotel portion, but condo side is a much better deal since there are no parking or resort fees attached.
Peacock Suites resort boasts very close proximity to Disneyland and lots of amenities to entertain kids. The rates here are quite high year round, so redeeming points could make a lot of sense.
A big plus for larger families is the fact that some one-bedroom units fit up to six people. I’m not all that not familiar with hotel market near Disneyland, but I know California is expensive in general when it comes to lodging.
Full list of destinations where you can redeem Wyndham points towards vacation resorts:
There are quite a few options in Hawaii, but I found award availability to be somewhat scarce. Do your own search via this website Note that availability in most vacation resorts is limited, and during high season you may have a hard time finding a unit.
But it’s definitely possible as long as you are flexible on dates. As I’ve said earlier, Wyndham website is wacky, so even if it initially says “no availability”, click on the link, and the unit will often pop up.
Another thing to keep in mind is that usually you have to book at least two consecutive nights. Also, in general, cancellation policy is more strict compared to hotels. It will depend on the resort, so make sure to read the fine print. Here is an example for one property:
A nice perk to reserving a Wyndham vacation rental rather than hotel room is that you can usually avoid paying resort and parking fees. Those can definitely add up. I’ve noticed that Wyndham doesn’t always release award availability for vacation rentals as far ahead as it does for the hotels, so plan accordingly.
I’m not going to buy Wyndham points via Daily Getaways. To me, the price is simply too high. That being said, I definitely think there are instances where it could make sense for some families. You will not pay less than $175 all-in for a beachfront one-bedroom condo in Clearwater, Fl during March, I guarantee it.
As always, when it comes to hotel points, I recommend you have a Plan B (and C) in mind. Don’t get your heart set on one specific property because it may leave the chain before you are able to use up your stash.
Have a rough idea on where you will be burning your points, but don’t be disappointed if things don’t work out as planned. Fortunately, Wyndham has a huge footprint, and you will have 4 years to find some sort of use for your stash.
If you are low on money, consider skipping this deal altogether. Try to accumulate hotel points via sign-up bonuses, if at all possible. It’s the cheapest way to do it, I guarantee it.
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.