Update: it looks like this change will come to fruition after all. I just got an email from Wyndham, outlining the changes, which you can view via this link Not surprisingly, they are spinning it as a positive development. Hah!
They are not telling us (yet) which hotels will move into a higher category, but logic dictates that any property that currently costs $250 per night or more will probably run at 30,000 points. The change will go into effect on April 2nd, so kudos to Wyndham for at least providing advance notice.
A few days ago I saw a disturbing news item reported on Doctorofcredit blog as well as Reddit You can file this one under rumor for now, but it sounds totally plausible not to mention, logical. If true, Wyndham is planning to move to tiered rewards system in a near future. Here is the gist of it:
Once again, nothing has been confirmed but it is noteworthy that Wyndham isn’t denying the rumor either. If you don’t have Wyndham points already, it won’t affect you one way or the other. It goes without saying that you should not apply for Wyndham co-branded credit card untill the dust settles. Plus, the bonus offer is reduced right now anyway. If, however, you are sitting on a ton of Wyndham points, you should absolutely pay attention. William (DoC blog founder) considers this information to be reliable, and I have no reason to doubt his judgment.
Winners and losers (if the rumor comes to fruition)
Right now all Wyndham properties cost a flat 15,000 points per night. Obviously, this creates some outsized values. Namely: Wyndham Grand, Dolce properties, as well as all-inclusive Wyndham resorts I suspect that all of them will cost 30,000 points per night going forward.
I’ve also written about Wyndham vacation resorts where you can reserve a one-bedroom condo for 15,000 points per night. Occasionally, you can even get a 4-bedroom unit for only 15,000 points per night, but those gems are rare and usually die quickly. I’m certain that all the best values would be gutted under the new scheme.
Redeeming 15,000 points per night on this 2-bedroom beachfront unit *was* a stellar deal indeed (RIP)
To be fair, some people will come out ahead. If you like road trips and prefer to burn points on Days Inn properties by the highway, this will probably be a win because most of them would cost 7,500 points per night. Then again, Go Fast rate (3,000 points+ cash copay) is currently a great way to get decent value on those hotels. So, there would be very little silver lining and for most of us, it would mean a huge devaluation.
What you should do
Burn all of your Wyndham points ASAP, that’s what! This program has a nasty reputation of making changes and raising rates without warning. Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to follow my own advice. I’ve been hoarding Wyndham points for a possible vacation to Hawaii in 2020. We can’t really move it to next year, though I wish I could.
In addition, I have several renewal hotel certificates from credit cards that expire in 2019. Add to it our cruise to Bahamas plus several trips with family, and there is simply no room for Wyndham points vacations on our calendar.
If your schedule is wide open, I recommend making a few speculative bookings, just in case. But do take note of the cancellation window and be aware, dealing with Wyndham is usually an ordeal. That said, paying 15,000 points per night sure beats potentially paying 30,000 points. I would be willing to put up with some nuisance for this kind of savings.
Putting things in perspective
If this rumor materializes, I’m going to be bummed out. However, I’ll have to keep in mind that I got my Wyndham points for a very low price. Back when I signed up for co-branded credit card, the annual fee of $69 came with 15,000 points upon renewal. Even if I end up spending 30,000 points per night, it means paying $138 for a beachfront one-bedroom condo in Hawaii. It’s not that bad of a price, all things considered.
Obviously, I would much rather pay $69, but this one is out of my control. Perhaps the properties I’m looking at will be spared the increase, though I doubt it. Either way, I’ll go on with my life as I always do. Hopefully, Wyndham does the right thing by giving a grace period so people can take advantage of the current pricing.
I’ve always said that hotel points are the most volatile type of currency in this hobby. If you choose to hoard them, you have to price in this volatility. Speaking of, Hyatt Cash+Points redemptions will pretty much be gutted, starting tomorrow. Hyatt program was “gracious” enough to give only a few days notice. What?!
Sure, the increases usually aren’t terrible but occasionally, they really sting. This one will fall in the latter category (if true). Developing…
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.