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As some of you know, Wyndham program has announced that on February 11th they will implement award category changes. What will the changes be like? Nobody knows, but I can bet my tiny Wyndham stash they won’t be good. Well, unless you like to stay in the boondocks. Sure, going forward some properties will cost 7,500 points instead of 15,000. But you probably will not want to vacation in them.
In all fairness, Wyndham program has lost most of its luster last year when they doubled the points cost on their most desirable properties. The majority of folks have given up on it, and for a good reason.
I never really went out of my way to earn Wyndham points on everyday spending via its co-branded credit card. However, I held on to it since I’ve been able to collect 15,000 points for $69 annual fee, which translated to 0.46 cents per point (no longer available for new signups). Cheap as I may be, this seemed like a good deal despite the brutal devaluation of 2019.
But I may end up dumping the card once and for all, depending on what the changes will look like on February 11th. In the meantime I had 15,000 points in the account, which I wanted to use up. But where? Fortunately, a decent opportunity has presented itself: Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham West Palm Beach.
Is it a fancy resort? Nope. Is it in a prime beachfront location? Again, nope. But I was looking to reserve something in the area anyway and was planning on possibly going AirBnB route. But then it dawned on me. Why spend cash when I have these Wyndham points that might not be worth much in a few weeks? I was able to reserve a suite for 15,000 points, and there is a full breakfast included. Boom.
So, before you start planning new (expensive) trips, I recommend you take a look at your existing plans. Maybe save Hyatt points and burn your Wyndham stash instead. You can always cancel if you change your mind down the road. One thing I can guarantee with absolute certainty is that your Wyndham points will be worth less on February 11th.
For those of you rare species who don’t currently have any travel plans, and are looking for inspiration to maximize your existing Wyndham stash, here are a few suggestions. Keep in mind, I’m writing with a “family travel” angle in mind.
There are quite a few decent deals on Big Island, Kauai and Oahu. At the moment, all still cost 15,000 points per night, and I’ll bet you anything they will be on the chopping block. Keep in mind that 2-night minimum stay is required.
These are one-bedroom condos, so parents can have much needed privacy. Some properties have terrible availability, like Club Wyndham Waikiki Beach Walk
But if you can make the dates work and don’t mind staying in Waikiki, you’ll be making out like a bandit. At least where CPP is concerned.
Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy has a much better award availability, and the property looks really nice. I would not hesitate to stay there. Keep in mind that you can often use 6,000 points per night to book a two-bedroom condo at a fairly reasonable rate:
None of this is enough to tempt me to plan yet another trip to Hawaii this year. I would love to, but we will hopefully be stopping in Oahu for four nights on our way to Japan in a few months. And guess what? I’m actually paying cash for an apartment in low-key Kailua. I simply don’t like the idea of spending my precious Hawaii time in Waikiki, and no hot deal is enough to tempt me to stay somewhere I don’t like.
2) San Francisco
It’s no secret that San Francisco is an extremely expensive hotel market. Fortunately, Wyndham has a good presence here. While availability can be very spotty at some properties, it is possible to score a gem now and again. Here are just a few examples:
The last one isn’t as hot of a deal as the first two properties. Still, it’s worth considering since rooms have two king beds, and there is a mediocre breakfast included. Bottom line: if you are going to San Francisco in a near future and have Wyndham points sitting around, use them here.
3) Any popular US national park in the summer
I’ve written a detailed post on logistics of using hotel points near Yellowstone and Glacier. Those hotels cost $250+ per night during peak season. Here are just a few examples: Super 8 Jackson Hole , Super 8 Gardiner/Yellowstone
I haven’t stayed in either one personally, but reviews seem pretty good. And again, lodging is so expensive near Yellowstone during the summer, paying 15,000 soon-to-be-devalued Wyndham points seems like a bargain.
The above is by no means an exhaustive list, but just an inspiration to dig deeper in order to find those rare Wyndham gems. They do still exist, though probably not for long. As always, I don’t recommend sitting on a pile of hotel points, waiting for that perfect redemption. Go for “good enough” and you will never be disappointed.
Readers, where are you burning your Wyndham points?
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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.