Wyndham Rewards: A Point Redemption Increase of Almost 282 Percent; No Notice?
FlyerTalk member DFW25FLYattempted to redeem 32,000 Wyndham Reward frequent guest loyalty program points earlier this week for two nights at the Wingate by Wyndham Manhattan Midtown located on West 35 Street in New York — a category 4 hotel property — only to find that the redemption cost is now actually 90,000 points for those two nights.
Even worse is that the apparent point redemption increase of 281.25 percent was not even officially announced by any representatives of Wyndham Rewards.
Perhaps that hotel property jumped from a Category 4 to a Category 7 hotel property, as shown on the following chart:
One Free Night at Tier 1** Hotel
One Free Night at Tier 2** Hotel
One Free Night at Tier 3** Hotel
One Free Night at Tier 4** Hotel
One Free Night at Tier 5** Hotel
One Free Night at Tier 6** Hotel
One Free Night at Tier 7** Hotel
** Tier level based on hotel location, occupancy and average daily rate.
I joined as a member of an earlier incarnation of the Wyndham Rewards frequent guest loyalty program years ago when I needed to stay at a Wyndham hotel property on business. I think the program was only known as Wyndham ByRequest back then, if I am not mistaken. This was before the program had a points system; rather, it offered members such amenities as free unlimited long distance calls anywhere in the United States, priority check-in, extra towels and pillows, and a welcome snack and drink.
Whoopee. Well, those amenities were better than nothing.
I stayed at each of the following hotel properties on business trips exactly once years ago — long before they joined the Wyndham Rewards frequent guest loyalty program back in 2008:
A Ramada Inn in Massachusetts which felt like a dark, creepy industrial dump with a stale, moldy odor
A Travelodge in Nevada which resembled one of those seedy motor inns which charge hourly rates
A Howard Johnson in Vermont which was long past its prime — but at least I received a couple of maple candies out of the stay
A Super 8 in Wyoming which was dumpy but had a miniscule amount of potential due to its attempt at a rustic atmosphere
A barely-decorated room at a Hawthorn Suites in Florida when it was still part of Hyatt Gold Passport, leaving me scratching my head as to how that hotel property was even accepted to be a part of Hyatt in the first place; and
The aforementioned Wyndham in Massachusetts, which was the only hotel property which was actually reasonably pleasant
Yes, I do realize that some of the aforementioned hotel properties was part of the Cendant TripRewards frequent guest loyalty program before Cendant purchased the rights in 2005 to manage Wyndham hotel properties and brand future hotels under the Wyndham name — but my experiences at those properties were so bad that I would not even consider joining what I considered a stepchild of a frequent guest loyalty program with an eclectic patchwork of mediocre lodging brands.
I just stayed for a weekend at a Wyndham property at the end of last summer. It was — well…fine, I suppose. The food in its restaurant was all right. The room was clean and decently appointed. I had a pleasant stay, but it was nothing special. I do recall that Wyndham hotel in Massachusetts being a little nicer, however.
With the apparent whopping increase in the redemption of Wyndham Rewards frequent guest loyalty program points — along with my memories of at least seven stays at what are now Wyndham Rewards frequent guest loyalty program hotel properties — I see no reason to go out of my way to stay at another one of those properties anytime soon.
For those of you who might feel the need to defend Wyndham Rewards, it may be true that those former Cendant hotel properties may have improved significantly — but as a member of the Hilton HHonors, Hyatt Gold Passport, Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, Priority Club Rewards and Club Carlson frequent guest loyalty programs, I have more than enough choices in where I want to stay around the world without Wyndham Rewards. I am not even counting the number of boutique hotel and independent hotel properties around the world at which I have stayed, such as at the Hotel Ai Mori d’Oriente in Venice back in 2004.
Apparently, FlyerTalk members back in 2009 thought that Wyndham Rewards was — please excuse the professional industry nomenclature — the “suckiest” frequent guest loyalty program ever, for a variety of reasons.
While the Wyndham Rewards frequent guest loyalty program claims to have greater than 6,000 hotel properties worldwide and greater than seven million members, it is certainly far from the most popular frequent guest loyalty program on FlyerTalk…
…and it is bound to be significantly less popular if these astronomical point redemption increases are confirmed.