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Even though Wyndham hotels may not seem as ubiquitous to travelers as Marriott and Hilton, its collection of properties is actually quite big, making it the largest hotel chain in the world.
The Wyndham Rewards loyalty program may not offer as many juicy sweet spots as other chains like Hyatt, but it's still possible to find value. If you just need a place to rest your head and don’t care about full-service luxuries, a Wyndham property can often be your best choice for a reasonable amount of points. Or, if you’re looking for a higher-end experience, you can also use your Wyndham Rewards at a small (but growing) number of boutique and resort properties.
Here’s what you need to know about optimizing the way you earn (and burn) your Wyndham Rewards.
With Wyndham Rewards, you have two options to redeem your points for award nights:
Go free: Free nights cost 7,500, 15,000 or 30,000 points per bedroom.
Go fast: A mixture of cash and points. You can get a discounted night for 1,500, 3,000 or 6,000 points per bedroom plus cash at participating properties.
You won’t have to worry about peak/off-peak pricing or costs changing dynamically, either. If you’re looking to book a specific property, you’ll know how many points you’ll need no matter the date (of course, that doesn’t guarantee an award room will be available).
» Learn more: Check out our complete guide to Wyndham Rewards
Use the desktop site for best search capabilities
Wyndham does have an app and it’s fine for basic searches. It’s worth downloading to use on-the-go and see an easy snapshot of your account.
But if you use the desktop site, you’ll unlock greater search potential. Go to the Wyndham homepage and click the "Locations" tab. From there, you’ll be able to filter by destination, brands, amenities and points.
The points filter can be helpful when searching for the best value. If you want to strictly look at the cheapest award options, you can filter out the properties that require more points. You can’t filter by points or destinations in the app, but you can see easy comparisons of cash rates compared with "go free" and "go fast" prices at a glance.
Find the sweet spots
As it stands to reason, most of the best Wyndham properties fall into the highest rewards level tier: 30,000 points for a free night or 6,000 points plus cash. There are some fantastic hotels that you can find at these price points. For example, at the historic and charming Mills House Wyndham Grand in Charleston, South Carolina, you can stay at a landmark building and enjoy a prime city location. Or check out the Cheyenne Mountain Resort Colorado Springs, Colorado, where you can enjoy rafting, hiking and sunbathing on the 35-acre private lake nestled in the mountains.
The good news is that there are plenty of solid properties in the 15,000-point level, too. Here are a few:
Costa Blu Beach Resort, Trademark Collection by Wyndham: This adults-only, all suites resort and spa in Belize is surrounded by Caribbean views.
Club Wyndham Midtown 45: This prime New York City location on the notoriously expensive island of Manhattan can go for 15,000 points per night for a one-bedroom apartment on certain dates. It’s hard to score, but 15,000 points could even get you the decked out "Elf" movie-themed suite during the holiday season.
Margaritaville Vacation Club by Wyndham — St. Thomas: Private beach, poolside tiki bar and spacious condos? Check, check and check. You’ll pay just 15,000 points per night for a one-bedroom suite in the stunning U.S. Virgin Islands.
Club Wyndham Park City: A ski-in, ski-out condo resort that has year-round outdoor activities in a beautiful setting in Utah. For 15,000 points, you'll get a one-bedroom deluxe room with a full kitchen and sleeper sofa.
Register for promotions
Wyndham often offers promotions that give you extra points for stays. The catch is that you have to actively register for the promotion or you won’t get the points.
You’ll earn an extra 5,500 points with a promotion that comes around periodically — Stay Twice, Earn a Free Night — when you have two separate stays during the promotional period. Those points, combined with what you’ll earn on the two stays, add up to enough for a free room at the lowest 7,500-point rate.
While it’s not a phenomenal promotion, if you already had Wyndham stays planned, this would be an easy way to rack up extra points. Don’t forget to read the terms and conditions and register for the promotion.
» Learn more: Your guide to earning bonus points with hotel promotions
Save money on gas
Remember to take advantage of Wyndham’s partnership with Marathon gas stations, too. Join Marathon’s free rewards program MakeItCount and you’ll get 40 cents off per gallon on your first fill-up. After that, you’ll earn 5 cents off per gallon, plus you’ll earn Wyndham points.
Just make sure you join MakeItCount by using the Wyndham link. You can find it when you’re on the Wyndham Rewards page on the "How to Earn" tab. Keep in mind that you won’t get great value for Wyndham points if you redeem them for gas fill-ups, so earn 'em on gas but burn 'em elsewhere.
Earn extra points, even when you don’t stay at Wyndham
There are a variety of ways to add even more Wyndham Rewards points to your account if you know where to look. Head to the "How to Earn" tab on the Wyndham Rewards page and you’ll find many handy links:
Earn bonus points for shopping online through the Wyndham shopping portal.
If you’re renting a car from Avis or Budget, add your Wyndham rewards number to your reservation and earn bonus points.
For a limited time, you can score 3,000 bonus Wyndham Rewards points when you sign up for a new DoorDash food delivery account and place your first order. Orders after that will earn an additional 500 bonus points.
» Learn more: The complete guide to Wyndham Rewards elite status
Avoid these redemptions
While there are several ways to earn extra Wyndham Rewards points, there are also several ways to use them besides redeeming for a reward night. For the most part, these point redemption options won’t give you great value.
NerdWallet values Wyndham points around 0.9 cent each. When you’re redeeming your points, try to get as close to that value as possible to make the best redemptions. Here are some options that should be avoided because the value is significantly lower:
Gift cards: It’s possible to cash in your Wyndham points for gift cards to a variety of stores and restaurants. But unless you really need to, don’t. You’ll get less than 0.4 cent per point this way.
Shopping: You could use your Wyndham Rewards to shop directly at many merchants or pay for subscription services like Amazon Prime. But again, don’t do it. You’ll only get around 0.3 cent per point.
Airline transfers: Wyndham partners with a sizable list of airlines like American, Hawaiian and United. You could transfer your Wyndham points to your airline account, but you’ll only get 1 airline mile per 5 Wyndham points. This could be a useful option in some cases if you really need the miles, but you’ll get a better transfer ratio if you have the option to transfer Marriott Bonvoy points instead.
The bottom line
Wyndham offerings are often outshined by flashier properties from other hotel chains. While its portfolio does skew toward more budget-friendly brands, there’s also a large variety of condos, boutique and resort properties that make for fantastic trips.
The Wyndham Rewards program is easy to navigate. While it’s not as easy to rack up lots of rewards as some other programs like Hilton, Wyndham points are worthwhile to have in your rewards portfolio.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card