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As the world’s largest hotel brand, every one of Wyndham’s nearly 9,000 hotels once required 15,000 points to receive a free night. This meant you could book a low-category property for the same price as a high-category hotel, without any rhyme or reason.
That was so 2018.
This year, Wyndham’s awards program got an update. Now Wyndham Rewards features a three-tiered system that provides cheaper free nights and makes you really work to earn Wyndham’s most coveted properties.
How many points are needed for a free night?
Wyndham’s three-tiered award chart is simple. A free night at a participating hotel requires the following number of points:
With the new tiered structure, Wyndham moved about a third of its properties — just over 2,400 — to 7,500 points per night. Top-tier hotels, of course, are those that are most sought after, including most of the all-inclusive Viva properties.
Wyndham brands include:
Point requirements vary by property and location. Do your homework to find the best location and deal.
You can also book Wyndham condos for 15,000 or 30,000 points per bedroom.
If you don’t have enough points for a stay, you can turn to Wyndham’s go fast awards, which combines points with cash:
Bottom tier: 1,500 points plus cash
Middle tier: 3,000 points plus cash
Top tier: 6,000 points plus cash
How much cash you will need depends on the property and cash rate. For example, on the same dates the La Quinta Anaheim requires $83.30 and 6,000 points while the La Quinta Santa Barbara requires $113.30 for the cash portion.
You can also use your awards at Caesars Entertainment resorts in cities like Atlantic City and Las Vegas. These properties include Harrah’s, Bally’s, Planet Hollywood and more.
» Learn more: Wyndham launches new benefits for rewards members
How many Wyndham points will I earn on hotel stays?
Wyndham Rewards members earn 10 points per $1 spent or 1,000 bonus points (whichever is more) at participating Wyndham properties.
Need more points? Loyalty is rewarded
Wyndham elite members earn upwards of 20% bonus points on paid stays:
Gold earns an additional 10% bonus points.
Platinum earns an additional 15% bonus points.
Diamond earns an additional 20% bonus points.
Gold and Platinum members may request a preferred room and late check-out, which is granted based on availability. Diamond members qualify for space-available suite upgrades, a welcome amenity and the ability to gift Gold status to a friend or family member.
Earn more points with the Wyndham credit cards
There are two options for the Wyndham Rewards® Visa® With No Annual Fee, with sign-up bonuses that can earn you up to four free nights, depending on the tier you choose.
The Wyndham Rewards® Visa® With No Annual Fee with no annual fee comes with a bonus after your first purchase and instant Gold status. With this option, you’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent at eligible Wyndham hotels and 2 points per $1 spent on gas, utilities and groceries (excluding Target and Walmart). All other purchases earn 1 point for every $1 spent.
The Wyndham Rewards® Visa® With No Annual Fee version with an annual fee offers another bonus after you meet certain spending requirements, and also gets you Wyndham Platinum status. This card earns 5 points per $1 spent at Wyndham hotels and the same bonuses in the other spending categories. It also comes with 6,000 bonus points every card anniversary.
» Learn more: The best hotel credit cards
How else can you use Wyndham points? Let us count the ways
Being a Wyndham Rewards member means you may also redeem points toward travel in other ways. For example, you can convert Wyndham points to American Airlines miles at the following rates:
6,000 Wyndham Rewards = 1,200 AAdvantage miles.
16,000 points = 3,200 miles.
30,000 points = 6,000 miles.
You can also transfer your points to Amtrak:
6,000 Wyndham points = 1,200 Amtrak Guest Rewards points.
16,000 Wyndham points = 3,200 Amtrak Guest Rewards points.
30,000 Wyndham points = 6,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards points.
Wyndham also allows you to earn and redeem points for experiences. You can book everything from food tours to outdoor excursions and more. Some cheap activities include NYC Central Park Bike Rentals for $8 or 2,335 points and a Statue of Liberty Cruise for $17 or 4,855 points.
The bottom line
Compared to many other loyalty awards, Wyndham Rewards provides a lot of value. Between the award redemption and earning rates, investing in Wyndham Rewards can certainly be worth it.
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