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The New Wyndham Rewards
About a month ago when Wyndham announced their new flat rate 15k per night redemption program, I was excited. At the time I compared Wyndham’s new program to Club Carlson and found that Club Carlson was winning on the low and middle tiers, while Wyndham won on the high-end.
Of course a few days after publishing that post, Club Carlson gutted their credit card by removing the Bonus Award Night. That change altered the math significantly. While the Club Carlson program still has more value on low and middle tiers, it is much closer. The big thing to look at though is the high-end. Wyndham is kicking butt!
Value of the New Program
With the ability to redeem 15k points for a hotel that used to cost as much as 50k, the new Wyndham program seems too good to be true. The main catch I think is that Wyndham has a ton of lower end brands like Super 8, Days Inn, Baymont & Howard Johnson. This means that those properties cost as much as their fancy resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico.
If you are reading this site then I know you wouldn’t ever redeem 15k points for a stay at a Super 8. Instead, lets look at the new Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature offer and what it means in terms of free hotel nights for you. Before I go any further, it is good.
Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Offer
In celebration of the launch of the new Wyndham Rewards, Barclay’s is offering a 45,000 bonus point sign-up offer for the co-branded Wyndham card. The offer is as follows:
- Earn 30,000 bonus points with first purchase. Plus, earn an additional 15,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.
- Earn 5 points per $1 spent on every participating hotel stay
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent everywhere else
- Earn 15,000 Bonus Points on your account anniversary every year
- $69 annual fee
So this works out to be 3 free nights at any Wyndham property for signing up and a free night every year. Keep in mind the $69 annual fee isn’t waived the first year, so your upfront cost in year 1 is $69 for 3 nights and then $69 for 1 night going forward.
I actually think this is a great offer if you are going to be staying in a high-end Wyndham property. The company has several all-inclusives and some nicer properties scattered across the globe. With that said, they also have a ton of lower end brands, so you want to make sure you have a redemption strategy before applying.
No Annual Fee Version
There is also a no annual fee version of the card. It comes with a 30,000 bonus and works as follows:
- Earn 15,000 bonus points with first purchase. Plus, earn an additional 15,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.
- Earn 3 points per $1 spent on every participating hotel stay
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent everywhere else NO ANNUAL FEE
If you find a decent property to redeem the 2 free nights from this card, then it could have one of the highest valued sign-up bonuses of any no annual fee card. I still think the normal card is a better value, since you get an extra night for the $69 annual fee.
Which Properties to Book?
As I mentioned before, a good use of Wyndham Rewards points seems to be their all-inclusive properties. I stayed at the Viva Wyndham Maya in Playa Del Carmen back in 2007 and really liked the property. (Although I know a lot could change between now and then.) Doctor of Credit has provided a nice write up about some of the better properties and redemptions.
Another way to find valuable properties is to look at the old award chart. The Wandering Aramean has collected a list of the hotels in each category from the old chart, so you can see which ones used to cost more. There are definitely some properties that are more than worth 15k points per night, meaning a savvy member can do quite well.
I really like Wyndham’s simple new one-tier rewards program and the accompanying credit card offers. With that said, the main issue with the cards are their issuer. Barclay’s has been known to crack down on churners and can be tough to get an approval from them. Either way, the regular version of this card and its 3 free nights are on my radar, but I still think the Arrival Plus (my review) is the best overall card from Barclay’s.