Last year Wyndham launched a revamped loyalty program that scrapped its previous award tiers and replaced them with a flat rate for award nights. This means both the Super 8 down the road and the Shelbourne Wyndham Grand in Miami require the same number of points: 15,000. This single change made the Wyndham Rewards program more attractive, not to mention that Wyndham was running credit card offers in 2015 with a sign-up bonus of 45,000 points. This combination could make for an great 3-night getaway for a only a $69 credit card fee!
Now they have taken the revitalization of the program even further by launching a new elite tier system. The tier bonuses (at least on paper) are decent. Among the different tier benefits are room upgrades, late check out, early check in, annual bonus points, a welcome amenity, and more. You can find all the details here. Also, check out Gary Leff’s fantastic rundown on the new program.
The way things are heading, Wyndham may quickly become one of the more lucrative hotel loyalty programs around. They already have great appeal to the budget traveler, consisting mostly of low and mid-tier brands. If they could add a couple more brands of luxury hotels into their portfolio that have global coverage, they could easily become one of the dominant names in the hotel game. I had been considering letting go of my Wyndham Rewards Visa that I used for a stay a The Mining Exchange this month, but I may reconsider that decision in light of the changes.
One of the most unique offerings of the program are its rollover nights. A lot of programs let you roll over nights toward the next year, but I can’t think of a single one that lets you do this at the base level. Assume you stay 4 nights this year. Because you didn’t reach Gold status this year, all four nights will roll over to next year’s qualification, which means you only need one more night to hit Gold in 2017!
Overall, I think the new program is very generous, with both Gold and Platinum levels offering good perks while requiring a fairly small number of nights. As a program, it easily matches or beats the general perks offered by IHG, and even the lower levels of the Hilton and Marriott programs, in my opinion. This may be a comparison of apples to oranges since I am making this determination of the ‘on paper’ perks, and not taking into consideration the general quality of the chain. Being given an upgrade to a ‘Preferred Room’ at a Ramada may not really be much of anything. Then again, if used at a Wyndham Grand, it might be quite nice. And the real magic is that this benefit kicks in at Gold level, which requires only 5 nights!