Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Wyndham Rewards 2019 Changes - Three redemption levels, La Quinta Returns integration and more

On February 19 we brought you the news of changes coming to the Wyndham Rewards program. That was in our daily update so it was only a quick overview and as promised here a more in-depth look at the changes that are coming this year.

The first change that is happening is the end of Wyndham Rewards only having one point level for free night awards across the board. Touted as a game changer when it first appeared nearly four years ago, you could redeem 15,000 points per night at any property in their portfolio. This of course meant there were locations like Super 8 Hotels where you would never want to use points since 15,000 points was too much for a sub $100 hotel night while you could use 15,000 points for redemptions are their top end locations in places like the Caribbean or vacation villas in Europe. Those provided some huge outsized value and my guess is that it is costing Wyndham way too much. I would theorize very few people were redeeming for the low end hotels and saving to redeem at the top end.

All of the flat rate pricing will come to an end on April 2nd. As of the 3rd of April there will be three levels, 7,500, 15,000 and 30,000 points. View from the Wing tells us about a third of the hotels will drop to 7,500 (that's a good thing) and about 200 hotels will jump to the 30,000 points (that's not good). So you can see that the changes are positive and negative - of course the negative probably outshines the positive since the best hotels will double in price overnight.

Cash+Points Rewards (GoFast Awards) are also changing to three levels of 1,500, 3,000 or 6,000 points + a cash portion.

There are also changes coming the points earning for Wyndham Rewards elite members. Currently Platinum and Diamond members receive 3,000 and 6,000 bonus points respectively on an annual basis. As of April 3rd the bonus will be a percentage of the base points earn rate and Gold members have been added to the mix:

Finally is the La Quinta Returns integration into Wyndham Rewards. You can transfer your La Quinta Returns points at any time but I would do this sooner than later as they will only give you half of your La Quinta points value after March 31! Right now the LQ Returns points transfer 1:1 but as of April 1 it will be 2:1.  If you have followed Rewards Canada for some time now you should have yourself a little balance of La Quinta Returns points, I personally have never stayed at a La Quinta Hotel but with tracking the program I have taken advantage of all the free points offers they have had over the years which gave me 3,900 points and I converted those to Wyndham Rewards just the other day and now have a 3,900 point balance with Wyndham. The transfer was instant even though it states that it can take up to 24 hours.

There is also mention on more ways to earn and redeem points coming to the program but details are are sparse right now and more should be revealed in April.

You can learn more about the Wyndham Rewards changes here.

Do you use Wyndham Rewards? What are you thoughts on these changes? Let us know in the comments below.

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