Back in the fall of 2018 Wyndham Rewards launched an elite status match offer to elite members of competing hotel chains. Earlier this year Rewards Canada’s contributing road warrior Bill W decided to try the status match and it’s accompanying challenge to keep that status. Seeing that Bill stays at hotels in many small towns across the prairies this status match made sense for him since Wyndham does have a large small town presence. Below, Bill details for us this challenge and compares earning status with the three hotel chains who have the biggest presence in the Canadian prairies.
You can find this offer listed on our Wyndham Rewards bonus offers page as well as on our blog and of course the popular post on getting elite status with ten hotel reward programs, one airline and one cruise program with The Platinum Card from American Express.
Like many other Rewards Programs, Wyndham Rewards has a status match program. They will match your status at other hotel chains* to the status that they think is appropriate for their program. If you are top tier in another program, the chances are good that they will match you at their top tier. However, if you are at a level lower than top tier, you may be matched to a different level that may or may not be comparable to the status you have achieved in the other program. As an example, lets compare the Wyndham Program versus the Best Western Rewards Program.
Both programs have the same name for their levels, but different qualifiers. For Wyndham, the only qualifier is nights stayed. Best Western has additional qualifiers which are number of stays or points earned.
There is not a direct correlation between the programs in requirements for level advancement. (For simplification purposes, I will just concentrate on the nights needed). With Wyndham, you will move up to Gold with just 5 nights, but Best Western requires 10 nights. Both programs are the same to move up to Platinum with 15 nights required. Based on these numbers, Wyndham rewards you with a level increase earlier than Best Western. But to move to the next level (Diamond), Best Western will move you after 30 nights whereas Wyndham requires 40 nights. Based on this, it would be best for you to try to predict how many hotel nights you may need in a year and tailor your preferred choice of program to that brand. That being said, it would also be prudent to check on the availability of each brand in the cities you will be staying in. This would not be an issue in major urban areas but could be a factor in smaller communities.
The base level for both programs which you get just for joining is Blue.
For another example, let’s compare Wyndham to Holiday Inn (IHG). In this example, the qualifiers for Wyndham are much less than for IHG. To reach top tier on Wyndham (Diamond), you need 40 nights whereas the top tier with IHG (Spire) requires 75 nights.
IHG does have another level, Ambassador, but this is primarily for the Intercontinental brand and is obtained by paying a $200 USD fee. However, when you join Ambassador Club, you will automatically be granted Platinum level in the IHG Rewards program. Considering it takes 40 nights to achieve Platinum level in the IHG Reward Program (which would be over $4K in spend), this could be the best way to obtain a higher level in a rewards program and enjoy the added perks immediately. You can learn about Intercontinental benefits here.
I did take advantage of the status match program with Wyndham Rewards. I was matched to Diamond status with Wyndham (I have Diamond Select Status with Best Western). Wyndham does have a qualifier for any Status match. To keep my new Diamond status, I was required to stay 14 nights in the 90 days immediately following the match. I was able to accomplish this and have now kept my Diamond level status until December 31st, 2020.
Wyndham also has rollover nights for travellers who have accumulated enough nights for one level, but not enough for the next one. (i.e. have earned 25 nights which is enough for Gold, but not enough for Platinum. This means that the nights over and above the Gold qualifier (in this case 10), will be carried over into the next year). For myself, this should mean that any nights I stay for the rest of the year will assist me in next years qualifications. This gives me a reasonably good chance of starting the year already qualified for Gold. By requesting the status match early in the year (February), I will now have 23 months of Diamond benefits that I can utilize. Without the status match, I would have most likely only re-qualified for Gold for 2020.
As with any program, it is best to try to stick to one brand, but with the status match you can enjoy perks as several brands without having to meet all the stay requirements. In summary, status match can be a very good way to achieve a higher status and therefore a higher level of comfort when you stay at your preferred hotels.
You don’t have to be a road warrior like Bill to get in on status match offers like these. You can get them by getting yourself one travel rewards charge card, The American Express Platinum Card. To see how, read our post Get elite status with ten hotel reward programs, one airline and one cruise program with The Platinum Card from American Express.
*Available status match programs from the Wyndham website: Best Western, Choice Privileges, Hilton Honors, Hyatt, InterContinental Group (IHG), Marriott Rewards, Omni Select Guest, Radisson Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG). [It appears that this list has not been updated to reflect the changes to the Marriott/Starwood programs.]