Wyndham Rewards Program to Be Restructured — Yet Again: Devaluation

The Wyndham Rewards frequent guest loyalty program is being restructured yet again, with the changes to be implemented effective as of March 14, 2013.

I have to admit that the marketing of the changes of Wyndham Rewards frequent guest loyalty program has a significantly different spin than that of other frequent guest loyalty programs, with the amount of points required for some of the tiers appearing to actually be reduced, as shown:

Former Free Night Point Level Tier
6,000
10,000
14,000
15,000
16,000
20,000
25,000
30,000
35,000
40,000
New Free Night Point Level Tier
5,500
8,000
10,000
14,000
16,000
20,000
25,000
30,000
Not Applicable
Not Applicable
Difference in Wyndham Rewards Points
500 fewer points
2,000 fewer points
4,000 fewer points
1,000 fewer points
No change
No change
No change
No change
Not Applicable
Not Applicable

 

Looks great, right?

Not so fast: even though the claim is that “free nights just got faster” by “decreasing” the redemption amount of Wyndham Rewards frequent guest loyalty program points by 500 at the lowest level and by 15,000 at the highest level, the major unknown is the shift in tiers of individual hotel properties.

That unknown renders the chart shown above virtually useless.

Sure, the amount of Wyndham Rewards frequent guest loyalty program points will be reduced at some individual hotel properties to at least reflect the new lowest level — but how much do you want to bet that many properties which were formerly at the lowest tier will switch at least one higher tier?

Please accept my apologies for being skeptical, but am I the only one who translates the following…

“We are adding a new 8,000 point tier between 5,500 and 10,000 points so you can stay at hotels for FREE more quickly”

…to mean that at least some hotel properties which originally required a redemption of 6,000 Wyndham Rewards frequent guest loyalty program points for a free night will now instead require 8,000 Wyndham Rewards frequent guest loyalty program points?

Here is the vague official statement by Wyndham Rewards which could support that what I portend may indeed come true:

“Properties within the current point level may move into different point levels. This means that point levels for individual hotels may increase or decrease beginning March 14. You’ll be able to see the new point levels on March 14.”

If the suppositions which I posted above do indeed come true, then that adds insult to injury. It is bad enough to accept the devaluation of frequent guest loyalty program points, no matter how significant — but please do not insult my intelligence on top of the devaluation. I am not gullible and was not born yesterday — and neither are fellow FlyerTalk members, for the most part, as one FlyerTalk member implied that this restructuring as “sneaky.”

Frankly, I am really tired of frequent travel loyalty programs giving their marketing of devaluations more “spin” than a top on steroids — if that even makes any sense. Stop telling me how wonderful the changes are for me, as well as how these changes will “improve” and “enhance” the frequent travel loyalty program in my so-called “favor.”

Even worse, do not hide the details from me. Tell me what are the changes. I am a big boy. I can handle the bad news — but I want to know what is the bad news.

That Wyndham Rewards does not even give a clue as to which hotel properties will change point level tiers is suspect at best — especially when point redemption rates change significantly without notice, as what happened last month when one hotel property in New York required a redemption of 45,000 Wyndham Rewards frequent guest loyalty program points per night.

That amounted to an increase of almost 282 percent over the former redemption rate of 16,000 Wyndham Rewards frequent guest loyalty program points per night — but oh lookie lookie: now that the cap on any hotel property is 30,000 Wyndham Rewards frequent guest loyalty program points per night, you will now save 15,000 Wyndham Rewards frequent guest loyalty program points per night on the aforementioned hotel property in New York.

What a deal.

Perhaps I am wrong. Maybe I will be pleasantly surprised when further details about the restructuring of the Wyndham Rewards frequent guest loyalty program are announced…

…and maybe award tickets for flights on airplanes will be absolutely free and incredibly easy for which to redeem frequent flier loyalty program miles; fuel prices will be 69 cents per gallon once again, and cruise ships will start departing from the ports of Las Vegas.

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Comments (Showing 3 of 3)

  • BigRedBears at 9:52am February 20, 2013

    Is it possible to sue FF programs for deceptive advertising or on some other grounds?

  • Wyndham Rewards at 12:24pm February 22, 2013

    Hello,
    We appreciate your sharing your concerns with us. One of our goals this year is to make free nights faster by creating a new 5,500 point tier which is the lowest spend required for a free night across loyalty programs. We have also eliminated our two highest tiers (35,000 and 45,000) so fewer points are required for our more expensive hotels. Similar to other hotel programs, the points required are adjusted periodically for individual hotels based on average daily rates which fluctuate over time, which means there are hotels that may increase in point level. We wanted to provide advance notice to our members about the changes in case they are planning to make a free night reservation in the next several weeks. As noted on our website, points needed for a free night are based on the hotel’s tier at the time of reservation and may be different at the time of the stay. If a point adjustment is needed, our Member Services Center would be happy to help after the stay is completed. We hope this helps to clarify.
    Thank you,
    Wyndham Rewards

  • Wyndham Rewards 2 at 1:38pm March 01, 2013

    In response to the feedback that you requested a list of hotels that are changing categories beginning March 14, 2013, we have posted a chart at https://www.wyndhamrewards.com/trec/consumer/special.action?partner=fnstiers&variant= . While we have a large number of properties changing categories, we have not made overall changes to our hotels in more than 3 years. Now that hotel prices are changing in many markets, we are making some adjustments. Note that we strive to make free nights as accessible as possible for our members so we are lowering our first tier hotels from 6,000 to 5,500 points, lower than our major competitors. We are also eliminating our top two tiers of 35,000 and 45,000 to make our higher-end hotels more affordable.

    If any of our members have made free night reservations for March 14 and after at a hotel that is moving to a lower tier, we would be happy to adjust the points after your stay if you contact Member Services at 1.866.996.7937. If the hotel you are thinking about is moving up in points, we suggest you make your free night reservation prior to March 13 to ensure the current point pricing.

    As always, thanks for your feedback.

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