Pre-posting update: Wyndham is trying to renege on the deal. A rep posted on FlyerTalk:
Sorry for the confusion everyone. To clarify there were 2 parts to this promotion.
First part were for members who were targeted through email and the dates for that part were August 6, 2012 to October 6, 2012 and completed by October 9, 2012.
Second part is for member’s who were targeted through direct mail. Dates for this part are 9/12/12 to 12/31/12 and completed by 1/3/13.
To qualify you need to have been sent the direct mailer and book through the link provided. If you were not sent the direct mailer and you book through the link you will not receive the points for the promotion.
The second part of this promotion is not an extension of the first so if you had received the email and had not completed your stay you are not able to take part in the second part of the promotion unless you had also received the direct mail offer.
Hope this clears up any confusion.
This is pretty ridiculous because the terms and conditions mentioned nothing about the offer being targeted.
C’est la vie. How do you protect yourself on this promotion and generally?
On this promotion, don’t make new bookings until your favorite blogger or FlyerTalk reports trickle in that points are posting for everyone. This promo runs through the end of the year, so there is time to see others’ experiences and decide whether you’ll get the bonus points for no-show bookings even if you you weren’t targeted.
On future promotions, if the deal is incredible but there are a number of moving parts, hold off for others’ reports of success. This Wyndham deal is reminiscent of the Taca LifeMiles portal deal from a few days ago. On that one, the T&C seemed pretty clear that you would get 250 points for each portal purchase no matter how small.
But I raised concerns that you wouldn’t because of a last-minute change or reinterpretation of the rules by Taca. On a deal as good as the Wyndham one, there were concerns too. Sure the T&C say that no shows will receive points. Sure the T&C say that any paid stay at one of the listed properties will earn bonus points. But I thought there was an elevated chance that Wyndham would change the rules. In fact, they seem to have simply added one–that you had to be targeted by snail mail.
But here’s where FlyerTalk comes in. In the next few days and weeks, reports will pour in about people’s experience getting the bonus or not. We can use that info to decide whether to jump in ourselves. And in the future, when you have a chance to be a guinea pig on a deal, keep the community strong by posting your results. In that way, we all benefit from the community.
The Original Post
Per this thread on FlyerTalk and Gary Leff, Wyndham Hotels is hosting a promotion where stays at select hotels earn 16,000 bonus points. The complete list of participating hotels can be found on the promotion landing page here. Stays must be booked between September 12th and December 31st and be completed no later than January 3rd, 2013.
This promotion requires no registration, and is good for up to three stays during the promo period. You can earn up to 48,000 bonus points after three stays.
Why is this a good deal?
Wyndham points can be earned very inexpensively and transferred to a host of airline frequent flyer programs. In conjunction with this promotion, the transfer rates to airline miles are very favorable. The complete list of Wyndham’s North American airline transfer partners is below.
As you can see, the list is pretty comprehensive and includes all the major legacy carriers. Wyndham points can be transferred to frequent flyer miles in 8,000, 17,500, and 30,000 point increments only. The transfer ratio stays consistent no matter the transfer amount–2.5 Wyndham points will always convert to 1 airline mile.
If you earn 16,000 bonus points on a qualifying stay, you can convert them into 6,400 airline miles in two 8,000 point increments. Looking at the Mile Value Leaderboard, you can see that I value US Airways miles at 1.95 cents per mile. 16,000 Wyndham points convert to 6,400 US Airways miles, worth about $125 to me. Getting that much return from a single hotel stay is pretty intriguing. Read on to see how this deal makes sense for anyone looking to boost their airline mile balance.
I looked at the list of participating hotels, and I live nowhere near any of them. Why should I bother?
Wyndham’s reward program is unique in that no-show stays actually earn points. I have direct experience with this, as I booked a room at a Knights Inn in rural Tennessee during the US Airways Grand Slam Promotion two years ago. In the comments section of the reservation, I politely explained that I would not be coming and wanted the points credited to my account. Several days after my stay was supposed to end, the points were properly credited to my account.
If you are skeptical, see the picture below taken from Wyndham’s own terms and conditions. No shows are specifically addressed as normal points earning activity.
There are no certainties that stays will be properly credited, but the probability is higher with Wyndham than with any other hotel chain. It might take a phone call to Wyndham directly (as reported by one FlyerTalker), but points should be credited to your account.
It might make sense to wait and see if no shows from others are posting before diving into this deal. I will monitor the FlyerTalk thread to see if some of the properties are cancelling no shows or not posting points.
With that in mind, it’s important to find participating properties where cheap one night stays are readily available.
Which hotels on the promotion list are the least expensive?
The terms and conditions of the promotion do not specify which rates are eligible, but published rates such as the Best Available and Advanced Purchase should qualify.
I actually found several participating Hawthorn Suites properties that were very cheap during the promotional period. I focused on dates around Thanksgiving when business travel grinds to a halt and many hotels are practically empty. Take a look at a few of the room rates I was able to pull up.
You earn 5 Wyndham points for every $1 on the room rate (excluding taxes) at Hawthorn Suites, so the $51 base rate translates to 255 points. At all other properties in the Wyndham collection, you earn 10 points per $1. By paying $57.41 for one night at the Hawthorn Suites in Salt Lake City, you will earn 16,000 bonus points along with 255 points for a total of 16,255 points.
Maximizing the deal and staying three times will cost $172.23 and earn a total of 48,765 Wyndham points. Those points convert to 19,200 United, American, Delta, or US Airways miles, and I bought them for .89 cents per mile! That’s an even better deal than the great US Airways share miles promotion I wrote about where miles could be purchased for 1.1 cents. This is clearly a deal worthy of your time even if you have no specific award redemption in mind.
Are there any ways to make this deal even more lucrative?
According to View from the Wing, Wyndham has another fall promotion where you can earn 5,500 points after your second stay between September 26 and November 26. Registration for this promotion is required and can be found here. The deals appear to be “stackable”–meaning you can get both bonuses for the same stay.
By registering, you could actually end up with 54,265 (765 base points + 48,000 from the big bonus + 5,500 from the small bonus) Wyndham points after completing your three stays. You would still get the same amount of airline miles–again, the minimum increment to transfer is 8,000–but you would have points remaining to use on gift cards or to work back to the 8,000 point threshold.
Wyndham points can only be transferred to miles in 8k, 17.5k and 30k increments. That means converting your points to miles is like one of those logic puzzles for kids where you need to fill a nine gallon jug and you only have six and five gallon jugs…
54,265 miles is best converted as one 30k conversion and three 8k conversions totaling 54k –> 21,600 miles. If you have 55.5k, do one of each 8k, 17.5k, and 30k conversions. You will end up with 22,200 airline miles.
Wyndham is offering 16,000 bonus points per stay at a select list of properties, some of which are very cheap. Wyndham gives points even on no-show stays, so there should be no problem booking a hotel night you’ll never use in another state.
Wyndham has a stackable promotion that awards 5,500 bonus points on your second qualifying stay. That means you can earn a total of 53,500 bonus points on three stays–the maximum number of stays on which you can earn the 16k bonus.
Wyndham points transfer at a 2.5:1 ratio to many major and minor airline miles. Add up all the details, and it means:
You can book three $50 hotel nights that you will not use. You can transfer the miles you earn to your favorite airline. Doing that, you’ve purchased miles for 0.8 cents each, which is less than half their value.
I will be maxing out this promotion. I’m thinking I’ll transfer to United, but I might choose American.