Just two weeks after its failed promo to attract SPG members away from Marriott, Wyndham Rewards is announcing a major expansion to its loyalty program in an effort to boost its membership numbers.
Starting today, Wyndham Rewards members can now choose to redeem their points at an additional 17,000 condos and homes that are part of the Wyndham Vacation Ownership and Wyndham Destination Network.
Previously, the loyalty program was limited to Wyndham Worldwide’s Hotel Group portfolio of 8,000 hotels. Now, there’s about 25,000 properties to chose from. This represents approximately 1/5 of Wyndham Worldwide’s total global portfolio of 120,000 places to stay.
Wyndham simplified its reward program back in April of last year to a 15,000 points flat rate. These new additions won’t change that structure, technically. Members can still redeem a free hotel night for 15,000 points and if they want to redeem for a condo or home, the rate is 15,000 points per bedroom, per night. So, a two-bedroom condo or home could be redeemed for a 30,000 points per night. That’s still a decent redemption considering that most likely you’ll have 3-4 guests if you’re looking for a 2 bedroom property. For now you can search these properties online but have to call to book. They plan to introduce these new options for online redemption mid-next year.
When the revamped program debuted, Wyndham Rewards had approximately 40 to 41 million members and now the program has 48 million. Back in May, Wyndham Rewards also rolled out elite status levels and improved benefits on reward stays.
The bad news is that or the moment, earning points is still limited to hotel stays only. By early summer of next year, Wyndham Rewards expects its members will be able to earn points on condo and home stays at the initial 17,000 homes and condos that have been added to its program. By the end of 2018, the company hopes to have full integration across most of Wyndham’s entire portfolio of timeshares, vacation rentals, and hotels.
The addition of homes and condos also gives Wyndham Rewards an advantage in attracting travelers who might otherwise be looking for home-like accommodations similar to Airbnb or HomeAway. It also offers more luxurious options to in a rewards program that is most known for value.
That value is the reason why Wyndham Rewards was named the top program in a survey conducted by IdeaWorks Company this month. Wyndham Rewards rolled out elite status levels and improved benefits on reward staysThat survey compared Wyndham Rewards to five other global hotel loyalty programs and found that Wyndham’s program gave customers an average reward payback of $13.60 for every $100 spent. By comparison, SPG’s payback was only $5.60 and Marriott Rewards’ was $9. Wyndham rewarded customers, on average, 146 percent more than SPG, which was ranked last.
Earlier this year, Wyndham Rewards was also ranked No. 1 in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of the best hotel loyalty programs, beating Marriott, which had previously been the top program since 2013, when the rankings were first released.