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Simplicity, Value Are Keys to Wyndham’s New Program

SmarterTravel

Wyndham has more than 7,500 hotels in its network, at all price points, in 70 countries. According to conventional marketing wisdom, that size and scope should put Wyndham’s loyalty program, Wyndham Rewards, among the industry’s top contenders, alongside the likes of Marriott Rewards, Hilton HHonors, and IHG Rewards.

But it’s not. For whatever reasons, Wyndham Rewards hasn’t gotten much traction with many travelers.

In apparent recognition of that underperformance, Wyndham has announced a revamp of the program, set to launch on May 11. The revised program stakes its claim to loyalty on simplicity and value, according to the company’s news release:

Tired of overly complicated hotel loyalty programs? Sick of never getting that free night stay you deserve? Get ready to join the new Wyndham Rewards: a re-imagined hotel loyalty program that’s simple to understand, easy to use, and that dollar for dollar, lets members earn more and redeem faster than any other program in the industry.

Here’s what’s new:

  • Earning – Members will earn 10 points per $1 or 1,000 points per stay, whichever is greater.
  • Redemption – Award nights at all network hotels will be priced at 15,000 points, or 3,000 points plus a cash co-pay.

The one-price-for-all-awards feature certainly delivers on the simplicity promise.

As far as value goes, the 15,000-point award pricing is a double-edged sword. Wyndham’s current award chart has free nights priced between 5,500 points and 50,000 points. Squeezing all hotels into that single 15,000-point tier will make for both good and bad deals. And what happens to award-night availability when most Rewards members elect to redeem their points at the priciest properties?

Under the new scheme, there is certainly the potential to derive more value from the program, by earning points at lower-priced properties and redeeming them at pricier hotels. If that potential can be realized in practice, Wyndham Rewards may finally earn a seat at the grownups table.

Reader Reality Check

Sound good?

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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