Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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Wyndham is one of the largest hotel chains in the world, but odds are you haven’t heard much about it in the realm of award travel. Why’s that? Aside from its lack of aspirational hotels, finding value with Wyndham Rewards points can be difficult.
But a recent partnership with vacation rental platform Vacasa has morphed those relatively unknown Wyndham Rewards points into something extraordinary. Let’s take a look.
First things first: what is Wyndham? Wyndham is a massive chain featuring more than 9,000 properties. With brands including Days Inn, Microtel by Wyndham, and Baymont by Wyndham, odds are you’ve seen a Wyndham or two in your time.
Along with the ability to redeem your Wyndham Rewards points at any one of its properties, you can also take advantage of the chain’s partnership with Vacasa to book full-sized vacation homes.
Similar to platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO, Vacasa offers vacation rentals. These run the gamut from tiny condos in Miami to winter ski lodges in Aspen. You can find vacation properties in much of North America, including most U.S. states, Canada, and Mexico.
Vacasa also features properties in Belize and Costa Rica, all of which can be booked using Wyndham Rewards points.
Earning Wyndham Rewards points is a simple process, and there are plenty of ways to do so.
Wyndham Rewards has 3 different options for co-branded credit cards, including 1 card for small businesses.
The base Wyndham Rewards card, the Wyndham Rewards Earner card, has no annual fee and awards you 5 points per $1 spent at Wyndham and gas stations. You’ll also earn 2 points per $1 spent on restaurant and grocery stores, and 1 point per $1 spent elsewhere.
Along with these multipliers, you’ll be able to earn a welcome bonus after meeting a minimum spend threshold: 30,000 points after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of card ownership.
The card offers automatic Wyndham Rewards Gold elite status and a 7,500-point anniversary bonus if you’ve spent $15,000 on your card. Finally, you’ll be able to redeem points for rewards with a 10% discount.
The higher-end consumer option, the Wyndham Rewards Earner+ card, will run you $95 per year. In return, you’ll get 6 points per $1 spent on Wyndham hotel and gas stations, as well as 4 points per $1 on dining and grocery stores. All other purchases earn 1 point per $1.
Like its little brother, the Wyndham Rewards Earner+ card offers a sign-up bonus of 45,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of card ownership.
As a cardholder, you’ll receive complimentary Wyndham Rewards Platinum elite status, as well as a 7,500-point anniversary bonus when you renew. This card is also eligible for a 10% discount on reward redemptions.
The most lucrative of Wyndham Rewards’ cards, the Wyndham Rewards Earner Business card will still cost you just $95 per year. However, it’ll earn you the most points possible for your credit card spending. In addition to 8 points per $1 spent at Wyndham and gas stations, you’ll earn 5 points per $1 on marketing, advertising, and utilities. Other purchases will get you 1 point per $1.
The Wyndham Rewards Earner Business card comes with a welcome offer of 45,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days.
This card also features the most benefits of any of Wyndham Rewards’ cards, including complimentary top-tier Wyndham Rewards Diamond elite status, which entitles you to benefits such as suite upgrades and early check-in.
In addition to elite status, you’ll receive 15,000 bonus points each year that you renew. Like the others, you’ll receive a 10% discount on award bookings while you hold the card.
As should seem obvious, hotel stays at Wyndham will earn you points. You’ll earn different amounts of points on your stays depending on your elite status; higher levels receive increased bonuses.
|Points per $1||Member Level|
In addition to these earnings, you can take advantage of frequent promotions to stack your bonuses and maximize your earnings.
We always recommend using a shopping portal when online shopping, and this is no exception. If you’re looking to boost your balance, Wyndham Rewards has a robust shopping portal that’ll offer you rewards for every dollar you spend. It’s easy to use; you’ll simply navigate to Wyndham Rewards’ shopping portal, search for the retailer where you’re making a purchase, and then click through. Wyndham Rewards will track your purchase and award you points according to the bonus offered. Best of all, this service is free!
Buying points isn’t always a good idea, but it can be worth it to do so in high-value situations, such as these Vacasa redemptions. Wyndham Rewards typically sells its points for 1.3 cents each, though it will occasionally offer discounts or bonuses. Keep in mind that you can only purchase a maximum of 45,000 Wyndham Rewards points each year.
If you don’t want to acquire a Wyndham Rewards credit card, you can instead opt for a card with points that transfer to Wyndham Rewards. There are plenty of benefits to using a flexible points currency card; these points can be redeemed across a variety of programs and tend to hold more value compared to other points.
Wyndham Rewards has 2 credit card transfer partners: Capital One and Citi. And thanks to a reciprocal partnership with Caesars Rewards, you can also choose to transfer your Caesars Rewards credits over to Wyndham Rewards at a 1:1 ratio, though you’ll need at least 10,000 credits to do so.
Hot Tip: Wyndham Rewards and Caesars Rewards will match each other’s elite status, which means being a Wyndham Rewards Diamond member will make you a Caesars Diamond member, too!
Capital One miles transfer to Wyndham Rewards at a 1:1 ratio. Here are a few of our recommended Capital One cards:
The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the premium Capital One travel rewards card on the block.
Points and miles fans will be surprised to see that the Capital One Venture X card packs quite the punch when it comes to bookings made through Capital One, all while offering the lowest annual fee among premium credit cards.
Depending on your travel goals and preferences, the Capital One Venture X card could very well end up being your go-to card in your wallet.
Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the most popular rewards cards on the market. It’s perfect for anyone in search of a great welcome offer, high rewards rates, and flexible redemption options.
Frequent travelers with excellent credit may benefit from this credit card that offers a lot of bells and whistles. And it offers easy-to-understand rewards earning and redemption.
The card offers unlimited miles at 1.25x per $1 and no annual fee. When you consider the flexible rewards, frequent travelers come out on top.
Interested in a travel rewards credit card without one of those pesky annual fees? Then say hello to the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, the no-annual-fee version of the more popular Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
In addition to no annual fee, the Capital One VentureOne card offers no foreign transaction fees.
But is this card worth its salt, or is it merely a shell of the more popular Capital One Venture card?
Citi ThankYou Points also transfer to Wyndham Rewards, though the rate you’ll receive will vary based on which card you hold. You’ll either transfer at a 1:1 ratio or a 1:0.8 ratio. Here are a few of our recommended Citi cards:
Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.
The Citi Premier® Card is an excellent option for anyone looking for an all-around travel rewards credit card. The card helps you earn points fast with great 3x bonus categories such as restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotels. Plus, it offers access to airline and hotel transfer partners, doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and has a reasonable annual fee!
This no annual fee card rewards cardholders for everyday purchases. Earn bonus points at supermarkets and gas stations, plus your points are rounded up on every purchase.
Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!
The Citi Double Cash® Card has long been one of the top cash-back credit cards on the market, and the card now has the ability to earn Citi ThankYou Points!
This means that cardholders of the Double Cash card will now earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou Points. This means each billing cycle, you will earn 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on purchases and an additional ThankYou point for every $1 paid on your purchase balance as long as there is a corresponding balance in your Purchase Tracker.
Citi has turned the Double Cash card into a top choice for those who are looking for an everyday, no-fuss credit card.
Earn big on purchases in your top eligible spend category, up to the first $500 each billing cycle, with no annual fee!
The Citi Custom Cash® Card is inventive when it comes to cash-back credit cards. Instead of earning a set amount of cash-back on predetermined bonus categories, the Citi Custom Cash card earns 5% cash-back on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle, without an annual fee.
Thanks to that unique perk, you’ll never need to worry about whether you’re using the right card for the right purchase, as your Citi Custom Cash card will always pay you 5% back on whichever category you end up spending the most on each month.
Wyndham Rewards has a fairly simple reward structure. Unlike competitors such as Hilton Honors and IHG Rewards, Wyndham maintains a fixed award chart with only 3 levels: 7,500, 15,000, or 30,000 points per night. This applies to all of Wyndham’s hotels, though rates may vary when it comes to partners and timeshare properties.
Hot Tip: Wyndham Rewards also has a points + cash redemption option that allows you to redeem as few as 3,500 points per night for awards.
When it comes to Vacasa, Wyndham Rewards has an even simpler rule: your booking will cost 15,000 points per bedroom per night. This is a nice, middle-of-the-road redemption, but rates can certainly get expensive when booking properties with multiple bedrooms. This rate is available for properties that cost an average of up to $350 per bedroom per night.
Depending on where you stay, it’s possible to get pretty decent value out of Wyndham Rewards points. This is true with all of Wyndham Rewards’ standard redemption rates. However, things get truly decadent when considering redemptions using Vacasa.
We value Wyndham Rewards points at 0.9 cents each, making them pretty average regarding rewards points. When you redeem your points, you’ll want to aim to receive at least 0.9 cents of value out of each point — any more than that makes it a great value, and any less means you may want to consider using cash instead.
Since you can book a 1-bedroom property that costs up to $350 per night, your value using Wyndham points for Vacasa vacation rentals tops out at 2.3 cents per point — more than double what they are typically worth.
Now that we’ve gotten the basics out of the way let’s get into finding the Vacasa properties where you’d like to stay. You won’t find any of these properties on Wyndham’s website. Instead, you’ll need to head over to Vacasa’s site to begin your search.
On Vacasa, you’ll see the search bar where you put in your information, such as location and dates of travel:
After you’ve entered everything, you can complete your search. Vacasa will then bring back a page of results for you, featuring all available properties for your dates, as well as an interactive map:
From here, you can select the property you’d like. Rates for homes will vary by demand; it’s possible to see fluctuations of hundreds of dollars depending on when you’re booking.
The search function for Vacasa is pretty robust — we’ll get to that down below, including searching with flexible dates, maximizing space, and filtering out expensive properties.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to book a Vacasa property with your points as with other programs. Unlike other redemptions, Vacasa bookings must be made by phone. And worse, properties are subject to blackout dates, but you cannot see these blackout dates when conducting your online search.
To have the best chance of success when booking with Vacasa, you’ll want to have as much flexibility as possible. This isn’t just regarding dates — though that’s always a good idea when making award bookings — but with properties. Since blackout dates aren’t universal, one property may be blacked out while another is available.
Let’s go through a sample situation here, including the step-by-step breakdown for making a Vacasa booking.
We detailed above how to complete a search for Vacasa properties, so you already know how to use the website and find homes. But there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind when looking at rentals.
The going rate for rentals is 15,000 points per bedroom per night. At some homes, this may mean that the maximum acceptable amount of travelers is just 2. But at others — usually those featuring nice, spacious lofts — you can squeeze in up to 8 people.
You can book a vacation rental that will sleep 8 folks for just 15,000 points a night. Will it be cozy? Maybe, depending on the size of the property. But for families or other larger groups of travelers, you won’t find a cheaper booking anywhere. Ever.
It’s easy to filter out these properties in your search. First, you’ll want to adjust the number of guests that you have:
This will bring back information on all the properties that can accommodate your group. However, this can include all 1, 2, and 3+ bedroom rentals as well. In order to limit your search down to vacation homes going for that 15,000 point per night rate, you’ll want to navigate to the filter section:
By filtering out any properties with more than 1 bedroom, you can guarantee you’re just seeing the 15,000-point rentals (as long as they cost $350 per night on average).
How does a beachfront treehouse in Costa Rica sound?
As you can see in the screenshot above, this property can sleep up to 8 folks thanks to its large second-floor loft. Still, because of its designation, it’ll only cost you those same 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points.
Since we can’t see the blackout dates for this property, we’ll want to be as flexible as possible when it comes to dates. You can search using flexible dates via the search toolbar:
Doing so will bring up search results indicating all dates of availability during your range:
On the flip side, if you’re not committed to any single vacation rental (or your search brings up multiple options), keep all of these on hand so you can inquire about availability in one go.
Different locations will have different quantities of rentals. If you’re more married to the idea of traveling and less of where you want to go, searching out spots with a high concentration of rentals will net you the best chance of success.
Once you’re armed with your rental properties and dates of travel, you’ll need to call Wyndham Rewards directly at 866-996-7937. You’ll then be transferred over to a representative who can check your dates and assist with booking.
However, there’s actually a dedicated phone line specifically for Vacasa bookings — 800-441-1034 — which should be your first line of attack before resorting to Wyndham Rewards’ offered number (if only to lessen the number of transfers you’ll endure).
During your phone call, you’ll provide all your information to the agent. They can see blackout dates on their system and will be able to tell you if the property you like has availability.
Note that as Vacasa bookings aren’t extremely popular, some agents may incorrectly tell you that these rentals can’t be booked. In this case, the use of HUCA (hang up, call again) is in order until you find someone with more knowledge on the subject.
Because you can’t know if a property is blocked out or not until you’re actually on the phone with Wyndham Rewards, it’s a good idea to hold off on transferring points until you’ve confirmed availability. If you don’t already have the points in your account, wait to move them over.
Because Capital One and Citi both transfer over to Wyndham Rewards instantly, you can do so while you’re on the phone with the agent.
Once you’ve found the availability and transferred over your points, you’ll want to hang on the line with the agent until the booking has been confirmed. After this — enjoy the stay!
We’ve shown you the step-by-step method of completing a Vacasa booking using your Wyndham Rewards points, but here are a few tips to help make that process both easier and cheaper:
There’s no doubt that the Wyndham Rewards program is a lesser-known beast in the award travel world. However, skipping over Vacasa vacation rentals via Wyndham Rewards is a mistake — these properties, located throughout North America and other select countries — can provide you with immense value for your points. Even better, earning Wyndham Rewards points is easy with co-branded credit cards and both Citi and Capital One as transfer partners.
The information regarding the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information for the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Although property owners may list their homes on multiple platforms, including Vacasa, VRBO, and Airbnb, Vacasa is the only program with which you can redeem Wyndham Rewards points.
Vacasa is a vacation rental platform similar to competitors such as VRBO and Airbnb. However, it focuses exclusively on North America, Costa Rica, and Belize.
Airbnb relies on a peer-to-peer model that connects homeowners with potential guests. Vacasa, meanwhile, brands itself as a full-service vacation rental management company.
Vacasa manages more than 30,000 vacation rentals in its portfolio.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.