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.
What Is Wyndham?
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.
What Is Vacasa?
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
Earning Wyndham Rewards points is a simple process, and there are plenty of ways to do so.
Wyndham Rewards Credit Cards
Wyndham Rewards has 3 different options for co-branded credit cards, including 1 card for small businesses.
Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Card
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.
Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Card
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: 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.
Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Business Card
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.
Hot Tip: Learn more about the Wyndham Rewards loyalty program and how to get Wyndham Rewards elite status with our detailed guides!
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.
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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:
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:
Bottom Line: Earning Wyndham Rewards points is easy thanks to a variety of methods you can use. Whether you’re going through a shopping portal, getting a co-branded Wyndham Rewards credit card, or choose to transfer points over from a flexible point currency, building your balance isn’t difficult.
Redeeming Wyndham Rewards Points
Wyndham Rewards has a fairly simple rewards 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.
That being said, you can still redeem just 15,000 points per night for vacation rentals that would otherwise cost hundreds of dollars each night.
Why Should You Redeem Wyndham Rewards Points With Vacasa?
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 redemptions rates. However, things get truly decadent when considering redemptions using Vacasa.
We value Wyndham Rewards points at 0.9 cents each, which makes them pretty average when it comes to 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.
Because the Vacasa platform consists of vacation rentals rather than hotel rooms, you’ll often find some pretty expensive cash rates for your stays. Let’s consider this 1-bedroom property in South Lake Tahoe, California:
As you can see, a 3-night midweek stay in March will cost you $1,356.20. This is a 1-bedroom property, which means it’ll cost you just 15,000 points per night.
At this rate, you’ll redeem your Wyndham Rewards points at a rate of 3.01 cents each, more than triple our valuation! This property isn’t an outlier — these types of properties are common with Vacasa and major value can be had across the board.
Finding Vacasa Properties
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.
Bottom Line: Searching for Wyndham Rewards redemptions must be done via Vacasa’s website, but the search function is easy to use.
Booking Vacasa Properties With Your Wyndham Rewards Points
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 doing 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.
Step 1: Choose Your Dates and Location
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.
That’s right; 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.
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.
Bottom Line: Search features that allow you to view the calendar of dates, restrict property types, and include the number of guests ensure that you’ll be able to easily find a property to suit your needs.
Step 2: Contact Wyndham Rewards
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, recent reports have indicated that there is now 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.
Step 3: Transfer Points
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.
Step 4: Confirm Your Booking
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!
Tips for Vacasa Bookings
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:
- We mentioned above that varying levels of Wyndham Rewards credit cards will give you a 10% discount on award bookings. This means that as a cardholder, you’ll pay just 13,500 points per bedroom per night for your Vacasa stay.
- It’s possible to email Wyndham Rewards/Vacasa to search for award availability, but calling the dedicated line at 800-441-1034 makes this a much faster process. You can also easily go through a list of properties you’d like searched all at once.
- Flexibility is the most important rule here — either with your location or your travel dates.
- We value Capital One miles at 1.8 cents each and Citi ThankYou Points at 1.6 cents each. This means you’ll be better off transferring Citi ThankYou Points (with either a Citi Prestige® Card or Citi Premier card) to Wyndham Rewards rather than Capital One miles since you’ll receive the same 1 Wyndham Rewards point no matter which program you use.
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, Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Card, Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Business Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, and Citi Prestige® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.