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Last week I received an email from Wyndham hotels letting me know of a new promotion – stay at a participating hotel and receive 16,000 points after your first stay. Pretty good promotion in my opinion and goes through October 6th. However, I looked at the list and saw that only 20 hotels were participating and none of them were even close to where I lived or a location where I am visiting. Good promotion for a select few, but for the mass majority it is a flop.
I was then reading a blog today which reminded me that Wyndham is one of the few hotel chains that gives points on no show hotels (read between the lines here…). While Wyndham Hotels are typically not a chain I stay at, I am very familiar with their generous transfer rate to Southwest points – 8,000 Wyndham points = 2,400 Southwest points. With this 16,000 point bonus, those points can be transferred to 4,800 Southwest points. 4,800 Southwest points is worth a fixed $80 in airfare. I found a one night hotel stay at a participating Wyndham hotel for as cheap as $61.32 including taxes.
So with each hotel stay, assuming this low fare, you can actually make $18.68 to use on Southwest airfare. While this actually might be more effort than it is worth to some, the huge perk is that when you transfer your hotel points to Southwest points, those points are included in the amount needed to earn a companion pass. So if you are a few points shy this is a great way to top off the account. And since you can take advantage of this Wyndham promotion a total of 3 times, you can actually get a total of 14,400 points transferred over.
So if you maximize this promotion you can “stay” at three hotels for a total of $183.96 and earn48,000 points. Those points then equal 14,400 Southwest points or $240. As long as you are a Southwest flier, this is a win-win situation. You are essentially pre-buying Southwest points with a 31% bonus while helping your companion pass status balance! If you already have the companion pass this year, you can wait till next year to make the transfer, but just know the risk that programs can change.
Now, if you are not a Southwest flier, blogger Travel by Points, reminds us that with some of the other airline partners, they actually transfer at 2.5 to 1, allowing you to essentially take advantage of this promotion and purchase points for slightly less than a penny a point. If you typically redeem at about 1 cent/point then this promotion is not for you (and we need to have a conversation about your strategy!), but if you redeem for much more then this could be a great way to top off an account for that award you are looking to redeem. You can see all of Wyndham’s mileage partners here.
Or, if you actually have a reason to stay at these hotels, you can actually have these three stays for free! There is a current promotion where you’ll get 4x points starting with your 2nd stay – this promotion expires September 13th and you must register. You can actually opt to earn 4x miles instead, which is great, but I am not sure if you have to be earning points to receive the 16,000 bonus point promotion. With the base points and bonus points, the three hotel stays will earn you at least 50,000 points. Those 50,000 points can then be redeemed for $200 in a variety of gift cards! If you get a cheap rate, you’ll be paying at most $200 total for the three stays!
Some things to keep in mind:
- Some hotels will cancel your reservation if you do not show up, thus you will not receive the points.
- It is unclear whether or not this is a targeted offer, my gut feeling says no as the link is publicly available, but T&C in the email might suggest otherwise – the title of the email is “Your point balance, member offers & Summer Rewards” and the terms state “click through the email and book a stay.”
- There are times when some airlines offer promotions for transferring your hotel points to airline miles, i.e., US Airways. If you transfer the points during these promotions, it makes this deal even better!
- You need a total of 110,000 points to earn a companion pass – to learn more about the Southwest companion pass, check out this prior blog post
- I have my first “stay” next weekend, so if anyone wants to hold off until my stay is complete, feel free and I will post my results.