How I saved my Wyndham points from expiry

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We’ve written a lot lately about how Wyndham Rewards has become a much more interesting program than ever before.  The most exciting reason is the ability to book one-bedroom Vacasa Vacation Rentals for only 15,000 points per night (or 13,500 points per night if you have a Wyndham Earner card).  In fact, as I write this, Nick is enjoying his first Vacasa stay (I expect he’ll post a review soon but his early reactions were positive).  Wyndham points have also become easier to earn: Wyndham came out with exciting new Wyndham Earner cards (the business card is particularly good), and Capital One increased their transfer ratio to Wyndham to 1 to 1.

All of that said, Wyndham Rewards remains hobbled by its Achilles heel: Wyndham makes it very hard to keep your points alive.

Many hotel loyalty programs expire points after a year or two of inactivity.  Fortunately, earning or redeeming points resets the clock, and so it’s usually pretty easy to keep your points alive.  Wyndham does this too.  Points expire after 18 months of inactivity and you can keep those points alive by earning or redeeming points.  That would be fine, but Wyndham doesn’t stop there.  Wyndham also expires points 4 years after they’re earned.  Full stop.  Account activity doesn’t change the fact that your 4-year-old points are going bye bye.

Extending their life is not so easy.  But it is possible.

There are two ways to extend the life of your Wyndham points:

  1. Wait until points expire (either through 18 months of inactivity or 4 years from acquisition) and then contact Wyndham to request that your points be restored.  We wrote about this approach here.  There are a couple of risks with this approach: 1) Wyndham might be doing this only during the COVID pandemic. I don’t know if they will continue to offer this option long-term. 2) There is some indication that they might only allow this once.  If so, you’ll need another option going forward.
  2. Transfer points to Caesars Rewards, then transfer back.  Thanks to Wyndham’s partnership with Caesars Rewards, they allow 1 to 1 transfers in either direction.  Doing this resets the clock on both of Wyndham’s timers.  Travel with Grant detailed this approach here.  The main limitations to this approach are: 1) it’s slow. Expect the entire process to take 1 to 4 weeks; 2) Caesars Rewards only allows transferring 30,000 points per year; and 3) You can’t transfer less than 10,000 points at a time.

My Approach

My wife and I each had just over 18,000 Wyndham points nearing their 4 year expiry.  Luckily, AwardWallet emailed us to let us know that our points would expire in 3 months.  I don’t think I would have known about the impending doom otherwise.  Maybe Wyndham will email as the date gets closer?  I don’t know.

When logging into Wyndham Rewards, you can see when your next points will expire by viewing your account’s “My Activity” and then scrolling way down to find an inconspicuous message like this on the left side:

I like the idea of transferring to Caesars and back as a way to preserve points, so I decided to go that route.  Since neither of us had Caesars Rewards’ accounts, I setup new accounts for each of us.  I was very careful to check our Wyndham profiles first.  To avoid problems, I wanted to make sure that everything matched exactly: Name, phone number, email address, etc.

I’m hoping that this Caesar’s profile warning won’t cause problems with moving points around!

After establishing our Caesars accounts, I entered them into AwardWallet for tracking, and then logged into Wyndham to move points.

As you can see above, Wyndham requires transferring 10,000 points at a time.  By selecting Quantity 1, you transfer 10,000 points, Quantity 2 = 20,000, and Quantity 3 = 30,000.

In my case, I had additional Wyndham points beyond the points that were expiring and so I transferred 20,000 points.  With my wife, though, we had a dilemma.  She had a total of 19,000 points, with 18,500 expiring.  We transferred 10,000 of her points, but that left 9,000 in her account, with 8,500 expiring.

One easy solution is that we could have bought 1,000 points for $13 and then once again transferred 10,000 points to Caesars Rewards.  Or, we could earn Wyndham points some other way such as by shopping through the Wyndham shopping portal (but those points take forever to post), staying at a Wyndham hotel, signing up for a Wyndham credit card, etc.  But I had a better idea.  Scratch that.  It might not be a better idea because it might not work (I don’t know yet for sure), but it’s arguably a clever idea at least.  So, I decided to give it a try.  Here’s the idea:

  1. Wait for my wife’s 10,000 points to appear in her Caesars Rewards’ account and transfer back to Wyndham.
  2. Wait for the 10,000 points to appear back in her Wyndham account.
  3. Transfer 10,000 points again to Caesars.

My wife’s points don’t expire until the end of August and so we have plenty of time to try this out.  I’ll update this post once I know for sure that this approach worked.

What about the 30,000 point limit?

THEsocalledfan reports that transfers from Wyndham to Caesars are limited to 30,000 points per year.  He wrote: ” After I had already successfully sent 30k over to Caesars, I received an alert stopping me when I tried to transfer more.”  Unfortunately this significantly limits the number of points that can be kept alive with the approach outlined here.  To keep more than 30K points alive, you’ll want to start doing this process more than a year before points expire.  For example, if you have 60,000 points expiring in more than a year, you can reset 30K points this year and another 30K next year.

Wyndham limits you to transferring 30,000 points at a time, but it appears that you can transfer multiple times.  At least, Wyndham’s website doesn’t say that you can’t.  Caesars Rewards’ website, though, clearly states that you can transfer 30,000 per year to Wyndham.

So…

If you have more than 30,000 Wyndham points expiring, I think the solution is to move them all to Caesars Rewards and then move them back to Wyndham over time: 30,000 points per year.  Sure that would be frustrating if you end up needing earlier access to those Wyndham points but at least they won’t be lost forever.

Watch out for Caesars’ 6 Month Expiry

Marriott Marty points out that Caesars Rewards points expire after 6 months of earn-inactivity.  So, if you park your points there long term, you’ll have to make sure to earn some Caesars points at least once every 6 months to avoid losing them.  Options for earning points, other than at Caesars properties directly, can be found here.

Conclusion

Transferring points from Wyndham to Caesars Rewards appears to be an effective way to get around Wyndham’s very annoying 4 year hard-expiry rule.  I hate that it’s necessary, but I’m happy that there is an option that’s less scary than letting your points expire and then trying to recover them.

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Elaine

Does Anyone know how long it takes Wyndham Earner credit card points to post into your Wyndham acct?

PM1

Very helpful information Greg. I followed your directions and found out that 8700 of my points are expiring next year. Will use them instead of transferring them to Caesers. Now I know, Wyndham points need to be used prior to Marriott, Hilton etc.

THEsocalledfan

Greg,

I tested the 30k limit Wyndham to Caesars. I can confirm you canNOT do more than 30k. After I had already successfully sent 30k over to Caesars, I received an alert stopping me when I tried to transfer more. Really stinks as I don’t have any vacasa near me.

DRG

Thanks for the tip Daniel

Daniel

I did this and 2 days ago initiated a transfer back to Wyndham. I still see my points on the Caesar website and when I go to the transfer page it will let me transfer them again. Does it take awhile for the points on the Caesars website to zero out or did the transfer not take and I should do it again? Thanks.

Daniel

Thanks for the reply. I just tried to transfer them again and a pop up box said I had already maxed out my yearly transfer. Which means they are on there way, eventually. It’s only been 3 days so I’ll check back weekly until they’ve transferred.

Judy

I have been studying the terms and conditions for Wyndham points. Point 14 “Point Expiration, Cancellation and Account Inactivity” in this link https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/wyndham-rewards/terms says:
**Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Section I(14), Wyndham Rewards points otherwise set to expire, between April 30, 2020 and December 30, 2021, pursuant to the Four Year Rule, will not expire until December 31, 2021. For clarity, the foregoing term extension does not apply to points that are forfeited or cancelled either due to membership inactivity, as described above, or otherwise in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.**
So it seems that the line in my account stating “Points expire 4 years after they are earned. You have 13,883 that will expire on 07/31/2021.” is now superseded by the 12/31/21 expiration date. If true, that’s good news, since it gives me 5 extra months to wait before transferring points to Caesars and back again to reset the clock. Am I reading that right? Have other people been ignoring the 4-year expiration date and considering that 12/31/21 is the new expiration date for the 4-year points? Thanks, Judy

Bogan

Transfers from Caesars to Wyndham takes a ridiculous amount of time. I think they say 4-6 weeks and from my experience it has been every bit of that.

Ram

Hi Greg, Nick and Stephen. Have been searching answers to these two questions but cannot find any. You guys are my last hope.

[1] My old Wyndham Visa credit card AF of $75 was due Jan 2021 and I normally get 6500 bonus points on each renewal. As Earners+ card was introduced about same time, agent had advised to upgrade to this card so that I get 7500 bonus points (1000 more) upon each annual renewal. I upgraded my card and paid my AF on 03/01. It’s been more than 14 weeks but my annual bonus points haven’t been posted yet. When I called over the weekend, their response was I would not get 7500 bonus points bcos I did not apply for new card and instead upgraded from old card. I find it weird as this normally applies for sign-up bonus and not for renewal bonus. I am trying to find this in their T&C but no luck. What are my options ?

[2] I had some wallet funds of an airline from a cancelled ticket last year and have booked a new ticket for this December. I am not sure if I would travel but want to have travel insurance that CSR provides. If I pay for a seat selection by paying $40 with my CSR, will this ticket be eligible for Chase travel policy similar to case of paying taxes for award tickets.

Ram

Thanks Gregg

Lily

Greg, as far as annual limits go for transferring between Wyndham and Caesars, is the 30k limit in each direction? Or does transferring in either direction count towards a single 30k total limit for both programs?

Recon Scott

Be careful not to park your points at Caesars too long. I moved 10k points there in Feb 2020 in preparation for vegas trip which was cancelled. When I checked last month, those points had evaporated. The Caesar’s site is not very useful in figuring out when they vanished.
I abandoned the effort of finding them since Wyndham points are easy to earn (manufacture) at gas stations

Bob

Caesars does email you multiple times before your points expire. With that said they send out so many marketing emails with non-useful subject lines so the reminders are easy to miss if you’re not opening their emails.

Marriott Marty

Caesar reward points expire after 6 months without activity

THEsocalledfan

I did not know about this partnership. Is they any value to be had using Wyndham points to book at Caesars? I assume no since I don’t recall you guys writing about it…..

Grant

You can redeem Caesars Rewards Points for 1 cent each toward Caesars Rewards room charges & stays, but I think you need to redeem them in 10,000 point blocks ($100).

Pam

I earned my points in dribbles, so they each expire at different 4-yr dates. I called Wyndham & asked for a timetable of ALL my expirations in the next yr. Because you might, for example, have another group of points expiring in the following months as well that might take you over the transfer limits (the acct summary unfort only shows the most immediate grouping of points that are expiring).

Anthony

This reminds me of the water jug scene from Die Hard with a Vengence, the 5 gallon jug but they need to get exactly 2 gallons in one and 3 in the other.

Judy

I have some points expiring sooner (say, 20K) and others expiring later. If I move 20k to Caesars, will those “count” as the ones expiring sooner, or is there a risk that the others will be considered moved? Is there any way to ensure that the ones remaining in the Wyndham account (not transferred to Caesars) are not considered the ones expiring sooner?

Captain Greg

Very useful information. Thank you

ssss

There is also the Wyndham shopping portal, which never seems to track, but with screenshots, Wyndham posts the points.

ssss

Yes if ever…I find it helpful to contact Wyndham, they then post inconvenience points that solve the issue. 🙂 Great article!