Wyndham charges either 7.5K, 15K, or 30K per night for their hotels. Recently they made their annual changes as to which hotels fit into each of those buckets. Unfortunately, unlike Hyatt, Wyndham doesn’t publish this information. Instead, I decided to look at current hotel rates and point prices in order to recalculate our Reasonable Redemption Value (RRV) for Wyndham points. The new result is slightly higher than when I last calculated this in May 2021. The new RRV is 0.88 cents per point vs. 0.82 previously. This makes it sound like Wyndham points are more valuable than before but it’s more likely that my enhanced methodology for calculating RRVs is what really caused the point value to increase.
When collecting points and miles, it’s always a good idea to have a general idea of what points are worth. Let’s say, for example, that you have the opportunity to either earn 2,000 Wyndham points or 3,000 Hilton points. Which should you go for? If you don’t know what the points are worth, you’d likely go for the Hilton points. But, in my analyses I’ve found Wyndham points to be worth almost twice as much as Hilton points. Therefore, on average, 2,000 Wyndham points are worth considerably more than 3,000 Hilton points. In this post, you’ll find my best current estimate of the value of Wyndham points. To see our estimates across many programs, see this post: Reasonable Redemption Values (RRVs).
In order to determine the value of Wyndham points, I collected real-world cash prices and point prices. As I’ve done previously, I examined a number of major hotel markets in the U.S.: Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, and Seattle. Within each market, I identified the first three search results with award availability, and I recorded both cash and award prices for three dates each: a weekday, a weekend, and a holiday weekend.
- Why U.S. only? U.S. consumers are known to spend most of their points and miles on domestic travel. Since the majority of this blog’s audience resides in the U.S. we opted for a U.S. centric view of point values.
- Why no Vacasa Vacation Rentals? We know that Vacasa Vacation Rentals can offer incredible value for Wyndham points (details here). However, my bet is that most people will most often spend their points on regular Wyndham hotels, so I think that looking at regular hotels is a better way to estimate the reasonable redemption rate for Wyndham points. Additionally, Vacasa rentals aren’t available in all of the cities I looked at.
- Which paid rates were selected? I always picked the Wyndham Rewards Member Rate, Flexible. In most cases this was the cheapest refundable rate shown.
- Which specific dates did I use?
- Weekday: Wednesday April 12, 2023
- Weekend Day: Friday April 14, 2023
- Holiday Weekend Day: Saturday April 8, 2023 (Easter Weekend)
New Calculation Approach
Starting 12/5/2022 with my Hyatt analysis, I began calculating Cents Per Point (CPP) using new formula. In all past hotel CPP calculations, I didn’t account for taxes and fees or points earned on paid stays. I figured that those things basically cancelled each other out. Going forward, I am including these factors, as well as resort fees, in the CPP calculation. The calculation is based on the following terms:
- Base Cash Rate: This is the hotel room rate before taxes and fees.
- Total Cash Rate: This is the total amount, including taxes and fees, that would be paid if booking a hotel’s cash rate.
- Resort Fee: This is a fee that is imposed by many hotels above and beyond any required taxes. This goes by different names at different hotels: Resort fee, Destination charge, Founders fee, etc.
- Points Per Dollar Earned: The number of points per dollar earned by non-elite members on paid stays. For example, Hyatt members earn 5 points per dollar, Hilton, IHG, Marriott, and Wyndham members earn 10 points per dollar (at most hotels), etc.
- Points Earned on Cash Rate: This is the number of points you would earn if you paid the cash rate. The calculation for this is: (Base Cash Rate) x (Points Per Dollar Earned). For this calculation, our default approach is to assume that the traveler does not have elite status (elite members earn more points per dollar).
- Point Price: The number of points required to book a night at the hotel
- Cents Per Point (CPP): This is the value you get per point when using your points instead of cash to pay for a stay.
Hotel Programs that Waive Resort Fees on Award Stays
Hilton, Hyatt, and Wyndham waive resort fees when you book stays using points or free night certificates. For these chains, the resort fee does not have to be considered separately from the Total Cash Rate (which includes the resort fee). So, the CPP calculation is as follows:
CPP = Total Cash Rate ÷ [Point Price + Points Earned on Cash Rate]
Hotel Programs that Charge Resort Fees on Award Stays
IHG, Marriott, and many other hotel programs impose resort fees on award stays. For these chains, the resort fee must be specifically taken into account in the CPP calculation. We do that by subtracting it out of the Total Cash Rate. The CPP calculation is as follows:
CPP = [Total Cash Rate – Resort Fee] ÷ [Point Price + Points Earned on Cash Rate]
Wyndham Rewards Go Fast Calculations
In addition to offering free nights (called “Go Free”), Wyndham offers “Go Fast” awards where you pay a Go Fast Cash Rate plus a small number of points (we’ll call this the Go Fast Point Price). For these awards, the CPP calculation is as follows:
Go Fast CPP = [Total Cash Rate – Go Fast Cash Rate] ÷ [Go Fast Point Price + Points Earned on Go Fast Cash Rate]
Go Free vs. Go Fast Rewards
Wyndham offers two types of award bookings: “Go Free” and “Go Fast”. Go Free rewards are where you book a hotel entirely with points. Wyndham charges either 7.5K, 15K, or 30K per night for Go Free Awards. Go Fast awards are where you spend either 1.5K, 3K, or 6K to get a discount off the room rate. Not all properties make Go Fast rewards available.
Point Value: Go Free Awards
|Point Value (Median)||0.88||0.82 cents|
|Point Value (Mean)||0.93||0.85 cents|
|Cash Price (Median)||$190||$147|
|Cash Price (Mean)||$218||$160|
|Point Price (Median)||15,000||15,000|
|Point Price (Mean)||22,373||19,286|
* Analyses prior to 12/5/22 relied on pre-tax numbers and didn’t account for points earned on paid stays. For this reason, I grayed out the numbers that can’t be fairly compared to the most recent numbers.
The median observed point value was 0.88 cents per point. This means that half of the observed results offered equal or better point value and half offered equal or worse value. Another way to think about it is that without trying to cherry pick good awards, you have a 50/50 chance of getting 0.88 cents or better value from your Wyndham points when booking Go Free awards.
|Pick your own RRV||3/7/23 Analysis||5/11/21*|
|50th Percentile (Median)||0.88||0.82 cents|
|60th Percentile||1.00||0.86 cents|
|70th Percentile||1.05||0.98 cents|
|80th Percentile||1.14||1.10 cents|
|90th Percentile||1.21||1.25 cents|
When we publish point RRVs, we conservatively pick the middle value, or the 50th percentile. The idea is that just by randomly picking hotels to use your points, you have a 50/50 chance of getting this value or better. But what if you cherry-pick awards? Many people prefer to hold onto their points until they find good value uses for them. If that’s you, then you may want to use the table above to pick your own RRV. For example, if you think that you’ll hold out for the best 10% value awards, then pick the 90th Percentile. If you cherry-pick a bit, but not that much, you might want to use the 70th Percentile (for example). I’m guessing that most cherry-pickers will land around the 80th percentile: 1.14 cents per point.
The above guide can be helpful also when considering buying points when they’re on sale. For example, Wyndham often offers their points on sale for just under 1 cent each. If you’re confident that you will pick the 10% best awards with which to use your points, then the chart above suggests that it is reasonable that you’ll get 1.21 cents per point value, or better. In that case, buying points for around a penny each can make sense.
Point Value: Go Fast Awards
Reminder: Go Fast Awards are where you spend a fixed amount (usually 3,000 or 6,000 points) in order to save some money off the cash rate. You still end up paying for most of the hotel stay with cash and you still earn points on those stays.
|Go Fast Stats||3/7/23||5/11/21|
|Point Value (Median)||0.88||1.03 cents|
|Point Value (Mean)||0.88||1.11 cents|
|Cash Component (Median)||$126||$105|
|Cash Component (Mean)||$130||$114|
|Point Component (Median)||3,000||3,000|
|Point Component (Mean)||4,560||3,714|
In the latest analysis, the median value of Go Fast points matched the median value of Go Free points: 0.88 cents per point. This was a surprising finding. In my 2021 analysis, Go Fast awards offered much better point value than Go Free awards.
New Reasonable Redemption Value: 0.88 CPP
Our Reasonable Redemption Value (RRV) for Wyndham points was previously set to 0.82 cents per point. RRV’s are intended to be the point at which it is reasonable to get that much value or better for your points. Therefore, I believe that the median observed value for Go Free Awards is a good choice for our RRV…
- Reasonable Redemption Value for Wyndham: 0.88 cents per point
- Reasonable Redemption Value for those who cherry pick awards: 1.14 cents per point
Overvaluing vs. Undervaluing Points
There is no perfect way to estimate the value of points. Decisions we made here in some ways overvalue points and in some ways undervalue points. The hope is that these things roughly offset each other…
Factors that cause us to undervalue points
- With hotel programs that offer 4th Night Free Awards (IHG, with some credit cards), or 5th Night Free Awards (Hilton & Marriott), or award discounts (Wyndham), we do not consider the point savings in our analyses.
- With hotel programs that offer free parking on award stays to top-tier elites (Hyatt), we do not factor this in.
Factors that cause us to overvalue points
- We do not use discount rates (other than member rates) in our analyses. In real-life, many people book hotels cheaper (and sometimes far cheaper) by using AAA rates, government & military rates, senior rates, etc.
- We do not use hotel promotional rates. Often, individual hotels have deals such as “Stay 2 Nights, Get 1 Night Free” which can greatly reduce the cost of a stay.
- We do not use prepaid rates in our analyses. Sometimes these rates are significantly lower than refundable rates.
- We do not factor in rebates which can be earned from booking hotels through shopping portals.
- We do not factor in extra points earned on paid stays for those with elite status.
- We do not factor in rewards earned from credit card spend at hotels.
- We do not factor in hotel loyalty program promotions: Most promotions, but not all, only offer incentives for paid stays. We often see promos offering bonus points, double or triple points, free night awards, etc.
- With hotel programs that waive resort fees for top tier elites on paid stays (e.g. Hyatt), we do not factor this in.
Based on the latest analysis, I’ve increased our Wyndham RRV to 0.88 cents per point. The idea is that you have equal chance of getting that much value or more from your award stays.
For those who cherry-pick the best value awards, I included percentile results so that you can pick your own point valuation for your own purposes. For example, if you feel confident that you’ll only use Wyndham points for the best 20% of awards, you could use the 80th percentile: 1.14 cents per point. This means that 20% of the time, Wyndham points should be worth that much (1.14 cents per point) or more.
For a complete list of Reasonable Redemption Values (and links to posts like this one), see: Reasonable Redemption Values (RRVs).