Wyndham Vacasa: Great Value is Real!

47

Wyndham Rewards points recently became far more valuable.  For real this time.  I previously wrote about the possibility of getting great value using Wyndham points to book vacation rentals.  After a frustrating exploration, I was unsure if this option was worth pursuing.  The phone agent I spoke with was clueless.  There was no information online.  I expected the worst.  Read my previous post, here: Wyndham Vacasa – Incredible value possible, good value likely, frustration guaranteed.

Thanks to several readers who wrote in with booking tips, we now have answers to my questions, and solutions to my previously reported problems.  If you’re interested in booking vacation rentals, Wyndham points can be a goldmine…

Bailey’s Retreat – Sea Ranch, CA. This is just one of many examples of 1 bedroom vacation rentals bookable for only 15,000 Wyndham points per night.

Intro

In 2019, Vacasa (a vacation rental management company) bought Wyndham Vacation Rentals.  And in February 2021, Wyndham Rewards made it possible to redeem points for any of Vacasa’s more than 15,000 vacation rental properties.

Wyndham prices vacation rental free nights at 15,000 points per bedroom per night.  That’s awesome because there are some amazing properties available with only 1 bedroom.  When those properties rent for, say, $300 per night, you’ll get 2 cents per point value.  That’s excellent.  And, the actual value is even higher because you do not have to pay fees or taxes when paying with points.  In this four night stay example, the room rate averaged $315, but after taxes and fees came to $427 per night:

In the above example, you would pay a total of 4 x 15K = 60,000 Wyndham points for a $1,708.35 rental.  That’s a value of 2.8 cents per point!

Working with Wyndham is easy… if you know the secret

There is no way to book Vacasa vacation rentals online with points.  And, as I demonstrated in my previous post, calling can be a frustrating waste of time.  Fortunately, a commenter going by the name Nil provided the solution.  Simply email your requests to Wyndham Rewards Fulfillment <triprewards.fulfillment@wyndham.com>.  I tried it, and it worked!  Replies often took a couple of hours, and sometimes overnight, but I still found it very easy to work with them that way!

Update: Wyndham now has a dedicated phone line for Vacasa reservations and no longer accepts reservations by email.  Theoretically, it should now be pretty easy to book over the phone.  Call: 1-800-441-1034.

15K per night per bedroom… yes, really

In my previous post, I mentioned that the 15K per night per bedroom price was mentioned in press releases but not online.  Meanwhile, online, I found that other similar point-awards cost either 15K or 30K per night:

As a result of the above, I surmised that Vacasa rentals, especially the more expensive ones, would charge 30K points per night per bedroom.  I was wrong.

I learned from a few readers and directly from Wyndham Rewards Fulfillment that all Vacasa properties price at 15K points per bedroom per night.

Blackout dates do exist

The Vacasa website shows you the dates that properties are available to book with cash, but not with points.  The only way to verify that a property is available with points on the dates you want is to contact Wyndham Rewards Fulfillment to ask.  The best approach is to be ready with multiple options that will work for you when you call Wyndham to inquire about availability.

The first property I inquired about wasn’t available for a points booking on the requested dates.  Specifically, they said “I regret to advise they are currently restricted for points reservations for the dates provided.”  I then asked if that property was available at all during the summer with points, but was told that it was “unavailable throughout June/ July and August, using points.”  This tells me that blackout dates exist since the property is available for cash bookings throughout the summer.

Fortunately, the Wyndham agent suggested a few other nice looking properties in the same area that were available.  They weren’t as expensive as the property that I had picked, but they weren’t cheap either.

Blackout dates appear to be price-based (limit $325 to $350 per bedroom per night)

Based on numerous data points, it appears that you can book a 1 bedroom with points only if the average price per night is less than $350 (some seem to have been limited to $325).  It’s OK if some nights are higher, as long as other nights bring the average down below $325 or $350.

We now have one set of datapoints that shows that this $350-ish cap applies per bedroom to two bedroom units (i.e. you can book up to an average of $700 per night for a two bedroom unit).  I think its a safe bet that this same rule extends to larger units (e.g. max $1050 for a 3 bedroom, etc.).

More info about booking award stays

In my previous post, I made some (mostly wrong) guesses about how this all worked.  Here is the correct info:

  • Are any fees passed along?  No.  On award stays you do not have to pay booking fees, cleaning fees, or taxes.
  • What is the cancellation policy for award bookings?  Cancel 30 or more days before your stay for a full refund of points.  Within 30 days all of your points are forfeit.
  • If we don’t have enough points, can we put a booking on hold until we earn enough points? No

And this is new (and thanks again to Nil):

How to book Vacasa Vacation Rentals with Wyndham points

Here’s the step by step process that I recommend:

  1. Start your search here: www.vacasa.com/search?maxbeds=1&place=/usa/
    This link filters to a maximum of 1 bedroom.  If you want more than 1 bedroom, change the filter, but keep in mind that 2 bedroom units cost twice as many points.
  2. Use the Vacasa website to find properties that are available for cash rates for your dates of interest.  I recommend finding at least three options that would work for you, if possible.
  3. Call 1-800-441-1034 to book the stay (they no longer accept bookings via email)
  4. Put a reminder on your calendar 31 days or more before your stay to remind you to cancel if it doesn’t look like the stay will work out.  Bookings are non-refundable within 30 days.

Conclusion

The Vacasa website shows nearly 5,000 property rentals with no more than 1 bedroom in the United States alone (they have additional rentals available in Canada, Mexico, Belize and Costa Rica).  This means that there is a huge inventory of rentals that cost only 15,000 Wyndham points per night.  For any property that costs $150 per night, that’s a good deal.  For any property that costs $300 or more per night, that’s a great deal.  And it gets better if you have a Wyndham Earner credit card that offers a 10% discount on awards.  In that case, you’ll pay only 13,500 points per bedroom, per night.

The one thing I really don’t like about the whole Wyndham/Vacasa thing is that bookings become nonrefundable within 30 days of the stay.  That’s tough to deal with as a customer, but understandable from Vacasa’s point of view.  If you cancel too close to the reservation, the home is likely to go unrented during that time.

This 15K per night vacation rental thing has made me more bullish than ever on the Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card (see my review here).  That card offers a 10% award discount, Wyndham diamond status, 8X earnings at Wyndham & gas stations, 5X for utilities, and 15,000 Wyndham points each year that you renew.  Those 15,000 points alone, now, are more than enough to pay for a night at some amazing looking rental properties (note, though, that most properties have minimum stay requirements).  I recently signed up for the card and was finally approved via email after 3 weeks of silence.  Even without considering earnings from spend, the card’s 45K bonus will be enough for a 3 night rental with 4,500 points left over.

Once I earn my new card’s welcome bonus, I’m going to be looking to book something as soon as possible.  Wyndham has a history of announcing great award rates and then soon after changing them for the worse.  I’ll be happily surprised if we don’t see similar changes here.  The fact that these awards can’t be booked online (or easily via phone) might actually help us here.  If relatively few people book these awards, there’s a chance that the current award pricing will last longer.

0 0 votes
Post Rating

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

47 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Brian

Interesting data point. I booked the same, 2-bedroom Vacasa unit for two separate, 3-night stays. For one stay, the agent charged me exactly the number of points I expected. On the other stay, she charged me exactly half as much (as though it were a 1-bedroom unit). I’ve confirmed that she booked the correct, 2-bedroom unit for the correct, 3-day duration in each case.

This experience suggests to me that the debiting of Wyndham points and the securing of the Vacasa unit are not intrinsically linked (hence, perhaps, the need for an agent) in such a way that it is, evidently, possible for an agent to debit the incorrect number of points when completing a booking, FWIW.

I continue to get outstanding value from booking Vacasa units (even when the agent charges the correct number of points :-). Thanks, again, Greg and Nick!

Brian

Update: Wyndham emailed today to say they redeemed the wrong number of points for the booking, and they’ve now debited my account the correct number of points. Fair enough!

Juli

Thanks for the article on Vacasa. Have been looking online at places. My question: you mentioned a Wyndham earner credit card. I have the Wyndham Rewards CC from Barclays. Would this one earn the 10% discount? If so, how do you get the discount if you are paying with points?

Cameron

Phone number listed not working for me anymore.

RIC_STU

Thank Greg, I did my first booking today, 3 nights in a 2 bedroom in Montana at $680 ($340) a night. No issues and the place looks amazing. Now I just need to buy more gas to reload those points.

slaven

dont know why is so easy for everyone. i tried over a dozen listings of 1&2 BR in Hawaii for next month and none worked. this in spite of reps initially telling me they’re available – based on date/ # of bedrooms/ $ price per night.

slaven

plan to, but nervous as there is only 1 listing left on entire Kauai for that time frame.

Dennis

Awesome!! Thanks for this deal!! Purchase 90K points for $845 (91K actually), snagged a 2 Bd in Breckenridge during ski season for 3 nights! Cash price was $2400 all in.

DP: The max $ per night on Saturday was $696 and worked. I checked another unit in the same complex that had a max of $710 on Saturday that wasn’t eligible. So the $350 per bedroom per night max is probably a safe bet. ($700 in the case of this 2bd)

Slaven

update : no more online bookings.

From Lizzie: “To review/ cancel or book a Vacasa location(s) using your Wyndham Rewards points, you now just need to call 1-800-441-1034.
Monday – Friday 9am-11pm EST
Saturday – Sunday 9am – 6pm EST”

Brian

FYI, the number you have listed is incorrect. I called and they referred me to 800-441-1034 which is the dedicated Vacasa Wyndham line. I was able to book a cabin with a base price of $344/night and an all-in price of $499/night for 13,500 points a night (with my 10% business card discount).

mauddib6

After working with booking a 1 bedroom cabin, I would say the restrictions are at the $350 average night price. all cabins in the area were blacked out if average was over 350 per night. Was able to book one that had some nights at 364 and others lower- average price per night was 349.75(base price). Another cabin in the same complex was average 360 a night and could not be booked. Could be an interesting thought experiment to see if you could play around with length of stay to book a cabin that was really expensive a couple nights like the weekend, but cheap during the week. If that worked, then a 4 night stay might not work, but a 5 night might make it eligible by bringing the overall cost down. No time to try now, but have fun and try it out and report back.

John

If I want to book a 2 bed room property and pay 30K points, does that have to be available for $350 too or can it go up to $700 because of redeeming 30K? If the $350 limit applies for 2 bedroom property too, then its really hard to find and not much value using 30K points for a $350 room.

Pointsntravel

Hi Greg, I don’t believe you addressed this in the article but I apologize if you did. Is the $325 per night maximum inclusive of all fees, or just the rental fee? Thanks.

John

They no longer allow booking over email. Have to call. Called and booked this morning. Agent said I should receive an email in 10 minutes. It has been more than a few hours and still no email. Points were taken out of my wyndham account and the nights are gone for the property for cash on vacasa.com. Any idea how long it takes to get the confirmation/email? Need to book flights and running out of time lol

John

Yep. Got a reply to my email that I have to call and cannot book over email anymore

Jim Livesay

Just following up on this… Greg, did you ever hear back from anyone whether the $350 cap for “award availability” goes up $700 for a 2 bedroom? Also, just to be clear, when we talk about the “average price per night” in this context, whether it’s $350 or $325 (or perhaps $700), are we talking about the overall price–including taxes and fees?

Jim Livesay

Thanks!

Aloha808

This new information makes the Earner+ 4x grocery and 7500 annual points more interesting.

Rebecca Kendzierski

I spent 2.5 hours today trying to book, but I learned alot in the process. Hopefully this saves you some time. I’m pretty sure I spoke with every Wyndham department by the end! After speaking to 7 different agents(none who understood how to book) and being told to call 5 different numbers (or transfered) to 5 new different agents, I asked to speak with a supervisor (18669967937) You may have to push for that as the representative wasn’t too willing. According to the supervisor the process is that ANY representative can fill out a form ( with your info, dates desired, and name of property), which gets sent to a special department in Wyndham. Someone from that department then contacts you by email or phone to tell you if it’s available. Then you book it through them. Once I reached the supervisor the process was fast with very knowledgeable representatives. But save yourself the 2 hours of trying to explain to regular customer service what you need and ask for a supervisor. The supervisor told me that they are all supposed to know about the form…but in my experience that was not at all true. Hopefully this saves you some stress and time in your booking.

rebecca Kendzierski

Hi Greg (Thanks for all you do, our family has travelled so well due to following your blog!). I did try the secret phone number listed in this post and it went to a voicemail. I left a message but no one called back. I ended up using the phone number listed on the Wyndham website under the “redeem points” listing for Vacasa. The “special department” they directed me to in the end is the SAME email that you posted in your post. They were VERY quick, and very knowledgeable once I was able to get to them. They even called me due to a complicated booking. The reason I called in the first place was that I had a complicated points issue/booking that was tough to describe over email. Everything went very quickly and efficiently once I reached the email (“special department”) so I suspect that emailing them directly would yield the same great results!

escot

Fascinating and encouraging. Yet this “one bedroom” restriction (if I follow you) is a problem. Is that really how the pricing is structure? (15k per bedroom/per night?) We at first were excited to see so many Vacasa condos listed for a hoped for vacation in Hateras/Outer Banks end of April…. But looks like just about all of the available properties are two to ten bedrooms….. If they’re really charging 15,000 “per bedroom,” then all the condos in that area will be 30k/night…. (disappointing) Maybe all the 1 bedroom condos just not available so soon…. Thanks for the post.

Evan F

Question for Greg…you wrote “Do Wyndham Earner cardholders get a 10% discount? Yes! Wyndham Earner cardholders get a 10% discount on award stays. As a result, they pay 13,500 points per bedroom per night. See: New Wyndham Earner credit cards review – Surprisingly strong.”

Do you know if this same discount would apply if we hold any of the “old” Barclaycard Wyndham credit cards (either with or without annual fee)?

Evan F

I assume we can hold both an old card and a new Wyndham Earner card? Or would I need to PC from my no annual-fee card (I’ve had it for more than 3 years).

GRAHME PEREZ

Hi Greg,

Can points be combined for family members?

Pam

Thanks for the great tips, Greg. I played around with bookings when you first announced but unable to find availability. I’ll keep looking now that there’s a system for when I actually do find something!

DP – I completed the $1k spend on my Rewards card on 11.12.20 & 45k points posted to my Wyndham acct on 12.8. That is probably the quickest Barclays/Wyndham has ever gotten to anything.

I’d feel a lot more thrilled with the new card if it earned 8x on timeshare HOA (rather than just Wyndham hotels), I’m still having to keep my old personal card for 5x (6k points/yr covers the AF at least + excellent promos thruout the yr). Wyndham handily removed that feature on yhe new cards without really pointing it out. But along the same vein, doubtful charges at Vacasa properties earn 8x either.

Pam

Meant to also include a DP that I applied for the Rewards card on 9.29.20, first day offered, & received my email acceptance 10.12.20, 2 weeks later.

Pacha Adventures

Looks like a great deal! Do you know if wyndham points are earned on vacasa stays?

Grogu

A negative DP: When I booked my condo in Maui, they told me that if you cancel within 30 days of stay, you lose 100% of your points.

Grogu

My bad!

slaven

1 BR or 2? cost per night before taxes? am trying now to book but unsuccessful on every listing.

John

I live near The Sea Ranch, CA and was just there last weekend. Given I visit that location multiple times a year, this seemed very interesting….until I just looked on Vacasa for availability. No matter what date range I selected in 2021, there appears to be a 4 day minimum stay for Sea Ranch rentals. Do you know if that’s the case with points as well? If this article holds true, 15k points would be a FANTASTIC deal, but I’m doubtful this will stick and/or inventory will hold up long enough to get the card, meet requirements, get points, THEN book 3 nights. As much as I’d love to have a more or less free stay in Sea Ranch, I’d rather not be stuck with 45k Wyndham points and burn a 5/24 slot (unless I get the business card).

John

I’m totally with you on the card, but the million dollar question is whether or not they’ll even have the offer available by then and if so, if it will still be 15k per bd/nt given their language that “Free nights can require up to 30,000 points per bedroom at participating properties and are subject to availability.” I emailed Wyndham on availability and based on what they say, even purchasing 45k points via Points.com for $559 for a 4 night stay would be a steal.