Choice Hotels Is Looking To Buy Wyndham

Choice Hotels is looking to acquire Wyndham after most recently acquiring the Americas portfolio of Radisson.

While Choice has talked quite a bit lately about branching out of their midscale comfort zone into more upscale properties, this would be a clear doubling down on their current market niche.

  • Choice Hotels is strong in economy lodging such as Quality Inn, Comfort Inn and Econo Lodge

  • While Wyndham is heavy in the same space with brands like Days Inn, Travelodge, La Quinta, and Ramada and Super 8

Both chains are more booking platforms than hoteliers, since they not only don’t own hotels they generally don’t run them either, preferring to franchise. Choice currently has over 7,000 properties and Wyndham over 9,000.

And both have a handful of nicer hotels, and nicer partner hotels (and homeshares and timeshares) where members can redeem their points. In general Wyndham Rewards is the stronger loyalty program in my opinion, and has been for about the past 8 years, however it’s also been devalued several times. Their small business co-brand is actually quite interesting. Here by the way are the internal secrets of the Wyndham Rewards program.

Choice Privileges on the other hand just launched new credit cards that are… ok. The premium card makes sense to get and to keep, if you’re in the Choice ecosystem, but not to spend money on. The design of the card really doesn’t reward ongoing spend. It does help with status, but the chain’s status benefits are weak (and getting franchise hotels to consistently deliver on promised benefits is hard).

If Choice does put together a deal for Wyndham it seems as though that will be their primary focus for some time, so I’d be surprised if they focused more in the near-term on growth in the more upscale space, though it’s possible there could be additional investment in Radisson’s and Wyndham’s more premium brands at least as an experiment.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. When a town has both Choice/Wyndham AND Hampton/Holiday Inn Express, they tend to be close in price. The latter is always a better choice due to the higher brand standards.

    When a town has Choice/Wyndham as the only lodging available, I either keep driving, or I sleep in my car.

  2. I’m looking forward to all of the terrible lodging options being consolidated under one easy-to-ignore program

  3. It’s a marriage made in heaven
    You won’t catch me in any of their properties ever

  4. With Nordic Choice leaving Choice, I would never, ever stay at a Choice hotel. Same for Wyndham. There’s always a Holiday Inn Express nearby. That is the better option. Worst case, there is generally also a Best Western.

  5. They’re award program doesn’t permit booking more than 100 days out. End of story.

  6. I hope they do combine and then combine some brands, just too many names out there. Replace the Super 8 and Ramada with LaQuinta, etc. . .fewer brands with better focus and standards will make it easier for their customers to know what to expect and lower overall costs to property owners and Choice/Wyndham. Please don’t go the route of Marriott or Hilton which now has some many that are a like, it’s hard to tell where I am waking up plus the standards have fallen at several of them.

  7. On Choice making a grab for WH, I hope any such deal fails to close. But the Choice CEO will pay if given the chance, as he is really optimistic about demand from the middle and lower income leisure and non-white collar worker segments for such properties and this is a sign of that continued optimism of his.

    @Franz Christian,

    Nordic Choice hasn’t yet left its Choice affiliation, even with the former’s transition already to Strawberry. Even now I’m still redeeming US Choice points for Scandinavian hotel stays. When it ends, I will miss this.

  8. I stayed at a Wydnham Baymont once and was very underwhelmed. On a few other occasions I’ve considered one of their low-end properties and been scared off by the reviews. A couple low-end Choice stays have been much better.

    It’s nice to hope that a merger would lead them to throw out a lot of the bad ones and improve the rest, but I’m probably just kidding myself.

  9. The three brands I use domestically for short stays when HIX/Tru/Fairfield level properties are not realistically priced are Comfort Inn, LaQuinta, and Country Inn. With Choice having bought Radisson, buying Wyndham would give them all three brands.

    Hilton is aggressively dropping into this level with their Spark offering, which seems to be a challenge to the Sleep Inn level offerings. So there is likely money to be made in a Choice-Wyndham marriage

    My concern, however, is that a bloated Choice would have problems with the ability to deflag the really bad properties. I mean not every deflagged property can then become a Motel 6 or Oyo.

  10. In the last two years I have kept away from Wyndham Hotels on my road trips. With Choice Hotels stick with Comfort Suites, stay away from Comfort Inn and Comfort Inn and Suites. My stays with Comfort Suites have been good at Fargo ND, Sidney NE, Boise Airport ID, San Antonio & Austin TX. Had great experience with Raddison in Minneapolis and Ashville. With Hilton I tend to stay at Hampton Inn, have not booked with Marriott yet though I have more than 150K points with them through SUB which I got from Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant.

    I do hope the merger fails.

  11. I’m wondering if someone with a respectable number of points in oneor the other program should be concerned….

  12. One does wonder, though if one should be concerned if one has a respectable number of points in either program….

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