UPDATE 11:30am Eastern: Wyndham is reneging on this offer before they even started. I sure hope no one donated their entire Starwood account balance to charity before Noon eastern.
Arguably the greatest frequent flyer offer ever came in 2002 when the KLM Flying Dutchman program offered not just to match elite status in another frequent flyer program, but also account balances (flights on KLM or partners were required for this). People earned millions of miles from a few flights.
But I don’t recall an account balance promotion that was both unlimited (like KLM’s) and that required draining the points in your existing account. That’s a way to demonstrate a customer’s willingness to sacrifice one program for the other.
That’s what Wyndham is offering and they’re offering it today only.
- They will match your Starwood elite status
- They will quadruple your points balance
- But you have to donate all your Starwood points to charity
Status Match Details
Starwood Golds receive Wyndham Platinum status (Platinum is the giveaway level that now comes with Wyndham’s credit card). Starwood Platinums receive Wyndham Diamond.
Wyndham Rewards only just created an elite program.
These are the new tiers, requirements, and benefits.
Platinum status: Gets upgrades to preferred rooms and late checkout (as do Golds). And it adds early check-in, 3000 bonus points, and Avis and Budget car rental upgrades.
Diamond status: Adds 6000 bonus points, upgrades to suites, a welcome amenity, and the ability to gift gold status.
How to Take Advantage of the Offer
Send screenshots to wyndhamrewards.fulfillment -at- wyn.com between Noon and 11:59pm Eastern today of:
- Confirmation of your points donation
- Your Starwood account activity page showing your status a balance of less than 500 points in your account post-donation.
You don’t have to drain your account to zero, just to below 500 points (since the smallest points donation you can make it 500 points).
Wyndham will match your status (valid through 2017) and quadruple your prior SPG points balance within 10 days.
Should You Consider It?
Wyndham Rewards is the loyalty program that covers a wide array of hotel brands. They cluster around midscale properties, they’re least likely to be replacements for the hotels that Starwood members are used to. On the other hand, many Wyndham executives know the Starwood playbook best — Wyndham hired away so many Starwood employees that they’re sometimes referred to as ‘Wynwood’ (and at one point were seen as a Starwood acquirer).
A year and a half ago Wyndham launched a new program that gave members a single award chart price of 15,000 points per night. That’s an increase for the cheapest hotels, and a decrease for the most expensive hotels.
They also introduced cash and points awards that are capacity controlled costing 3000 points plus a variable amount of cash.
Like most programs, Wyndham devalued at the beginning of 2013. Some properties went up by as much as 87.5%. The new program, though, reversed course on the price increases for top end hotels while nearly tripling the price of the least expensive hotels (which are the majority of Wyndham’s portfolio).
Wyndham Grand Rio Mar, Puerto Rico
There are certainly nice Wyndham hotels like:
- The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
- Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront
- Wyndham Grand Plaza Royale Oriental Shanghai
- Dolce CampoReal Lisboa
- Wyndham Grand Regency Doha
Four Wyndham points are worth more than 1 Starwood point if you redeem for their limited set of top properties and if those properties appeal to you. I won’t be jumping on this, though it’s an opportunity to perhaps double the value of your points under specific circumstances and it’s a fascinating promotion.