Wyndham Rewards 16,000 Bonus Point Offer: Are They Looking Not to Honor It?

Yesterday I wrote about an offer of 16,000 Wyndham Rewards bonus points per stay for up to 3 stays at new hotel properties.

The beauty of the deal is that Wyndham Rewards allows points to be earned if you pay for your room, even if you don’t keep the reservation. Many of these hotels are quite cheap, around $50 a night plus tax. And the bonus also coincides with a fall promotion of 5500 points after your second stay.

Wyndham has plenty of airline mileage partners to transfer points to for folks who don’t want to keep the Wyndham Rewards points. For them, it’s an opportunity to buy miles very inexpensively.

There was a similar promotion offered via email earlier on, most folks signed for marketing emails got one, the last time one was supposed to have receive the email in order to be eligible to participate. Lots of people did participate, and most got their points without difficulty.

This time the terms and conditions of the offer are quite clear that it is not targeted.

To qualify for the “16,000 bonus Points” promotion (the “Promotion”) and earn 16,000 Wyndham Rewards® points, the member must (i) be an active member (ii) book a stay at any of the 20 participating properties at a qualifying rate between 9/12/12 and 12/31/12 and complete their hotel stays by 1/3/13 (the “Promotion Period”).

Instead of being targeted, the offer specifically says that if your Wyndham Rewards account is active and you book a stay at one of the 20 properties specified during the promotion period then you are qualified for the 16,000 bonus points. There’s no ambiguity at all is that statement.

Much of this offer going viral stems from the blog post I made yesterday, and nobody from Wyndham has contacted me about it.

Now Wyndham’s representative on Flyertalk has posted that they intended for this to be a targeted offer.

Sorry for the confusion everyone. To clarify there were 2 parts to this promotion.

First part were for members who were targeted through email and the dates for that part were August 6, 2012 to October 6, 2012 and completed by October 9, 2012.

Second part is for member’s who were targeted through direct mail. Dates for this part are 9/12/12 to 12/31/12 and completed by 1/3/13.

To qualify you need to have been sent the direct mailer and book through the link provided. If you were not sent the direct mailer and you book through the link you will not receive the points for the promotion.

The second part of this promotion is not an extension of the first so if you had received the email and had not completed your stay you are not able to take part in the second part of the promotion unless you had also received the direct mail offer.

Hope this clears up any confusion.

So they’re making clear that:

  • This is a different offer than the one they sent out by email earlier, which was targeted. This is not an extension of that offer, but a different promotion.
  • This went out via direct mail and was intended for recipients of that mailing.

But of course that’s not what the published rules say. I’ve taken my screen shot of those rules, others who have participated in the promotion but did not receive a direct mail piece may want to take a screen shot as well — the terms and conditions have not (yet?) been revised so it’s still possible to do that.

Many will not want to make additional bookings based on the offer, given Wyndham’s apparent either confusion or intention not to offer the points consistent with the rules they’ve published online.

Although I imagine that they will ultimately honor points for anyone making bookings prior to any future revision of the terms and conditions published online.

It’s almost inconceivable that they won’t, considering people are making real financial investments in reliance on their advertised offer, which they would never have made without being induced by that offer.

But there’s a chance that this will not be as simple as Wyndham paying out the points as-promised.

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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  1. @gary: I did another call and rep said this one is not targeted. Asked for a supervisor. This supervisor stated that although they did not intend for this to be open to everyone, something happened “behind the scenes” and now it is open to anyone who books through the link on the website. I even had the supervisor note my account since I was given so many different answers…including a private message I just received from the Wyndham rep on Flyertalk saying it was targeted!! I hope they get on the same page soon! But at least for now my account is noted so that makes me feel a little better! Also, FYI they call this promotion the “Revere” promo internally…

  2. Maybe if all the idiot bloggers and their equally idiotic hat-tipping blogger buddies (I’m not naming any names here BTW) didn’t publicize this incessantly yesterday and truckloads of people didn’t try to jump on the ship, then this might have been honored for a smaller amount of people. All you bloggers just don’t realize that some things might be sustainable for a certain amount of people, but when you all publicize this as a way for everybody/anybody to buy miles at 0.7cpm, all of a sudden it is no longer sustainable, and the deal will not live.

    I 100% truly hope your reader that pointed this out to you gets shafted in the end out of his WR pts and learns his lesson to keep his piehole shut, cuz bloggers kill deals.

  3. This is ridiculous. Gary said it perfectly:

    “It’s almost inconceivable that they won’t, considering people are making real financial investments in reliance on their advertised offer, which they would never have made without being induced by that offer.”

  4. What a bunch of clowns the people who run these programs are. They seem to think it is still 1985 and that millions of people cannot communicate in seconds.

  5. @gregorygrady — or, there will be strength in numbers and exposure. It’s possible they wouldn’t have honored it for just a few people but with so many people involved now and because it’s high profile, they will come through and make good on it for everyone. And if that’s the case, I hope you will return and thank your friendly bloggers! (Although I am guessing you’ll say ‘they will be more careful next time, and so the select few friends of mine that know about these deals won’t get in on the next one because you publicized this one’ and of course that’s no a falsifiable statement, so… 😛 )

  6. @gregorygrady – you must be an idiot for reading the idiot bloggers blog postings..just saying.

  7. Odds I wasted ~$60 last night at the Altamonte Springs property? It’s showing as a pending charge on my Sapphire Card.

  8. @Scott: Let me guess, you are Scottrick? If so, sorry if I hurt your feelings.

    @Gary: LOL, yeah right they’ll just honor it without amending the T&Cs almost immediately or making us put up a huge fight. The problem is that this is unsustainable when way too many people jump on the ship. WR is making like $3 in marketing/royalty fees from these hotels, yet they are paying out ~$75 to buy the miles that we’d redeem for. When you go and encourage all the blog reader leeches to do this, and then your blogger friends all hat-tip to death your suggestion, you can see how quickly this will get out of hand. Hey, maybe somebody should post this on FatWallet, maybe there is a way to get gift cards for 70% of face value this way. Somebody should explore this avenue. And then all of a sudden WR will be on the hook for tens of millions of dollars worth of expenses when all they are bringing in is a small fraction of that. Yeah, real sustainable.

    I blame WR for coming up with such a stupid promo. And I blame you for ruining it within the first couple days.

    @ Vivek: Yes, I am quite the idiot for reading all these idiot’s blogs. I certainly admit they really dumb me down quite a bit. I used to have some creativity, now bloggers ruin it cuz anything creative I can think of they come and ruin for me.

  9. I actually appreciate the heads up from the bloggers. Even though we were targeted for the initial offer, I had no idea I could have booked it and not stayed and they would have honored the points. I actually need the Wyndham points for a big stay next year at a Wyndham property and it allows me to pay $120 to get 32K points. This cover the $300 I was planning to pay for the room (which is 30K). If it hadn’t been for Gary I never would have known about Wyndham’s policy to pay points even on a no show!

  10. It’s been a rough week for deals. First the LifeMiles shopping mall. Now this… Oh well. It’s a fun distraction.

  11. @Kelly: Yes, of course you appreciate the bloggers of making you aware of this. The bloggers love to ruin deals, which I already may have mentioned above. One thing I forgot to mention in my last post:

    My prediction: Thanks to all the newfound rampant abuse of the Wyndham “no-show” policy (via bloggers pumping it left and right, nearly as much as they pump credit card affiliate referral offers to pad their pockets), this policy will be eliminated in the next year. Somebody please come back and bump this in a year and tell me how wrong I am if this doesn’t happen.

    Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth……………..although too many cooks in the kitchen also line the pockets of bloggers quite well, so they have no cares in ruining deals as they are laughing all the way to the bank.

  12. @redcat255 – my bet is that they will come through and honor it at least for bookings made while the terms and conditions were clear that folks were eligible.

  13. I’m just kinda surprised that Gary linked to FlyerTalk. He rarely does that anymore. Usually either Hat Tip to a poster’s screen name (with no mention of FT) or HT to Milepoint with or without the screen name.

  14. Thanks for staying on top of this and keeping us updated, Gary.

    I made non-refundable bookings prior to the blow-up, so waiting with fingers crossed…

  15. What’s bad on my end is that I’m targeted but since my profile is set up to earn US air miles my target offer is for 1,000 miles per 2 stays (not as good of deal as the 16,000 points I don’t think). I was getting ready to book a couple nights on this deal next week but not sure I’m interested now.

  16. @gregorygrady

    “…anything creative I can think of they come and ruin for me.”

    Apparently you aren’t creative enough. If you were, your ideas would be sustainable as, clearly, you don’t share anything with others. If your idea was truly creative, those ‘idiot bloggers’ wouldn’t be able to ruin it for you.

  17. @John – I give credit where credit is due, and while something may be on Flyertalk that doesn’t mean I saw it there, I’m on Milepoint a lot more these days so it’s much more likely I will see something on Milepoint. If it comes to me from a reader, I acknowledge the reader. Or if it’s at TravelingBetter.com. Or another blog. Some bloggers don’t credit the source of things, and perhaps that’s cool, but I really do go out of my way to do so.

  18. @gregorygrady – isn’t the point of these travel blogs to post great deals? If you don’t like these blogs, don’t read them.

    @gary – thanks again. Another great post.

  19. If they don’t honor the deal, I’ll dispute the charges with the bank. I encourage others to do the same.

  20. All the people hating on gregorygrady should really shut up. He knows more than a lot of you will ever know and he knows to keep his mouth shut to keep those deals private.

    I’d bet a large sum of money that the phantom stays will go away as they did with Hyatt. And thanks for killing another deal, Gary. Real smart. I wonder which clown(s) hired you as a CFO.

  21. “hat a bunch of clowns the people who run these programs are. They seem to think it is still 1985 and that millions of people cannot communicate in seconds.”

    lol

  22. Best way to tackle trolls such as gregorymofogrady is to ignore the incestous baztards.Don’t reply to anything rectalhole has to say and he would just fade away, like his kind does always does.

  23. I was told by a representative that they will now honor the offer for everyone that booked through the offer page (“bonus16”). Has anyone else been told this?

  24. So, assuming we will get points [after long/short battle with Wyndham], which program do you intend to transfer to?

    I’m currently a bit light on AA miles.

  25. @Gary Yesterday you had posted the actual offer page (“bonus16”) as well as the page for one of the hotels. I think I visited the bonus16 page but booked after clicking the direct link to the hotel property you had posted. Do you think I’ve screwed myself by not actually clicking the “Book Now” button on the “bonus16” page?

  26. I didn’t see anything listed on the page listing the 16K properties that said that you had to book through that page to get the points. The links also didn’t have any kind of code imbedded in them – it looked just like the link would look if you Googled the site for the individual hotels. I don’t see how the offer page can yield anything one way or the other?

  27. @redcat255 i cannot imagine there is a problem:

    * the terms and conditions say nothing about using the offer page to get to the hotel page
    * there was nothing special tracking use of the offer page, and nothing special about the link
    * i got the link in the first place that i posted by going to the offer page first. so if there WAS something special about the link, you used the right one

  28. @BigRedBears – I wasn’t going to transfer right away, I have over a million AA miles… I am quite deep on US Airways and United, too. I prefer keeping my options open.

  29. I’d be shocked if they didn’t honor the terms or agree to cancel non-refundable bookings. Worst case, seems like an easy case to dispute with the credit card company. I just went into my Wyndham account and sent the following inquiry (just so I have backup):

    Hello, I have booked 3 non-refundable stays at the Utah property participating in this promotion:

    http://www.wyndhamrewards.com/bonus16/

    There are social media reports that Wyndham does not plan to honor the terms of this promotion unless the member had been mailed this offer. Nowhere does it state such a requirement in the terms and conditions. It only states that the member must (i) be an active member and (ii) book/complete a stay at any of the 20 participating properties within the promotion period. Will you please confirm whether Wyndham will honor the stated terms for my 3 non-refundable bookings at this property?

  30. Something I noticed though not sure how relevant was that all reservations made through the website had the code SR2. I made it a point to go through the offer page to ensure I was finding rates with that code.

  31. @guest: LOL, I’ve come up with plenty of creative ideas that were sustainable. But I certainly wouldn’t share them here otherwise they would die. I don’t see how spoon feeding blog leeches that are not smart enough to think of things for themselves helps anybody but gleff, who gets more clicks, and again laughs all the way to the bank. But I guess this is gleff’s blog, and I can’t expect him to look out for anybody/anything but his own pocket.

    @mark: The problem is that this isn’t blogging about great deals, this is KILLING great deals. Does that help any of us? Yes, I saw recently that some people claim WR will honor this, but IMHO there is a less than 5% chance of WR honoring this deal exactly as it is now for everybody until 12/31/12. Just gonna be too costly for them.

    @abcx: LOL, thx for coming to my defense, no need to though. I fed the trolls/leeches, so I expect to get flamed. Don’t worry though, I put on my flamesuit, and was fully ready for it. 😉 I definitely agree thanks for all the bloggers publicizing this that no-show stays will no longer count for points, just like Hyatt did a few years back unfortunately.

    That’s about it, nothing else timeworthy of replying too. 😉

  32. One thing that bothers me is that the promo didn’t require registration. So what evidence do people have that they made the booking through the link Gary supplied?

  33. These sort of things will be more commonplace as they are posted by Gary and others at Flyertalk and Milepoint, plus the other blogs. Many of these companies will claim this was not as intended or a vioation of their terms on whatever loophole you exploit. Many offers the mass public wont go for or it will not have impact. Flyertalkers can see something that makes sense, and they have the $$$ to hit the thing hard immediately. For an example check some of the error airfares or other related things. Reading a blog like this doesnt make you a blog troll. That doesnt make sense to me. It is true that many of these angles are shut down when the response comes pouring in.

    I always mention Chase because I had to fight them several times in the past on programs and perks.

  34. @gregorygrady, I would agree small scale churnable deals should not be blogged. If only 5,000 people can get in on a churnable 500 mile deal before it dies, then it would be more valuable to e.g. 50 people finding it independently and milking it for 50,000. What good is it to publicize it so the end result is 500 miles to the masses? However, that is different from deals that are large enough to benefit all who got in on it, such as this promo. I’d agree with Gary that there is added benefit of strength in numbers from blogging it, with a good case to be made why they should honor it, vs. deals that are obvious errors or mistakes.

  35. Taking the case of 50 people milking it for 50,000, please note that Priority Club closed the accounts of those who did several multiples of the 300 points promo for clicking.
    So that keeping quiet may not always lead to the best outcome!

  36. An example of scalable until blogged was the FTD.Com promo for 1500 UA miles + 30 per dollar. It was out in posts on FT so people who spent the time benefited. When ‘re-blogged’ it died in a couple days.

    Then on the next one someone then mentioned that Spa Finder Certificates could be bought to really rack up miles. That then dies a quick death too.

    These worked for a couple years until reblogged and died. So I can understand the comments here that blogging can kill things by getting them spread to widely. Being killed they then had less value overall than if it were to have continued at a lower level.

  37. @ffi, publicizing such a loophole wouldn’t have been value added either. All it would have done is result in more accounts being closed. I’m referring to smaller deals that only offer value to anyone if they can be churned. These deals are a dying breed but they do exist. I don’t view the Wyndham deal in the same category, since the payoff is large enough to benefit anyone getting in on it, without requiring scale.

  38. So if each booking at one of the twenty hotels wasn’t made by clicking through the offer page one is in trouble? Should the terms and conditions be evoked to the end of having those rooms cancelled and refunded?

  39. Someone mentioned that “no show” = no points, but I’ve also read otherwise. What’s the final word on this?

  40. I quoted the terms and conditions in my original post on the subject — which also matches my experience — no shows yield points with Wyndham Rewards.

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