The Problem with Redeeming Wyndham Points

Wyndham Points

When I first heard that you could redeem Wyndham points at their condo, timeshare, and vacation rental properties, I was super excited. Many of these properties have amazing features for families. For that reason they can be a better choice than a typical hotel room in so many ways. At the top of the list: a real kitchen, no matter how small it is. My wife has some dietary restrictions. We enjoy properties that provide the means and tools for cooking your own meals.

But the more I tried to actually use the Wyndham program for their condo properties, the more disappointed I became. The older kids and I recently took a quick trip to Napa to enjoy the Vino Bello Resort, which is a nice place (SEE: Vino Bello Resort Napa Review), the issues with Wyndham’s program terms notwithstanding (SEE: Waive that resort fee! Holding a hotel to its program policies). But for a couple other potential stays I hoped to book, I ran into a major problem.

Reality: everything is blacked out

When I was searching for the crème de la crème among Wyndham properties still available for 15,000 points (SEE: 10 remaining gems after the brutal Wyndham devaluation), I discovered a worrisome trend: many nice properties have so many dates blacked out that they are virtually impossible to book. I noticed that there were generally a good number of unavailable weekends. Properties I looked at booking, such as those in Napa, Bend, and San Francisco didn’t have a weekend that worked for us.

However, some were far, far worse. Consider the Heidelberg Inn, a property near June Lake on the eastern side of the Sierras. It’s a place I’d love to spend several days. But no matter when I looked, I got the same availability. That is to say, none.

I did my best to account for the minimum stay requirements. For many Wyndham condo, timeshare, and resort properties, you have to book for a minimum of 2 nights, sometimes 3. This isn’t explained well on Wyndham’s website. The search results don’t give you any indication that the “No Availability” you see is because you’re looking for too short a stay. It took some trial and error on my part to figure out what was going wrong.

Even searching 3-night stays for weeks on end, I couldn’t come up with a single potential three-night window that I could book for weeks on end. The Heidelberg Inn offers zilch. Zero. Nada.

This is the same story at a number of properties I was moderately to highly interested in booking. I understand the need to hold back peak season dates at time share properties. But at least throw program members a bone and release some dates. There are certainly good properties out there, as far as availability goes. But it is either the absolute wrong season for the location, or the property isn’t as desirable. It took me sporadic searching for quite a while to pin down the dates. We finally did manage to stay at the Vino Bello Resort in Napa.

Reaching out to Wyndham

With the Heidelberg Inn and a few other examples in hand, I decided to email Wyndham Rewards and see what was up with their program. As far as I understood, their properties were not supposed to have blackout dates. In the case of the Heidelberg Inn, the property still had many base level rooms available when you search to book with cash via other channels. None of these show up in the Wyndham Rewards search, however.

My email listed out about a half dozen properties at which I could not find any availability. The response I received from the Director of Global Communications was fairly prompt, and it read as follows:

“Hi Ian,

Thank you for sharing this with us. Wyndham Rewards members are able to enjoy the benefits of the program with thousands of vacation club resorts and vacation rentals through our relationship with Wyndham Destinations (i.e., Wyndham Vacation Resorts) and other partners; these properties are subject to blackout dates/rates based on availability. We’re working with the team at Wyndham Destinations to understand more about what’s driving the experience you’ve described. Nevertheless, Wyndham Rewards continues to offer more than 9,000 hotels in more than 80 countries with no blackout dates on standard room types.”

Looking deeper into the terms, I discovered that Wyndham only “guarantees” no blackout dates on their hotels, not the condo and timeshare properties. So the Director of Global Communications is right; you’re basically out of luck if a property decides it doesn’t want to offer any nights available for rewards stays.

Thanks for nothing, Wyndham.

Conclusion

We’ve had all of one stay at a Wyndham condo or timeshare property, and I have two more booked. We’ll see if I actually stick with them, as these weekend stays are the most prone to cancellation, and I often book them speculatively. What I don’t want is to be stuck with a bunch of Wyndham points that are all but impossible to use at places besides the Super 8 across the river.

Has your experience with Wyndham condo, resort and timeshare properties been similar to mine?

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Comments

  1. JONATHAN GRUBBS says

    I have been booking with the bonus points of a1000 points everytime. Has not been getting it. A little dissatisfied. Also so i been using you all promo code never woked for even tho i when to property that i was on. Also called the wyndam rewards 800 number. Really got no where. Poor customer service two. Out of the three times. Just not a good for new customers. I would really hope we make things right in the future.

    • Shayne says

      Same here I’ve been in Wyndham hotel and booked reservations since April now it’s july. The laquinta is deplorable i was charged for breakfast they couldn’t serve due to covid19. An agent resent reward points that i never claimed a month before, instead it should’ve been doubled due to the photos i sent through email and shown to a housekeeping supervisor on duty. From mold to mildew including soiled sheets and unexplained iridescent stains also.

  2. Tjuanna says

    I’m never able to use my points anywhere besides the basic hotel chains in basic hotel rooms. Speaking with a customer service rep is next to impossible, because they barley understand my English as well as I have a hard time understanding their English. It’s very upsetting.

  3. Robert Davidson says

    I just joined Wyndam for inexpensive stays at or near airports for missed flight connections or day before travel. I’ve had an issue with Choice rewarding me bonus points for a promo, but they made good because I screenshot my receipts. I plan on watching my Wyndam bonus point acrual in the same way. I don’t use condo/timeshare properties, so no loss there.

  4. Laurie says

    I have traveled extensively with multiple reward point programs. Wyndam is far worse than most. Even choice beat them hands down. Currently the hotel im stuck at, has no amentaties no coffee, business center is a joke, they keep the loby locked, no contenental breakfast, im sure something could have been worked out.
    Office staff , maintaince, room attendants, all bring there personal laundry using the facilities washers, when the office side door was open im being generous in estimating a quarter inch of accumulated dirt and filth beween refrigerators and other forms of storage. They wont give access to guests for sugar dry items, spoons,etc, tea bags, coffee , but will allow old staff members to enter the lobby or office area. With request and need for fax, computer, as there wifi is so ineffective, guests are not allowed use of fax, copy machine, or computer.
    Workers take home toiletries, and linens, then wh i as a paying customer ask for an extra blanket the answer is we we are short on blankets , sheets, towels, any and everything. Ive seen workets fill up backpacks, do there laundry, all on hotels dime then am refused requests because they are waiting for toilet paper.
    Prior to this lock down, coffee was rarely made, use of laundry was standard, i had to take my room linens to the laundry and wash them then return them to my bed and make it.
    I see nothing goid about the franchise, as any issues go back to the owner, who doesnt care.
    The ice machine is out for the world and virus to land. Multiples farrel cats rome the parking lot, having kittens, and look like distemper.
    My phone in room never had a jack, and several phones dont ring.
    This hotel is a joke, ive seen clean super 8 , the cockroaches are so bad i purchased my own spray.
    I cant leave for awhile longer, trapped in a nightmare.

  5. Aprille Steiner says

    I love in Florida so I typically stay close to home. I’ve stayed in Kissimmee and Panama City Beach. Both were beautiful, clean resorts. We opted in for the VIP upgrade for our status and both times actually got them! We had a 2bd on the 22nd floor in PCB and all rooms face the ocean AND the city. In Kissimmee we got upgraded to a couple 2bd lockoff, which was cool bc I was taking my son and his friends for his 16th birthday for the 3 days before Christmas! They got to have the whole 2nd unit to themselves and I had the huge master suite. I’ve also stayed in TN which was phenomenal. Loved the in room jacuzzi tub, especially bc I have a special needs daughter’s and we got private hot tub time. We also had the whole inside pool to ourselves. Both nights we invited different guests to stay in the 2nd bedroom. I love being able to visit friends in their town, but host them in my suite. Especially bc my daughter requires her own space, she really likes to scream in the middle of the night. Lol. Oh, that TN trip was on the fourth of July. So, I’ve done Christmas Eve and July 4th at gorgeous resorts. I have two Bonnet Creek trips planned in the next couple of months and Daytona. No problem booking. Waiting to see if we get upgraded. I’ve also booked Reunion for 5 days with less than 2weeks notice. Pretty positive experience so far. Actually bought more points to stay VIP while in PCB.

  6. Judy L Scherer says

    We have been with Wyndham for 3 years now our first 2 vacation we took were to Myrtle beach and both time we had 3 bedroom 3 bath presidential suites they both faced the ocean and both units were gorgeous, we are now planning a trip to Gatlinburg Tennessee and we are taking my sister and her family with us I was able to book two 3 bedroom suites at The Great Smokies Lodge we are excited it has it’s own indoor water park. We love being with Wyndham.

  7. Chena Fisher says

    Im so disappointed in the wyndham program. And the actions from certain properties. I have just recently bought a piece of land out of state. In the process of putting a house/power/water etc… In the meantime, still working in my home state but with no home to stay cuz ive done sold my house to make my dream a reality. Its a very stressful time. I decided to stay at a LaQuinta property for their pet friendly policy. My dog is my child, he is also my service animal. After staying there for a month. With no issues at all. I then decide to hire one of their night staff to work with me in the day hours a couple days a week. Needed help with my business. I got to know this girl from staying there and seeing her at the front desk. Long story short. The girl ends up not being a good fit for me and she ended up being involved with some criminal activity or something??? She was also let go from her jib at the hotel. But since they associated us together on camera. I was kicked off the property and told i was not allowed on the property. For what? What did i do? They hired that girl first and i did not know what rules i was violating since they could not tell me. I have so much i want to say but dont know how to address my issue. I now have to stay far away from where i work making my life just that much more difficult and stressful

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