Overcoming My Kryptonite – The Search for Exciting Wyndham Rewards Redemptions

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La Quinta Santa Barbara. Source: Wyndham Hotels.

My Tedious Search for the Best Wyndham Rewards Redemptions

I have a very hot and cold relationship with the Wyndham Rewards program.  Years ago, my wife and I enjoyed getting in on an earlier version of the Wyndham Visa card.  We enjoyed 2x points everywhere and the yearly 15k Wyndham Rewards points by simply paying the $69 annual fee.  Indeed, that stuff has been enough for us to put up with their wacky points expiration policy.

Sure, we redeem Wyndham points now and then, but primarily for 15k per night properties on road trips.  I’m a big fan of La Quinta and certain Days Inn properties, but those are primarily pedestrian stays out of necessity.  While others can’t get enough of Vacasa, I have zero interest. I think it is essentially an Airbnb stay and that just isn’t what I am looking for.  I’ve had Wyndham points piling up for years but when will I find Wyndham properties where I’m actually excited to stay?  I’m addressing that today.  Here are the best Wyndham Rewards redemptions I’ve found for my family and me.

Best Wyndham Rewards Redemptions
Wyndham Grand Mills House. Source: Wyndham Hotels.

The Mills House – Charleston, SC

With excellent location and plenty of history, there’s much to love with this Wyndham Grand property.  The original Mills House Hotel was built and opened in 1853, and it was rebuilt in 1969.  The hotel has a scenic pool and deck with excellent downtown views.  Guests can enjoy courtyard dining at the on-site Barbadoes Room restaurant, which also offers weekend brunch.  Not surprisingly, most rooms are a bit on the small side (250 square feet) but are elegantly appointed.

Rate:  30k Wyndham Rewards points per night

Best Wyndham Rewards Redemptions
Wyndham Grand Bonnet Creek. Source: Wyndham Hotels.

Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort, Bonnet Creek

Shocker, I’m excited to stay at a property nearby Walt Disney World.  Seriously, though, the big surprise is I’m interested in staying at this resort without bothering to visit a Disney World park.  Why?  My family and I would be busy enough here.  The property offers five outdoor pools, two lazy rivers, two kids’ splash parks, a half mile walking path, a ten acre lake, and Blue Harmony Spa.  Check out the different room layouts, including the family rooms with bunk beds for the kids.  The property holds multiple restaurants and bars.  I love such options on-site to make the visit smoother, especially in Orlando.  Although I’m not a golfer, plenty of courses are nearby.

Rate:  30k Wyndham Rewards points per night

Best Wyndham Rewards Redemptions
Wyndham Santa Monica at the Pier. Source: Wyndham Hotels.

Wyndham Santa Monica at the Pier

The location says it all with Wyndham’s Santa Monica, CA property.  And viable points hotels in Santa Monica can be tricky.  Of course, the beach and pier are just steps away.  The hotel sports an outdoor heated pool and 24/7 fitness center.  The hotel also offers bicycles to explore the local neighborhood.  The hotel’s restaurant and bar offerings are basic, but we’ll want to eat and drink while we’re out and about, anyway.  No doubt, the location is the draw here, and it’s enough for us.

Rate:  30k Wyndham Rewards points per night

Best Wyndham Rewards Redemptions
Wyndham Origin Raleigh. Source: Wyndham Hotels.

Origin Raleigh

This hotel in downtown Raleigh, NC is surprisingly trendy for a Wyndham property without bringing on an eye roll from this writer.  Museums such as CAM Raleigh, the North Carolina Museum of Art, Marble Kids Museum, and North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences are conveniently located nearby.  Very importantly for us, this hotel is dog-friendly.  I’m sometimes turned off by a boutique hotel vibe, but not here.

Rate:  15k Wyndham Rewards points per night

Wyndham Gettysburg Indoor Pool. Source: Wyndham Hotels.

Wyndham Gettysburg, PA

The Federal-style architecture and feel of this property can’t be ignored.  The designers were obviously going for it.  And yet, I don’t mind.  If anything, I’m drawn in even more so to the local Civil War history.  Gettysburg National Military Park and General Lee’s headquarters are nearby.   Also, the hotel has an on-site movie theater, something that not many hotels in the States offer.  The property holds an indoor pool with excellent views.  Again, Wyndham offers a dog-friendly property here.  The 1863 Restaurant and Lounge offers dining convenience, if not a creative name.

Rate:  15k Wyndham Rewards points per night

La Quinta Santa Barbara. Source: Wyndham Hotels.

La Quinta Santa Barbara

I love La Quinta Inns, especially the few with a bit of character.  The exterior alone draws me to this hotel.  It also doesn’t hurt that the interiors look impeccable.  A lot of the usual La Quinta consistency remains – pet friendly rooms, reliable complimentary breakfast, and a welcome lack of stuffiness.   Also, I’ll probably stay here to balance out the splurge of my stay at the Four Seasons Santa Barbara.  Indeed, I’m confident I’ll enjoy each experience!

Rate:  30k Wyndham Rewards points per night

The Vegas Grab Bag of the Best Wyndham Rewards Redemptions

Since I’m able to transfer Wyndham Rewards points to the Caesars Rewards program at a 1:1 ratio, of course I should consider a stay at a Vegas property.  Caesars points are effectively worth one cent per point.  This opens several different Vegas hotels for points stays.  Most likely, I’ll opt to use points at Caesars Palace.  I’ve long desired to stay at this property; it’s also got my favorite casino layout on the strip.  On previous Vegas trips, I’ve found myself wandering around this property more than any other.  I love that I can use my Caeasars points to cover charges to the room.  Many may shrug at this property, but I feel I must stay here once in my lifetime.

Rate:  Wyndham Points are effectively worth one cent per point

Best Wyndham Rewards Redemptions – Conclusion

I’m pleasantly surprised at the solid options I found.  Most of my Wyndham Rewards points have been burning a metaphorical hole in my wallet since I zeroed them out on a Hawthorn Suites stay in 2017 (long story).  More than anything, I know I won’t have issues with the expiration policy in the near term.  Worst case, I’ll transfer 30k points to Caesars Rewards, if necessary.  What have been your best Wyndham Rewards redemptions?

Benjy Harmon
Benjy is a fan of points, miles, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently focuses on roaming throughout the USA expense-free (or close to it). He enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

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19 COMMENTS

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Benjy,
    I’m not sure this will reply to you comment you just made, I don’t see the “reply” prompt on your latest answer….?

    I hear you on Barclays being tough with applications. I will say that since they boosted the offer to 90k last week, I’m seeing anecdotal evidence of more rapid approvals. Since the business card won’t report to the CRAs and only costs a TU slot to apply, the costs of trying seems low. Best of luck either way!

  2. Mine was just over Memorial Day weekend when I stayed at the Baymont in Gatlinburg. All of the rooms have a balcony overlooking the river. The inn is right on the main strip, free covered parking and easily walkable to everything. This was 15K points and rooms were going for between $250-$300. This is also the nicest Baymont that I have ever stayed in, for whatever that is worth.

    • Randy,

      Thanks for noting this Baymont location – it’s definitely needle in the haystack with that brand.

  3. my favorite redemption is the Wyndham grand in Clearwater Beach. It goes for 400-500 a night so it’s a great value with points.

  4. We really enjoyed the Mills House and the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach. When every location was 15,000 points we enjoyed long weekends at both properties, wish that was still the case.

    • Jennifer,

      Indeed, with Wyndham redemptions, every sentence should start out with “I wish it was still 15k a night, but…”

  5. We enjoyed the Canterbury in SF 3 years ago when it was shipped 15k a ton. Too bad it’s 39 now but it’s probably still a value at 30. Is your huge stash from signups or spend? I closed the card post draining the acct and post devaluation.

    • Mike H,

      Yes, Wyndham points were from welcome offers years ago (those points have been used) and ongoing spend at 2x for a few years (not spending on them currently, though). Our biggest influx now primarily comes from the 15k anniversary bonuses we each get on our old Wyndham cards. Multiple attempts to product change to the Earner Plus have been unsuccessful!

      • Benjy, did they give you a reason for denying your product trade? I had no issues changing my legacy Wyndham card (opened 2017, 1x for non-bonused spend) to the Earner Plus.

        I assume you’ve considered applying for the Earner Business +, and keeping your legacy 2x card? That’s what I would shoot for in your position, FWIW.

        • Dave,

          No info other than “a product change isn’t available right now.” When did you product change?

          I like the Business card, but I value the Earner+ (grocery category) more highly for my situation.

          • Benjy, I product changed maybe 20-30 days after the new cards were introduced last fall. Painless process; I don’t recall whether the CSR even needed to speak with her supervisor at all, and I had the new card within a week or so.

            I hear you on the grocery category. For me, there is always such intense competition for that category, e.g. Amex Gold, Amex Plat 10x for 6 months, Chase SR; Citi Premeir, etc. That’s why I’d value the 2x category free spend more. Plus, your 15k annual bonus crushes the 7,500 point bonus on the Earner +.

            I wonder if you could hold both your current legacy card *and* the Earner +? Between that and the business earner, you’d have a killer Wyndham trifecta. 🙂

          • Dave,

            Yeah, I waited too long. There was no PC deadline when this rolled out with the new cards, so I felt no sense of urgency. I’ve tried every few months, to no avail. I’ll keep at it. I can’t get enough of grocery bonus earning across all cards, but I know that many people have to make tough decisions on which cards to put their grocery spend on. I totally get your situation. I’ve had a tough time getting approved by Barclays for a while now, so I’m a bit skeptical of more new application attempts. You make a good point regarding the Business version, though, maybe I’d have an easier time with that one…

  6. The Mills House is a beautiful hotel, and Charleston is so lovely for walking. I was super bummed when it went up to 30k per night. Stayed there in late 2018 when it was still 15k.

  7. If only wanting a hotel room, maybe not, but you could otherwise expand your search to Club Wyndhams; Wyndham Vacation Rentals; Shell Vacations Club that also allow you to use points. Downtown Austin in a new 1k sq ft condo for 15k points, for ex.

    Dolces & Trademark Collection hotel are also very nice.

    Wyndham has 25 hotels in the pipeline, including St Kitts, Nevis, Barbados, Belize, and a new dual-branded Wyndham Grand and TRYP by Wyndham hotel in Miami.

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