Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

An important lesson in miles and points, courtesy of Wyndham Rewards

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Wyndham Rewards is not a hotel loyalty scheme that I focus on.  The chain is heavily US-focussed, although there are a number of Ramada and Days Inn properties across the UK.

Last week, though, Wyndham did something which should be a lesson for every Head for Points reader.  Overnight, they devalued their reward chart for conversion to airline miles by 50%.

1 Wyndham point was, with most airlines, worth 0.4 miles.  From January 31st, it is worth only 0.2 miles.

No notice was given of this change.

Club Carlson did something similar last year.   It wasn’t quite as bad as this for small amounts, but at the top end it went from 100,000 points = 18,000 miles to 100,000 points = 10,000 miles.  In some ways the Carlson devaluation was even less fair, since the transfer rate improved with bigger conversions, which encouraged people to hang on – until they got shafted overnight.

The lesson, of course, is not to hoard miles and points if you can help it.  Almost certainly, your miles will devalue over time as redemption rates get worse.  Usually you will get some advance notice, but sometimes a programme will pull a fast one, like Wyndham.

Of course, this opens up again the wider debate about ‘loyalty’ and about how ‘loyal’ the programme should be to you ….

Hotel offers update – February 2024:

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Want to buy hotel points?

  • Hilton Honors is offering an 80% to 100% bonus when you buy points by 12th March 2024. Click here.
  • IHG One Rewards is offering an 80% bonus when you buy points by 7th March 2024. Click here.
  • Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 35% to 40% bonus when you buy points by 31st March 2024. Click here.
  • World of Hyatt is offering a 20% discount when you buy points by 9th April 2024. Click here.

Comments (9)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Volker says:

    “The lesson, of course, is not to hoard miles and points if you can help it.”

    Raffles, would you still advise us to keep our Tesco Clubcard points and wait for an Avios conversion bonus? Are you keeping yours? Against the backdrop of recent devaluations I am getting increasingly concerned.

    • Rob says:

      I think it is unlikely Tesco would leg you over with no notice. They have a good track record of giving advance warning when deals are pulled or conversion rates changed.

      Wyndham has a track record of NOT giving notice, as does Carlson.

      • John says:

        Do you think there will be any Avios devaluations in the next few years?

        Is there a one-stop blog or otherwise that records devaluations so we can all speculate on when the next one is coming?

        Does anyone remember any recent devals of Star Alliance programs? I know the United one just had one but the award levels seem to be quite standard and constant for most other star FFPs

        • Rob says:

          The last set of Avios changes was November 2011 when Avios was launched. For UK members, though, things actually got a lot better. New York etc dropped 20%, most of Asia dropped 20-30% and Reward Flight Saver came in. The losers were non-UK members who no longer got their connecting flights for free.

          AA will be the next big one – they use the merger with US as an excuse to realign. Let’s face it, 160,000 for London to Sydney in First compared to 300,000 Avios is not sustainable.

          I think BA is happier to mess about with availability levels rather than mileage charged.

  • Rob says:

    Ends Feb 10th. I am doing a reminder post tomorrow as it happens.

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    I always think that this is a gap when people are trying to value miles in cash (e.g. 1p/Avios). You need to discount heavily based on when you plan to redeem – at least 10% per year, I’d say. It’s a really important consideration since there’s often an opportunity cost to collecting miles or points.

  • DontLikeFruit says:

    My view of Wyndham Rewards:

    Positives: Occasional double or triple miles offers for Miles & More. Once got a 2-finger KitKat as a welcome gift.
    Negatives: Never (ever) had points or miles post without making a missing points claim. “4-6 weeks” have to elapse before you can submit your claim. Some particularly grim properties (Ramada Encore Derby, I’m looking at you.)

    On the subject of missing points – a question for Raffles (and other HFP readers) – when a hotel loyalty scheme fails to deliver the promised points for a promotion and then rejects a follow-up claim, at what point in the process of chasing them would you ever concede defeat and just write off the missing points?

    • squills says:

      I would certainly make a bit of a PITA of myself with them first before admitting defeat as it only takes a few minutes to send an email or phone somebody (politely of course 😉 ).

      Escalation to higher/ highest level fairly early on can work wonders.

    • Rob says:

      Good question. It is really a function of the number of points, the number of ‘easy’ levels of complaint you have and, frankly, whether you are 100 per cent due the points or are somehow playing more to the letter rather than spirit of the promo rules.

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