I’m doing a session next week at FT4RL DFW about hotel alternatives. Between the Hyatt program changes and this Wyndham Rewards news it couldn’t come at a better time.
Wyndham Rewards has been all over the blogosphere lately- for some not so good reasons. I’m still a fan of the program in general so you might think I’d appreciate the news that you can now redeem points for time share properties.
For the same reason the Wyndham Credit Card is a terrible value a much better option is available for Wyndham timeshares: Endless Vacation Rentals (EVR). EVR is owned by Wyndham, who also owns RCI timeshare. EVR rents out their inventory at often jaw-droppingly low prices.
I’ve been quietly hacking Wyndham rentals for over 15 years. Our family has rented 2 bedroom Wyndham apartments in Ireland for $549/week. Last August we spent $279 for a WEEK in Hawaii in a 2 bedroom Wyndham condo.
Wyndham Rewards charges 15,000 per bedroom for a timeshare, so a two bedroom unit will run you 30,000 points per night. The Ireland and Hawaii trips listed above run 210,000 points a week under Wyndham Rewards- for a redemption value of 1/5 to 1/10 penny a point. This may be the single worst value redemption in existence, and I’m including points for presents.
Using any of these sites is pretty straightforward: you just pick a week you like and buy it.
If you’re really flexible, try SkyAuction. Wyndham Rentals there go as low as $199/week- I’ve rented in Tenerife, Ft. Lauderdale, and Vegas among others using SkyAuction. Here’s a post detailing how I use Skyauction.
Even on a 1 night stay you might be better off buying the week, especially if you find it on Skyauction. The one downside? No cancellation. Only buy with trips you have committed.
A quick caveat: I am talking here about the weekly rentals or the nightly rentals, not the “vacation packages” you might see on EVR. They are an entirely different animal. Consider the packages a discount for your time spent attending a timeshare presentation. With a weekly rental you are NOT required to attend a presentation. Now I’m not saying you won’t get invited to do so, but you are under no obligation to do anything but enjoy your vacation.
PLEASE take a good look at EVR and the other options I’ve mentioned before you think of parting with your Wyndham points at 1/10 of the value you could get using them in other ways. And do come back and let me know about the Wyndham timeshares you’ve visited- I’m always looking for new ideas.
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