Wyndham Hotels acquired La Quinta recently and is moving quickly to integrate the companies. Effective June 4, 2018, the rewards programs of the two hotel groups are taking the first step towards integrating them from a customer perspective: You can now link your accounts, transfer rewards points at a 1:1 ratio and get a status match. Wyndham Rewards has frequently been called the “Blue Band” that connects the various brands and Wyndham is putting the money where the mouth is, moving quickly to provide customers with loyalty benefits!
Earning & redeeming points and elite benefits are the key concerns for members and with this announcement, it will be easier for the 56 million Wyndham Rewards members and 13 million La Quinta Return members will be able to earn, redeem and enjoy status perks across all the hotels, resorts and apartments in the two chains.
With regards to Elite benefits, Wyndham Rewards members with Gold status will be matched to La Quinta Gold and WR Platinum and Diamond members will be matched to La Quinta Elite level. That will give the respective members increased point earnings as well as some perks like upgrades or late check out.
The points transfer will give members a chance to combine their balances and more choices to redeem their points. It is interesting as Wyndham has a flat-rate redemption of 15,000 points/night, which can be especially valuable at very expensive hotels, resorts or timeshares. La Quinta redemptions are more traditional, starting at as little as 6,000 points/night and going up to 24,000 points for the most expensive properties. It’s also interesting that La Quinta has a partnership with GHA, giving members access to upscale and luxury hotels around the world. While the redemptions are revenue-based, they do fill a gap in Wyndham’s portfolio by offering more aspirational redemptions!
Bottomline: Reward programs are more often in the news for the devaluation of point currencies and the elimination of perks, so this is great news for customers: More options to earn & redeem miles and enjoy status perks is always a good thing. And in transitions like this, there are always opportunities for exceptional value in redeeming your points, so I’ll review the two programs in more detail soon to find those “pots of gold” for reward enthusiasts!