Q. How do I use my points for airfare, car rentals, or theme park tickets?
A. Wyndham has a program called Plus Partners that allows you to trade your points for things like plane tickets and car rentals. While it may seem like another benefit to ownership, it’s not the best value for your points. For example, one of their brochures quoted 65,000 points for a mid-size car rental in Orlando for 3 days. If you owned Club Wyndham access points, the maintenance fees on 65,000 points are about $430. That’s $142.78 a day. Prices can fluctuate based on seasons. The brochure didn’t say what season that 65,000 points were for, so let’s assume 65,000 points is for prime season. Looking at Priceline, I can book a mid-size during Christmas week (Prime season) for anywhere from $42 – $102 a day. It’s entirely possible that 65,000 was for low season and prime season is even higher.
They quoted 48,000 to 60,000 points for a one-day base ticket for Walt Disney World in Orlando. CWA maintenance fees on those points are about $316 – $395.40 depending on how many points you use. The gate price of that ticket starts at $109 and can go as high as $159 during Christmas week.
They quoted 120,000 for airfare from Tampa to Las Vegas. Again, CWA maintenance fees are $790 on 120,000 points. Depending on what time of year you go, that’s a $200 to $400 ticket.
Again, prices fluctuate on the airfare, car rentals, cruises, and theme park tickets. If cash prices go up, so do the point cost through Plus Partners. It said right on the brochure that point levels can vary based on destination, travel dates, size, etc. (in tiny print). So, if a salesperson tried to tell you those are flat rates, you should point out the tiny print in the brochure that says they can change based on dates, destinations, etc. It also says in the tiny print that taxes and fees are not included with the points. Car rental companies are famous for adding fees.
Some other things to note:
- Reservations must be made from 10 months to 2 months in advance (per the directory).
- There is a $59 non-refundable fee to make a reservation. Reservation transaction credits do not cover that fee.
- There is a $25 non-refundable fee if you need to make changes.
- You’re limited to six attraction tickets, but you can purchase more with cash.
- You cannot borrow points to exchange in Plus partners.
- You can rent any additional points you need (at $12 per 1,000) but only for reservations made 2-3 months out.
- Bonus points and PIC points can be used in Plus Partners.
- Owners have to have purchased at least some of their points direct from Wyndham, in order to participate in Plus Partners. Owners who obtained all their points from third parties are not eligible.
RCI Nightly stays is part of Plus Partners as well. This allows you to book single nights at participating RCI resorts. There are a fair amount of resorts that participate, but it’s a small number compared to the 4,500 resorts in the RCI network. For the resorts that do not participate, you’re still required to book full weeks. Resale only owners who are not eligible for Plus partners, are not eligible for nightly stays either and have to book full weeks.
You can read about the Plus Partners program on page 261 of the directory. The owner 101 Knowledgebase article on the My Club Wyndham website also explains Plus Partners.