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The morning in miles and points started with word of an eye-popping promotion from Wyndham: donate all your SPG points to charity and get a 1 to 4 match with Wyndham. Before the promotion start time of 12:00 Eastern, Wyndham had already pulled the promotion, citing unspecified cases of ‘fraud.’ Those who already dumped their SPG balances should see this notice for next steps.
I am happy that I hit delete on every message I saw about this promo. Why did I?
First, I have no personal track record with Wyndham. I have never stayed at one of their hotels. I have never dabbled in their points. I have never gotten their credit cards. I have no plan for how I would use the points.
In contrast, I know SPG and I know the best time in a loyalty program is during a merger (and worst is after).
Second, Wyndham has a track record of devaluations and sneaky dealings.
The much-heralded change to 15,000 points/night at all hotels is evidence to me that just as wild a swing can happen in a new direction. Any points I may get from them I should expect to burn immediately.
How about not honoring a promotion? Done that.
Wyndham created irrational exuberance by shouting, “TODAY ONLY!”
People went nuts. Some perhaps have never done anything with Wyndham and chased a ‘deal’ just because.
The mistake was to empty SPG accounts even before the promotion launched, not even waiting to see if it is real and working. I can see people worrying that a deal will be pulled soon if numbers are too high, in which case they should rethink taking such a big risk. Instead, I think a lot of us didn’t even read the fine print about starting at noon and plunged in.
The lesson for us all is to weigh risk and reward, and now unnecessarily increase risk for the same potential reward. If the promo had gone live and then you donated SPG points you would be in a much better legal position.
Well, charity is good thing, right?
I hope the charities involved get a good shake from donations via SPG points.