Earlier this week, we looked at Wyndham Rewards’ big win in the U.S. News & World Report’s hospitality category, a victory that had eluded the program a year ago and is its first since the program’s revamp last May.
Wyndham has received extensive praise for the program’s simplistic design; a design that can be attributed in large part to Noah Brodsky, the brand’s SVP of worldwide loyalty and engagement. Loyalty360 talked to Brodsky about the program, and why the U.S. News & World Report found it to be the best program of its kind in the industry.
What does this recognition mean to Wyndham and what does it say about your program and its overhaul conducted last year?
Brodsky: We see these rankings as further validation of our approach and the increasing influence of the everyday traveler. People are tired of programs that never actually result in any real rewards. They’re tired of being tricked. It’s why we hit the reset button last year and re-imagined Wyndham Rewards.
How has Wyndham leveled the playing field in the loyalty arena?
Brodsky: We got rid of the tricks. We created a program that’s not only the simplest and most generous in our industry—15,000 points gets you a free night at any of our nearly 8,000 hotels—but then doubled down on that proposition with the launch of Member Levels. Our version of an elite program for the masses, it offers real and meaningful perks across all levels and is complemented by the industry’s first ever experience-enhanced redemption awards—go free PLUS and go fast PLUS.
How many members have you added since the new program launched, and does that number surprise you?
Brodsky: Since the revamp, nearly 7 million new members have joined the program and our members have redeemed more than one million award nights. We’re giving our members what they want—our best experiences at our best hotels with no tricks and no blackout dates.
Why does your program resonate so well within the industry?
Brodsky: Too many hotel and airline companies are overcomplicating their programs, to the point where it’s becoming impossible for travelers to understand what it’s going to take to earn a free night or a free flight. When it does come time to redeem, the process can be downright painful. It’s why challenger brands that do the opposite—that keep it simple and recognize members with generous rewards—are resonating with travelers more than ever before.
Appealing to the everyday traveler seems to have sparked considerable interest in your program. How important is that for Wyndham?
Brodsky: It’s incredibly important because we’re on a mission to democratize travel. We believe a great loyalty program should be simple and generous, offering perks and rewards that benefit all. Whether you spend two nights a year in a hotel or two hundred, you deserve a program that recognizes and values your loyalty. Wyndham Rewards does. No one else lets their members earn more or redeem faster.

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