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A fantastic AirBnB alternative, and great redemption option
Note: Slack user DdR reached out to me to remind me that Wyndham constantly has point sales. Where you can purchase additional points (with a credit card) at a discount. From right now until October 20th, you can buy Wyndham points for up to 30% off.
BowTiedPizza requested this post through the #postrequests channel in Slack, so figured we were overdue for it.
Vacasa is a fantastic AirBnB/VRBO alternative that offers great options, particularly with Citi ThankYouPoints. Let’s get right into it.
If you’ve been a part of this community for a while, you’re likely flush with Citi and Chase points, and might have so many that you don’t even know what to do with them. If you’re not actively working on a signup bonus, you’re probably following the "8%+ back on ALL purchases" plan, where you’re putting almost all of your organic spend, MS, and business spend on Citi cards.tactics, or running any other biz that requires spend, this quickly adds up in a big way. And before you know it you might have a ton of Citi points and not know what to do with them.
The nice thing about Citi is they offer an easy no BS option to cash out points at one cent per point. You can deposit them right into a bank account.
However, we can do better.
Hyatt vs Vacasa
If you’re looking to book an AirBnB type stay instead of a hotel, Vacasa has some killer redemptions. I wrote about using Hyatt in Hawaii for Maui and Kaui and getting a solid redemption there. As most of you know by now, with Hyatt, you can get 2 cents, 3 cents and sometimes even 5 cents per point.
With Vacasa, you can also get some serious value. Even better, Vacasa is extremely easy to book. Generally, if you see the property available on the site for the dates you picked, you can book it.
If you’re looking to stay somewhere think of it like this.
Chase UR → Hyatt Hotels
Citi TYP → Wyndham points → Vacasa booking
Since both Chase and Citi points are both very easy to earn, (and if you’re following the playbook you’ll earn a plethora of both) these are two of the best options to book vacation lodging.
How to Book Vacasa
With that intro out of the way, let’s have a deeper look at Vacasa, and how to book Vacasa properties with Citi points.
First off, ALL Vacasa rentals are 15,000 Wyndham points per night, per bedroom.
EVERY SINGLE ONE. This is especially good for couples traveling without kids, and even good for families that need an additional bedroom.
Regardless if you are booking an apartment in Manhattan overlooking Central Park, or staying in a tiny house in the rural America, ALL bookings will be 15,000 Wyndham points per night, per bedroom.
Transferring Citi Points to Vacasa
So you’re flush with Citi ThankYouPoints. Nice problem to have! Booking Vacasa properties first requires you to transfer your points to Wyndham, so you can book directly there.
Transfer your TYP on the Citi website to Wyndham (1:1 transfer, create a Wyndham account if you don’t have one)
Select your dates and browse available properties here
Call 800-441-1034 to book the property with your Wyndham points (15,000 points per bedroom, per night)
If you need to cancel, you will get your points fully refunded if you cancel more than 30 days before your check-in
A couple days ago, I looked at a potential trip to the Miami region for a three day weekend during Columbus Day.
I found a pretty solid option:
Paying cash for these three nights would have cost $1,314.22. However, since this unit was technically a one bedroom, you could have booked it for only 45,000 points, making it a fantastic redemption at nearly 3 cents per point. Even better, if traveling with small children or a third person, this unit offers a double sofa bed in the living room that sleeps two people.
With a pool, hot tub, balcony, ocean front view, and the ability to take a family of four with young kids, this is a terrific redemption. I’ll have my eye on this property for future bookings.
I called up Vacasa, someone immediately answered and was able to confirm that this property was able to be booked for these dates for 45,000 points (note that this includes all taxes and fees).
Note: Best to call and confirm availability with Vacasa, before transferring your Citi points to Wyndham.
Thing I Love About Vacasa
As most of you know, I hate locking myself into one single airline or hotel, and think it’s a bad idea. Yes I have my favorites, but I like having options.
Instead of having just a few Hyatt or Marriott options in any given city, Vacasa often has many more, which makes it easy to find free lodging.
This play opens up a whole new world to vacation bookings.
2. Customer Service
In this Post-Covid world, customer service tends to be the bane of my existence. It was a breath of fresh air to call their number and get a friendly, helpful human in about 5 seconds. Their customer service from my experience is fantastic, and I trust that they would be quite helpful and available if I had any issues.
3. Strong Redemptions
This play offers a STRONG redemption option for folks that usually just cash out their TYP at 1 cent per point. Vacasa doesn’t play games the way some other hotel loyalty programs do. Generally, what you see is what you get and all properties are 15,000 points per bedroom.
I also found it pretty common to see properties that only had 1 bedroom officially listed, but had sofa beds, lofts, or other areas where there were beds. If you’re traveling with two children, I highly recommend looking at these sorts of units.
Again, flexibility is key. If you don’t need the cash and are planning a trip, consider saving your Citi points for future Vacasa bookings, to get a lot more than 1 cent per point.
Expect a big update in the next post, which will likely drop early next week.
Good luck, and feel free to ask any questions regarding Vacasa in the Slack Group.
Disclaimer: None of this is to be deemed legal or financial advice of any kind.