This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

While we mostly cover chain hotel programs, we certainly recognize the value of independent properties. They can provide unique and/or boutique experiences, sometimes in fascinating locations where chain hotels couldn’t or wouldn’t go.

But, if you’re used to chain hotels, it might be strange to book a stay at an independent one, where you might not be sure what to expect. Will you get free internet? How about free breakfast? Will you be able to get early check-in or late check-out?

This is where independent hotel loyalty programs can fill the gap. Last January, we shared three such programs with you. But now another program has burst onto the scene: Wanup. Launched in September 2016, Wanup has already signed on 400 hotels and is constantly adding more. Wanup partner hotels range “from urban boutiques and business hotels, to beach resorts and rural B&Bs.”

So far, all of these hotels are in Europe — primarily focused in the company’s home base of Spain — but according to a Wanup representative the company plans to start signing up hotels in North America by the end of 2017.

Benefits

Just for signing up for the program through Wanup’s website, you’re going to get a €10 ($11) “welcome voucher” for your first stay. And, starting with your first stay, you’ll get benefits and earn credits toward future stays. Benefits are based on how many eligible nights you’ve stayed within the last 365 days:

Here are the benefits of being a Wanup elite.

That’s right; even on your first stay, you’re guaranteed to get free Wi-Fi, food and beverage discounts, early check-in and late check-out. In addition, you’ll earn 3% of the cost of your stay as a credit toward future stays anywhere in the network. On your eighth night, you’ll be bumped up to a 4% cash-back rate and get a slightly larger food/beverage discount.

Free breakfast benefits start after 34 nights. Image courtesy of Forget Me Not Plus, a Wanup member hotel.

But, the real benefits kick if you stay at least 35 nights per year: room upgrades, free parking, free breakfast and other perks and amenities depending on the hotel. On this perk, Wanup references: “Think gin and tonic on a rooftop bar in Barcelona or a classically British afternoon tea in Oxford.” Plus, you’ll start getting 5% cash back toward future stays.

Speaking of this “travel cash,” you’ve got 24 months to use these credits toward a stay. The good news is that there doesn’t seem to be a minimum amount that you have to apply toward a booking; you don’t have to save up enough to redeem for the whole stay. So, as long as you stay at least once every two years, you shouldn’t lose these credits.

Bottom Line

If you’ve got a European trip coming up and there isn’t a chain hotel where you want to stay, you might as well check out Wanup’s hotel options. If you find one that’s appealing, sign up to save $11 off your first booking, perks starting on your first stay and start earning travel credits toward future stays.

Since Wanup offers solid elite benefits — starting on your first night and getting better from there — we’re looking forward to the program expanding outside of Europe soon. Having a massive network of independent hotels will make getting elite status easier and make stays more rewarding.

Featured image courtesy of Monastero Santa Rosa — a Wanup member hotel.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

LIMITED TIME OFFER. Aside from the 100,000 points welcome bonus (available until 8/8/18), Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.†
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$450
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.