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Maximize your road trip with the new lineup of Wyndham cards

Jan. 13, 2021
7 min read
Wyndham Bonnet Creek
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Hitting the road has been thrust once again into the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of Americans have shifted their travel to road trips in recent months, as it's easier to minimize your exposure compared to other forms of transport. With proper precautions and planning (or traveling in your own RV), the majority of risks can be mitigated.

In fact, I believe the popularity surge of road trips and a new emphasis on top American attractions has been one of the few highlights of this pandemic. And if you decide to undertake an adventure, road travel is no different than any other trip we discuss here at TPG: You need to maximize it.

Along these lines, Wyndham and Barclays recently put out a new lineup of cobranded cards that exceeded my expectations — and deserve a look as you prepare to embark on your next trip on the pavement. Let's look at the refreshed cards and how they can help you save money and earn solid returns on your road trip.

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The new card lineup

Three new products make up the updated Wyndham portfolio of credit cards. Here is a rundown of the key benefits and a description of each:

Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card

Sign-up bonus: 30,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

Earning structure: 5x on eligible Hotels by Wyndham purchases and gas purchases; 2x on restaurants and grocery purchases (excluding Target and Walmart); 2x on eligible purchases made at Wyndham Timeshare properties (including maintenance fees and loan payments); 1x on all other purchases

Annual fee: $0

Other benefits: Gold status in Wyndham Rewards; 7,500 bonus points after $15,000 in annual spend; 10% discount on the number of points redeemed for free nights

Wyndham Rewards Earner® Plus Card

Sign-up bonus: 45,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days

Earning structure: 6x on eligible Hotels by Wyndham purchases and gas purchases; 4x on restaurants and grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart); 4x on Wyndham Timeshare properties (including maintenance fees and loan payments); 1x on all other purchases

Annual fee: $75

Other benefits: Platinum status in Wyndham Rewards; 7,500 bonus points each anniversary year (no spending requirement); 10% discount on the number of points redeemed for free nights

Wyndham Rewards Earner® Business Card

Sign-up bonus: 45,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days

Earning structure: 8x on Hotels by Wyndham purchases and gas purchases; 5x points on marketing, advertising and utilities; 1x on all other purchases

Annual Fee: $95

Other benefits: Top-tier Diamond status in Wyndham Rewards; 15,000 anniversary points (no spending requirement); 10% discount on the number of points redeemed for free nights; cell phone insurance when using the card to pay your wireless bill ($50 deductible, $600 in coverage per event)

RELATED: Which Wyndham Rewards credit card is right for you?

The information for the Wyndham Rewards Earner Business card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Maximizing your road trip

There are a few obvious wins here for your road adventure. Chief among them are the bonus points earned on gas. The Earner Business Card giving 8x miles on gas equates to an 8.8% rebate on all fuel purchases according to TPGs latest valuations, which peg Wyndham Rewards points at 1.1 cents apiece. The Earner Plus Card gives 5x points per dollar on all gas — giving you an effective return of 5.5%. It's hard to beat those earnings on any other card that gives bonus points or miles for gas expenses.

READ MORE: 16 ways to earn Wyndham Rewards points for your next redemption

The second way to maximize your road trip is the free hotel nights the cards can offer — and the hotel benefits you'll receive with status awarded on two of the cards. Free nights at Wyndham properties start at 7,500 points per night, and almost anywhere you go in the U.S., there will be a Wyndham brand available for a free night. I've stayed in Wyndham brands in cities like York, Nebraska and Rock Springs, Wyoming when on the road.

WorldMark West Yellowstone (Photo courtesy Wyndham)

You'll earn between 30,000 and 45,000 points as a sign-up bonus after completing the minimum spend requirements (depending on which card you get). This gives you plenty of chances to avoid paying for a hotel night on your first trip after the bonus points post.

On top of that, you'll have automatic Platinum status with the Earner Plus card or Diamond status with the Earner Business card — which (in turn) offer a number of benefits during your stay. Diamond members are even eligible for suite upgrades — handy for the traveling family — and a welcome amenity that's usually a snack or a drink.

The final road-trip-worthy benefit of the cards is diversification and flexibility. As previously mentioned, there's a Wyndham virtually anywhere you go, allowing you to either stay free (using your points) or earn up to 8x points per dollar spent. With the addition of the La Quinta as of 2019 — an underrated hotel brand I equate to a Hampton Inn or Courtyard — great Wyndham properties abound.

RELATED: Ultimate guide to earning and redeeming Wyndham Rewards

It's also important to take the time to diversify your loyalty holdings, especially in light of the pandemic. If you've been focused on the competition, you're likely missing out on some really great properties and destinations you can visit in the Wyndham portfolio. There are resorts in the Smoky Mountains, family properties in Florida, hotels next to National Parks and luxury properties in wonderful locations like Charleston, SC that may not have been on your pre-pandemic trip list.

The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel in Charleston, S.C. (Photo courtesy Wyndham).

Bottom line

Despite the ongoing rollout of vaccines, international travel isn't going to rebound any time soon, so taking to the roads on a domestic trip remains a popular vacation option. Take the proper precautions and start planning your road trip now — ideally with a new credit card. By the time you were to get one of the new Wyndham cards, meet the minimum spend and set off on your road trip, the pandemic situation will likely look a bit brighter, and you can confidently maximize the card (and your new haul of Wyndham points).

Huge bonuses on gas purchases, on-property benefits and a hotel almost anywhere you can drive are just three reasons why you need to look at the fresh lineup of Wyndham cards the next time you plan to hit the road.

Featured image by Wyndham Bonnet Creek (Photo courtesy of the hotel)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023