Which Wyndham Rewards credit card is right for you?
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For most people, when they think of large-scale hotel chains, Marriott and Hilton are usually top of mind. While Marriott and Hilton earn more annual revenue, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is actually the world’s largest hotel franchising company by the number of properties, with more than 9,000 hotels across approximately 90 countries on six continents.
Wyndham’s impressive portfolio of 20 brands and vast U.S. footprint is validated by the claim “You’re About 10 Minutes from a Hotel by Wyndham”, as declared in its 2019 marketing campaign. Along with convenient locations worldwide and an impressive portfolio of budget and mid-scale brands such as Days Inn, La Quinta®, Wyndham, and many more, the Wyndham Rewards loyalty program offers a straightforward way to redeem points at thousands of hotels, vacation club resorts, and vacation rentals globally.
Last month, Wyndham and Barclays revealed a refresh of their cobranded credit card lineup featuring the no-annual-fee Wyndham Rewards Earner℠ Card, the Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card, and the Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card, the first Wyndham credit card created specifically for small businesses. And while your travel plans may be at a halt right now, that doesn’t mean you have to sit idle and pass on accruing valuable points and miles for your next getaway.
Given these three distinctive Wyndham card options issued by Barclays, we went ahead and explored the differences between them so you can make the right choice based on your travel needs and wants.
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Wyndham Rewards Earner Card
Sign-up bonus: 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
Earning rate: 5x on Hotels by Wyndham and gas purchases, 2x on restaurants and grocery (excluding Target and Walmart), 2x on eligible purchases made at Wyndham Timeshare properties (including maintenance fees and loan payments), 1x on all other purchases.
Benefits: Wyndham Rewards Gold status, which includes free WiFi, preferred room selection, late checkout and more. Opportunity to earn 7,500 bonus points each anniversary year after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases. 10% points discount on redemptions for free nights, and no foreign transaction fees.
Annual fee: $0
Analysis: Built for the traveler that on occasion stays at Wyndham properties, this no-annual-fee card may provide you with useful benefits alongside your stay. Aside from earning 5x points per dollar at Wyndham properties and at gas stations, it earns a solid 2x points per dollar on grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) and dining purchases. With standard free night awards starting at 7,500 points per night, the enhanced 30,000 bonus points welcome offer can easily cover a few free hotel nights on your next vacation.
If you seldom stay at Wyndham hotels but want to dip into Wyndham Rewards, the no-annual-fee Wyndham Rewards Earner Card may be ideal for you. Although if you spend several nights a year at Wyndham properties, there’s considerably more value to be had with the newly revamped Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card.
Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card
Sign-up bonus offer: 45,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
Earning rate: 6x on Hotels by Wyndham purchases and gas purchases, 4x on restaurants and grocery (excluding Target and Walmart), 4x on eligible purchases made at Wyndham Timeshare properties (including maintenance fees and loan payments), 1x on all other purchases.
Benefits: Wyndham Rewards Platinum status, which includes all the same perks of Gold status plus early check-in, car rental upgrades with Avis and Budget, and Caesars Rewards Status Match. Cardholders receive 7,500 bonus points each anniversary year with no spending requirement.
Annual fee: $75
Analysis: If you routinely stay at Wyndham hotel brands such as Wyndham, Hawthorn Suites, Days Inn and La Quinta, the Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card may be a valuable addition to your stays. The automatic Platinum status grants you additional perks such as early check-in, car rental upgrades, and a 10% discount when redeeming points for free nights.
The enhanced sign-up bonus is worth $495, per TPG’s most recent valuations, and the 7,500-point bonus each anniversary year helps offset the annual fee. Even if you spend only a few nights a year at Wyndham hotels, the higher elite status, improved earning rates on everyday purchases, and superior welcome offer make the Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card worthy of consideration.
Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card
Sign-up bonus: 45,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
Earning rates: 8x on Hotels by Wyndham purchases and gas purchases, 5x points on marketing, advertising, and utilities, 1x on all other purchases.
Benefits: Wyndham Rewards Diamond status, which includes all the perks of Platinum plus suite upgrades, a welcome amenity at check-in, and the ability to gift Gold status to a family member or friend. Cardholders also receive 15,000-anniversary points each anniversary year with no spend requirement. Cell phone insurance when using the card to pay your wireless bill ($50 deductible, $600 in coverage per event).
Annual fee: $95 (not waived first year)
Analysis: Like the Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card, the business version is a great card for travelers that stay at hotels by Wyndham a few times a year or intend to. Where this card outshines its fellow Wyndham cobranded cards is with two unique features.
Small business owners can earn 5x points on utilities, with a broad definition of what constitutes utility purchases. Qualifying utility purchases are defined as telecommunications services, cable, satellite, electric, gas, heating oil and water, as identified by the merchant category code. A bonus category designed specifically for your bills at home such as electricity and water is virtually unheard of.
The second distinction that comes with the Earner Business Card compared to the personal cards is cell phone insurance. While this benefit isn’t brand new and is offered by other credit cards, this useful perk can save you up to $600 if you break your phone or it’s stolen. If you’re a small business owner and want to dive into Wyndham Rewards, this business card is hard to pass up.
The information for the Wyndham Rewards Earner, Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus, and 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.
How to use Wyndham Rewards Points
The Wyndham Rewards loyalty program delivers a multitude of ways to earn and redeem your hard-earned points. You can use your Wyndham Rewards points for airline tickets, gift cards, transferring to airline partners for miles but by far redeeming for hotel reservations at more than 9,000 hotels worldwide provide the utmost value. For this article, we’ll focus wholly on hotel stays as the best use of Wyndham Rewards points.
Wyndham Rewards properties are devised into three simple free night tiers—7,500, 15,000, and 30,000 points per night. You can also book award nights for Wyndham Timeshare properties. Keep in mind, Wyndham prices its timeshares per bedroom per night. Therefore, a one-bedroom unit will cost you 15,000 points per night. A two-bedroom unit would cost 30,000 points per night.
You can also use a combination of cash and points to redeem for free nights. For example, if you’re eyeing a property that costs 30,000 points per night but don’t have enough points in your Wyndham Rewards account, you can use 6,000 points plus a reduced cash amount to book your free night stay. If you’re short on points, you can also transfer your Capital One miles to Wyndham Rewards at a 2:1.5 ratio. This can be a practical option for booking more expensive Wyndham hotels.
These points plus cash awards are called go fast℠ awards and cost 1,500, 3,000, or 6,000 points plus a cash copay. The amount of cash you pay will vary independently by the property you choose and is determined by a percentage of the room rate. On top of reasonable nightly award rates, all cardholders, regardless of which Wyndham card they have, will receive a 10% discount when redeeming points for hotel stays.
That means you can book a standard free night award starting at just 6,750 points. Wyndham Rewards points offer a bit of flexibility with their redemption options, though hotel stays, in general, will deliver the best value.
Which card comes out on top?
The no-annual-fee Wyndham Rewards Earner Card is worth a look if you’re averse to annual fees and are a novice to hotel rewards. The entry-level card offers a 30,000 bonus point welcome offer that can cover up to four free nights at one of Wyndham’s many brands, with rates starting at 7,500 points per night. That’s noteworthy value for a no annual fee card.
Still, if you’re looking for a more rewarding Wyndham personal card, the Earner Plus Card is equipped with more robust earnings, higher elite status (packed with more benefits), and 7,500-anniversary bonus points in exchange for a nominal $75 annual fee.
While all the newly revamped Wyndham Rewards Cards deliver improved earning rates and higher welcome offers compared to previous iterations, the card with the most fanfare just might be the business version.
The Earner Business card dishes out an elevated earning structure with 8x on gas purchases and a unique utilities bonus category that earns 5x on common household utility expenses such as your electricity and water bills, a rarity amongst credit card bonus categories. Add top-tier Diamond elite status, 15,000-anniversary bonus points with no spend requirement, and 10% discounts on award redemptions, and the business version packs a serious punch for a hotel cobranded card.
If you’re a frequent guest at hotel brands by Wyndham, these three updated hotel cards merit your consideration. Whether you opt for the personal or business version, all cards achieve an enhanced sign-up bonus which can be used for multiple free night rewards at Wyndham properties including Wyndham, LaQuinta, Ramada, Days Inn, and more.
In addition to garnering enough points for free night rewards solely with the welcome bonus offer, every variation of the Wyndham cards includes a higher points-earning structure, complimentary elite status, no foreign transaction fees, and a 10% discount when redeeming points for free nights.
The updated Wyndham cobranded cards are formidable hotel cards that can be a valuable asset if you’re looking to generate more Wyndham Rewards or want to diversify your hotel points. However, if you rarely visit Wyndham properties and don’t plan to, consider alternative travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
Related: The best hotel credit cards of 2020
Featured photo of the Wyndham Torotala BVI Lambert courtesy of Wyndham.
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