Wyndham has aggressively improved their rewards program this year and is offering tremendous value to earn and redeem points at their hotels. They have also introduced a Visa credit card to earn points. And while I don’t have it currently, it’s high on my list of cards to apply for – read my review to find out why!
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UPDATE: The temporary sign-up bonus of 45,000 has ended and is back down to the regular 30,000. The spend required to earn the points has gone down from $2,000 to $1,000, making it easier to get! See how that changes my evaluation below.
Wyndham is offering two Visa cards andI will focus on the Wyndham Visa Platinum card, the much better card with regards to their value delivered.
Here is a summary of what it offers:
- Sign-up bonus of 30,000 points, worth about $300; 15,000 points for sign-up and 15,000 after spending $1,000 in three months – the standard bonus on this card is 30,000 points.
- Earn Points for Spend
You earn 5 points per US$ spent at Wyndham Hotels, 2pt/$ on gas, utilities and groceries (except Target, Walmart) and 1p/$ on everything else – that’s a decent earn rate of 1-5ct/$, but there are cards with higher earn rates out there.
- Wyndham Rewards Platinum Status – this is a new feature added this year
- Annual renewal bonus of 6,000 points – almost makes up the annual fee!
- Visa Signature Benefits
- $75 annual fee, no foreign exchange fee, EMV chip
With the reduced sign-up bonus, the Wyndham Rewards Visa is less attractive. It has the lowest sign-up bonus of any hotel rewards card with an annual fee I have reviewed! The Choice Visa has a sign-up bonus worth $192 without annual fee and the Citibank Hilton Reserve card at $860, IHG Rewards MC or SPG AmEx all have better bonuses.
The regular earn rate of only 1ct/$ is not good enough to use this as a primary card – it’s best kept to pay for Wyndham stays, possibly utilities, gas and groceries.
Thankfully, Wyndham has removed the foreign exchange fee from the card to better compete – any travel card should be without a foreign exchange fee or the fees will outweigh any points earned for foreign spend! There is also an EMV chip for added security!
Wyndham also added Platinum status in the Wyndham Rewards program, their mid-tier level, which gets you preferred rooms, early check-in and late check-out, as well as an annual 3,000 point bonus – which, together with the 6,000 card bonus, will offset the annual fee!
The annual fee is $75, but with the annual card and status bonus, it’s essentially free, making it one of my favorite type of rewards cards: You get status and increased earn rates at the hotels just for holding the card at no cost to you!
Because of that the Wyndham Visa Gold card offered without an annual fee, a sign-up bonus of only 18,000 points, Gold Status and a maximum earn rate of 3 pts/ct does not make sense for most people.
Bottomline: Wyndham Rewards has completely overhauled their rewards program and made great strides forward. The Wyndham Visa card is another great step. Despite the reduced sign-up bonus, the instant mid-tier status in the program, no foreign exchange fees and enough annual bonus points to pay the annual fee, make this card a good deal. Even if you don’t stay at their budget hotels, like Days Inn or Super 8, regularly, it’s a great program to participate as a backup plan and there are a growing number of upscale hotels and time-share condominiums and houses that you can redeem your points for!
I did not apply for the card during the temporary bonus, but might watch out for the next one and will keep you posted!