Is the Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard Worth Its Annual Fee?

If you're a Best Western fan, the card can be valuable. Otherwise you're probably better off with another card.
Amanda JohnsonMar 18, 2021

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An annual-fee credit card can bring benefits to outweigh the cost, but it’s still important to do the math when determining if any card is worth its fee. For a reasonable $89 fee, the right cardholder will find plenty of ways to make the Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard® worth it.

Valuable perks of the Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard®

The welcome bonus

The Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard® comes with a fairly attainable and valuable welcome bonus: 80,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 billing cycles after the account is opened, plus 40,000 points when you spend $5,000 every 12 billing cycles.

These additional bonus points can be earned each year that you meet the spending threshold, indefinitely.

While welcome bonuses can be an attractive way to make up for the cost of a credit card, keep in mind that they're one-time events, but annual fees are recurring.

NerdWallet estimates a Best Western point is worth 0.7 cent. That means your bonus points will be worth several hundred dollars, which can make up for a few years of the annual fee.

Remember, though, that Best Western Rewards doesn't follow a strict award chart. Our 0.7 cent value per point is a baseline you should aim for when redeeming points for free nights.

Points on everyday spending

For every dollar you spend, you’ll earn 2 Best Western points. For every dollar you spend on Best Western stays, however, that bumps up to 10 points per dollar spent.

Assuming you aim for the 40,000 annual bonus points by spending $5,000 on the card, the 2 points per dollar would add (at least) an additional 10,000 points to your total.

You’ll also earn 10 points per dollar on your stay simply for being a Best Western Rewards member. Add that to the 10 points from the Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard®, and you earn 20 points per dollar spent at Best Western properties (30 per dollar during the promotional period mentioned above). These points — and their value against the annual fee — can add up fast if you use the card to pay for stays at Best Western.

Automatic elite status

Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard® holders get automatic Platinum Elite status with Best Western. However, Best Western’s elite levels don’t add much value and are negligible when compared with the annual fee.

The only real advantage to Platinum Elite status over non-elite status is the additional 15% bonus points on eligible stays. Instead of the 10 points per dollar you'll receive for being a Best Western Rewards member, you'll earn 11.5.

Additional room discounts — but not really

Best Western advertises that this card comes with a 10% discount when you select the Best Western Rewards Rate. However, you don’t need this card to get that discount. You only need to be a Best Western Rewards member, meaning this benefit isn't exclusive to the credit card.

The bottom line

For a Best Western fan, it’s easy to find ways to make the annual fee for the Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard® worth it, given the welcome bonus and anniversary bonus. However, there are annual-fee travel cards out there that provide better flexibility, more valuable perks and discounts, and more value for many travelers. That said, if you’re looking to score a load of Best Western points, it's easy to justify having this card in your rotation, especially considering the welcome offer.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:

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