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Wyndham has recently updated its suite of credit cards and with new options for Wyndham rewards enthusiasts, you may be wondering which — if any — of these cards are right for you. If you’re considering the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Credit Card, you may want to know if it’s worth the $75 annual fee? Here we will break down the benefits and values so you can decide if it makes sense for you.
Combine the sign-up bonus with a redemption bonus in year one
The Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Credit Card comes with a sizeable welcome bonus that’s fairly easy to attain. Earn 45,000 bonus points, enough for up to 6 free nights at participating properties after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. Free nights can require up to 30,000 points per bedroom at participating properties and are subject to availability. Resort fees may apply and cannot be paid with points.
Reward nights begin at 7,500 points, with two other tiers at 15,000 and 30,000 points per night. Keep in mind, only about 2,400 of approximately 8,500 Wyndham properties have redemption options at the 7,500 level.
These rewards are made even sweeter with the redemption bonus for cardholders. When you redeem for free nights, cardholders get a 10% discount. That means those reward tiers for cardholders are actually 6,750, 13,500, and 27,000 points per night. Even with this discount, to get your best value per point when redeeming you may need to shop around.
For example, staying at the Disney World-adjacent Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek will cost cardholders 27,000 points per night, or about $207. However, the Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Orlando Resort & Suites International Drive, also near to Disney World and Universal Studios, costs 13,500 points per night, or $169 if you were to pay in cash.
Either way, using your welcome bonus for a stay at hotels like these will make up for the cost of your annual fee, but in the latter situation, you’d be able to stay three nights using the welcome bonus, saving over $500 and off-setting the cost of your annual fee for years to come.
Value: This will vary depending on your use of the sign-up bonus but can easily be worth hundreds of dollars on its own.
Anniversary bonus keeps the benefits rolling
We don’t often recommend you look solely at welcome bonuses for weighing an annual fee, since welcome bonuses are one-time perks. That’s why the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Credit Card’s anniversary bonus is so appealing.
You’ll earn 7,500 bonus points each year after paying the annual fee. This automatically puts you into a position for a free night at the lowest redemption tier. Even that free night could be worth quite a bit. For example, the Days Inn by Wyndham Ann Arbor will cost cardholders 6,750 points a night, but that same room will run you about $207 a night for a member flexible rate, far more than your $75 annual fee.
Value: Based on our valuations, Wyndham points are worth an average of 1.1 cents each. This makes the anniversary bonus worth more than $80. If you value Wyndham points as we do, that actually more-than recoups your annual fee. A great redemption booking could yield several times that in value.
Everyday points accrue fast
In addition to the welcome bonus, earn solid everyday bonuses in several categories.
6 points per dollar on stays at Hotel by Wyndham properties.
6 points per dollar at gas stations.
4 points per dollar at restaurants.
4 points per dollar on groceries.
4 points per dollar at Wyndham Timeshare properties, excluding down payments.
In addition to the above, you’ll receive one point per dollar everywhere else.
Value: These multipliers mean points can add up fast, depending on your spending habits. With big bonuses in the popular categories of restaurant, gas and groceries, you could quickly earn the 6,750 points for a free night, making up for the $75 annual fee, on top of the other perks.
Don’t discount elite status
Loyalty status isn’t always an obvious monetary way to offset your annual fee, but some may find loyalty perks have some value to them. The Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Credit Card comes with Platinum status in the Wyndham Rewards program. This means early check-in and late checkout, upgrades with Avis and Budget rental cars, a status match with Caesar Rewards and more.
Value: Not a lot of hard cash value here but plenty of opportunities to enhance your travel with the partner offerings. Get your complimentary trip to Atlantis via a Caesars Platinum status match to get the most value out of this perk.
The bottom line
Wyndham enthusiasts looking to rack up the points will find more than enough opportunities with the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Credit Card. Careful consideration of when to use your points to get the best value will make all the difference in compensating for this card’s annual fee, so it’s worth investigating how to maximize your use of this card.
If you still don't think it’s worth the annual fee, look into the no-annual fee Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Credit Card, which comes with the following offer: Earn 30,000 bonus points, enough for up to 4 free nights at participating properties after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. Free nights can require up to 30,000 points per bedroom at participating properties and are subject to availability. Resort fees may apply and cannot be paid with points. Plus you’ll get Wyndham Rewards Gold status, in addition to other small benefits.
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 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card