Wyndham Rewards Earner Credit Card Review: Ideal for Frugal Travelers

Earn 5X points with Wyndham and on gas; 2X back on restaurants and at grocery stores and eligible timeshares; and 1X back on other spending. You also get elite status and a path to a free stay each year, for no annual fee.

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Our Take

The bottom line: This $0-annual-fee card can be a good value for occasional travelers on a budget. The anniversary points alone can get you a free night each year at Wyndham's lowest-tier properties — if you spend enough to snag that benefit.

Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Card

Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Credit Card

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

15.74% - 24.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • No annual fee

Cons

  • No automatic anniversary bonus points

Alternate Pick: Flexible no-fee rewards

Discover it® Miles

1.5 miles per dollar on all purchases

For rewards you can use to stay at any hotel chain — or fly any airline or pay for any other travel expense, check out this card. You earn 1.5 miles per dollar on purchases; miles are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed for travel

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee

$95

Annual Fee

$550

Annual Fee

$250

Regular APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

16.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

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Full Review

For travelers who enjoy Wyndham hotels and resorts and don't want to pay an annual fee on a credit card, the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Credit Card, issued by Barclays, makes a compelling case.

You'll get a decent sign-up bonus plus solid ongoing rewards for spending with the hotel chain, but also on everyday purchases like gas, groceries and dining. And since Wyndham boasts around 9,000 hotels across 20 brands, you're likely to find plenty of properties where you can redeem those points for free or discounted stays. (Beyond Wyndham namesake properties, other brands include La Quinta, Ramada, Days Inn, Howard Johnson's, Super 8, Travelodge and more.)

You'll also get automatic elite status and a way to earn a potential free night every year when you spend enough.

But depending on how often you stay with Wyndham, it may be worth opting instead for this card's sibling, the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Credit Card. It has a $75 annual fee, but it also offers more robust rewards and perks. (See our full review of that card here.)

Nerd tip: The Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Credit Card has replaced the Wyndham Rewards® Visa® With No Annual Fee. Current holders of that card may continue using it, but it is no longer accepting new applicants.

Key benefits of the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Credit Card

Card type: Hotel.

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus points, enough for up to four free nights at participating Hotels By Wyndham, after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

Rewards:

  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on Hotels By Wyndham and gas purchases.

  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on restaurants and grocery purchases (excluding Target® and Walmart®).

  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases made at Wyndham Timeshare properties (including maintenance fees and loan payments).

  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

NerdWallet values Wyndham points at 0.9 cent each. This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 0.9 cent or more in value from your Wyndham points.

Redemption options: 

You'll typically get the most value from your points by redeeming them within the Wyndham program for award nights. You have two options for this:

  • Go free: Free nights with Wyndham cost 7,500, 15,000 or 30,000 points per bedroom.

  • Go fast: A mixture of cash and points. You can get a discounted night for 1,500, 3,000 or 6,000 points per bedroom plus cash at participating properties.

Other ways to use your points:

  • Transfers to more than a dozen partner programs, including American, United and Frontier airlines, as well as Amtrak.

  • Fuel discounts at Marathon gas stations.

  • Merchandise, gift cards, charitable contributions.

  • Wyndham timeshare owners only: Redeem points for partial payment of maintenance fee, RCI Exchange Fees and more.

For point transfers to travel partners, the standard transfer ratio is 5:1, meaning that for every 5 Wyndham points you transfer, you get only 1 point or mile in the partner program.

APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening, then the ongoing APR of 15.74% - 24.99%, Variable.

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Other benefits:

  • Earn 7,500 bonus points each anniversary year after spending $15,000 on purchases.

  • Automatic Gold status in the Wyndham Rewards loyalty program, which gives you perks like late checkout and free Wi-Fi.

Why you might want the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Credit Card

decent sign-up BONUS

The Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Credit Card offers a decent introductory offer that's not too difficult to earn: Earn 30,000 bonus points, enough for up to four free nights at participating Hotels By Wyndham, after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. If you can meet the spending requirement, that could earn you a free night or several, depending on how you redeem points — not bad for a card with a $0 annual fee. (Free nights start at 7,500 points and go up to 30,000 points.)

Solid ongoing rewards

Some travel credit cards earn bonus rewards only on travel expenses. But the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Credit Card earns bonus points on gas purchases, as well as grocery and restaurant purchases, making it a reasonable everyday option for people who prefer using a single card for all purchases. Gas purchases are defined as automated fuel dispensers and service stations. Grocery stores don’t include Target, Walmart, warehouse clubs, drugstores or discount stores.

And when you do spend at Wyndham properties, you earn 5 points per $1 — which is on top of the 10 base points per $1 you get just from being a member of the Wyndham Rewards loyalty program. For example, if you used your card to book a $300 stay, you'd earn 4,500 points — 3,000 from the loyalty program and 1,500 from the card.

Automatic elite status

Being a cardholder automatically qualifies you for Gold status with Wyndham. Normally, you'd have to stay five nights in a year to earn Gold status, which gets you free Wi-Fi, late checkout and expanded ability to choose rooms based on your preferences.

A path to a free stay every year

If you're able to spend $15,000 a year on the card, you’ll also snag 7,500 bonus points each card anniversary. That might be doable if you make the card your go-to for all purchases, and 7,500 points are enough for a free night at Wyndham's lowest-tier properties. Again, not a bad perk for a card with a $0 annual fee.

Why you might want a different card

If you're a staunch Wyndham loyalist, you'll want to weigh this card against the annual-fee versions. Here's how they stack up:

Wyndham Rewards Earner Card

Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card

Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card

Annual fee

$0

$75

$95

Sign-up bonus

30,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

45,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

45,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

Rewards

  • 5 points per $1 spent on Wyndham hotel stays and on gas.

  • 2 points per $1 spent on restaurants and grocery store purchases.

  • 2 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases made at Wyndham Timeshare properties (including maintenance fee and loan payments).

  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • 6 points per $1 spent on Wyndham hotel stays and on gas.

  • 4 points per $1 spent on restaurants and grocery store purchases.

  • 4 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases made at Wyndham Timeshare properties (including maintenance fee and loan payments).

  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • 8 points per $1 spent on Wyndham hotel stays and on gas.

  • 5 points per $1 spent on marketing, advertising and utilities.

  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Anniversary bonus points

7,500 points after spending $15,000 on purchases

7,500 points (automatic, no spending required)

15,000 points (automatic, no spending required)

Automatic Wyndham status

Gold

Platinum

Diamond

Cell phone protection

None

None

Yes (must pay wireless bill with card each month)

All three cards also offer:

  • A 10% discount on the number of points redeemed for free nights.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

As the table shows, if you're willing to pay an annual fee, you can get larger bonuses, higher earning rates with Wyndham, higher status levels and better terms on those anniversary points.

Alternately, if you're not wedded to Wyndham and you spread your business across multiple hotel groups, you'd get more value out of a general-purpose travel credit card — a more versatile product that earns points you can use for stays at any hotel (or on flights with any airline).

If that’s your preference, consider these options:

GREATER FLEXIBILITY WHILE EARNING AND REDEEMING

Although the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card charges an annual fee of $95, it offers flexibility in both earning and redeeming points. You earn 2 points per $1 on travel and dining and 1 point per $1 on everything else. You can increase the value of your points by 25% when you redeem for travel booked through Chase. The sign-up bonus is also large and valuable: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

For decent rewards on all purchases, consider the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, which earns 2 miles per $1 on every purchase. Miles can be redeemed for any travel expense at 1 cent per mile, and this card also offers a fat sign-up bonus.

For cost-conscious travelers, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card can offer similar flexibility in more categories. It earns 3 points per dollar spent on restaurants, gas stations, rideshare services, various forms of transit, flights, hotels, homestays and qualifying streaming services.

STRAIGHTFORWARD REWARDS WITHOUT AN ANNUAL FEE

If a $0 annual fee is a must for you, take a look at the Discover it® Miles or the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. Each earns 1.5X back per $1 spent on purchases, with points redeemable for credit against travel expenses. Each also has a bonus offer for new cardholders as well as an introductory interest-free period that can offer some breathing room on the cost of your next vacation or other purchases. The Discover it® Miles, for example, offers 0% intro APR on Purchases for 14 months and 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 14 months, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR.

Is the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Credit Card right for you?

If you often find yourself checking in to Wyndham properties, the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Credit Card will help you rack up rewards to pay for future stays, without costing you anything to carry. But many hotel cards with annual fees can offer much more value back — and if you just as often find yourself at other chains beyond Wyndham, look to a general travel rewards card.

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