Editorial Review

Wyndham Rewards Visa Review: Nice Perks, but No Free Anniversary Night

You'll get 5 points at Wyndham properties, plus 2 points on gas, utilities and grocery store purchases, not to mention elite status and anniversary points — but no complimentary yearly stay.

Kimberly PalmerJanuary 31, 2020

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Our Take

3.4

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: For those wedded to Wyndham, this card offers a lot of bang for your buck. But the lack of a free anniversary night is a drawback.

Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card

Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card

Annual Fee

$75

Regular APR

15.24% - 24.99%, Variable

Intro APR

Purchase: None

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 0% introductory APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening.

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • Has annual fee

Alternate Pick: Flexible, versatile rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Better points ratio for transfer partners

The card earns 2 points per $1 spent on travel and dining, and 1 point per $1 on everything else. Points are worth 1.25 cents each if you redeem for travel directly via the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal. But you can also choose to transfer points to multiple hotel and airline transfer partners, all at a 1:1 ratio. The annual fee is $95.

Read our review

Full Review

For a travel rewards card, the Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card offers solid rewards, including 5 points per dollar spent at Wyndham properties. So if you frequently stay at the brand’s hotels, vacation rentals or timeshares, you can rack up points and then redeem them for free or discounted nights, transfer them to more than a dozen travel partners including airlines, or even purchase gift cards or merchandise, among other options.

The card, issued by Barclays, features a sign-up bonus that's significant and relatively easy to earn. Plus, it offers elite status with Wyndham, as well as anniversary points each year that can help offset the card's annual fee.

However, unlike a lot of other hotel credit cards with annual fees, you won't get a free overnight stay each year, and that's a disappointment.

Nerd tip: Another co-branded Wyndham credit card is the Wyndham Rewards® Visa® With No Annual Fee, which offers less robust rewards and benefits. See a full review of that card here.

Key features of the Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card

Card type: Hotel.

Annual fee: $75.

Sign-up bonus: Earn up to 30,000 bonus points - Enough for up to 4 Free Nights. Earn 15,000 bonus points after your first purchase. Plus, earn an additional 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

Ongoing rewards:

  • 5 points per dollar spent at Wyndham hotels, Wyndham Vacation Rental North America properties and Wyndham timeshare properties.*

  • 2 points per dollar spent on gas, utility and grocery store purchases (except at Target and Walmart).

  • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases (except for Wyndham timeshare down payments).

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.

Wyndham hotel brands include its namesake Wyndham properties, but also La Quinta, Ramada, AmericInn, Baymont, Microtel, Days Inn, Howard Johnson's, Super 8 and Travelodge.

Redemption options:

  • Free nights at hotels in the Wyndham portfolio (7,500 to 30,000 points per night).

  • Discounted nights (1,500, 3,000, or 6,000 points per night plus a cash payment).

  • 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.

Note that you'll typically get the most value from your points by redeeming them within the Wyndham program. 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% introductory APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening., and then the ongoing APR of 15.24% - 24.99%, Variable.

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Other benefits:

  • Automatic Wyndham Rewards Platinum Membership, which comes with perks like early check-in and rental car upgrades.

  • 6,000 anniversary points every year.

Benefits of the Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card

High rewards rate

When you spend at Wyndham properties, you earn 5 points per dollar. Those rewards rates are in addition to the 10 base points per $1 you get simply as a Wyndham Rewards loyalty program member. A $350 hotel stay, for instance, would earn you a total of 5,250 points: 3,500 as a member of Wyndham rewards, on top of 1,750 from your card. What's more, you'll also earn 2 points per dollar for spending on gas, utility and grocery store purchases (except at Target and Walmart). So if you're a frequent Wyndham guest who also drives a lot and shops at grocery stores, you have plenty of opportunities to earn a lot of points. The no-fee version of this card, the Wyndham Rewards® Visa® With No Annual Fee, offers similar rewards but at a lower rate on Wyndham spending.

Large sign-up bonus, plus anniversary points

Cardholders can earn half the sign-up bonus after using the card once, and another half after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days, both of which are relatively easy to meet. The sign-up bonus is valuable, too: It adds up to four free nights. And even though there's an annual fee, the 6,000 anniversary points you get every year go a long way toward defraying that cost. At NerdWallet's point valuation of 0.9 cent each, that benefit alone is worth $54 annually.

Elite status

If you stay at Wyndham properties frequently, then you’ll appreciate the Platinum-level membership perks, which include early check-in, late checkout and rental car upgrades. You'll also get a 15% bonus on base points earned from hotel stays (not points earned with the card). Without the card, it takes 15 nights to reach the Platinum membership level.

Multiple transfer partners

As with the Wyndham Rewards® Visa® With No Annual Fee, you can transfer your points to over a dozen partners, including American Airlines, Amtrak and United MileagePlus. That means greater flexibility when you’re ready to redeem. Keep in mind, however, that the transfer ratio represents a poor point value.

Why you might want a different card

annual fee

Although this card's annual fee is lower than others in its class (which are typically closer to $100), you can find no-annual-fee travel cards with solid rewards — and one of them is this card's little brother, the Wyndham Rewards® Visa® With No Annual Fee. Here's how the two Wyndham cards stack up:

If you're willing to pay the cost of card ownership, the Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card offers a lot more back than its no-fee alternative does.

No free anniversary nights

While cardholders earn 6,000 points for each anniversary with the card, that’s not quite enough points to qualify for a free night, which start at 7,500 points. Other hotel cards, such as the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, come with a free night stay once a year. That card also comes with an annual fee: $95.

Wyndham-specific hotel rewards

Yes, you can transfer points to travel partners, but as noted, it's a poor value. If you aren't loyal to Wyndham and would like greater flexibility, you might be better off with a general travel card that earns points you can use at any hotel or airline. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for example, comes with a $0 annual fee and earns 1.5 points per dollar spent on purchases (you can earn more with a qualifying Bank of America® account).

If you're willing to pay an annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is also a good choice. You'll earn 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points per $1 spent on travel and dining at restaurants, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. This card also has multiple hotel and airline transfer partners, but unlike the Wyndham cards, points transfer at a ratio of 1:1. Or, if you choose to redeem directly via the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal, points are worth 1.25 cents each. The annual fee is $95.

Is the Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card right for you?

If you frequently stay at Wyndham properties, you could benefit from the high rewards rates this card offers on Wyndham-related spending, not to mention the perks of Wyndham Platinum membership. But if you prefer to stay at a range of hotel brands and want to earn (and redeem) rewards beyond the Wyndham umbrella, you'll be better off with a more general travel credit card.

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