Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Review: Solid Rewards and Perks for Loyalists

It offers 6x points with Wyndham and at gas stations, 4x back on dining and grocery stores and 1x back on everything else — plus elite status. There's no outright 'free night award,' but you do earn anniversary points that can help with that.

Kimberly Palmer, Erin HurdOctober 21, 2020
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Our Take

The bottom line: This $75-annual-fee card offers a lot of value, including anniversary points that could snag you a free night each year — but only at the lowest tier.

Wyndham Reward® Earner℠ Plus Credit Card

Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Credit Card

Annual Fee

$75

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 free

Cons

  • Has annual fee

Alternate Pick: Flexible, versatile rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

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

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual Fee

$250

Annual Fee

$95

Annual Fee

$550

Regular APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

15.99% - 22.99% 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

If you're wedded to Wyndham, the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Credit Card is a solid hotel credit card, earning 6 points per $1 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 $75-annual-fee 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 that annual fee.

However, unlike a lot of other hotel credit cards with annual fees, you won't get a free overnight stay each year — at least not outright — and that's a bit of a disappointment. On the other hand, the anniversary points you get can be worth at least as much as a free night, and points are more flexible with a longer expiration.

Nerd tip: There's a $0-annual-fee version of this card called the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Credit Card, though its rewards and benefits are less robust.

Key features of the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Credit Card

Card type: Hotel.

Annual fee: $75.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 45,000 bonus points, enough for up to six free nights at participating Hotels By Wyndham, after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

Ongoing rewards:

  • 6 points per dollar spent at Wyndham hotels, Wyndham Vacation Rental North America properties and Wyndham Timeshare properties.

  • 6 points per dollar spent at gas stations.

  • 4 points per dollar spent on dining 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:

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% 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:

  • 7,500 anniversary points every year.

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

Nerd tip: The Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Credit Card is a revamped version of the older Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card. That older version is no longer open to new applicants, as of September 2020. 

Benefits of the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Credit Card

HIGH REWARDS RATE

When you spend at Wyndham properties, you earn 6 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 5,600 points: 3,500 as a member of Wyndham rewards, on top of 2,100 from your card. What's more, you'll also earn 6 points per $1 when you fill up on gas and 2 points per $1 for spending on dining and grocery store purchases. 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.

LARGE SIGN-UP BONUS, PLUS valuable ANNIVERSARY POINTS

New cardholders get handsomely rewarded: Earn 45,000 bonus points, enough for up to six free nights at participating Hotels By Wyndham, after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

But the rewards keep coming each year when you renew your card. You’ll earn 7,500 points automatically every anniversary, which can be good for one free night at a low-tier property. Or you can choose to put those 7,500 points toward a higher-end, 30,000-per-night resort.

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® Earner℠ Credit Card, 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 sibling, the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Credit Card. It offers the same bonus categories, but at lower rates.

Here's how those two Wyndham cards stack up, along with details on the business version of the card, the Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card:

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)

NO FREE NIGHT CERTIFICATE

While cardholders earn 7,500 points for each anniversary with the card (enough for a free night at the lowest-tier hotels), it’s not enough for a stay at a mid-tier or higher-end property.

Other hotel cards with annual fees — such as the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card and The World Of Hyatt Credit Card — offer an automatic "free night award" every year that you can apply to a wide range of properties.

Still, points do have one advantage: Unlike many free night certificates, which expire after one year, Wyndham points expire four years after you earn them (or in 18 months with no account activity).

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, 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® Earner℠ Plus Credit 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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