CREDIT CARDSCREDIT CARDSWYNDHAM REWARDS EARNER CREDIT CARD REVIEW: IDEAL FOR FRUGAL TRAVELERS

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.
Kimberly Palmer Author AvatarMelissa Lambarena Author Avatar
Feb 28, 2024 12:39 p.m. PST
Edited by
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This page includes information about the Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card and the Wyndham Rewards Earner® Plus Card, currently unavailable on NerdWallet. The information about the Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card and the Wyndham Rewards Earner® Plus Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been provided or reviewed by the card issuer.

4.2

NerdWallet rating
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.

Pros
  • No annual fee
  • High rewards rate
  • Anniversary perk
  • New cardholder bonus offer
Cons
  • No free anniversary night
  • Limited redemptions
Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card Image
Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

20.99%, 25.24% or 29.99%, Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers

Rec. credit score

Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card
Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card Image

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

20.99%, 25.24% or 29.99%, Variable APR

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Rewards rate

    1x-5x

  • Bonus offer

    Earn 30,000 bonus points, enough for up to 4 free nights after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

  • Intro APR

    0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers

  • Ongoing APR

    APR: 20.99%, 25.24% or 29.99%, Variable

    Cash Advance APR: 29.99%, Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    0% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

More details from Barclays
  • Earn 30,000 bonus points, enough for up to 4 free nights after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • Earn 5X points on eligible purchases made at Hotels by Wyndham as well as on qualifying gas purchases.
  • Earn 2X points on eligible dining and grocery store purchases (excluding Target® and Walmart®).
  • Earn 1X points on all other purchases (excluding Wyndham Vacation Club down payments).
  • Automatically receive a Wyndham Rewards GOLD member level and enjoy perks like free WiFi, preferred room selection, late checkout, and more.
  • Earn 7,500 bonus points each anniversary year if you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases—that's enough for up to one free night every year.
  • Redeem 10% fewer Wyndham Rewards points for go free® awards, and earn your free nights faster.
  • Wyndham Rewards Earner Cardmembers can save even more on our Best Available Rate for stays at participating Hotels by Wyndham.
  • There is no limit to the number of points you can earn.
  • Redeem points you've earned for online shopping, discounts on gas, local tours and activities, gift cards, and so much more.

Compare to Other Cards

ANNUAL FEE
$0
REGULAR APR
17.24%-28.24% Variable APR
Rates & Fees
INTRO APR
0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$95
REGULAR APR
21.49%-28.49% Variable APR
INTRO APR
N/A
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$250
REGULAR APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Rates & Fees
INTRO APR
N/A
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
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Detailed review: Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card

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® 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 Card. It has a $75 annual fee, but it also offers more robust rewards and perks.

🤓Nerdy Tip

The Wyndham Rewards Earner® 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® Card

Card type: Hotel.

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus points, enough for up to 4 free nights after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

Rewards:

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

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

  • Earn 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases (excluding Wyndham Vacation Club down payments, the hotel chain's timeshare program).

NerdWallet values Wyndham points at 1.2 cents 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 1.2 cents 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 multiple partner programs, including American, United and Frontier airlines.

  • Merchandise, gift cards, charitable contributions.

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

Having these redemption options is a nice perk if you have Wyndham points you wouldn't otherwise use. But you will typically get more value out of your points by redeeming them for hotel stays.

APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening, then the ongoing APR of 20.99%, 25.24% or 29.99%, Variable APR.

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.

Benefits and perks

Decent sign-up bonus

The Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card offers a decent introductory offer that's not too difficult to earn: Earn 30,000 bonus points, enough for up to 4 free nights 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® 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 5X 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.

Drawbacks and considerations

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

Empty Table Header

Wyndham Rewards Earner Card

Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card

Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card

Annual fee

$0

$75

$95

Sign-up bonus

Earn 30,000 bonus points, enough for up to 4 free nights after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

Earn 45,000 bonus points, enough for up to 6 free nights after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

Earn 45,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 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.

Rewards

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

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

  • 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases (excluding Wyndham Vacation Club down payments).

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

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

  • 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases (excluding Wyndham Vacation Club down payments).

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

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

  • 1X 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). See our list of best rated credit cards to see what card could work best for you.

If that’s your preference, consider these options:

You could have 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 bonus rewards in various categories including travel and dining, and 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 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 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 purchases. Miles can be redeemed for any travel expense at 1 cent per mile, and this card also offers a fat sign-up bonus.

You want more rewards on everyday categories without an annual fee

If a $0 annual fee is a must for you, take a look at the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card. It earns an unlimited 3 points per dollar on restaurants, travel and transit, gas stations, popular streaming services, and select phone plans — plus 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. It 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.

Alternate Pick: Flexible no-fee rewards
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

How to decide if it's right for you

If you often find yourself checking in to Wyndham properties, the Wyndham Rewards Earner® 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.

Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.

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