Barclays and Wyndham today unveiled three new “Wyndham Earner” rewards credit cards. While I don’t consider any of them to be “must have” cards, they’re better than I expected and I’m actually kind of excited about the business card…
Those who want a nice welcome bonus plus the ability to save 10% off award stays will do well with the fee-free Wyndham Rewards Earner Card. Many will find the $95 business card more attractive because it includes the same 10% discount plus 15,000 bonus points each anniversary and Wyndham Diamond status which matches to Caesar’s Diamond status. The $75 Wyndham Rewards Earner Card is less attractive, in my opinion, because it offers only 7,500 points each anniversary and Wyndham Platinum status. If you have the ability to pay $20 more per year for the business card, I think it’s totally worth it. Here’s my review of the three new cards:
Perks available to all three Wyndham Rewards Earner cards
Go Free Faster (10% award discount)
Cardholders automatically get a 10% discount on free night (Go Free) awards. Normally, free nights cost either 7.5K, 15K, or 30K per night. With this discount, free nights will cost 6.75K, 13.5K, or 27K per night.
Note that this sounds similar to the 10% rebate on the JetBlue cards and on the old IHG Club card, but it’s better than that because it’s not a rebate but a discount — with Wyndham you get a discount at the time of booking so you do not need to have the full points in your account the way you do with JetBlue or IHG.
Cardmember Rate (paid stay discount)
Cardholders save 7% or 12% off the Best Available Rate, depending upon the property. This is slightly better than the Member Rate which is either a 5% or 10% discount off the Best Available Rate.
Here’s what I found on Wyndham’s website about this discount:
Enjoy an exclusive booking discount on our Member Rate to save even more as a cardmember! Simply sign in to your Wyndham Rewards account and choose the “Cardmember Rate” when booking your stay.
The Member Rate discount level received by a Member will vary based on the property in question and whether or not the booking Member is also a Cardmember. For Members who are not Cardmembers, the amount of the Member Rate discount is either 5% or 10% off of the Best Available Rate (in each case, for purposes of these Member Rate Terms, the “Standard Discount”); for Cardmembers, the amount of the Member Rate discount is either 7% or 12% off of the Best Available Rate (in each case, for purposes of these Member Rate Terms, the “Cardmember Discount”), with the choice of discount level varying by Hotel Chain and Participating Destination (as more particularly set forth below). In the case of Cardmembers, only the Cardmember who is the primary cardholder will receive the Cardmember Discount. A Cardmember should allow 24 to 48 hours after credit card account opening for the Cardmember Discount to become available.
No foreign transaction fees
Wyndham Rewards Earner Card
Review Summary: Sign up for the bonus. Keep for the 10% free night discount.
For a fee-free consumer card, this one offers a very good welcome bonus (at least at the time of this writing it does) and it’s worth keeping for the 10% discount on free night awards. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend spending $15K per year to get the 7,500 point bonus, but it does have strong earnings (5X) at gas stations and Wyndham properties.
Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card
Review Summary: Decent card, but most would be better off with free version or business version.
If the business card didn’t exist, I’d say that this card was worth considering for Wyndham fans. The annual 7,500 point bonus is almost enough to offset the card’s $75 annual fee (at our Reasonable Redemption Value of 0.7 cents per point, 7,500 points is worth $52.50) and if you stay in Wyndham or Caesar’s properties often enough, Platinum status may be valuable. The card also has slightly better earnings at gas stations and Wyndham properties than the free card (6X instead of 5X). That said, if you find 7,500 points and Platinum status valuable, you should be willing to pay $20 more per year for for the business card in order to get 15,000 points and Diamond status. Plus, the business card offers 8X rewards at gas stations and Wyndham properties!
Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card
Review Summary: Surprisingly strong for gas station spend. This one is a keeper.
Dare I say that this card is almost exciting? Let’s look at the features that make it well worth the $95 annual fee:
15K annual point bonus: Our Reasonable Redemption Value for Wyndham points is 0.7 cents per point, so we value 15K points at $105 per year. In other words, I’d be happy to pay $95 per year for 15,000 points because I should be able to get at least $105 value from those 15,000 points (but would likely get much more value). As a general rule, I always prefer earning points rather than free night certificates with hotel credit cards. Unlike free night certificates, points don’t expire after only one year (Wyndham points do expire 4 years after acquisition though!) and points are more flexible: You can use 15,000 points for 2 cheap 7.5K nights, 1 mid-tier 15K night, or towards a top-tier 30K night (by combining with other points). Plus, thanks to the 10% free night discount, you’ll have points left over for the next stay.
Wyndham Diamond status: Wyndham offers some perks exclusively to those with Diamond status such as suite upgrades (including on free nights), welcome amenity, and ability to gift Gold status to others. Even better, Wyndham Diamond status freely matches to Caesar’s Diamond which offers perks like waived resort fees, free $100 Celebration dinner (read Nick’s Celebration Dinner trip report here), and much more. Wyndham Diamond status is a more important perk than it was in the past because Wyndham has stopped offering status matches from other hotel chains.
Strong earnings for gas station purchases, Wyndham hotels, and utilities: This card offers 8X rewards at gas stations and Wyndham properties! With our Reasonable Redemption Value of 0.7 cents per point, that’s like a 5.6% rebate (which is excellent). The card also earns 5X for marketing, advertising, and utilities (utility purchases are defined as telecommunications services, cable, satellite, electric, gas, heating oil and water).
Visa Savings Edge (maybe): Visa Savings Edge is a card-linked program for business Visa cards. I don’t know yet whether this Barclays card will work with Visa Savings Edge, but if it does it can mean earning additional cash back on top of the strong rewards the card already offers. By enrolling and linking your card you get automatic rebates for purchases with certain merchants including:
- Wyndham Hotels: Get 4% to 5% back depending on the brand. This means you can earn 8X Wyndham points plus up to 5% cash back at Wyndham hotels!
- Chevron: Get 2% back. This means you can earn 8X Wyndham points plus 2% cash back at Chevron gas stations!
Do you think you’ll be applying for any of the Wyndham Rewards Earner Cards?