Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Hits the road often, whether for work or play See more cards
Loves to explore places and experience new things See more cards
Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty See more cards
The Wyndham Rewards Earner Card is worth considering if you like to stay at Wyndham properties but aren’t sure you want to commit to paying an annual fee. It may also be a good choice if you aren’t loyal to any hotel brand and simply want to try out a hotel credit card.
That said, frequent travelers may not get as much value from this card as other hotel credit cards, and the limited redemption options make it a poor choice for travelers who want flexibility.
Easy-to-earn bonus for new cardholders
Annual bonus is easy to achieve
Gold elite status benefits
High gas rewards rate
0% APR balance-transfer offer
No automatic complimentary anniversary night
Low base rewards rate
Limited redemption options
- Easy-to-earn bonus for new cardholders: The card offers a 30,000-point bonus, which is pretty solid for a card with no annual fee. What’s more, you only have to spend $1,000 in 90 days to earn it, which breaks down to roughly $333 per month.
- Annual bonus is easy to achieve: You can earn 7,500 bonus points every year when you spend $15,000, a benchmark that the average person could hit in around eight months, according to spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only a few other hotel cards without annual fees offer this type of perk.
- Gold elite status benefits: You’ll automatically get Wyndham Gold status, which comes with a points bonus, preferred room choice, late checkout, and more. The benefits you get from Wyndham’s Gold status are similar to the complimentary status boosts you get with similar hotel cards.
- High gas rewards rate: Most hotel credit cards reserve their highest rewards rate for purchases made with the hotel chain. While this card does that, it also offers 5 points per dollar on eligible gas purchases. Even some of the top gas credit cards can’t match that.
- 0% APR balance transfer offer: New cardholders get 15 months of 0% interest on any balances transferred in the first 45 days. A 0% transfer offer on a hotel card is rare if you aren’t paying an annual fee.
- No automatic complimentary anniversary night: If you want the annual 7,500-point bonus, you’ll need to meet a spending requirement to get it. And while that’s a huge perk for a hotel card with no annual fee, most annual-fee hotel cards offer a complimentary anniversary night every year with a cash value that exceeds the annual fee.
- Low base rewards rate: Although the card offers great rewards on gas and a decent rate on qualifying grocery and dining purchases, it’s likely that most of your purchases will net you 1 point per dollar, which is mediocre.
- Limited redemption options: As with any hotel credit card, you won’t get a lot of flexibility when it’s time to use your points. You’ll get the most value out of your points by booking reward nights. While Wyndham also allows you to redeem rewards for other things, the value isn’t great. Travelers who want more options may be better off with a general travel credit card.
Wyndham Rewards Earner Card Bonus for New Cardholders
When you first get the card, you’ll receive a welcome offer of 30,000 bonus points, enough for up to 4 free nights at participating properties after spending $1,000 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. Based on data collected by The Balance, the bonus is worth $294.
The value of your welcome bonus is better than a few similar cards but the Hilton Honors from American Express and the Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card have more valuable bonuses.
Earning Points and Rewards
The Wyndham Rewards Earner Card offers three rewards rates to cardholders:
- 5 points per dollar on eligible Wyndham and gas purchases
- 2 points per dollar on dining and grocery purchases
- 1 point per dollar on everything else.
The grocery category does not include Target and Walmart.
It’s common for a hotel credit card to offer a high rewards rate on purchases made at the hotel chain’s properties. However, most hotel cards don’t match that rate in another spending category. In this case, you’ll earn an impressive 5 points per dollar on gas, which works to your advantage if you commute to work. If you have a partner or spouse who also commutes to work, it may benefit you to add them as an authorized user so they can have their own card to make gas purchases.
The rewards program’s biggest weakness is the base rate of 1 point per dollar. While it’s not uncommon for a tiered reward program to do this, there are other hotel credit cards that offer better.
The best way to maximize the value of your rewards is to use them to book reward nights. When you redeem them this way, they’re worth .98 cents each on average, though your actual redemption rate can vary based on the number of points required and the cash value of the stay.
Wyndham has just three category tiers for a night’s stay at one of its more than 9,000 properties worldwide: 7,500 points, 15,000 points, and 30,000 points. Alternatively, you can combine points and cash starting at 1,500, 3,000, or 6,000 points per night.
Caesars hotels charge resort fees, and you can’t pay for those with points.
Other redemption options include:
- Tours and activities: You can use points to book local experiences at your destination at a rate of 0.35 cents per point, in some cases.
- Gift cards: Wyndham Rewards members can use their rewards to buy gift cards to use at a long list of retailers and restaurants. Redemption values range hover around 0.36 and 0.37 cents per point.
- Marathon Gas: You can fuel up your car at a Marathon Gas station and use points to get discounts, though it’s unclear what the redemption rate is.
- Merchandise: Using travel rewards to buy merchandise is common, but you typically won’t get much value using your points that way. For example, you can purchase a Costco membership certificate for 18,693 points. It normally costs $60 for a year, so that redemption gives you just 0.32 cents per point.
- Charitable donations: If you want to do some good with your points, you can donate to several different nonprofit organizations starting at 500 points.
- Maintenance and exchange fees: If you own a Wyndham timeshare, you can use your points to pay for various maintenance and exchange fees at a rate of 0.5 cents per point.
In addition to redeeming your rewards directly with Wyndham, you also have the option to transfer your points to some of the hotel chain’s 14 hotel, shopping, and airline partners. Unfortunately, most of the transfer ratios are significantly lower than the 1:1 standard for good travel cards, so you won’t get much value. Domestic travelers can get a 5:1 transfer rate on United, Hawaiian Airlines, and Frontier miles. The best transfer option is moving your points to Caesar Rewards because it’s a 1:1 ratio.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
For starters, track your spending as you work to meet the card’s minimum spending requirement to earn the welcome bonus. Because it’s only $333 per month for three or six months, it shouldn't be too difficult.
Also, if you have more than one credit card you use regularly, make sure you know when to use the Wyndham Rewards Earner Card to maximize your rewards, especially on gas purchases. If you have a card that offers a better rate on dining and groceries, though, use that card instead.
When it comes time to redeem your rewards, you’ll get far more value from reward nights, on average, than other options. If you want to dive deeper into points values, you can always calculate the value of your redemption by dividing the cash value of a stay by the number of points required to book a reward night.
Wyndham Rewards Earner Card’s Excellent Perks
The card offers one benefit, which is impressive for a card of this caliber:
- Status upgrade: As a cardholder, you’ll automatically become a Gold member, which comes with a preferred room choice, 10% more points on Wyndham bookings when you pay with cash, late checkout, and a dedicated member services line.
- go free® awards offers a 10% discount on points bookings at certain properties.
Barclays was ranked No. 9 out of 11 national credit card issuers for customer satisfaction in a 2020 J.D. Power study. The card issuer’s 796-point rating was below the average of 810.
The bank offers complimentary FICO score access to its cardholders, and you can also reach a customer service agent 24/7 if you have any questions or concerns.
Barclays employs several standard security measures to protect cardholders from fraud. This includes two-factor authentication for your online account, zero liability for fraudulent purchases, and contactless technology. You can also lock your card from the Barclays US mobile app, which can help if you’ve misplaced the card or you want to keep yourself or others from using it.
Wyndham Rewards Earner Card’s Fees
The Wyndham Rewards Earner Card doesn’t charge any fees that are out of the ordinary for similar credit cards.