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
If you have good credit and travel at least occasionally to one of the Wyndham brands, the Wyndham Rewards Visa Card may be worth a second look. Maybe you’re already a member of Wyndham’s free rewards program, earning points whenever you stay at a participating Wyndham hotel. But with this card, you don’t have to stay at a hotel to rack up points; everyday expenses like groceries, gas, and utility bills will earn you a little extra in rewards, and there's no annual fee.
You’ll also get 15,000 points to kickstart or boost your stash, just by making a single purchase or balance transfer. It’s by no means a big bonus, but at least it’s super easy to get.
By the same token, if you’re a frequent traveler and are willing to pay a $75 annual fee, you should consider applying for the other Wyndham Rewards credit card, which offers more points per dollar of hotel purchases and a bigger bonus for new cardholders.
No annual fee
Relatively flexible redemption options
Interest-free promotion on balance transfers
Paltry bonus for new cardholders
No extra points for airfare or dining out
- No annual fee: Many big hotel chains offer a basic credit card with no annual fee, but it’s a nice feature, nonetheless. No annual fee means no commitment, which is important if you’re not sure how often you’ll be traveling. Just keep in mind you won’t get the same rewards rates as you would if you paid an annual fee.
- Relatively flexible redemption options: While this card, like most hotel cards, won’t let you redeem your points for cash, it’s nice to have choices beyond free stays at Wyndham properties. You can also use points to buy gift cards or online merchandise, explore a new city or museum, or even get discounts at Marathon gas stations. Or you can transfer them to other eligible rewards programs (mostly airline partners).
- Interest-free promotion on balance transfers: Introductory rates aren’t unheard of on hotel cards, but they’re not that common. With this card, if you transfer a balance within 45 days of opening your account, you’ll get a 0% APR for 15 billing cycles. That can mean significant savings in finance charges, depending on how much you spend on the transfer and what the APR was on your old card. (More on this below.)
- Paltry bonus for new cardholders: This card’s incentive to sign up is pretty meager, relative to what’s offered by comparable cards with other hotel chains. You’ll earn 15,000 bonus points after you make your first purchase or transfer a balance, a fraction of what some cards offer. The one upside is that this bonus is easier to earn, since there’s no minimum spending requirement. Even a pack of gum would qualify you. (Just keep in mind you’ll pay a 3% balance transfer fee, or a minimum of $5, to transfer a balance.)
- No extra points for airfare or dining out: Unlike competing cards, this one doesn’t pay bonus points on your plane tickets or restaurant tabs—two of the things you’re most likely to spend money on before or during a stay at a Wyndham hotel. Plus, you won’t get 2 points per $1 on your groceries at Target or Walmart.
Wyndham Rewards Visa Card's Bonus for New Cardholders
The Wyndham Rewards Visa Card gives you 15,000 points after your first purchase or balance transfer. Competing cards may offer 50,000 or 75,000 points, but require you to spend $1,000 or $2,000 in your first three months to earn it. This card’s bonus is essentially a freebie, since any purchase—even something as small as a pack of gum—qualifies.
One other caveat: The redemption value per point is relatively high compared to other hotel cards, somewhat offsetting how few points you get. In fact, 15,000 points may be enough for two nights at a lower-tier hotel. Still, this bonus is worth just $216—hundreds of dollars less than the value of some competing offers to new cardholders, research by The Balance shows.
Earning Points & Rewards
The Wyndham Rewards Visa Card offers a simple earning structure. You’ll earn 3 points per $1 you spend on eligible hotel stays—a rate in line with other hotel cards that don’t charge an annual fee. You’ll earn 2 points per $2 on utility, gas, and grocery store purchases, and you’ll get 1 point per $1 on everything else you buy (excluding down payments on Wyndham timeshares).
Target and Walmart purchases don’t count as grocery purchases, and neither do grocery purchases at drug stores, warehouse clubs or other discount stores that aren’t categorized by the grocery store merchant code. Utility purchases include cell phone, cable, satellite, electric, gas, heating oil, and water charges.
For hotel stays, keep in mind the 3 points per $1 is in addition to 10 points per $1 that you’ll earn as a member of Wyndham Rewards (something you can be whether you have the credit card or not.)
The triple points can be earned across many Wyndham brands, from the top-tier Trademark Collection by Wyndham, to everyday lodges like La Quinta or Howard Johnson, to motel-grade options like Super 8. Hotel points will expire four years after your checkout date and may be canceled or forfeited if you don’t post any account activity for 18 consecutive months.
The Wyndham Rewards program offers an easy-to-understand redemption process. You can redeem your points at more than 30,000 hotels, vacation club resorts and vacation rentals. Award nights require 7,500 points, 15,000 points or 30,000 points each, with higher-end properties coming in at the top of the scale.
You can also combine points with cash, redeeming 1,500 to 6,000 points to get discounted rates at participating properties. Or, if you’re a Wyndham timeshare owner, you can use your points toward maintenance fees or timeshare exchange fees.
Other redemption options include:
- Tours and activities
- Discounts at Marathon gas stations
- Gift cards
- Charitable donations
Wyndham points are worth an average of 1.44 cents each when redeemed for hotel stays, according to our research. That’s in line with Marriott Bonvoy points and about three times as much as Hilton Honors points. World of Hyatt has the most valuable points of any hotel program we’ve analyzed, at 2.22 cents each.
One other option is to transfer your points to another rewards program. You can convert your points to Caesars Rewards Credits, or transfer them to 13 travel partners, mostly airlines. We wouldn’t recommend going this route, though, since the transfer ratios are quite poor. For airline partners, which include American Airlines and United Airlines, you’ll need 6,000 Wyndham points to receive 1,200 frequent flyer miles.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Since award nights with Wyndham Rewards start at just 7,500 points, you may be able to book two nights at a lower-tier property right off the bat. Make a single small purchase with your card, wait eight to 12 weeks for the points to post to your account, and redeem.
It may make sense to pair the Wyndham Rewards Visa Card with a flexible travel card that pays more than 1 point or mile per $1 on all purchases. Using the companion card for anything besides gas, groceries, utilities, and hotels would help maximize the rewards-earning potential, and you may even be able to transfer the rewards earned on that card to your Wyndham stash.
In addition, use the balance transfer option cautiously, making sure you’ll save more in interest payments than you’ll pay in the 3% balance transfer fee. What’s more, keep in mind the variable APR on this card is relatively high, so if you still have debt left after the interest-free promotion expires, you’ll be stuck paying a hefty interest rate on it.
Wyndham Rewards Visa Card’s Excellent Perks
Credit cards often come with a lot of perks, so we’ve narrowed down the ones with exceptional value. This card has one such perk from our list:
- Elite hotel status: You'll get automatic Gold status with Wyndham Rewards, which translates into perks like preferred room choice, late checkout, free wifi, and more.
Wyndham Rewards Visa Card’s Other Features
- Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services
Barclays, the issuer of this card, had middling ratings in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, which considered the experiences and opinions of more than 28,000 credit card customers nationwide. The bank earned 806 out of 1,000 points in the study, right in line with the industry average.
Barclays offers standard security features on this card, including fraud monitoring, encryption, automatic logouts, and secure messaging.
Wyndham Rewards Visa Card’s Fees
The Wyndham Rewards Visa Card comes with a standard set of fees, most of which are avoidable. It’s worth noting that you won’t pay a foreign transaction fee on purchases made outside the U.S.