Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
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.
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.
Valuable hotel points
Easy-to-earn bonus for new cardholders
No annual fee
Uncommon 0% balance transfer APR
No extra points for airfare or dining out
Few extra benefits
- Valuable hotel points: Wyndham Rewards points have a high per-point value compared to many other hotel rewards programs, according to The Balance valuations. Points earned with this card are worth 1.34 cents each on average when used for hotel stays. By comparison, other hotel points are worth just a fraction of a cent each.
- Easy-to-earn bonus for new cardholders: This card doesn’t offer a massive bonus, but it’s super easy to earn. Unlike comparable cards that require you to spend $1,000 or even $2,000 shortly after opening an account to earn a bonus, this card offer has no minimum spending requirement. Just make a purchase or balance transfer and the extra points are yours. (Keep in mind you’ll pay a 3% balance transfer fee, or a minimum of $5, to transfer a balance.)
- 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 cost 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 or hotel perks as you would if you paid an annual fee.
- Competitive 0% balance transfer APR promotion: Introductory rates aren’t unheard of on hotel cards, but they’re not universal. 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, which is in line with other hotel card offers right now and even competes with general travel card offers. That period of time can offer 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.)
- No extra points for airfare or dining out: Unlike competing hotel 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.
- Few extra benefits: Since this is a no-annual-fee hotel card, it offers fewer points-per-dollar spent than the other Wyndham credit card. It’s also pretty bare-bones when it comes to additional travel perks, which is typical for a low-cost hotel card. So if you’re looking for a card that offers more across the board, this isn’t it. Travel rewards cards with annual fees are the ones that come with valuable perks such as travel insurance and statement credits for travel expenses.
Bonus for New Cardholders
The Wyndham Rewards Visa Card gives you 15,000 points after your first purchase or balance transfer. Based on The Balance's point valuations, this offer is worth about $158 when used to book hotel stays. In fact, 15,000 points may be enough for a night at a lower-tier hotel, research by The Balance shows.
Competing cards may offer a similarly-valued bonus, 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.
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. 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, along with vacation club resorts such as WorldMark by Wyndham.
You’ll also earn 2 points per $1 spent 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. Anyone can be a member of Wyndham Rewards, whether they have the credit card or not. However, as a cardholder, you’ll move to Wyndham Rewards Gold status, which you’d normally earn after staying five qualifying nights without a card. Gold status members earn 10% more base points on each stay.
Hotel points will expire four years after your checkout date and may be canceled or forfeited if you don’t post any account activity (such as buying that pack of gum with your credit card) 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.
Wyndham points are worth an average of 1.05 cents each when redeemed for hotel stays, according to our research. That’s in line with Marriott Bonvoy points and about twice as much as Hilton Honors points. World of Hyatt has the most valuable points of any hotel program we’ve analyzed, at 2.01 cents each.
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
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 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.
To see how the Wyndham Rewards Visa Card’s points stack up against other travel rewards, check out our in-depth analysis of what credit card points are worth.
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 for a hotel stay.
We also recommend pairing the Wyndham Rewards Visa Card with a flexible travel card that pays more than 1 point or mile per $1 on flights and non-travel 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 may be above average, 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
Travel 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: This card gives you automatic Gold status with this hotel brand, 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 a rating of “about average” 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.
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. As with most hotel cards, you won’t pay a foreign transaction fee on purchases made outside the U.S.