Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Best Western Rewards Mastercard Review

overall rating
4.0

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The Best Western Rewards Mastercard offers 3 points per dollar spent on Best Western stays and 2 points per dollar on all other purchases. It also offers 16,000 bonus points after your first purchase and an additional 16,000 bonus points after your first stay. Unfortunately, the value of the points you earn is relatively low.

Best Western Rewards® Mastercard®

Overall Rating
4.0
Best Western Rewards® Mastercard®
On FNBO's Secured Site.
Current Offer

Earn 32,000 points. 16,000 bonus points after your first purchase, plus earn 16,000 bonus points after your first stay.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 18.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 3 points per dollar on Best Western stays, 2 points per $1 spent everywhere else.
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

The Best Western Rewards Mastercard is not one of our top-rated hotel credit cards. You can review our list of the best hotel credit cards for what we think are better options.

Full Review of Best Western Rewards Mastercard

Pros
  • The one-time offer can result in up to four free nights

  • Automatic gold elite status

  • 3 points per dollar spent on Best Western stays

Cons
  • Value of points is low

  • High APR on purchases

Pros Explained

  • The One-Time Offer Can Result in up to Four Free Nights: If you meet all of this card's bonus requirements, you can earn 32,000 bonus points. Those 32,000 points can be used for up to four free nights in an 8,000 points per night hotel, such as the SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Omaha South.
  • Automatic Gold Elite Status: The Best Western Rewards Mastercard automatically gives you gold elite status in Best Western’s rewards program. In addition to the benefits earned as a blue member, gold elite members get 10% bonus points for eligible stays, a choice of a thank-you gift or points upon arrival, and a room upgrade. Unfortunately, points upon arrival may not be available at all international locations and specialty rooms or suites may not qualify for room upgrades.
  • 3 Points per Dollar Spent on Best Western Stays: This card offers 3 points per dollar spent on Best Western stays. This is a decent point earnings rate for a no-annual-fee card. Unfortunately, the value per point makes it less desirable than it seems.

Cons Explained

  • Value of Points Is Low: While earning 3 points per dollar on Best Western stays and 2 points per dollar on all other purchases may sound enticing, the value of each point is rather low, typically less than 1 cent. You could potentially earn more valuable rewards with a 2% cash-back credit card.
  • High APR on Purchases: This card's lowest possible APR on purchases, a variable 18.99%, is a few points above the average APR for all credit cards. The potentially higher APR on purchases, a variable 22.99%, exceeds the average APR by even more.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse
  • Avatar for Rewards Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
    Rewards Strategist
  • Avatar for Loyalty Status Seeker Persona
    Seeks the recognition and perks of branded travel partner status
    Loyalty Status Seeker

The Best Western Rewards Mastercard is for people who frequently stay at Best Western hotels and want to earn additional points toward free nights there. While the card offers a decent bonus of up to 32,000 points, 3 points per dollar spent on Best Western stays, and 2 points per dollar on all other purchases, the value per point is low.

You can squeeze a little more value from the points you earn by paying close attention to the redemption rates at different Best Western hotels. But it might be simpler just to get a regular 2% cash-back card and pay for your Best Western stays with it.

Best Western Rewards Mastercard One-Time Offer

This card offers a bonus that comes in two parts. You can get 16,000 bonus points after your first purchase posts to the account. Then, you can earn an additional 16,000 bonus points with your first Best Western stay.

Best Western purchases must be made at BestWestern.com, by calling Best Western directly, or by booking through a Best Western branded hotel. For both of these bonuses to post to your account, your account must be open and enrolled in the credit card rewards program. Bonus points take six to eight weeks to post.

Rewards Earning Details

The rewards on this credit card can be a bit confusing due to the way the card is marketed. The marketing materials state that you earn 13 points per dollar spent on Best Western stays. But right below that earning rate, they note that you actually earn 3 points per dollar spent for using your Best Western Rewards Mastercard, while the other 10 points per dollar are earned as a Best Western Rewards member. You can join that program at no cost without signing up for the credit card. You also earn 2 points per dollar spent on all other purchases. 

While earning 2 or 3 points per dollar sounds decent, the low value per point means you’ll generally get more value with a 2% cash-back credit card. There are no limits to the number of points you can earn on regular purchases, but bonus points may be limited. Your points do not expire. While there technically aren’t blackout dates when you use your points, the program does say that free night stays are subject to capacity controls and room availability.

You also have the option of earning miles with one of Best Western’s partner airlines instead of Best Western points. Earning rates vary depending on the airline you choose. Since you can also transfer the points you earn for miles on these airlines, you’d have more flexibility by taking Best Western points and later transferring them. Most airline miles transfers require at least 5,000 Best Western points, so it can take a while to build up enough points to transfer them.

Rewards Redemption Details

You can redeem the points you earn in many ways, but you will likely receive the most value for your points by booking stays at Best Western hotels. Best Western free hotel nights range from 8,000 points per night to as much as 36,000 points per night.

You can also redeem points for special promotions, Best Western Travel Cards, gas cards, gift cards, airline rewards, merchandise, and charitable donations. These other options typically result in a lower value per point than free night stays at Best Western.

Transferring Points

Once you earn enough points, you can transfer points to Best Western’s partner airlines. This usually is not a great use of points, due to the awful transfer ratios in most cases, but it can be helpful if you need to top off your airline points balance to book a reward. Best Western currently partners with the following airline programs, at the points transfer ratios listed below:

  • AerClub - 5,000 Best Western points to 1,000 Avios points
  • AeroMexico Club Premier - 5,000 Best Western points to 1,600 kilometers
  • Aeroplan - 5,000 Best Western points to 1,000 miles
  • AIR MILES - 5,000 Best Western points to 80 AIR MILES
  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan - 5,000 Best Western points to 1,000 miles
  • Alitalia - 6,000 Best Western points to 1,000 miles
  • American Airlines AAdvantage - 5,000 Best Western points to 1,000 miles
  • Asia Miles - 5,000 Best Western points to 1,000 miles
  • Asiana Club - 5,000 Best Western points to 1,000 miles
  • British Airways Executive Club - 5,000 Best Western points to 1,000 Avios
  • FlyingBlue - 6,000 Best Western points to 1,000 miles
  • Iberia Plus - 5,000 Best Western points to 1,000 Avios 
  • LifeMiles - 5,000 Best Western points to 1,000 Lifemiles
  • Meridiana Club - 5,000 Best Western points to 1,000 Avios points
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards - 5,000 Best Western points to 1,200 points
  • Vueling Club - 5,000 Best Western points to 1,000 Avios

How to Maximize Your Rewards

Redeeming rewards for free hotel stays will likely give you the best value for your points. The key to maximizing your rewards is picking hotels that offer a good value per point.

For example, the 32,000 points earned from the bonus could be redeemed for a two-night stay at the Best Western Airport Inn & Suites in Orlando, Florida. The same room for a two-night stay would cost $222.76 when booking Best Western’s flexible room rate (for November 13, 2019), including taxes and fees. That results in a value of roughly 0.7 cents per point.

Or, you could use 24,000 of the points from the bonus to book a two-night stay at the Best Western Gwinnett Center Hotel in Duluth, Georgia. This room would cost $196.96, including taxes and fees, when booking the flexible rate (for November 13, 2019). That translates to a value of roughly 0.8 cents per point.

Best Western Rewards Mastercard's Outstanding Benefits

  • Automatic gold elite status

Standard Benefits

  • Auto rental insurance

Cardholder Experience

The Best Western Rewards Mastercard is issued by First Bankcard, a division of First National Bank of Omaha, which was not scored in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. As a First Bankcard account holder, you get free access to your FICO Bankcard Score 9 credit score.

If you have questions about your card, you can contact First Bankcard 24/7 by calling the number on the back of your card or 888-295-5540. The card issuer also offers mobile and online account access.

Security Features

This card's security features are standard for the industry.

Fees to Watch Out For

The Best Western Rewards Mastercard has a few fees that are higher than normal. In particular, its balance transfer fee ($10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater) and cash advance fees ($15 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater) are more than many other cards charge. Its ongoing APRs for purchases and balance transfers (variable 18.99% or 22.99%) are also relatively high. That said, this card does not charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

Our Verdict

The Best Western Rewards Mastercard offers a decent bonus of up to 32,000 points—16,000 after making your first purchase with the card and a like amount after your first Best Western purchase. But the 3 points you earn per dollar spent on Best Western stays and 2 points per dollar on all other purchases are disappointing, given the low value per point. 

Even though this card does not charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fees, you might be better off with a 2% cash-back credit card with no annual fee. By simply joining the Best Western Rewards program, which is free of charge, you’ll get 10 points per dollar spent on your Best Western stays, regardless of what credit card you use to pay for them.

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For Best Western Rewards® Mastercard®
on FNBO's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Best Western Rewards® Mastercard®
overall rating
4.0
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 18.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 3 points per dollar on Best Western stays, 2 points per $1 spent everywhere else.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.