Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard

overall rating
4.0

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The Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard offers 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three billing cycles and the opportunity to earn an anniversary bonus of 20,000 points. Cardholders earn 10 points per dollar spent on Best Western stays. There is no annual fee for the first year, but that rises to $59 each year thereafter.

Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard®

overall rating
4.0
Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard®
On FNBO's Secured Site.

Current Offer:

Earn 70,000 points. 50,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in your first 3 billing cycles, plus an additional 20,000 points when you spend at least $5,000 during each of your first 12 billing cycles.

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 (%) 16.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0 first year, then $59
Rewards Earning Rate 10 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 Premium 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 Premium Mastercard

Pros
  • Decent one-time offer

  • Large anniversary bonus

  • High earning rate on Best Western stays

  • Automatic platinum elite status

Cons
  • Points value is substandard

  • Annual fee after the first year

Pros Explained

  • Decent One-Time Offer: This card offers 50,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 in the first three billing cycles after you open your account. That spending threshold is relatively low for a bonus of 50,000 points, although the value of the points earned isn't outstanding.
  • Large Anniversary Bonus: You can earn an additional 20,000 bonus points by spending at least $5,000 during each 12-billing-cycle period, technically called a "qualification period." The qualification period begins with the start of the first complete billing cycle after the account is enrolled in the rewards program and concludes at the end of the 12th complete billing cycle. This is essentially an account anniversary bonus, and it’s a pretty decent one at that. The bonus points will be added to your account four to eight weeks after the end of the qualification period.
  • High Earning Rate on Best Western Stays: You earn 10 points per dollar spent for using your Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard to pay for Best Western stays. While the value of each point is relatively low, earning 10 points per dollar spent more than compensates for the low valuation.
  • Automatic Platinum Elite Status: With this card, you receive automatic platinum elite status in Best Western's rewards program. The only major difference between platinum elite status and gold elite status is you get a 15% point bonus for eligible stays as a platinum elite member versus a 10% point bonus as a gold elite member. Other benefits above the base status, called blue, include your choice of a thank-you gift or points upon arrival, and room upgrades. Points upon arrival may not be available at some international locations, and room upgrades may not include specialty rooms or suites.

Cons Explained

  • Points Value is Substandard: The value of the points you earn is important with any rewards program. Unfortunately, Best Western rewards points are usually worth less than 1 cent each and in many cases much less than that. Thankfully, the large bonus, anniversary bonus, and high earning rate on Best Western stays offset this.
  • Annual Fee After the First Year: You don't have to pay an annual fee the first year with this card, but the annual fee is $59 each year thereafter. If you don’t earn the anniversary bonus each year, the annual fee may not be justified. If you do earn the anniversary bonus, the value of the anniversary bonus can easily justify the $59 annual fee when you redeem the points for free Best Western hotel stays.

This Card is Best For

  • 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

This card could be a good fit for people who frequently stay at Best Western hotels. If you can earn the bonus of 50,000 points and the 20,000 annual anniversary bonus points, those can more than justify the costs of this card over the long run. This card can offer outsized value if you redeem your rewards at Best Western hotels that provide the highest value per point.

While the points aren't as valuable as those on some other credit cards, the high bonus amounts and 10 points per dollar spent on Best Western stays make up for the lower points value. After you spend at least $5,000 on this card to earn the anniversary bonus, using a cash-back card that pays more than 1% for your non-Best Western purchases could earn you larger rewards.

Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard Bonus

This card offers 50,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first three complete, consecutive billing cycles after your account is opened. To earn the bonus, your account must be open and enrolled in the rewards program. The bonus points should arrive in your account six to eight weeks after they’re earned. 

That bonus could be used to book six award nights at a Best Western hotel that charges 8,000 points per night, although such hotels may be difficult to find in some areas. It could also be used for four award nights at a 12,000 points per night hotel, which can be a bit easier to find, or for three award nights at a hotel charging 16,000 points a night.

Rewards Earning Details

The rewards on this credit card can be a little confusing if you go solely by its marketing materials. They state that you can earn 20 points per dollar spent on Best Western stays. But the information immediately below that statement clarifies that you earn 10 points per dollar with your card plus another 10 points per dollar as a result of your membership in Best Western’s rewards program, which is free to join even without the credit card. 

Best Western purchases qualify only if made at BestWestern.com, by calling Best Western directly, or by booking through a Best Western branded hotel. You’ll also earn 2 points per dollar on all other purchases.

Earning 10 points per dollar on Best Western stays is still a great value even after you consider the relatively low value per point you get when redeeming your rewards. However, the 2 points per dollar all other purchases can typically be outearned with a 2% cash-back credit card.

There are no limits to the number of points you can earn on purchases, and the points you earn never expire. That said, Best Western can limit the number of points you can earn from bonuses. The program doesn't have blackout dates, but it does have capacity controls, and awards are subject to room availability.

If you'd rather earn airline miles than Best Western points, the rewards program does offer this option. However, opting to earn airline miles means you won’t earn any Best Western points on those stays. The earning rate for miles depends on the specific program you choose. 

Considering that you can also transfer your Best Western points to airline programs, you will have greater flexibility if you take the Best Western points and transfer them later. The only drawback to this would be needing to save up at least 5,000 points before you can transfer points to a partner loyalty program. That could take a while, depending on your spending patterns.

Rewards Redemption Details

Best Western offers a number of ways to redeem your points. To get the most value for your points, you're likely best off booking stays at Best Western hotels. An award night starts at 8,000 points and can cost up to 36,000 points.

If you don't want to use your points for an award night at a Best Western hotel, you can redeem them for special promotions, Best Western Travel cards, gift cards, merchandise, or charitable donations. Or, you can transfer your points to select airline loyalty programs. The value you’ll receive per point for these redemption options is almost always less than redeeming for awardstays at Best Western hotels. 

Transferring Points

Best Western partners with quite a few airlines that allow you to transfer your Best Western points to their loyalty programs. Unfortunately, the transfer rates are extremely poor in most cases. Even so, the option to transfer points can be useful if you’re close to having enough rewards in another loyalty program to book an award flight. In order to transfer points, you need to build up a balance of at least 5,000 Best Western points. These are the transfer ratios for each transfer partner:

  • 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

Maximizing the rewards on this card takes some planning. As far as earning points goes, you’ll want to make sure you collect the bonus of 50,000 points by spending $1,000 within the first three billing cycles after you open the account. You should also take advantage of the 20,000 anniversary bonus points for spending at least $5,000 during each 12-billing-cycle period. 

You'll want to charge all of your Best Western purchases to this card and collect those 10 points per dollar spent. But after you've satisfied the annual $5,000 annual spending requirement for the additional bonus points, you'll likely come out ahead if you use a 2% cash-back credit card for your non-Best Western purchases.  

When you're ready to redeem your Best Western points, booking award nights at Best Western hotels usually offers the best value. The value per point will vary according to the hotel you pick, so look for hotels that offer the best point valuations.

For example, you could use 48,000 of the points from your bonus to book a two-night stay at the Lincoln Hotel SureStay Collection by Best Western in Monterey Park, Calif (for a stay beginning on November 11, 2019). The same stay would cost $274.29 if you booked at Best Western's flexible rate. This reward redemption would result in a value of roughly 0.6 cents per point. 

Or, if you wanted to get more value out of your points, you could book a four-night stay (begining November 11, 2019) at the Best Western Plus Dallas Hotel & Conference Center in Dallas for those 48,000 points. You’d otherwise pay $443.62 with Best Western’s flexible rate. Using your points for this hotel stay would result in a value per point of about 0.9 cents.

Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard's Outstanding Benefits

  • Automatic platinum 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 rated in J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. 

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.

As a cardholder, you’ll also receive free access to your FICO Bankcard Score 9 credit score.

Security Features

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

Fees to Watch Out For

This card doesn't charge an annual fee in the first year, but you will have to pay $59 each year thereafter. The card’s 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 higher than many competing cards. On a positive note, this card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees or a penalty APR.

Our Verdict

The Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard offers a decent value for people who often stay at Best Western hotels. As long as you can earn the bonus of 50,000 points for spending $1,000 in the first three billing cycles and the 20,000 point anniversary bonus for spending at least $5,000 each year, the rewards this card offers should more than justify the cost of the annual fee after the first year. And while Best Western points aren't as valuable as some other credit card rewards, the opportunity to earn an additional 10 points per dollar spent on Best Western stays helps make up for that.

Even so, after you spend at least $5,000 on the card to collect the anniversary bonus each year, consider putting your non-Best Western purchases on other credit cards to earn more value from your spending.

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For Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard®
on FNBO's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Best Western Rewards® Premium 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 (%) 16.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0 first year, then $59
Rewards Earning Rate 10 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.