Credit Card Credit Card Reviews

Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card Review

overall rating
3.7

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The Choice Privileges Visa Signature card offers a 0% APR balance transfer introductory rate for 15 months made within the first 45 days of account opening, as well as extra rewards and perks for those staying at Choice hotels. There is no annual fee, and cardholders can earn bonus anniversary points each year.

Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card

overall rating
2.9
Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card
On Barclaycard's Secured Site.

Current Offer:

Earn 32,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days

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 (%) 15.24% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 15 points per $1 spent at eligible Choice Hotels. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on all other purchases. Earn 5 points per $1 on eligble Choice Hotels gift cards.
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 15 Billing Cycles
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
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

Full Review of Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card

Pros
  • Generous bonus offer worth up to four award nights

  • No annual fee

  • Anniversary bonus worth one award night

  • Earn 15 points per dollar on Choice Hotels stays

  • 0% APR for 15 months for balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening

Cons
  • 3% foreign transaction fee

  • Points expire after 18 months of inactivity

  • No 0% APR offer on purchases

Pros Explained

  • Generous Bonus Offer Worth up to Four Award Nights: Cardholders receive 32,000 bonus points when they spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. That's enough points to redeem for up to four award nights at select Choice hotels.
  • No Annual Fee: With no annual fee, it's possible to earn award nights without worrying about whether their value exceeds the cost of the card.
  • Anniversary Bonus Worth One Award Night: Cardholders receive 8,000 bonus points on their anniversary as long as they spend at least $10,000 on the card during the year. That’s enough points to redeem for one award night at certain Choice hotels.
  • Earn 15 Points per Dollar on Choice Hotels Stays: Each dollar spent at eligible Choice Hotels earns 15 points, while other purchases earn 2 points per dollar. This card also offers 5 points per dollar spent on Choice Privileges points or Choice Hotels gift cards.
  • 0% APR Offer for Balance Transfers: The Choice Privileges card comes with a 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months. Balance transfers must be made within 45 days of account opening in order to receive the promotional APR. The balance transfer fee is 3% or $5, whichever is greater.

Cons Explained

  • 3% Foreign Transaction fee: Unlike some competing cards, this card charges a fee for foreign transactions. For example, the Capital One VentureOne card and the Bank of America Travel Rewards card, come with no annual fee, earn travel rewards, and don’t charge foreign transaction fees. 
  • Points Expire after 18 Months of Inactivity: Cardholders who don’t engage in Choice Privileges activity for 18 months can lose their accumulated points. Using the card for a purchase at least once every 18 months will prevent that from happening as well as other activities like redeeming points for hotel stays.
  • No 0% APR Offer on Purchases: While this card has a 0% APR on balance transfers, there is no similar offer for new purchases.

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 Choice Privileges Visa Signature card is best for people who frequently stay at Choice Hotels and want to earn some award nights. Choice Hotels include brands such as Cambria, Clarion, Comfort Inn and Suites, Quality Inn, and Rodeway Inn.

It's also possible for Privileges members to link their accounts to other programs, including Amtrak’s. Additionally, Choice has airline partners like AAdvantage, where it's possible to earn 250 miles per stay. For those who frequently use other travel programs in conjunction with staying at Choice Hotels, linking accounts can make sense.

Gift card redemptions start at 16,000 for a $50 card. Additionally, it takes 32,000 Choice Privileges points to exchange for 5,000 Amtrak points. As a result, it can make more sense for those who don't use Choice Hotels to look for more general travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Capital One VentureOne, or cash-back cards like the AmEx Blue Cash Everyday or Capital One SavorOne, to earn rewards that they are more likely to use.

Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card Bonus

Earn 32,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of account opening. Point redemptions for award nights start at 8,000 points, so that's enough to potentially get up to four award nights. Investopedia values Choice Hotels points at 0.84 cents each, which puts the dollar value of the bonus at just under $270 if redeemed for cash or travel.

Rewards Earning Details

With the Choice Privileges card, cardholders receive 15 points for every dollar they spend at eligible Choice Hotels properties. Additionally, this card grants automatic Elite Gold Status, which results in 10% bonus points when booking a qualifying stay at Choice properties.

Cardholders also receive 2 points for each dollar they spend on other purchases. 

Rewards Redemption Details

Choice Privileges points can be redeemed for award nights starting at 8,000 points. The number of points that are required to redeem for an award night’s stay depends on the type of hotel. It's also possible to redeem points toward a night’s stay when you have 6,000 points—but you will have to pay the difference. Using this method results in a discount, rather than an award night.

Points can also be redeemed for various gift cards, starting at 16,000 points for a $50 card. Gift cards include restaurants, gas stations, and retailers. Cardholders can also redeem points for donations to charities, starting at 1,000 points.

Cardholders can log into their Choice Privileges account to redeem rewards points for award nights at many locations. However, those wishing to redeem points for resort destinations and special offers must do so by phone.

Transferring Points

It’s possible to transfer Choice Privileges points to the following travel partners:

  • Aeroplan — 5,000 Choice points for 1,000 Aeroplan miles
  • Alaska Mileage Plan — 5,000 Choice points for 1,000 Alaska Airline miles
  • Amtrak Guest Rewards — 32,000 Choice points for 5,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards points
  • Club Premier — 5,000 Choice points for 1,000 Club Premier miles
  • FrequentFlyer — 20,000 Choice points for 3,000 Qantas FrequentFlyer points
  • United MileagePlus — 5,000 Choice points for 1,000 MileagePlus miles

For most of the airline partners, there is a 5:1 redemption for miles.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

The best way to maximize rewards from the Choice Privileges card is to use it to book stays at Choice hotels and earn 15 points per dollar. It can also be worthwhile to connect your Choice Privileges account to another rewards program. 

For example, you can earn 250 Alaska Airline miles when you book a stay with a Choice hotel. So, a cardholder who booked a hotel room at a Choice property for two nights at $85 per night could earn 2,550 Choice Privileges points and also have 250 miles credited to their Alaska Airlines loyalty account.

You can get a further boost to rewards earnings by spending at least $10,000 on the card in the course of a year. This results in 8,000 bonus points on your cardholder anniversary, enough to book an award night’s stay at certain hotels.

While 2 points per dollar on all other purchases is competitive, some other travel cards are more flexible in how they let you redeem your rewards. For example, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card offers only 1.5 points per dollar on all purchases, but those points can be redeemed for a wider variety of travel experiences.

Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card's Outstanding Benefits

  • Elite Gold Status
  • Exclusive Choice Privileges member rates
  • Anniversary bonus points
  • Earn 15 points per dollar at eligible Choice hotels

Standard Benefits

  • $0 fraud liability protection
  • No annual fee
  • Visa Signature benefits

Cardholder Experience

Barclays US, which issues the Choice Privileges credit card, received a rating of 806 out of 1,000 in the 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, which is in line with the national average.

Because this is a Visa Signature card, customers receive benefits that include roadside dispatch, extended warranty protection, and an auto rental collision damage waiver. 

Barclays offers 24/7 customer service by phone and mobile apps for iOS and Android. It's also possible to reach Barclays customer service on Twitter.

Security Features

This card comes with $0 fraud liability, protecting holders from unauthorized charges. Additionally, it’s easy to report a lost or stolen card by calling Barclays or Visa Global Customer Care Services. 

Our Verdict

For loyal Choice Hotels customers, this card can help earn award nights faster, with 15 points for each dollar spent at Choice properties.

However, this card doesn't offer much in the way of perks and rewards beyond Choice Hotels. While it's possible to transfer points to partners, there isn't a 1:1 transfer, which some other programs, like Chase Ultimate Rewards, provide. 

This card might be best as a secondary card, to be used primarily at Choice properties and to meet the minimum for the 8,000 bonus points each year. That way, it could complement another rewards program card with bigger earnings opportunities for everyday spending.

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For Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card
on Barclaycard's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card
overall rating
3.7
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 (%) 15.24% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 15 points per $1 spent at eligible Choice Hotels. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on all other purchases. Earn 5 points per $1 on eligble Choice Hotels gift cards.
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.