Full Review of Wyndham Rewards Visa
0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months
One-time offer worth up to two free nights after first purchase
Automatic Gold status in Wyndham Rewards
Rewards value is only middling
0% APR offer has some weak points
- 0% APR on Balance Transfers for 15 Months: The Wyndham Rewards Visa comes with a one-time offer of 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 billing cycles, a relatively unusual perk in a hotel card. For consumers looking to transfer higher-rate debt and pay it down faster, this could potentially be a useful feature, although there is a fee for balance transfers, as we detail below.
- One-Time Offer Worth Up to Two Free Nights: Earning the one-time offer on most cards requires charging hundreds or even thousands of dollars within a certain time period. The Wyndham Rewards Visa has no such requirement; cardmembers receive the bonus after making their first purchase or transferring their first balance. After making a purchase with—or transferring a balance to—this card, you receive 15,000 bonus points. Since the cost of redemptions for a free night at a Wyndham property starts at 7,500 points, it's possible to redeem the one-time offer for up to two free nights of lodging—although a single night or less is more likely for most properties.
- Automatic Gold Status in Wyndham Rewards: With this credit card, members receive automatic Wyndham Rewards Gold Membership status, a level usually achieved through five nights of stays. The main benefit with this status is a 10% bonus on points earned. Other perks are preferred room selection and late checkout.
- Rewards Value Is Only Middling: With two or three points earned per dollar spent, rewards with this card sound relatively impressive. But Wyndham points are less valuable than those of many other rewards programs, whose points are worth a cent or more apiece through most methods of redemption. Because of that modest value, other cards may provide richer rewards. That's especially true when it comes to the 2 points per dollar earnings on gas and groceries, which you could beat with some other cash-back cards with no annual fee, like the American Express Blue Cash Everyday. However, one bright spot for the Wyndham Rewards Visa is that you earn 2 points per dollar spent on your utility bills, a better rate for that category than many other cards, including the Amex Blue Cash Everyday, provide.
- 0% APR Offer Has Drawbacks: To benefit from this card's 15-billing cycles of 0% APR on balance transfers requires paying a 3% balance transfer fee. While some others provide the same interest-free period for new purchases, the Wyndham Rewards Visa's 0% APR allows only six billing cycles at 0% APR for those.
This Card is Best For
Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
Seeks the recognition and perks of branded travel partner status
This card should only be considered by those who are loyal to Wyndham properties. It reserves its best rewards, of 3 points for every dollar spent, for Wyndham spending, and also provides the biggest return on points when used for stays at Wyndham hotels and resorts.
The card's best introductory perks are also Wyndham-oriented: a one-time offer, which alone would buy one or two nights at a less-expensive Wyndham property, and automatic membership in Wyndham Rewards at the Gold level, which affords you an additional 10% in points earnings as well as late checkout and a choice of preferred rooms.
Wyndham Card One-Time Offer
This card comes with a one-time offer of 15,000 points. Rather than having a specific dollar amount spending requirement, cardmembers receive the bonus after making their first purchase or transferring their first balance. Redemptions start at 7,500 points, so there’s a potential for two free nights with the bonus.
Rewards Earning Details
You earn 3 points for each dollar spent on eligible Wyndham purchases. Additionally, you receive 2 points per dollar spent on groceries, gas, and utilities. Note, however, that grocery purchases made at Walmart, Target, and warehouse clubs do not earn the 2 points per dollar, which are common exclusions for grocery rewards on other cards, too. Utility purchases also include cable and satellite purchases, in addition to electric, gas, water and heating oil.
Rewards Redemption Details
You redeem rewards through the Wyndham website. Cardmembers can see how many points they have, and how many they need to book various rooms. When redeeming points for stays at Caesar’s properties, keep in mind that there are often resort fees included. Points can’t be used to pay resort fees, so these will need to be paid with cash.
There are also options to redeem your points for a range of other rewards, from gift cards to gas at Marathon Gas outlets to merchandise. But your points generally earn you far less than they will when used for Wyndham stays. For example, a $100 Amazon card is available for 27,000 points, an amount that could buy you two or three nights at a less expensive Wyndham property. Bose Soundlink Around-Ear Headphones II, which sell for $229 on Amazon, are available for 73,624 points, a total that translates into fractions of a cent per point.
It's possible to redeem Wyndham points for airline miles and other partner programs, starting at 6,000 points. Partners include:
- Air Canada
- Air China
- American Airlines
- China Eastern
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Turkish Airlines
Again, however, Wyndham points are worth far less when transferred to these programs than when used for Wyndham stays. That said, cardholders who might need a few more miles for a flight redemption might find that it makes sense to turn in some Wyndham points to achieve their goals.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
The most effective way by far to get the most from the Wyndham Rewards Visa is to use it to pay for Wyndham hotel lodging, and then redeem its points for more such stays. Wyndham purchases with this card essentially earn 3.3 points per dollar spent—the basic 3 points per dollar, supplemented by an additional 0.3 points from the 10% bonus from the Wyndham Gold status that comes automatically with the card.
You could of course also use the card for everyday spending. You’ll earn less (2 points per dollar spent) but rewards will still add up with regular use. In 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spent $4,464 on groceries and about $2,109 on gas. With the 2.2 points earned per dollar spent (including the 10% points bonus for Gold status), those two items alone could earn 14,460 points a year. Additionally, the annual energy bill for the American family is $2,060, according to EnergyStar.gov. A consumer can earn another 4,532 points per year by setting up automatic payments for their utilities with this card. Together, all of these everyday purchases could earn you about 19,000 points a year—which is enough, potentially, to earn a night or two every year in a Wyndhams property.
Though not a specific perk of this card, it’s also possible to earn extra rewards as a Wyndham member by ordering through DoorDash, which offers 250 points per order.
Wyndham Credit Card's Outstanding Benefits
- Automatic Gold Membership status
- Concierge service
- Visa global assistance services
- No foreign transaction fees
- $0 fraud liability
- 24/7 assistance in the event of a lost or stolen credit card.
The 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Survey from J.D. Power rates Barclays, the issuer of the Wyndham card, as average in its rankings.
It is possible for cardholders to get personal assistance for concierge services, like recommendations for dining, hotels, entertainment and other experiences. Additionally, there is access to Barclays also offers customer service for cardmembers by phone, as well as offering social media assistance on Facebook and Twitter.
Most security features with this credit card are fairly standard. The Wyndham card comes with $0 liability on fraudulent purchases and access to Visa's global assistance services, which allows for reporting lost or stolen cards 24/7.
Fees to Watch Out For
There aren't too many fees with this credit card. However, cardmembers hoping to take advantage of the 0% introductory APR on balance transfers might want to pay attention to the balance transfer fee of 3%. Double-check to ensure that the interest savings by transferring the balance will offset the fee.
Those loyal to Wyndham properties can’t really lose by acquiring this card. In part, that’s because it has no annual fee, unlike its sibling, which is also (confusingly) named the Wyndham Rewards Visa, which costs $75 a year. And, through its automatic Gold status in the Wyndham Rewards program, the card immediately grants you some perks that you’d otherwise have to stay at least 5 nights at the chain to earn.
Beyond its Wyndham advantages, however, this card doesn’t have a great deal to offer. There is, unusually for a hotel card, a 15-billing cycle introductory offer for balance transfers at 0% APR. But anyone planning to transfer a balance of any significant size from a high-interest card they own should pause before sending it to the Wyndham Rewards Visa.
That’s mostly because the card imposes a 3% balance-transfer fee, where some other cards with no annual fee that extend 0% APR offers of comparable length do not. And many of those other cards also offer a respite of a year or more from paying interest on new purchases, too, where the Wyndham Rewards Visa offers only six months on Wyndham Times purchases.
You’ll get poor value when redeeming this card’s points for anything except Wyndham stays, too. Those looking to earn rewards that can be redeemed for travel more widely would be better off with such general travel cards as the Capital One VentureOne or, perhaps better still, the Bank of America Travel Rewards, which has no annual fee and earns a flat 1.5 points on every purchase.
You can also do better than this card’s 2 points per dollar spent on groceries. The Capital One SavorOne card offers 2% cash back on groceries, which is more lucrative than the Wyndham card’s rewards on food, as well as a generous 3% cash back on dining and entertainment.