Reviews Best Western Rewards Premium MasterCard review
Best Western Rewards Premium MasterCard review

Best Western Rewards Premium MasterCard review

Published: April 25, 2017
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Hotel Rating:
3.9 rating
3.9 rating
3.9 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.4
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.6
Rewards Flexibility: 3.5
Redemption Options: 4.0
Features: 4.0

In a nutshell:

With huge bonuses for loyal card members and an ample points bonus on Best Western hotel stays, the Best Western Rewards Premium card more than makes up for its annual fee.

Rewards Rate

  • 10:1 Best Western stays (up to 20:1 if you combine it with Best Western rewards)
  • 2:1 general spending

Sign-up Bonus
50,000 points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 billing cycles

Annual Bonus
20,000 points each year you spend at least $5,000

Annual Fee
$59, $0 first year

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$671

APR
17.24-23.24% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

Pro:

  • Points don’t expire
  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • No blackout dates
  • Redeem points for hotel stays, airfare, dining, entertainment, merchandise, gift cards, charity

Cons:

  • Rewards-funded rooms may be limited
  • Must go through card issuer to book travel rewards
  • Transfer rate for airline partners is poor (often 5:1)

Hotel Options

  • Properties: 4,100
  • Countries: 80+

Other Notable Features: Automatic platinum elite status, 10% discount on hotel stays, 15% point bonus per stay, free room upgrades, recognition gift, dedicated reservation line, price protection, extended warranty, free FICO credit score

Rewards Rating:
4.2 rating
4.2 rating
4.2 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.9
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.7
Rewards Flexibility: 3.7
Features: 4.0

In a nutshell:

This premium hotel card offers a generous rewards rate on Best Western purchases and a tiered sign-up bonus that amply rewards moderate to heavy spenders; however, cardholders need to travel often to make up for the card’s $59 annual fee.

Rewards Rate

  • 10:1 Best Western stays (up to 20:1 if you combine it with Best Western rewards)
  • 2:1 general spending

Sign-up Bonus
50,000 points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 billing cycles

Annual Fee
$59, $0 first year

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$671

APR
17.24-23.24% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

Pro:

  • Points don’t expire
  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • No blackout dates
  • Redeem points for hotel stays, airfare, dining, entertainment, merchandise, gift cards, charity

Cons:

  • Rewards-funded rooms may be limited
  • Must go through card issuer to book travel rewards
  • Transfer rate for airline partners is poor (often 5:1)

Other Notable Features: Automatic platinum elite status, 10% discount on hotel stays, 15% point bonus per stay, free room upgrades, recognition gift, dedicated reservation line, price protection, extended warranty, free FICO credit score

Travel Rating:
4.2 rating
4.2 rating
4.2 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.8
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.1
Rewards Flexibility: 3.7
Features: 4.0

In a nutshell:

Our top choice for frequent travelers who prefer to stay at Best Western, this premium hotel card offers more than enough value to make up for its $59 annual fee, including an ample sign-up bonus for moderate spenders and a giant spending bonus on hotel purchases.

Rewards Rate

  • 10:1 Best Western stays (up to 20:1 if you combine it with Best Western rewards)
  • 2:1 general spending

Sign-up Bonus
50,000 points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 billing cycles

Annual Fee
$59, $0 first year

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$671

APR
17.24-23.24% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

Pro:

  • Points don’t expire
  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • No blackout dates
  • Redeem points for hotel stays, airfare, dining, entertainment, merchandise, gift cards, charity

Cons:

  • Rewards-funded rooms may be limited
  • Must go through card issuer to book travel rewards
  • Transfer rate for airline partners is poor (often 5:1)

Other Notable Features: Automatic platinum elite status, 10% discount on hotel stays, 15% point bonus per stay, free room upgrades, recognition gift, dedicated reservation line, price protection, extended warranty, free FICO credit score

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If you travel more than a handful of times a year and choose to stay at Best Western Inn, you should have no trouble earning enough rewards to make up for this generous card’s $59 annual fee.

The Best Western Rewards Premium card sets itself apart from other hotel cards by offering ample bonuses that are more than three times the size of most hotel card bonuses. Depending on how much you spend by the end of the card’s first year, you could potentially take home up to $700 worth of bonus points — a surprisingly high bonus for a card with such a comparatively low fee.

Best Western’s extensive hotel network also makes it a good choice for frequent travelers who rarely visit the same place. It doesn’t offer as many opportunities to earn additional points as some hotel credit cards do, though, so if you aren’t a heavy traveler, you may not get as much value out of the card after the end of its first year.

Plentiful bonuses — for some
For a card with such a low annual fee, the bonuses on the Best Western Rewards Premium MasterCard are surprisingly rich. Cardholders who spend at least $1,000 in the first three months are awarded a 50,000 bonus points. Loyal card members who choose to renew their card membership are, furthermore, awarded a 20,000 point bonus as long as they spend a mere $5,000 in a year.

These bonuses together are enough to purchase up to a week’s worth of hotel stays. That benefit alone makes the card worth an application — especially if you’re hoping for a free vacation stay sometime next year.

Ample rewards for repeat guests
The Best Western Rewards Premium card also awards a generous amount of bonus points if you use your card to book a reservation. Cardholders are automatically awarded 10 points for every dollar spent on Best Western stays. If you combine your points with Best Western’s loyalty rewards program, you’ll receive up to 20 points per dollar spent. With that kind of rewards rate, you could potentially earn a rewards-funded night after staying with Best Western for just four nights — not a bad deal for a card with a $59 annual fee.

The general rewards rate is also quite high — you earn two points per dollar on regular purchases.

Modest perks for Best Western guests
To get the most value out of this credit card, you need to be a relatively frequent guest at Best Western. The hotel automatically upgrades Premium cardholders to platinum elite status in its loyalty program. But the perks aren’t nearly as exciting as the ones offered by competitors. Platinum elite cardholders receive a 15 percent points bonus for every hotel stay, free room upgrades, a recognition gift and a 10 percent discount on hotel stays. But you may still have to pay for Internet and other hotel services.

Huge number of hotels
In addition to its ample sign-up bonus, the best perk offered by the Best Western Premium card is the extensive number of hotels connected to the program. Best Western operates 4,100 hotels in more than 80 countries, so you should have no trouble finding a hotel in the city of your choice.

Watch out for pricier hotels, though, if you want to book a room with your rewards. The price of hotel rooms varies widely, depending on the city and Best Western property.

If you’re short a few points, don’t worry. Best Western lets you to purchase a limited number of points.

Few restrictions
Best Western imposes relatively few restrictions on redemption of points, so cashing in your card’s rewards should be easy. There are no travel blackout dates, so you don’t have to alter your plans around the hotel’s schedule. You also can redeem your points for hotel stays, airfare, merchandise, gift cards or other card rewards.

Rewards points don’t expire, and there are no limits on the number of points you can earn. You may have trouble booking a rewards-funded room during a hotel’s busy period, though, since Best Western reserves the right to restrict the number of rewards-funded rooms. You also have to go directly through Best Western to book a rewards room, so you may not get the best deal.

Reasons to get it:

  • You want a large sign-up bonus and are willing to use your card for regular purchases to get it.
  • You’re a frequently traveler and prefer to stay at Best Western.
  • You want a card with an extensive hotel network.

How to use it:

  • Use your card when booking a reservation and be sure to include your Best Western rewards details as well. If you book online or through a third-party site, mention your rewards membership to the front desk when you arrive and they’ll credit your account.

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