Reviews First National Bank La Quinta Returns Visa card review
First National Bank La Quinta Returns Visa card review

First National Bank La Quinta Returns Visa card review

Published: May 30, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Hotel Rating:
2.4 rating
2.4 rating
2.4 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.4
Annual Percentage Rate: 3.3
Rewards Flexibility: 3.3
Redemption Options: 2.0
Features: 4.0

In a nutshell:

The La Quinta Returns Visa card offers a fair return on hotel spending for fans of the pet-friendly budget hotel chain.

Rewards Rate

  • 5:1 La Quinta stays (up to 17:1 when combined with LaQuinta rewards program)
  • 2:1 car rentals, gas and dining
  • 1:1 general

Sign-up Bonus

  • 10,000 points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 billing cycles
  • 20,000 points if you spend $5,000 in first 6 billing cycles
  • 40,000 points if you spend $10,000 in first 12 billing cycles

Annual Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$351

APR
16.74-20.74% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

Pro:

  • Points don’t expire as long as you use your card once every 18 months
  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • No blackout dates
  • Redeem points for hotel stays, gift cards, airfare, magazines or donate them to charity

Cons:

  • Blackout dates may apply
  • Limited number of rewards rooms available
  • Must go through card issuer to book travel rewards
  • Transfer rate for 5 airline partners is poor (up to 6:1)

Hotel Options

  • Properties: 875
  • Countries: 7

Other Notable Features: Instant upgrade to gold status, 20 percent point bonus on earnings, express check-in, late checkout, dedicated reservation line, 2 free room upgrade certificates per year

No Annual Fee Rating:
4 rating
4 rating
4 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.6
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.8
Rewards Flexibility: 3.5
Features: 4.0

In a nutshell:

Since La Quinta points are more valuable than the average hotel card rewards point, cardholders will find a lot of value in the La Quinta Returns Visa card, including one of the best sign-up bonuses you can get without paying an annual fee.

Rewards Rate

  • 5:1 La Quinta stays (up to 17:1 when combined with LaQuinta rewards program)
  • 2:1 car rentals, gas and dining
  • 1:1 general

Sign-up Bonus

  • 10,000 points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 billing cycles
  • 20,000 points if you spend $5,000 in first 6 billing cycles
  • 40,000 points if you spend $10,000 in first 12 billing cycles

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$351

APR
16.49-20.49% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

Pro:

  • Points don’t expire as long as you use your card once every 18 months
  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • No blackout dates
  • Redeem points for hotel stays, gift cards, airfare, magazines or donate them to charity

Cons:

  • Blackout dates may apply
  • Limited number of rewards rooms available
  • Must go through card issuer to book travel rewards
  • Transfer rate for 5 airline partners is poor (up to 6:1)

Other Notable Features: Instant upgrade to gold status, 20 percent point bonus on earnings, express check-in, late checkout, dedicated reservation line, 2 free room upgrade certificates per year

Rewards Rating:
3.5 rating
3.5 rating
3.5 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.5
Annual Percentage Rate: 2.5
Rewards Flexibility: 3.5
Features: 4.0

In a nutshell:

A good card for road trippers who prefer to travel with their pets, the LaQuinta Returns Visa card offers a respectable number of points on hotel, gas, car rental and dining purchases; but you need to be a moderate to heavy spender to earn the maximum sign-up bonus and get the most value out of the card.

Rewards Rate

  • 5:1 La Quinta stays (up to 17:1 when combined with LaQuinta rewards program)
  • 2:1 car rentals, gas and dining
  • 1:1 general

Sign-up Bonus

  • 10,000 points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 billing cycles
  • 20,000 points if you spend $5,000 in first 6 billing cycles
  • 40,000 points if you spend $10,000 in first 12 billing cycles

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$351

APR
16.49-20.49% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

Pro:

  • Points don’t expire as long as you use your card once every 18 months
  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • No blackout dates
  • Redeem points for hotel stays, gift cards, airfare, magazines or donate them to charity

Cons:

  • Blackout dates may apply
  • Limited number of rewards rooms available
  • Must go through card issuer to book travel rewards
  • Transfer rate for 5 airline partners is poor (up to 6:1)

Other Notable Features: Instant upgrade to gold status, 20 percent point bonus on earnings, express check-in, late checkout, dedicated reservation line, 2 free room upgrade certificates per year

Travel Rating:
3.4 rating
3.4 rating
3.4 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.2
Annual Percentage Rate: 2.6
Rewards Flexibility: 3.5
Features: 4.0

In a nutshell:

A good card for frequent road trippers and families who prefer to travel with pets, the La Quinta Returns Visa card offers a good return on budget hotel stays and a generous sign-up bonus for moderate spenders.

Rewards Rate

  • 5:1 La Quinta stays (up to 17:1 when combined with LaQuinta rewards program)
  • 2:1 car rentals, gas and dining
  • 1:1 general

Sign-up Bonus

  • 10,000 points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 billing cycles
  • 20,000 points if you spend $5,000 in first 6 billing cycles
  • 40,000 points if you spend $10,000 in first 12 billing cycles

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$351

APR
16.49-20.49% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

Pro:

  • Points don’t expire as long as you use your card once every 18 months
  • No limit on the number of points you can earn
  • No blackout dates
  • Redeem points for hotel stays, gift cards, airfare, magazines or donate them to charity

Cons:

  • Blackout dates may apply
  • Limited number of rewards rooms available
  • Must go through card issuer to book travel rewards
  • Transfer rate for 5 airline partners is poor (up to 6:1)

Other Notable Features: Instant upgrade to gold status, 20 percent point bonus on earnings, express check-in, late checkout, dedicated reservation line, 2 free room upgrade certificates per year

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If you’re often on the road and don’t like to spend a lot for a room — or if you prefer to travel with your furry best friends — the La Quinta Returns Visa card is worth considering.

The La Quinta Returns Visa credit card offers one of the most generous rewards programs available on a no-annual-fee hotel card — particularly for moderate to heavy spenders. Cardholders who spend $10,000 in the card’s first year (around $834 a month), for example, are awarded a 40,000-point sign-up bonus (that’s roughly worth about $400). You’ll be hard-pressed to find another hotel card that offers that much value without charging an annual fee.

To get the most benefit from this card, though, you need to be a relatively heavy spender and a frequent guest at La Quinta — a modest-sized hotel chain with a limited number of locations. You’ll also need some patience: Rewards-funded hotel stays aren’t always the easiest to book.

Ample rewards for La Quinta guests
If you’re already a member of La Quinta’s loyalty rewards program, or are considering signing up, adding the La Quinta Returns Visa to your wallet could turbocharge your savings. By itself, the La Quinta credit card offers a respectable five points per dollar spent when you use your card to book a La Quinta room. When you pair it with La Quinta’s rewards program – which automatically upgrades La Quinta Visa cardholders to gold status after their first purchase – the rewards rate rockets up to 17 points per dollar spent.

La Quinta Returns members receive 10 points per dollar spent on La Quinta reservations, while gold status members receive a 20 percent bonus (amounting to 12 points per dollar spent.)

The La Quinta Visa card also allows you to supplement your earnings with two points per dollar spent on car rentals, gas and dining and one point per dollar spent on everything else. Compared to most hotel cards without an annual fee, that’s a solid rate – particularly since La Quinta points are typically worth at least a penny each. Many hotel card points, by contrast, are worth considerably less.

Awesome sign-up bonus, with a catch
La Quinta also ups the ante with a tiered sign-up bonus that handsomely rewards cardholders who use their card for a substantial number of monthly purchases. You have to be a relatively heavy spender, though, to earn the most rewards. Cardholders who spend at least $10,000 (roughly $834 a month) in the card’s first year are awarded up to 40,000 bonus points – an impressive number of points for a card with no annual fee. If you redeem your points for a La Quinta hotel room, those 40,000 points could be worth as much as $400 or more depending on where you stay.

Meanwhile, if you don’t want to spend that much on your card, you can still take home a considerable amount. For example, if you spend $1,000 in the card’s first three months, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus points (roughly worth around $100). If you spend an additional $4,000 in the card’s first six months, you’ll take home another 10,000 points.

Low bar for securing a free room
It doesn’t take many points to secure a free room, either, making the La Quinta card even more appealing for cardholders eager to collect free hotel stays. Depending on where you stay, a free room could cost as little as 6,000 points in smaller towns or up to 24,000 points in pricey locations such as downtown Chicago or Manhattan. Most La Quinta rooms cost around 8,000 to 15,000 points.

Some restrictions on redemption
You may have a hard time booking a room that fits with your travel plans, though. For example, travel blackout dates may apply for certain reservations. And not all rooms are eligible for rewards purchases. On the plus side, La Quinta gives you other options for redeeming your rewards. You can use your points to purchase gift cards, magazines or airfare, or donate your points to charity. You also can transfer your points at a discount to a limited number of airline programs if you’re trying to collect enough points to purchase airfare.

La Quinta doesn’t restrict the number of points you can earn, and points don’t expire as long as you use your card once every 18 months.

Fewer hotel choices
The biggest downside to the La Quinta Returns Visa card is its limited hotel network. This is a pretty big handicap considering that some of La Quinta’s biggest budget hotel competitors, such as Wyndham and Choice, offer thousands of hotels across the world. La Quinta, by contrast, has 875 properties in seven countries, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Australia, Italy and Spain. To see if La Quinta has a property in your destination of choice, check out the hotel’s interactive property map.

Reasons to get it:

  • You want a solid amount of value without paying an annual fee.
  • You prefer staying in budget hotels such as La Quinta.
  • You frequently travel to locations served by La Quinta Inn and Suites.
  • You like to travel with your pets and prefer a hotel without a pet fee.

How to use it:

  • To maximize your rewards, use your La Quinta credit card for all of your hotel, gas, car rental and dining purchases. And use it in conjunction with your La Quinta rewards card for hotel stays.
  • Consider using your card for all your everyday purchases until you reach the $5,000 or $10,000 sign-up bonus threshold.
  • Use your card at least once every 18 months so your points don’t expire.
  • Before heading out of town, check La Quinta’s hotel point requirements for free night rewards.

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