Reviews Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature card review
Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature card review

Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature card review

Published: April 24, 2017
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Ratings Policy
Hotel Rating:
2.3 rating
2.3 rating
2.3 / 5
Rewards Value: 0.8
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.6
Rewards Flexibility: 3.9
Hotel Options: 4.5
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

While Wyndham Rewards’ new redemption scheme is both unique and innovative, only diehard fans will find this card worthy of the annual fee.

Rewards Rate

  • 5:1 Wyndham hotel stays
  • 2:1 gas, groceries and utilities
  • 1:1 other purchases

Sign-up Bonus
30,000 points with first purchase

Annual Bonus
9,000 points every year

Annual Fee
$75

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$224

APR
15.99-25.74%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No blackout dates on “go free” awards
  • Redeem for Wyndham hotels, gift cards, merchandise, travel with airline partners
  • Can use cash plus points (3,000) at participating properties
  • Same flat redemption rate (15,000) at most properties

Cons

  • Points expire after 4 years
  • Blackout dates may apply on other reward types
  • No good use other than room redemptions
  • Many properties aren’t worth 15,000 points

Hotel Options

  • Properties: 7,800
  • Countries served: 72

Other Notable Features: Platinum level membership, 10 points per dollar or 1,000 points on eligible stays (whichever is more), rollover nights never expire, free wi-fi, dedicated member services, preferred room, late checkout/early check-in, free FICO score, identity-theft services, travel and emergency services, price protection, return protection, purchase security, Avis and Budget car rental upgrades

Rewards Rating:
2.6 rating
2.6 rating
2.6 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.4
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.4
Rewards Flexibility: 4.1
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

Cardholders on the search for a more flexible rewards card may be able to make good use of Wyndham’s large network of budget hotels, though they’ll have to watch out for the short expiration date on rewards points.

Rewards Rate

  • 5:1 Wyndham hotel stays
  • 2:1 gas, groceries and utilities
  • 1:1 other purchases

Sign-up Bonus
30,000 points with first purchase

Annual Fee
$75

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$224

APR
15.74-25.49%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No blackout dates on “go free” awards
  • Redeem for Wyndham hotels, gift cards, merchandise, travel with airline partners
  • Can use cash plus points (3,000) at participating properties
  • Same flat redemption rate (15,000) at most properties

Cons

  • Points expire after 4 years
  • Blackout dates may apply on other reward types
  • No good use other than room redemptions
  • Many properties aren’t worth 15,000 points

Other Notable Features: Platinum level membership, 10 points per dollar or 1,000 points on eligible stays (whichever is more), rollover nights never expire, free wi-fi, dedicated member services, preferred room, late checkout/early check-in, free FICO score, identity-theft services, travel and emergency services, price protection, return protection, purchase security, Avis and Budget car rental upgrades

Travel Rating:
2.7 rating
2.7 rating
2.7 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.6
Annual Percentage Rate: 0.6
Rewards Flexibility: 4.2
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

The Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature card offers one of the largest budget hotel networks in the country and a substantial rewards bonus on hotel and everyday purchases; but its rewards points are worth significantly less than the average credit card rewards point, dragging down the card’s overall value.

Rewards Rate

  • 5:1 Wyndham hotel stays
  • 2:1 gas, groceries and utilities
  • 1:1 other purchases

Sign-up Bonus
30,000 points with first purchase

 

Annual Fee
$75

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$224

APR
15.99-25.74%

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No blackout dates on “go free” awards
  • Redeem for Wyndham hotels, gift cards, merchandise, travel with airline partners
  • Can use cash plus points (3,000) at participating properties
  • Same flat redemption rate (15,000) at most properties

Cons

  • Points expire after 4 years
  • Blackout dates may apply on other reward types
  • No good use other than room redemptions
  • Many properties aren’t worth 15,000 points

Other Notable Features: Platinum level membership, 10 points per dollar or 1,000 points on eligible stays (whichever is more), rollover nights never expire, free wi-fi, dedicated member services, preferred room, late checkout/early check-in, free FICO score, identity-theft services, travel and emergency services, price protection, return protection, purchase security, Avis and Budget car rental upgrades

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The new Wyndham Rewards program, introduced last summer, prices every single Wyndham property at 15,000 points. That means the sign-up bonus will cover two nights at any participating Wyndham property worldwide.

While it sounds great in theory, Wyndham hotels just don’t offer the same value proposition as Hilton, Hyatt or Fairmont. The Wyndham portfolio mostly includes budget properties with an occasional upscale resort thrown in for good measure. A consumer who is interested in getting a sensible sign-up bonus and earning scheme is advised to look at other hotel credit cards. However, if you are happy with the Wyndham properties and want to collect Wyndham Rewards points, you might find the card’s terms reasonably attractive.

Modest sign-up bonus

The card offers 30,000 bonus points after you make your first purchase. While this may seem like a large number of points, many other hotel loyalty programs offer double the number of bonus points for their premium cards. On the plus side, there is no spending requirement to get this bonus. And since Wyndham guarantees the same number of points to book a room at any property in the world, it is enough to get you two nights at one of their top-tier hotels, if you can find availability.

The annual bonus, on the other hand, is disappointing. While some hotel rewards cards offer free nights each year – or bonuses of 20,000 points or more – Wyndham offers a mere 9,000 points each year to loyal cardholders. This is barely more than 50 percent of the cost of a free night.

Average earning scheme

The card offers an average earning scheme. You get five points per dollar for your Wyndham bookings and two points per dollar on gas, utilities and groceries and one point per dollar on everything else. While this is a pretty average rate for a hotel card, cardholders at least have the potential to earn a fair bonus on their gas, grocery and utility purchases, since these are all major spending categories.

Moderate annual fee

The card comes with a $75 annual fee. This rates on the high side in comparison to many hotel cards, which come with no annual fee. However, it is a pretty reasonable fee for a premium hotel rewards card.

Largest number of properties in the world

What the Wyndham hotel portfolio lacks in distinctive properties, it makes up for in sheer numbers. The Wyndham hotel network is a vast one, covering 14 brands and 7,800 properties in more than 70 countries around the world. This is nearly double the number of properties of other large brands, such as Hilton or Marriott. As mentioned above, many of these are budget or mid-level hotel brands. So if you are seeking a program with a large number of aspirational properties, the Wyndham card may not be the best choice. However, if you are looking for a hotel rewards program with many opportunities to earn and redeem rewards points, Wyndham has many options.

Points have a short shelf life

Wyndham has recently made many upgrades to its rewards program. This includes increasing the period before points expire. That said, the period before expiration is still drastically short – only four years long. Not only is this the shortest period of any of the cards that we’ve reviewed, but the majority  of hotel rewards cards come with no expiration date as long as you maintain activity on your card.

Go fast and go free awards

Wyndham recently implemented a flat structure for its rewards program, which comes with some pros and cons. On the plus side, it’s a very simple rewards structure, with two categories: “go fast” and “go free” rewards. With “go free” rewards, Wyndham guarantees the same flat rate of 15,000 points at most Wyndham properties, with no blackout dates. With “go fast” rewards, you have the option to pay with 3,000 points plus cash at participating Wyndham properties.

The downside to this is that you need to find an upper-tier hotel in order to get a good value on your rewards points. Most of the budget brands in Wyndham’s portfolio aren’t worth 15,000 points for a night’s stay. However, if you can find availability at one of Wyndham’s prestige properties, 15,000 points is a very good deal.

Few other perks

The Wyndham rewards card sorely lacks hotel perks. Most premium hotel cards include some great additional benefits, including elite status, free room upgrades, free night stays and more. Aside from rewards points and the usual travel benefits that come with any Visa Signature card, the Wyndham card has nothing extra to offer to its loyal members.

Reasons to sign up for it:

  • You frequently stay at Wyndham properties and look for opportunities to earn more points.
  • You stay at hotels often enough to use the rewards points before they expire.
  • You want to get the sign-up bonus redeemable for two free nights.
  • You appreciate that there is no spending requirement to get the bonus.
  • You value Visa Signature benefits.

How to use it:

  • Always redeem Wyndham rewards points on more upscale properties and pay cash for budget hotels.
  • If you don’t know how to use your points, consider Wyndham all-inclusive resorts that offer terrific values for two free nights.
  • Do not get this card for the balance transfer opportunity, since you won’t be able to use the card if you consolidate debt (or pay huge interest).
  • Avoid using this card abroad since it charges a 3 percent foreign-transaction fee.

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