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Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card Review: A Solid Hotel Card Option for Beginners

Wyndham has the most hotel properties of any other chain, giving you plenty of opportunities to use your award nights.

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Among all of the top hotel chains in the world, Wyndham has the largest footprint, with more than 9,000 properties in over 80 countries. As such, if you have the Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card, you’ll not only have accommodation options just about everywhere you go, but you’ll also get some perks whenever you stay with Wyndham.

While the bonus is relatively small compared to other hotel credit cards, the card’s lack of an annual fee means that you don’t need to worry too much about maximizing usage to make it worth the yearly cost.

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Sign-Up Bonus: 30,000 bonus points
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Standard Rewards Rate: 1X-5X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: This card offers new cardholders a 0% interest rate on all Wyndham timeshare purchases for six billing cycles, as well as 0% APR on balance transfer for the first 15 billing cycles from account opening.

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness at the conclusion of the Intro APR period.

Bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within 90 days from account opening. Additionally, this card offers an annual bonus of 7,500 bonus points for every year you spend at least $15,000 in eligible purchases.

Rewards Rate: This card offers 5x points per dollar spent at Wyndham hotels and on qualifying gas purchases. Additionally, earn 2x points per dollar spent on eligible grocery store and dining purchases (excluding Target and Walmart) and 1x points on all other purchases.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Occasional travelers who frequent Wyndham properties and want a $0 annual fee card.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card

For a $0 annual fee hotel card, the Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card has a lot going for it to help it stand out from the pack. In addition to the attractive sign-up bonus, this card offers a 7,500-point bonus awarded annually after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases each year. This is an interesting take on the free night award offered by many hotel cards, and could potentially help you reach a larger points goal.

Additionally, we appreciated this card’s introductory 0% APR offer, which is not a typical travel card promotion. And if you enjoy staying at Wyndham properties, you’ll be excited to learn this card gives you Wyndham Gold Status plus discounts on stays booked using the Wyndham Rewards member rate.

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Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card Review

The Wyndham Rewards Earner Card is one of three Wyndham co-branded credit cards, which includes another consumer card and a business credit card. For people who are just getting into credit card rewards and aren’t sure if they want to commit to an annual fee, this card could be a good starter option. 

That said, you will be giving up some benefits that you’d get with some of the best hotel credit cards, which often make up for an annual fee.

Ultimately, though, it’s up to you to decide which credit card is best for you. If you’re considering the Wyndham Rewards Earner Card, here’s what you need to know.

Sign-Up Bonus

The Wyndham Rewards Earner credit card offers 30,000 bonus points after you spend just $1,000 in 90 days from account opening. That’s roughly $333 required spend per month to earn the bonus.

To give you an idea of how much those 30,000 bonus points are worth, The Points Guy gives Wyndham Rewards points an average value of 1.1 cents apiece. That gives you $330 in value, though your actual redemption value will vary depending on how you use your rewards—more on that in a minute.

According to Wyndham, the 30,000-point bonus can be redeemed for up to four free nights at Wyndham hotels. How many nights you get out of it depends on the properties you stay at. 

Note, however, that some Wyndham hotels charge resort fees, and you can’t cover those with your points.

Annual Bonus

Many hotel credit cards offer a free night every time you hit your cardholder anniversary and pay your annual fee. With this card, however, you’ll earn 7,500 bonus points for every year that you spend at least $15,000 in eligible purchases, which is enough for one free night at the least expensive Wyndham properties. 

That 7,500-point bonus each anniversary year is rare for hotel credit cards with no annual fee—neither the Hilton Honors American Express Card nor the IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card from Chase offers something similar.

While it does require you to spend an average of $1,250 per month to earn it, it’s still nice to have as an option.

Rewards Rates

In addition to a decent sign-up bonus, the Wyndham Rewards Earner Card also offers the chance to earn bonus points with your everyday spending. Here’s how the rewards rates break down:

  • Earn 5 points per dollar spent at Wyndham hotels and on qualifying gas purchases.
  • Earn 2 points per dollar on eligible dining and grocery store purchases (excludes Target and Walmart).
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

This tiered rewards system is common for hotel credit cards, offering the highest rewards rate on purchases made with the hotel chain, a lower-tier for two or three categories and a base rewards rate on everything else.

However, there aren’t many hotel credit cards out there that offer the same rewards rate on an everyday spending category as they do on co-branded hotel brand purchases.

And considering that Wyndham points are worth 1.1 cents each on average, that essentially gives you a 5.5% rewards rate on gas purchases, which you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

That said, it’s likely that most of your spending will fall in the “other purchases” category, so you may net just 1 point per dollar on most of your transactions. 

Annual Fee and APR

The Wyndham Rewards Earner credit card doesn’t charge an annual fee, which may be preferable for people who are on a budget or who want to just dip their toes into the world of hotel rewards.

The card also doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, which is standard for most credit cards issued by Barclays. 

The Wyndham Rewards Earner credit card also offers an introductory 0% APR promotion, which is not a standard benefit for travel credit cards.

Cardholders will get an introductory 0% APR on all Wyndham timeshare purchases for six billing cycles, which is about the same as a month, as well as a 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles. To get the latter promotion, you’ll need to complete your balance transfers within 45 days of opening the account. The balance transfer fee is 3% of the transfer amount, with a $5 minimum.

The regular APR on the card is variable depending on your creditworthiness. 

Wyndham Rewards Earner Credit Card Benefits

woman sitting by hotel pool
Credit: Unsplash

Earning Wyndham points can be enough for some people, but this card offers some other benefits that can come in handy, especially when you stay at Wyndham properties. 

Wyndham Gold Status

As a cardholder, you get automatic Gold status with the Wyndham Rewards program. That’s one step up above the basic Blue status. In addition to the benefits all Wyndham Rewards members get, Gold status also provides the following:

  • Late checkout
  • Ten percent more points on cash reservations
  • Preferred room choice (if it’s available)
  • Dedicated member services

Unfortunately, cardmembers don’t get the chance to upgrade to a higher status level based on their spending. This is a benefit with some other hotel cards. All Wyndham Rewards members get free Wi-Fi, which is becoming more standard among hotel loyalty programs.

Cardmember Booking Discount

As a cardholder, you’ll get a discount on cash rates when you book using the Wyndham Rewards member rate. The discount will depend on which Wyndham property you’re staying at, but it’s generally 4% or more off, compared to 2% for Wyndham Rewards members that don’t have one of the hotel chain’s co-branded cards.

Redemption Discount on Go Free Awards

When you use your Wyndham points to book an award stay without a mix of points and cash, you’ll get a 10% discount. So, instead of needing 7,500 points to book a free stay at one of the lowest-tier properties, you’d only need 6,750 Wyndham points.

On the high end, you’d only need 27,000 points instead of 30,000.

Standard Card Benefits

The card also comes with some standard card benefits that don’t really set a card apart, but it can still be nice to know that they’re there. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Contactless tap-to-pay capability
  • Zero-liability fraud protection
  • EMV chip

Credit Score Requirement

Like most credit card issuers, Barclays doesn’t provide minimum credit score requirements on its website. However, according to NerdWallet, you’ll have the best odds of getting approved for the card if you have good or excellent credit.

Also, keep in mind that credit card issuers look at more than just your credit score when you apply. Barclays will also consider information found in your credit report, your income, your debt-to-income ratio, your recent credit inquiries and other factors to determine your eligibility.

Wyndham Rewards Points

Picking a hotel credit card means picking its loyalty program. While general travel rewards credit cards can provide you with some flexibility with how and where you redeem your points and miles, hotel cards are more restrictive. 

As a result, it’s important to know what you can do with your Wyndham points before you commit.

How Can I Redeem My Wyndham Points?

As with most hotel loyalty programs, the best way to redeem Wyndham Rewards points is to use them to book free nights at Wyndham hotels. But there are also other options, depending on your travel plans and needs.

Book Hotel Stays

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts has more than 9,000 properties across 22 brands. Some of those brands include Microtel, Wingate, Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8, Dazzler, Trademark Collection, Registry Collection Hotels and more. 

Unlike other hotel programs, Wyndham’s award chart is relatively simple. Note that there are two options: Go Free and Go Fast. With Go Free, you’re using only points to book free nights, while Go Fast allows you to use points to get a discounted night—in other words, you’ll use a mix of points and cash.

As you compare properties, crunch the numbers to find out how much value you’re getting with your redemptions.

For example, if you’re using 6,750 points (with the cardmember discount) to book a hotel that costs $50 in cash, you’re only getting 0.74 cents per point, which is below the average of 1.1 cents per point. If you’re using 6,750 points to get a night that would otherwise cost $100, that’s about 1.5 cents per point, which is an excellent redemption.

To calculate how much value you’re getting from each point, divide the cash price of the stay by the number of points required to book. Also, remember that if there are resort fees, you’ll need to pay those in cash, even if you’re using the Go Free program.

Other Redemption Options

While it’s not recommended to use your Wyndham Rewards points for anything other than free stays, the program does offer some alternatives. You may consider one of these alternatives if you don’t have enough points for a free stay and don’t anticipate earning enough anytime soon or if your points are about to expire.

Here are some of the other ways you can use your Wyndham Rewards points:

  • Tours and activities
  • Fuel discounts at participating Marathon Gas locations
  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Charitable donations
  • Cash back (via partner Bakkt)
  • Timeshare maintenance fees, RCI exchange fees and more

Note that redemption values can vary with each option, so make sure you check that before you proceed. With the cash-back option, for instance, you’ll get a measly 0.35 cents per point in value, which just isn’t worth it.

You can also convert your Wyndham Rewards points to rewards with some of its partner loyalty programs. For example, you can convert your points at a 1:1 ratio to Caesar Rewards—the minimum transfer amount is 10,000 points.

All other transfers give you a ratio of 1,200 points or miles with the partner program in exchange for 6,000 Wyndham Rewards points, which is not a good redemption. Those other transfer options include:

  • Aeromexico Club Premier Club 
  • Air Canada Aeroplan 
  • Air China PhoenixMiles 
  • American Airlines AAdvantage
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Fortune Wings Club Kilometers
  • Frontier Airlines Frontier Miles
  • Payback Points
  • Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles
  • United MileagePlus Miles

When Do My Points Expire?

With the Wyndham Rewards program, your points expire four years after you earned them, which means four years after the checkout date of a stay for which you earned the points or from when they were posted to your account from your credit card.

However, you may forfeit your points sooner if there’s no activity in your account for 18 consecutive months. As a result, you’ll need to earn, redeem or transfer points at least every year and a half to keep your points from expiring. With one of the hotel brand’s credit cards, that should be easy.

Shop Around Before You Settle on a New Credit Card

This basic Wyndham Rewards card offers some pretty solid rewards and benefits, considering there’s no annual fee. But if you want more value, or if you simply want to compare several options, it’s important to shop around and compare alternatives.

For example, the Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card offers 45,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days, giving you $165 more value. The card also offers 6 points per dollar on eligible purchases with Wyndham hotels and qualifying gas purchases, 4 points per dollar on eligible dining and grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart) and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Additionally, you’ll get 7,500 bonus points each anniversary year with no spending requirement to get it, as well as automatic Platinum status, which gives you even more benefits when you stay at Wyndham properties. The card has a $75 annual fee, but that’s easily covered by the anniversary bonus points.

If you’re a business owner, you may also consider the Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card, which offers even more value with a $95 annual fee.

In addition to other Wyndham credit cards, you’ll also want to check out cards with other hotel brands, such as Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, World of Hyatt, IHG Rewards and more.

Think about what your travel habits typically look like and the type of experience you want, and which program would give you the most value.

Is the Wyndham Rewards Earner Card Right for You?

The Wyndham Rewards Earner credit card is no slouch, especially considering its no-annual-fee status. If you’re an occasional traveler and generally fee-averse, this card could be a good way to earn some solid rewards without needing to worry about maximizing your points to make up for the yearly cost.

Some of the card’s benefits stand out, including the anniversary bonus, the balance transfer promotion and discounts on Wyndham stays, especially if you compare this card to other hotel cards without an annual fee.

And the lack of foreign transaction fees means you can use it anywhere around the world.

At the same time, the card’s benefits pale in comparison to what you can get with hotel credit cards that charge a modest annual fee. So make sure you’re not leaving value on the table just to save a little money.

As with any other credit card, take your time to consider which one is best for you.

While we work hard on our research, we do not always provide a complete listing of all available offers from credit-card companies and banks. And because offers can change, we cannot guarantee that our information will always be up to date, so we encourage you to verify all the terms and conditions of any financial product before you apply.

Ben Luthi
Ben Luthi
Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer and credit card expert. He has a degree in finance from Brigham Young University and worked in financial planning, banking and auto finance before writing full-time for NerdWallet and Student Loan Hero. Ben is now a full-time freelance writer and enjoys traveling and spending time with his two kids. His work has appeared in several publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Money, Success and Slickdeals.

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