About Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard
The Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard is a hotel rewards credit card offering you up to 70,000 bonus points you can use to book hotel rooms within the hotel’s international chain of properties.
This credit card is another example of a hotel chain that isn’t quite as luxurious as Hyatt, Marriott or Starwood but it offers some pretty significant value for people who are more interested in budget and family-friendly hotels.
However, just because you’re looking for a little more value and a little less luxury doesn’t mean you’re forced to choose the Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard. There are other options out there that might interest you.
Knowing this, it’s important to get a well-rounded perspective about which benefits the Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard offers, how far your bonus points can get you, what rates and fees you might pay and what other experts besides HighYa think about this card.
Once you have that information, you’ll be better equipped to understand if the Best Western Returns Premium card is the best hotel rewards credit card for you.
The Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard’s Benefits: Hotel and Non-Hotel
Most of the rewards credit cards you’ll find, whether hotel or airline, will offer benefits specific to their company’s loyalty programs.
Those benefits usually encompass free bonus miles, various ways to earn additional miles and automatic upgrades to higher statuses in their loyalty or frequent flier programs.
The Best Western Mastercard has three main hotel benefits: bonus points, points on purchases and upgraded status.
Most travel-related credit cards give you some sort of points bonus if you can spend a certain amount of money in the first 90 days from when you are approved for the card.
The Best Western card’s bonus is split into two tiers: 50,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first three billing cycles and another 20,000 bonus points if you spend $5,000 in a year.
If you’re single, have a partner or a family, then the $5,000 spending requirement to get those 20,000 bonus points is pretty easy to hit. When you meet that requirement, you’ll get a total of 70,000 points in your first year.
Best Western’s Rewards Premiums Mastercard site says those points are good enough for up to four nights, which is something we’ll talk about in a few minutes.
Points on Purchases
Just like the introductory bonus, you can earn points through purchases made with your card via two different tiers: 20 points per dollar on Best Western purchases and 2 points per dollar on everything else.
According to the card’s terms and conditions, “Best Western purchases” means:
- Room night purchases on www.bestwestern.com
- Booking a room by calling Best Western
- Booking a room through a Best Western hotel
Those points won’t expire unless First National Bank of Omaha, the card issuer, discovers that you’re using your card for fraudulent activities or you’ve got two separate accounts at one time.
Based on our numbers, we believe that the average American family can spend at least $24,000 a year on their card between gas, insurances, groceries, eating out and other needs.
Using that number, we project that you can earn at least around 50,000 points per year on this card.
The Best Western loyalty program has five different levels of membership: Gold, Silver, Platinum, Diamond and Diamond Select.
If you’re approved for the Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard, you’ll automatically earn Platinum status.
Platinum is the third-highest level and is usually earned through buying 15 nights, 10 stays or earning 10,000 Best Western points through paid stays.
Here are the benefits you get with Platinum status:
- No blackout dates
- Personal reservation line
- Room upgrade when available
- Free gift or points upon arrival
- 10% bonus on points bookings
In our opinion, this is a decent set of benefits for cardholders. The two most lucrative perks are the possibility of a free upgrade and the bonus you get on bookings. Your 10% points bonus is credited to your account after you book a room with your rewards points.
So, if you book a room for 16,000 points, within 10 days of your stay you’ll get 1,600 points credit back to your Rewards account.
Also, all members of the Rewards program get 10% off when booking rooms through BestWestern.com.
How Valuable Are Your Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard Bonus Points?
One of the things we really appreciate about the Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard is that the card’s website is very up-front about how much your 70,000 bonus points are worth.
They say that your 70K is good for up to four free nights. At first, we found that claim odd because the site says there are Best Western hotels available for 8,000 points a night.
However, when we scrolled to the bottom of the page we found some fine print that said the average room rate at a Best Western hotel is 16,000 points.
The reason we find this refreshing is that we’ve come across cards that tell you your bonus points can get you multiple stays at their hotels, only to find out that one or two hotels in the United States have rates low enough to get all those free nights.
In fact, we recently reviewed the Spirit Airlines Visa (15,000 bonus points) and found that their claim that you can get three round-trip flights out of those points was pretty misleading. Only certain round-trip flights at certain times of the year are 5,000 points.
So, that being said, we think the intro bonus for the Best Western Rewards card is pretty strong.
Considering that the average family spends enough to earn around 50,000 points in a year on top of the bonus, you’re looking at 120,000 bonus points your first year.
At 120K, you can book seven nights at a 16K-point Best Western Hotel. In our opinion, that’s a great first-year benefit. If you’re visiting somewhere and luxury isn’t your need, then your points can get you an entire week’s stay for free. Not bad.
Also, we love the fact that you can earn around 70,000 points just by using your card for everyday purchases: 50,000 points on spending, 20,000-point bonus for spending at least $5,000.
The Non-Hotel Benefits of the Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard
You’ll find that many of the better credit cards on the market have some pretty great shopping and travel benefits, as well as zero liability on fraudulent purchases.
The Best Western card follows suit with the more popular cards by offering a free FICO score, insurance for specific accidents incurred while traveling, collision damage insurance for rental cars, extended warranties on certain items and damage/theft protection on new purchases.
You also won’t be liable for fraudulent purchases made with your card.
In terms of the shopping and travel benefits, you’ll only get them if you use your Best Western Mastercard to purchase them.
These perks have some exclusions and restrictions, so make sure you read through your benefits guide to get a good sense of what they do and don’t cover.
The Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard’s Rates and Fees
In the event that you make a late payment or you don’t pay off your Best Western card’s entire balance every month, you’ll be charged certain fees and interest rates. Here are the rates and fees with the Best Western Rewards Premium:
- APR: 17.24%-23.24% for purchases and balance transfers
- Annual fee: $0 first year, $59 after that
- Balance transfer fee: 5%
- Foreign transaction fee: None
- Late fee: $37
Reviews of the Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard
One of the things we’ve discovered during our research of dozens of credit cards is that certain sites have cards they favor over others.
In other cases, they have a gold standard for a category like hotel rewards credit cards and, often, cards like the Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard get shoved off to the side with bad reviews in order to direct attention to lauded cards like the Starwood Preferred Guest or the Hilton HHonors Surpass from American Express.
Their rationale in doing so is mainly based on value – since Starwood points can get you into some pretty exclusive (and expensive) hotels, the points you earn are more valuable than the ones you’d earn with a card like the Best Western Mastercard.
However, many of these reviews fail to take into account the needs of the average American, who, according to research by travel site Skift, don’t travel that much and rarely go outside the United States when they do.
That tells us the average American isn’t looking for luxury, per se, but good value in the sense that they have sufficient options for free nights.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at the two most recent reviews of this card:
- CreditCards.com: 3 stars, “The Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard repays loyal hotel guests with a fair amount of savings, but you won’t get much value out of this hotel card unless you plan to take a lot of trips.”
- Money Crashers: 16th out of 17 cards, “This card comes with some great perks, including a sign-up bonus worth 50,000 points, automatic Platinum Elite status, and a 10% discount when you book your room at a special website.”
We think both of these reviews are indicative of some weird scoring. Both sites laud the card for its rewards, but both of them give the card poor rankings.
To us, this demonstrates skewed perspectives on credit cards. Based on our research, a good hotel rewards credit card has three characteristics: good up-front bonus, plenty of free nights your first year, bonuses on everyday purchases and upgraded loyalty status.
The Best Western Rewards Premium card meets each of these requirements. Your first-year bonus and purchases can get you seven free nights, you get double points on all non-BW purchases and you get Platinum status in the Rewards program.
The HHonors Surpass gives you a 3x bonus on all everyday purchases and the Choice Privileges gives you a 2x bonus.
By our calculations, in your first year, you can score at least 150,000 points with the HHonors card and 80,000 with the Choice Privileges. The Best Western Rewards Premier is right in the middle at 120,000 points.
Our Final Thoughts About the Best Western Rewards Premium Card
We know that the Best Western brand name doesn’t inspire thoughts of luxury and discerning properties.
It doesn’t have the prestige of a Ritz-Carlton or the semi-affordable elegance of a Hyatt or a Starwood property.
However, we believe that the Best Western hotel chain presents the average American an excellent opportunity to earn plenty of free nights each year as they use the Rewards Premium Mastercard to rack up points.
We also believe, based on our research, that Best Western’s Platinum status is a cut above the Gold status you get with the Choice Privileges Visa, making it one of the most well-rounded budget hotel cards you can get.
Now, to make this conclusion even more interesting, we’re going to throw in a wild card: Best Western has international properties you can book with points.
For example, we found a Best Western property in Barcelona for 20,000 points a night, and the same goes for at least one hotel in Paris. In fact, Best Western has dozens of properties in the City of Lights, with many costing between 20K and 30K points.
Considering that you could earn 120,000 points in one year, a six-night trip to Paris may only cost you the price of your airline tickets.
Then again, if you plan your spending well and choose the right airline rewards card, you could get your airfare for free, too.
In our opinion, the Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard offers excellent value to everyday travelers and even to those who want a getaway to Europe.