About Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Card
The Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Card is a hotel rewards credit card offering 30,000 Wyndham Rewards points to new cardmembers who spend $1,000 in the first three months of owning the card.
Those points, along with what you can earn through every day spending, can earn you more than 80,000 points the first year you own the card, an amount that we’ll dissect later in our review.
For now, we want to give you a brief overview of what we’ll cover in the next few minutes. First, we’ll talk about the card’s short-term and long-term benefits, how valuable your points are, what the card’s rates and fees are and how it compares to other hotel rewards cards.
We’ll finish up with a quick section covering the card’s general pros and cons.
Quick note: There are two types of Wyndham Rewards Visas, and both have the same name. The one we’re reviewing is the Wyndham Rewards Visa with an annual fee, Elite Platinum status and “Visa Signature” on the card. Because there could be confusion about the cards, we will refer to this card as the Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Card.
The Benefits of the Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Card
The easiest way to understand the benefits the Wyndham credit card has is to break them up into two categories: the perks of the first year and the perks for all the years after that.
The First-Year Perks of the Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Card
When you first sign up for a credit card, you’ll most likely get some sweet benefits for being a new cardmember.
For example, low-interest credit cards will give you 0% APR for anywhere from 12 to 21 months. Cash back cards typically give you a cash bonus if you spend a certain amount during the first three months.
The Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Card offers cardholders 15,000 bonus points after their first purchase, and 15,000 more if they spend $1,000 in the 90 days after you’re accepted for the card.
In addition to these benefits, you get two introductory APR offers:
- 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months
- 0% APR on Wyndham timeshare purchases for the first six months
Remember, all offers start the day you’re accepted for the card and not the day you receive it in the mail. Also, you’ll get the no-interest deal for balance transfers you make in the first 45 days.
The Long-Term Perks of the Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Card
Over time, the short-term rewards you get on your card will fade and you’ll be left with whatever long-term benefits remain.
Three specific long-term benefits carry this card beyond the first year of ownership: points on purchases, upgraded Wyndham rewards status and a series of shopping and travel perks.
Points on Purchases
Every hotel rewards card you get will give you points on purchases you make with your card. Those points are then deposited into your Wyndham Rewards account.
Some purchases you make will earn you more points than others:
- 10 points per dollar or 1,000 points at Wyndham properties, whichever is greater
- 2 points per dollar on gas, utilities and grocery stores (not including Target and Walmart)
- 1 point per dollar on everything else
Based on our calculations, we believe this card’s bonuses can earn you 47,388 points per year if you spend $1,000 at Wyndham hotels.
You also get 6,000 points on your cardmember anniversary and 30,000 points from the sign-up bonus, pushing your first-year totals to 85,388, which is enough points to book 11 free hotel nights your first year.
What makes this card’s rewards unique is that you can use your points to book rooms in Wyndham hotels and several other types of properties. The properties included under this umbrella are:
- Wyndham hotels (Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, Microtel, etc.)
- Club Wyndham condos
- Wyndham Vacation Rentals condos
- Cottages.com cottages
- Wyndham Vacation Rentals homes
Most hotel rewards cards have a decent network of hotels, but none can match what Wyndham offers through their hotel-timeshare combination: more than 25,000 properties (about 7,800 are hotels).
How Much Are Your Points Worth?
This is the big question you should always ask when you research a hotel rewards card like the Wyndham Rewards Visa.
At the time of publishing, Wyndham had three categories of rewards redemptions:
- 7,500 points
- 15,000 points
- 30,000 points
Nicer properties tend to cost more points, while properties that would be characterized as two- or three-star will be cheaper.
What’s interesting about this structure is that most hotel rewards programs have at least double the number of categories with the higher tiers costing 60,000 points or more.
Pro tip: As long as your account is in good standing, your points will never expire.
Upgraded Rewards Status
Hotels have loyalty programs that have different tiers. Higher tiers have more benefits. Whenever someone signs up for the Wyndham Rewards program and they don’t have a Wyndham credit card, they get Blue status.
From there, you can move up to Gold if you stay five nights in a Wyndham property in one year. Ten nights gets you Platinum and 40 nights scores Diamond status.
When you get the Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Card, you automatically get Platinum status, which includes all the benefits of Gold status and more:
- No blackout dates on rewards nights (Gold)
- Free Wi-fi (Gold)
- Preferred room (Gold)
- Late check-out (Gold)
- Early check-in
- Annual bonus of 3,000 points
- Car rental upgrades at Avis and Budget
You keep your Platinum status every year as long as you have your Wyndham Visa. Our research on other cards indicates these perks are below-average. For example, World of Hyatt Card customers get complimentary Discoveries status in the World of Hyatt program.
Shopping and Travel Protection
The Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature is part of the Visa Signature program, which gives you certain free coverages and protections on items you buy with the card.
Whenever you use your card to purchase a car rental, you’ll get complimentary collision damage waiver (CDW) insurance that kicks in after your car insurance policy applies its coverages to your claim. Because of this, you can waive insurance the rental agency offers.
The second benefit you get is cell phone protection. When we spoke with a Barclays phone representative we were not able to get any details about this program.
However, our past research indicates these programs have a yearly cap on the dollar value of the claims you submit, as well as a deductible of between $25 and $50. Some of the maximum yearly claim amounts we’ve seen are $600.
The final benefit is price protection. Again, the Barclays rep was not able to give us more details. In our experience, these programs will reimburse you the price difference if you make a purchase with your card and the item goes down in price up to 90 days after you buy it.
The Fees and Rates for the Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Card
Credit card companies set up a series of fees and rates they hope will recuperate the costs of the free rewards they give you up-front and in the long run.
From a financial standpoint, this makes sense. Four free hotel nights at Wyndham hotels can cost $300 or more. The free Platinum upgrade usually takes 10 nights – depending on the location, that could cost as much as $1,500.
To get some of these costs back, credit card issuers like Barclays set up interest rates and fees that kick in if you make a late payment or don’t pay off your balance in full every month.
Here are the rates and fees for the Wyndham Rewards Platinum Visa:
- APR: 17.49%, 22.24% or 27.24% based on your credit history
- Cash advance APR: 27.49%
- Penalty APR: None
- Foreign transaction fee: None
- Balance transfer fee: 3% or $5, whichever is greater
- Cash advance fee: $10 or 5%, whichever is greater
- Late fees: Up to $37
- Annual fee: $75
What you see here is pretty standard for hotel rewards cards. The one anomaly is the card’s annual fee, which is lower than most competing cards. Only the Choice Privileges Visa Signature has a lower annual fee ($0) among the top hotel rewards cards.
How the Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Compares to Other Hotel Rewards Cards
In our opinion, this card doesn’t have quite the value to compete with other hotel rewards credit cards.
For example, the World of Hyatt Credit card has a $95 annual fee and its Category 1 hotels are 5,000.
Most of these hotels are Hyatt Place properties, which offer more space, free breakfast and more luxurious accommodations than the 7,500-point nights you can get at Wyndham’s Howard Johnson and Travelodge properties.
Based on our calculations, the World of Hyatt card can earn you 84,796 points your first year, which is equal to 16 free nights in Category 1 rooms.
Because of this, we believe that the World of Hyatt Credit Card offers better value than the Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature card.
The Final Word: Pros and Cons of the Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Card
Based on our research, we believe the Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature offers average value for a hotel rewards credit card. Its strength is that hotel rewards bookings start at 7,500, which means you can earn 11 free nights your first year based on the card’s sign-up bonus, anniversary bonus and average yearly spending.
The downside to the card is that the rooms you can book with 7,500 points tend to be at lower-quality properties like Howard Johnson and Travelodge. As we pointed out earlier, the World of Hyatt Credit Card offers better properties for 5,000 points per year.
In general, we think you should take a few minutes to research the World of Hyatt credit card, the Choice Privileges Visa Signature and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card to get a sense of the alternative options you have.