About Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Card
Do you love Wyndham hotels? Then you might’ve heard of the Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Card, 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.
Sounds like a lot of points, right? Well, before you run off to fill out an application for the Wyndham Rewards Visa, you should think about how this card will benefit you now and in the future, what fees you’ll have to pay and what other people are saying about it.
Over the next few minutes, we’ll walk you through each of these topics, giving you important information and helping you understand whether or not this card is right for you.
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 and Elite Platinum status. 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 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:
- 5 points per dollar on purchases at Wyndham properties
- 2 points per dollar on gas, utilities and grocery stores (not including Target and Walmart)
- 1 point per dollar on everything else
As you rack up points in your Wyndham Rewards account, you can use those points to book rooms at Wyndham properties.
What makes this card 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
- 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).
Free Anniversary Points
Every year on your cardmember anniversary, Wyndham will give you 6,000 free points.
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.
In 2015, Wyndham did something totally crazy. They made all the redemption values for Wyndham hotels the same: 15,000 points.
Most hotel rewards programs have multiple tiers (often 7-10) of hotels, with higher tiers costing more than lower tiers. For example, IHG’s hotels cost anywhere from 10,000 to 60,000 points.
Now, this could seem like an amazing bargain. But, remember, most of Wyndham’s more than 7,500 hotels are lower-end properties.
So, while 15,000 points is a fantastic rate for Wyndham’s quaint Le Moulin de Vernegues in Aix-en-Provence, France, it’s not such a good rate for a Knights Inn in Van Horn, Tx.
Our verdict? The 15K flat rate only benefits people who want to book luxury hotels because low-end hotels for 15,000 points is not a good deal. Hyatt’s Gold Passport program, for example, offers their cheapest hotels for 5,000 points.
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.
Shopping and Travel Protection
The Wyndham Rewards Visa is a Barclaycard, which means it’s issued by Barclays, a European bank that offers a lot of credit cards in the United States and abroad.
As a Barclaycard owner, you’re entitled to certain travel and shopping benefits you may not know about.
For example, if you use your Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Card to purchase a plane ticket and, during the trip, your luggage disappears, you can get reimbursed.
You’ll also be reimbursed for expenses you rack up if your luggage is more than six hours late. Both of these benefits have certain rules, though, so make sure you read the benefits guide to know the parameters.
You’ll also get free car rental insurance (CDW) if you use your card to get your rental.
While these travel perks might get you excited about the Wyndham card, remember that these types of benefits are available to cardholders with American Express, Discover, Chase, and Citi, too.
One of the cool things about the Wyndham Visa is that the everyday purchases you make each week are covered by a series of insurance-style policies provided by Barclays. One thing to keep in mind: You need a receipt for any claims you make.
A good example of this is theft and damage coverage. If you buy a $400 phone from Best Buy and the following week somebody steals it, you can get reimbursed for up to $500.
Also, Barclays will add another year of warranty to any items you buy with a manufacturer’s warranty that’s three years or less.
You’re also protected from fraudulent purchases. If someone uses your card number to make purchases you didn’t authorize, you won’t be liable for the fraudulent purchases.
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: 16.24%, 20.99% or 25.99% based on your credit history
- Penalty APR: None
- Late fees: Up to $37
- Annual fee: $75
- Foreign transaction fee: None
- Balance transfer fee: 3%
In our opinion, the annual fee on this card is a little steep when compared to other cards. For example, the Choice Privileges Visa has no annual fee and the IHG Rewards Club Select has a $49 annual fee that’s waived the first year.
Comparing annual fees isn’t just about numbers; you have to take hotels into consideration, too. Many of the hotels under the Wyndham umbrella are of equal quality to what you find in the Choice Privileges chain.
Take a look at the list below and you’ll see what we mean – budget options abound:
- Baymont Inn & Suites
- Days Inn
- Super 8
- Howard Johnson
- Knights Inn
Is it worth it to pay $75 to access these and a few higher-end brands? No, especially considering you’ll have to pay 15,000 points no matter which hotel you choose, luxury or otherwise.
What Other People Are Saying About the Wyndham Rewards Visa
We did a quick review of what some of the prominent travel rewards websites rated the Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Card.
The reviews we read pointed out that the value of the rewards points you get are low. This is a popular method of judging a credit card’s rewards program, but we think it’s a bit flawed.
You see, the calculations that go into judging value take the average dollar value of a room and divide it by how many points it would take to book that room.
So, hotel chains like Starwood, Marriott, and Hyatt are considered better programs because their hotels are worth more.
However, many of these valuations miss the point of a card like the Wyndham Rewards Visa: It’s designed for the average American family who doesn’t travel a lot and rarely goes outside the country.
Why is that important? Well, many credit-card rewards sites like to show you the lavish properties you can book with reward points.
If you’re a family of four with an average income of around $55,000, there’s a good chance you aren’t looking for a luxury hotel when you travel. You’re more concerned about space and kid-friendly amenities.
With that in mind, we think the Wyndham Rewards Visa doesn’t get a fair review from many sites. However, there are some legitimate cons.
The card’s annual fee is high and its sign-up bonus is marginal – 30,000 points gets you two free nights, while other cards like the Club Carlson Premier Rewards, Marriott Rewards Premier, and Hilton HHonors Surpass can get you double digit free nights with their intro points.
Our Final Thoughts About the Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Card
Wyndham has given us an interesting card.
As we just mentioned, the bonus points aren’t that valuable because you can only book two nights with them. Now, if you’re traveling on your own you can snag a boutique luxury hotel with those two nights, you’re in luck.
However, based on our research of travel habits, most people with the Wyndham Rewards Visa will travel in the United States and, because of that, probably won’t be searching for luxury properties.
The Downsides: High Room Rates, Annual Fee
In most cases, the average cardholder will be looking for one of the mid- or low-level hotels in the Wyndham chain. We’ve read over enough hotel rewards redemption charts to know that 15,000 points for a low-level hotel are really high.
The tier upgrade you get with this card is negligible – there are some nice perks (car rental upgrades), but we don’t see them being the kind of benefits that makes this card worth the $75 fee.
The Upsides: Cheap Luxury Hotels
We’ve mentioned this a few times before, but we’ll say it again here because it’s worth repeating for people who are looking for a card that gives them a lot of bang for their buck.
Wyndham’s luxury brands have some pretty unique properties in the United States and abroad. Booking them for 15,000 points a night is an absolute steal.
In all, we think the Wyndham Rewards Visa is behind the rest of the pack in terms of quality, intro rewards and redemption rates for average and below-average properties.
If you want to learn more about other hotel rewards cards, take a look at our Best Hotel Rewards Credit Card of 2017 article. We rank some of the more popular hotel cards according to many different categories, giving you in-depth analysis about which card could be best for you.