Just over a year ago I burnt the last of my Wyndham points on a 2-night stay at the La Quinta in downtown New Orleans. This put me at exactly zero Wyndham points, and I expected to be done with the program for good. After Wyndham made changes to their pricing tiers, doubling the cost of many of their nicest properties, I figured it was time to quit the program.
But I had a change of heart. When Barclays launched the new Wyndham Rewards EarnerSM Business Card, it actually turned my head. The card carries a $99 annual fee, but it does offer quite a few perks. Here are three reasons why I pulled the trigger and applied.
I’ve Lacked a Good Gas Card
The Wyndham Rewards EarnerSM Business Card earns a whopping 8x points on Wyndham stays and on gas purchases. This is better than all my other options, aside from the quarter when gas is the Chase Freedom 5x category. I know there are other good gas cards out there, but I’ve not had a chance to pick one up.
Assuming that Wyndham points are worth 0.8 cents each, the 8x earning is an overall return of 6.4%, which isn’t bad at all. Yes, I’m locked into this one hotel program. But it’s an easy assumption that I can earn at least one free night each year through routine fuel spend.
Ability to Earn an Easy Two Nights per Year
Like the old version of the card I used to have, you’re provided with 15,000 points every year. However, the Wyndham Rewards EarnerSM Business Card gives you a 10% discount on award nights, which means you pay just 13,500 points for a standard level property.
I’ll likely be able to accrue another 12,000 points per year through gas purchases (which equates to $1,500 in spend), so this is an easy two nights at a standard level property, four nights at a low tier, or one night at a top tier. Assuming a value of $250 for the stay, this is a 10x return or so on the gas spend, plus $99 out of pocket. I’m willing to call it a keeper.
Diamond Status goFREE Plus Perk
[update: I missed the news that Wyndham permanently discontinued this, which is a major bummer. I really liked the program.]
There’s even more value to be had, however. You may not be aware that Wyndham offers its go free Plus perk for select cities around the world. When you book an award night in these locations, you are entitled to two free tickets to a local experience if you have Diamond status. Wyndham Diamond isn’t much to write home about, but the value here can actually be excellent.
Assuming that I use the two free nights as part of a weekend city escape each year, we could get an additional value of $30-80, depending on the city, from the Diamond go free Plus perk.
The card also comes with a sign-up bonus of 45,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days, which isn’t too shabby. My guess is that I’ll keep the card, at least for a couple years and see how I’m able to use the points.
One does not “snag” with a fly rod. Nice article otherwise.
You’ve apparently never watched me fish! Haha…I knew I might get called out on that. Couldn’t quickly find another decent photo that was fully public domain.
Would the below message affect the Go Free Plus Perk?
“In light of COVID-19, we’ve made the difficult decision to permanently suspend go free® PLUS and go fast® PLUS awards effective December 30, 2020. Please note this change will have no effect on the availability of go free® award nights and go fast® discounted nights, which members can continue to book as they normally would.”
Oh man! Major bummer. I’d not seen that. Thanks for the link. I’ll update.
Some places are 7500 per night out of the US.
Yes, but these are overwhelmingly super cheap brands and locations. If we were road-tripping, I’d definitely consider them, though.