When Wyndham Hotels overhauled their loyalty program to a single award tier several years ago, I knew the value was too good to be true. They have since moved on to an award chart with three tiers, and I exited any real involvement, burning the last of my points this year. However, with the launch of a few new co-branded credit cards, I might be willing to take another look. In particular, the new Wyndham business credit card offers real ongoing value.
Wyndham Earner Business Credit Card
The Wyndham Earner Business Credit Card is one of three new co-branded Wyndham credit cards. There are two personal cards, the Earner and Earner+, in addition to the Wyndham business credit card. The Earner card has the weakest welcome offer and benefits, but it is the only one without an annual fee. The Wyndham business credit card is the strongest, but it has the highest annual fee.
Here are some quick details of the Wyndham Earner Business Credit Card:
- Earn 45,000 bonus points, enough for up to 6 free nights after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. Free nights can require up to 30,000 points per bedroom at participating properties and are subject to availability.
- Earn 8 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases made at Hotels By Wyndham as well as on qualifying gas purchases.
- Earn 5 points per $1 spent on eligible marketing, advertising services, and utilities.
- Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Automatically receive a Wyndham Rewards Diamond member level
- Receive 15,000 bonus points each anniversary year
- Redeem 10% fewer Wyndham Rewards points for Go Free awards
- No foreign transaction fees
- $95 annual fee
Here are three reasons why this card is a great fit for people who even occasionally frequent Wyndham properties:
Great Earning Rate on Wyndham Hotels and Gas
The new Wyndham business credit card offers the highest earning rate of the three cards on both Wyndham Hotel stays and gas. The 8x earning rate will quickly build your points balance. With complimentary Diamond status, you’ll earn 20 points per dollar spent at Wyndham hotels (10 base points + 2 Diamond bonus + 8 credit card). This is a return of ~16%. I value Wyndham points at 0.8 cents each. There are better returns out there for hotel stays for sure.
However, the earning rate on gas is intriguing. There are other great cards out there for gas purchases, but 8x Wyndham points per dollar means that you only need $1,875 of gas spend to earn 15,000 points for a free night. Actually, you only need 13,500 points (10% less) for free nights if you hold any of the new Wyndham cards, so you get there even quicker. The 8x earning rate on gas is a return of ~6.4%.
Excellent Anniversary Bonus
One of the reasons I held onto the old Wyndham credit card for so long was the fact that it offered an anniversary bonus of 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points. When Wyndham had a single award tier, this was enough for a free night at any of their properties.
However, once Wyndham switched to more than one tier, at least 400 of the top properties doubled in price. Pretty much all of the places I had previously used my points now required 30,000 points. The value was no longer there for me, and I burnt my points and canceled the card.
The Wyndham business credit card offers 15,000 points as an anniversary bonus. By itself, this isn’t enough to turn my head. I value 15,000 Wyndham points at around $120, which isn’t much of a premium on the $95 annual fee. But combined with another benefit, it offers a lot more value.
Diamond Go Free PLUS Awards
While Wyndham elite status is rarely something to write home about, the Go Free PLUS awards are a unique feature that can save you a lot of money as a Diamond member. At the lower tiers (and sometimes as Diamond), you’ll simply receive a $5 credit. However, is select cities, Wyndham Diamond members are offered two tickets to a unique local experience. This value can sometimes top $70, and you’ll receive this benefit for a one-night stay. Here are some sample from some of the cities:
- Charleston – Two tickets to the South Carolina Aquarium
- Chicago – Two tickets to the Famous Tastes of Chicago food tour
- Nashville – Two tickets to the Country Music Hall of Fame
- London – Two tickets to the London Eye Champagne Experience
- Vancouver – Two tickets to a Vancouver City Tour including Capilano Suspension Bridge
The Wyndham business credit card helps you two-fold. First, it grants you complimentary Diamond status. Second, it offers 15,000 points per year, which means you can get a minimum of one free night per year in a participating city with the Go Free PLUS perk, should you choose to plan your night in one of the locations. This alone is entirely worth the $95 annual fee.
Wyndham Business Credit Card: Final Thoughts
If you’re unfamiliar with Wyndham Hotels, there are a few things to note. First, the portfolio is dominated by cheap properties. Wyndham contains brands such as Super 8, Howard Johnson, and Travelodge. Finding nice properties can be a chore. Second, the elite program is pretty weak. Third, the international portfolio is very weak. There are many popular locations with no properties.
Still, if the chain works for you, the new Wyndham business credit card may offer excellent ongoing value. I got good mileage out of my old Wyndham credit card for four years before I canceled it last year. The new business card is the best of the three Wyndham offers by a long shot, due to having the highest earning rate, the best anniversary bonus, and Diamond status for their PLUS awards, which are sometimes a fantastic value in select cities.
What do you think of the new Wyndham business credit card?
Featured image courtesy of Will Buckner used without modification under CC-BY-2.0 license.