With air travel down dramatically during the pandemic, many Americans are now taking to the road for both business and pleasure. This means that their lodging habits have shifted from large hotels in major markets to smaller properties in suburban and rural areas.
That leaves a hotel company like Wyndham, which owns brands like La Quinta, Days Inn and Super 8, as a perfect option for family road trips, business travel by car and others who prefer to stay at these kinds of affordable properties. The Wyndham Hotel Group also includes a tremendous number of vacation rental properties, which are great for more upscale and extended vacations.
Barclays just released three new Wyndham Rewards credit cards with exceptionally generous ways to earn points towards free stays at its hotels, motels and vacation rental properties.
Wyndham Rewards® Earner card with no annual fee
Many travel rewards cards come with an annual fee, but not the Wyndham Rewards Earner card — which gives an affordable way to get valuable points towards free nights in hotels and vacation rentals. It offers new applicants 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within 90 days of account opening. This is enough for as many as four free nights at participating hotels. The card also offers 5x points on Hotels By Wyndham and gas purchases, 2x points at restaurants and grocery purchases (excluding Target and Walmart). You also earn 2x points on eligible purchases made at Wyndham Timeshare properties (including maintenance fee and loan payments) and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Benefits include Wyndham Rewards Gold status, which includes free WiFi, preferred room selection and late checkouts at the company's properties, and an account anniversary bonus of 7,500 points each year that you spend at least $15,000 on your card.
The Wyndham Rewards program offers you free night stays starting at 7,500 points per night, and cardholders receive a 10% discount on points redeemed for a free night.
Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus with a $75 annual fee
While this version of the card has an annual fee, it can be worth it because you earn more points and receive more benefits. It offers new applicants 45,000 bonus points, enough for up to six free night stays, after spending $1,000 on purchases within 90 days of account opening.
This card also offers you 6x points on Hotels By Wyndham and gas purchases, 4x points at restaurants and grocery stores (excluding Target® and Walmart®), and 4x points on eligible purchases made at Wyndham Timeshare properties (including maintenance fee and loan payments). You earn one point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Cardholders receive Wyndham Rewards Platinum membership, which includes all the benefits of Gold status, plus early check-ins too. This card also gives a 7,500 point bonus on your account anniversary, but without having to meet a spending requirement, and gives you the same 10% discount on points redeemed for free nights.
Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card with a $95 annual fee
This is the first-ever Wyndham Rewards card for small businesses, and it offers even more rewards and benefits than their personal cards. New applicants earn 45,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within 90 days of account opening.
The card offers 8x points on Hotels By Wyndham and gas purchases, and 5x points on marketing, advertising, and utilities. You earn one point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Cardholders receive Wyndham Rewards Diamond membership, which includes all the benefits of Platinum status, plus suite upgrades and a welcome amenity at check-in at select hotels. This card also gives you a 15,000 point bonus on your account anniversary without having to meet a spending requirement, and gives the same 10% discount on points redeemed for free nights.
This trio of new reward cards breaks some new ground by offering the highest level of bonus points both at its hotels and on gas purchases. No other hotel credit card currently matches the rewards rate at its properties with what you can earn on other purchases. These cards also offer more points per dollar spent across the board, compared to its previous cards. Granting immediate elite status and offering a 10% discount on points redeemed are also significant strengths.
Although Wyndham Rewards has thousands of properties, it's not as well represented in major cities and overseas as some other large chains. Although it's great to redeem points to stay at Wyndham vacation rental properties (often called timeshares), these awards are subject to blackout dates and capacity controls that greatly restrict their use.
I've been a fan of the Wyndham Rewards program for many years, for both its simplicity and the ease of earning points. During that time, I've redeemed my Wyndham Rewards points to stay at small hotels in rural areas, as well as luxury vacation rentals in Hawaii. By offering even more rewards, these new hotel credit cards make it easier than ever to compile points for free lodging.