Best Western Credit Cards: Should You Apply?

Best Western Credit Cards: Should You Apply?

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The Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard® is the best card, because its benefits and points bonuses far outweigh its annual fee for cardholders who spend $5,000 or more per year.

Travelers who enjoy staying at Best Western should consider applying for one of its credit cards. As a cardholder, you'll save money, earn more points and receive additional perks no matter which version of the card you choose.

Best Western’s cards have similar benefits, including elite status benefits and generous point earnings on all your purchases. But the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard® is the best choice for regular travelers because it offers:

  • A larger sign-up bonus
  • A larger annual bonus
  • More points on your Best Western purchases
  • Higher elite status (though the perks are limited)

Best Western loyalists who can spend at least $5,000 per year on a single card should consider the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard®. Occasional travelers who want to earn points on their everyday purchases without paying an annual fee should apply for the Best Western Rewards® MasterCard®. The choice is a personal decision based on how frequently you stay at Best Western and how much you'll spend on the card each year.

Best Western Rewards® MasterCard® vs. Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard®

Best Western Rewards® MasterCard®
Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard®
Best if ...You want rewards and benefits without paying an annual fee.You want to maximize rewards and perks on your stays.
Annual fee$0$89
Earning rate3 Points for each $1.00 of Best Western Purchases posted to the Account. Earn 2 Points for each $1.00 of Net Purchases posted to the Account that is not from a Best Western Purchase.10 Points for each $1.00 of Best Western Purchases posted to the Account. Earn 2 Points for each $1.00 of Net Purchases posted to the Account that is not from a Best Western Purchase.
Sign-up bonus40,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first three billing cycles after the account is opened80,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first three billing cycles after the account is opened
Annual bonus20,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 every 12 billing cycles40,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 every 12 billing cycles
Other benefits
  • Save 10% off room rates
  • No blackout dates
  • Automatic Gold elite status
  • 3% foreign transaction fees
  • Free FICO Score
  • Points don't expire as long as you use the card
  • Save 10% off room rates
  • No blackout dates
  • Automatic Platinum elite status
  • 3% foreign transaction fees
  • Free FICO Score
  • Points don't expire as long as you use the card

How do the Best Western credit cards compare?

While both Best Western credit cards offer value for cardholders, each one has different features that make them a better fit for different travelers:

  • The Best Western Rewards® MasterCard® is an entry-level card that offers benefits and additional rewards for the occasional traveler.
  • Travelers who regularly stay at Best Western hotels should upgrade to the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard® to receive automatic Platinum status and earn more points on their stays, as well as the opportunity to earn a larger welcome bonus and annual spending bonus.

Earning points

Both Best Western Rewards credit cards earn a base of 2 points per dollar spent on all transactions plus 3 to 10 points per dollar at Best Western. Whether it's for everyday spend or purchases at Best Western hotels, there is no cap to how many points you can earn.

The difference in earning power between these two cards comes when spending at Best Western hotels. Travelers will earn 3X points per dollar spent at Best Western with the $0-annual-fee Best Western Rewards® MasterCard®. When you upgrade to the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard®, you'll earn 10 per dollar on Best Western purchases.

If you spent $1,000 per year at Best Western hotels with the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard®, you would earn an additional $56 in value with this higher earning rate.

Best Western Rewards® MasterCard®
Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard®
Best Western purchases3X points10X points
Other purchases2X points2X points

Don't forget your base point bonus. Both cards qualify you for elite status with Best Western, resulting in higher base point earnings (i.e., the points you earn for hotel purchases as a Best Western Rewards loyalty program member, in addition to your credit card earnings):

  • Gold status (with the Best Western Rewards® MasterCard®) gives you a 10% boost on base points (or 11 base points per $1)
  • Platinum status (with the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard®) gives you a 15% bonus (or 11.5 points per $1)

This means, you should count an additional 1 to 1.5 points per $1 on Best Western purchases into your credit card benefits.

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Sign-up bonus

After you receive your Best Western credit card approval, you're eligible for a one-time welcome bonus after meeting a spending requirement.

  • The Best Western Rewards® MasterCard® offers a welcome bonus of 40,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first three billing cycles after the account is opened.
  • The Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard® provides the opportunity to earn 80,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first three billing cycles after the account is opened.

At an average of 0.8 cent per point, the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard®'s welcome bonus is worth an extra $320. To earn this bonus, you'll need to spend at least $3,000 during the first three billing cycles after your account has been approved.

Annual bonus

Best Western Rewards® MasterCard® its cardholders with an annual bonus when they spend at least $5,000 each year. The $0-annual-fee card receives an annual bonus of 20,000 points, while the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard® earns 40,000 points. Best Western points have an average value of 0.8 cent each, so that's an extra $160 in value with the higher tier card.

Elite status benefits

With either Best Western Rewards credit card, you're automatically upgraded to midtier elite status for as long as you have the card. The Best Western Rewards® MasterCard® grants Gold elite status, which normally requires 10 nights, 7 stays or 10,000 points earned. It includes 10% extra points on eligible stays, complimentary water and bonus points upon arrival.

With the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard®, you'll be upgraded to Platinum status. Note that perks for higher tier members in Best Western’s rewards program are extremely limited — in particular, Platinum status only grants you 15% extra points per stay along with all of the benefits of Gold status. Travelers usually have to stay 15 nights, book 10 stays or earn 15,000 points to earn this level of status.

Best Western elite status perks

Gold elite status
Platinum elite status
  • Earn 11 points per dollar on eligible stays
  • Points never expire
  • No blackout dates for redemption awards
  • Exclusive reservation line
  • Free night redemptions count toward elite status
  • Early check-in and late checkout, subject to availability
  • Complimentary water and points upon arrival, subject to availability
Gold member benefits, plus ...
  • Earn 11.5 points per dollar on eligible stays

Annual fee

Travelers have the choice between a card with an annual fee card versus a no-annual-fee card. The Best Western Rewards® MasterCard® has a $0 annual fee and includes many attractive benefits, like automatic Gold status, 3% foreign transaction fees and extra rewards at Best Western.

Those willing to pay the $89 annual fee for the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard® will receive more benefits and earn more points on Best Western stays. You'll receive automatic Platinum status upon approval and the opportunity to earn twice as many points in your welcome bonus and annual spending bonus.

Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard® cardholders can earn an extra $320 from the one-time welcome bonus and $160 more than the no-fee card each year when meeting the annual spending hurdle. Those bonuses easily justify the $89 annual fee of the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard®.

Annual fees vs. value of benefits*

Best Western Rewards® MasterCard®
Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard®
Annual fee$0$89
Benefits
  • 40,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first three billing cycles after the account is opened = $320
  • 20,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 every 12 billing cycles = $160
  • 4X points on Best Western purchases (including base point bonus) = $32
  • 80,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first three billing cycles after the account is opened = $640
  • 40,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 every 12 billing cycles = $320
  • 11.5X points on Best Western purchases (including base point bonus) = $92
Net value$512$963

*Based on $1,000 in hotel spend per year

Other Best Western credit card benefits

Aside from these key differences, the benefits on the Best Western credit cards are mostly the same:

  • Get an exclusive 10% discount off room rates when paying for their Best Western stays with your card
  • No blackout dates when redeeming your points
  • Exclusive reservation line if you want help booking a room
  • No foreign transaction fees (saves you as much as 3% on your spending while traveling to other countries)
  • Free FICO Score

Which Best Western credit card should you choose?

Choosing which hotel credit card is best for you depends on how frequently you stay at Best Western and how much you plan to spend on the card each year.

Choose the Best Western Rewards® MasterCard® if …

You want to earn Best Western Rewards on your everyday purchases and receive extra benefits on your occasional stays at Best Western.

Choose the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard® if …

You stay at Best Western on a regular basis to maximize the higher bonus at Best Western locations and plan to meet the $5,000 minimum spend each year to earn the higher annual bonus.

Other good credit cards for Best Western

If you want to earn points on Best Western purchases that you can redeem for award nights, you have other options besides the Best Western credit cards. Here's a sampling of cards that earn bonus points on hotel nights. These cards earn flexible points, which means you can redeem them for Best Western hotel nights, as well as other travel purchases.

Earning rate
Annual fee
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day$95
Apply Now
  • On Capital One's Secure Website
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide$95
Apply Now
  • On Chase's Secure Website
Chase Sapphire Reserve®3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.$550
Apply Now
  • On Chase's Secure Website
The Platinum Card® from American Express5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply.$695
Apply Now

Tips for using your Best Western credit cards

  • Earn the welcome bonus after applying for the card
  • Use it to pay for every Best Western stay to earn up to 21.5 points per $1
  • Save 10% off room rates as a cardholder
  • Sign up for Best Western Rewards promotions to earn additional points
  • Pay for everyday purchases to earn 2 points per $1
  • Make at least $5,000 in purchases to earn the annual bonus
  • Combine points with your partner for faster redemptions with a Best Western points transfer
  • Avoid foreign transaction fees on international purchases
  • Enjoy the benefits of automatic elite status on your Best Western stays

Best Western credit card FAQs

How many points do I need for a free night at Best Western?

Best Western has a variety of hotel brands within its portfolio and prices vary based on location and your dates of travel. Members can redeem points for a room starting at just 5,000 points per night. Top-tier rooms can cost as much as 70,000 points per night.

How many points do you need for a free room at Best Western?

Best Western doesn’t publish an official award chart, but free night stays range from 5,000 to 70,000 points per night — according to Best Western, free nights cost 16,000 points per night, on average. You'll need to log in to your account to search award prices for your preferred destination.

Points can also be redeemed for Best Western gift cards to pay for rooms like cash. Meanwhile, Pay with Points acts like a Cash & Points program by reducing the cost of a room by $5 for every 1,000 points redeemed.

How do you get a free night at Best Western?

You can get a free night at Best Western by redeeming points earned on previous stays, from your credit card purchases or from the hotel's partners. When you have enough points, call customer service or log in to the mobile app or website to request a Best Western free night voucher and book your room.

How much is 1,000 Best Western points worth?

The value of Best Western Rewards points may vary based on how and when they are redeemed. On average, we've found that each Best Western Rewards point is worth 0.8 cents — this means that 1,000 Best Western points are worth $8.

What is the rewards program for Best Western?

The hotel loyalty program for Best Western is called Best Western Rewards. It’s free to sign up and it offers free night redemptions at any Best Western hotel around the world. As a member, your points never expire, you're eligible for exclusive rates and you can even receive a Best Western status match from your elite status at other hotel brands.

How do you get Best Western points?

Best Western points are earned when staying at participating hotels, using the hotel's credit card or taking advantage of partner offers. Hotel promotions also provide an opportunity to earn even more points for your stays. Members may also purchase up to 20,000 points at a time.

Is a Best Western credit card worth it?

For travelers who prefer staying at Best Western hotels, it is worth having one of the hotel's credit cards. Upon Best Western credit card approval, you'll receive automatic elite status. Plus, you'll earn bonuses based on your annual spending and extra points on all of your purchases. Paying for hotel stays at Best Western is the most lucrative option, with the ability to earn up to 21.5 points per dollar spent.

Does Best Western match status?

Yes, you can request a "Status Match … No Catch" from Best Western by submitting your name, contact information, Best Western Rewards member number and proof of elite status with another hotel loyalty program to [email protected] Eligible proofs of status can be a screenshot, copy of your loyalty card or an account statement. Upon approval, you'll receive a status match upgrade through Jan. 31, 2022, without meeting tier upgrade requirements.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

The information related to Best Western Rewards® MasterCard® and Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard® has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).