Best Western Credit Cards: Should You Apply?

Best Western Credit Cards: Should You Apply?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

The Best Western Rewards program offers two personal credit cards all with varying benefits and features. For consumers looking for a card to use for everyday shopping, the Best Western Rewards® MasterCard® won't be a good choice.

Both these offers can be outperformed by other rewards credit cards. The Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard®, however, can provide significant savings to those who spend between $10,000 and $12,000 annually. The cardmember anniversary bonus you get with the card makes up for some of the shortcomings of the other two offers. If you spend more than this, however, a general travel rewards credit card, like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, may be better. The best benefit of getting one of these cards is the 10% discount they all provide when booking stays through bwrcarddiscount.com.

Review: Our Thoughts On The Best Western Credit Cards

Good For…
Bad For…
The Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard® is good for those who spend between $10k and $12k per yearEarning rewards on everyday purchases, like groceries or gas
Those who want a quick way of getting elite status with Best WesternIndividuals who spend more than $12,000 annually on their credit card
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The Best Western Credit Cards are generally a poor offer when it comes to making everyday purchases, where they earn just one point per dollar. Given the value of a single point stands at about $0.0057, this produces a rewards rate of just 0.57%, which is well below average. The Best Western credit cards earn decent returns on purchases with the affiliated hotel chain, but in some cases they can be outdone by general travel credit cards. As noted above, the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard® is an exception, but only if your annual spending comes within a very specific range ($10k-$12k). The more you move away from the range, the faster other credit cards begin to outperform even the Premium Mastercard.

The most impressive benefit that all of these cards come with is the 10% discount on bwrcarddiscount.com. If you book your Best Western Hotel stay through that site using an affiliated Mastercard, you will receive the discount. It's as simple as that. This benefit is fairly simple, and doesn't vary at all from card-to-card.

If you decide to go with a Best Western credit card, choosing between them is straightforward. Individuals who spend more than $10,000 per year should go with the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard®, due to the ongoing 20,000 point bonus. The reward makes it so you come out with a greater net return over the other offers, even with the $59. For low spenders, the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard® is a better option.

Bottom Line: If you spend around $10,000 annually, getting the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard® can make a lot of financial sense. However, the other two offerings leave a lot to be desired, especially when it comes to everyday purchases. If nothing else, it may be worthwhile to apply for the no-annual-fee card to take advantage of the 10% discount.

Benefits & Features: What Makes The Best Western Credit Cards Standout

Best Western cardholders get three major benefits: potential for extra reward points, automatic elite status, and a 10% discount on hotel bookings through bwrcarddiscount.com. Using any Best Western Credit Card to make purchases will provide you with reward points at varying rates. Most of the cards have the same structure, providing three points per dollar spent on Best Western stays, and one point per dollar for everything else. These are on top of the 10 points per dollar you would normally get for just staying at the hotels.

With the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard® you get a significant point bonus for Best Western Stays, 10 points per dollar -- that comes out to a total of 20 points, when you consider base points.

Best Western Rewards® MasterCard®
Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard®
Signup Promo40,000 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, plus 40,000 points when you spend $5,000 every 12 billing cycles
Annual Fee$-00$59
Anniversary PointsNone20,000 bonus points when you spend at least $10,000 during each 12 billing cycle period
APR20.49%-24.49% Variable18.74%-24.74% Variable
Foreign Transaction Fee3%3%
Elite StatusAutomatic Gold Elite StatusAutomatic Platinum Elite Status
3 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.
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Looking at the above table, you can see the other major differentiator between the cards is elite status. The Best Western Rewards® MasterCard® automatically grants Gold Elite status, which boosts your base points earning rate by 10%. The Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard® gives the primary accountholder Platinum Elite status. This comes with a 15% bonus to the base earning rate and free room upgrades, as well as a "recognition gift" with each stay. Upon doing some digging, we found the gift can consist of a bottle of water, or a snack –- hardly what we consider a "platinum perk".

How Do The Best Western Credit Cards Compare To Other Options?

In order to get a better idea of the value the Best Western Credit Cards hold, it’s crucial to see how they compare to other offers out there. We contrasted the credit cards against some other popular hotel, general travel, and secured credit cards.

Best Western Credit Card vs Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • On Capital One's Secure Website

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the best rewards credit cards around. It comes with a 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. In that regard, it beats the regular Best Western Rewards® MasterCard® on every front, as long as you spend at least $5,817 annually on non-Best Western purchases. At that point, even paying the annual fee ($95) becomes worth it.

The only time a Best Western Credit Card can outperform the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is in the $10,000-$12,000 annual-spend range -- once the 20k point bonus kicks in with the Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard®. However, the advantage quickly disappears, once you start spending more than that.

Best Western Credit Card vs Discover it® Secured Credit Card

For individuals with bad credit who are considering the Best Western Secured Credit Card, we recommend looking into the Discover it® Secured Credit Card instead. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is rewarding when it comes to everyday purchases. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card gives 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

One added benefit of the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is the added free credit score you get. As with any card from this issuer, Discover it® Secured Credit Card cardholders can log in online to see their latest FICO® score. This is especially handy if you are working on rebuilding it, and want to see your progress.

For rates and fees of Discover it® Secured Credit Card, 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.

Joe Resendiz

Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

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.

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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).

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