The Best Western Rewards® Mastercard® has a lot going for it, including many of the perks you expect to see in a hotel card.
Competitive sign-up bonus
Many travel credit cards with no annual fee are light in the sign-up bonus department — but not the Best Western Rewards® Mastercard®. New cardholders can earn a whopping 40,000 points when they spend $1,000 on their card in the first three billing cycles. This sign-up bonus could get you two nights or more depending on where and when you redeem your points.
Annual bonus points
You’re not limited to a single sign-up bonus. You could earn another 20,000 every year you spend $5,000 or more on your Best Western Rewards® Mastercard®.
Earn Best Western points on purchases
If you want even more points, the Best Western Rewards® Mastercard® offers a decent rate on purchases. Specifically, you can earn an extra 3X Best Western points per dollar on Best Western purchases. When you add the 10 points per dollar you’d get for being a Best Western Rewards® member, that’s up to 13 points on hotel purchases. Other purchases earn a flat rate of 2X points per dollar.
Best Western isn’t a transfer partner for any of the major travel rewards programs. This means the best way to earn Best Western Rewards points is with a cobranded credit card.
No annual fee
A high annual fee can turn a valuable card into a money trap. The Best Western Rewards® Mastercard® avoids that problem by simply not charging an annual fee. Even if you have a year without travel (say, because of a global medical event), you don’t have to worry about the cost of keeping your Best Western Rewards® Mastercard® account open. This makes the card affordable for even sporadic travelers who only stay with Best Western a few times a year.
Receive complimentary hotel status
A beloved perk of many hotel credit cards is complimentary elite status. The Best Western Rewards® Mastercard® delivers on this expectation with automatic Gold Status for all cardholders.
Most of the perks you’ll receive are standard for all Best Western Rewards members, including early check-in and late check-out. But Gold members also receive complimentary water and points when you check in. You’ll also earn an extra 10% bonus on the points you earn for eligible stays.
What could be improved
There aren’t a ton of downsides to the Best Western Rewards® Mastercard®, but there are still some things to note.
No bonus points for everyday categories
One noticeable lack for the Best Western Rewards® Mastercard® is that there are no bonus rewards categories for the purchase rewards other than on Best Western purchases.
These days, it’s become common for hotel credit cards to offer extra points on everyday purchase categories. For example, the no annual fee Hilton Honors American Express Card offers 5X points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations. These bonus categories can make it much easier to earn free nights, so the Best Western Rewards® Mastercard® definitely falls below par in this respect.
No intro APR offer for purchases or balance transfers
If you’re looking to save on interest, the Best Western Rewards® Mastercard® will be a disappointment. There’s no intro 0% APR deal for either new purchases or balance transfers.
Without an APR deal, the only way to avoid interest fees on your Best Western Rewards® Mastercard® is to pay your balance in full before the due date. Considering the card has a fairly high regular APR, this is a good idea.
All in all, introductory APR deals aren’t super common on cobranded travel cards. However, the inclusion would have been a nice addition.