Best Western Rewards Mastercard Review: Get Free Nights and Gold Elite Status [2020]

Get automatic elite status and a generous sign-up bonus with the Best Western Rewards Mastercard.
Last updated Nov 19, 2020 | By Ben Walker

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The best hotel credit cards often include cards that have annual fees because of their extra perks and benefits. For many travelers, a card with no annual fee can be the perfect fit for their travel and financial goals. If you compare credit cards, the Best Western Rewards Mastercard doesn’t have the flashy appeal of high-end luxury cards, but it still offers valuable rewards and benefits for frequent Best Western customers.

In this Best Western Rewards Mastercard review, we’ll cover the benefits and drawbacks of this card and show you how to best earn and redeem your rewards. This will help you decide whether the Best Western Rewards Mastercard deserves a spot in your wallet.

Earn Big Rewards on Hotel Stays

Best Western Rewards Mastercard

Best Western Rewards Mastercard

Best Western Rewards Mastercard

Benefits

  • Earn up to 32,000 bonus points
  • Up to 13X points per $1 spent on stays at Best Western
  • Automatic Gold Elite status
  • No annual fee

In this Best Western Rewards Mastercard review:

Who should get the Best Western Rewards Mastercard?

If you’re a loyal Best Western guest, the Best Western Rewards Mastercard could be a good fit for you. It has a $0 annual fee and earns Best Western Rewards points on every purchase, which can be helpful for future award nights at Best Western properties.

Best Western Rewards Mastercard cardmembers receive automatic Gold elite status. With this status, you get a 10% bonus on points earned for eligible stays, early check-in and late checkout when available, and no blackout dates on award night redemptions.

Best Western has over 4,700 properties in more than 100 countries and territories worldwide, which should make it easy to find a hotel while you’re traveling. However, if you mainly travel to areas where there aren’t many Best Western properties, the Best Western Rewards Mastercard may not be the most suitable card choice for you.

Card basics

Card type Travel
Credit card issuer First Bankcard
Credit card network Mastercard
Annual fee $0
Intro bonus Earn up to 32,000 bonus points: 16,000 points after making your first purchase, and another 16,000 points with your first Best Western stay
Reward rate 3X points per dollar on Best Western purchases (and another 10X as a Best Western Rewards member for 13X total), plus 2X points per dollar on all other purchases
Recommended credit score Good, Excellent
Intro APR None
Foreign transaction fee None

Best Western Rewards Mastercard benefits and perks

  • Generous welcome offer: Earn up to 32,000 bonus points: 16,000 points after making your first purchase, and another 16,000 points with your first Best Western stay
  • Earning potential: Earn 3X points per dollar on Best Western purchases (and another 10X as a Best Western Rewards member for 13X total), plus 2X points per dollar on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee: With a $0 annual fee, there’s no added stress to try and offset an annual cost each year.
  • Automatic elite status: Cardholders receive automatic Gold elite status within the Best Western Rewards loyalty program. This complimentary benefit gives you 10% bonus points on eligible stays, no blackout dates on award night redemptions, early check-in and late checkout, complimentary water, points upon arrival, room upgrades (when available), and more.
  • Discounted stays: Receive a 10% discount on Best Western stays when using the Best Western Rewards Rate.

Drawbacks to the Best Western Rewards Mastercard

  • Low added value: Best Western Rewards members already receive 10 points per $1 spent on Best Western stays, so three additional bonus points from this card doesn’t seem like a big increase.
  • Low points value: Best Western Rewards points aren’t typically valued very high, usually hovering around 0.6 cents per point. This is lower than rewards from many other hotel loyalty programs, including Wyndham Rewards at 1.1 cents per point and World of Hyatt at 1.7 cents per point.
  • Few benefits: Apart from its automatic Gold elite status perk, the Best Western Rewards Mastercard has very little to offer in additional benefits. Having no foreign transaction fees is helpful, but also expected on most travel credit cards.

Earning and redeeming Best Western Rewards

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your points can add up with the Best Western Rewards Mastercard. To calculate these values, we used a point valuation of 0.6 cents.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $594

Year two earnings: $402

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model, which looks at points earned via spending, the sign-up bonus, and the annual fee.

Note that the amounts above only take general travel spending into account. If you use your card frequently to make Best Western purchases, you’ll get more value from it.

Best ways to earn

The best way to earn with the Best Western Rewards Mastercard is by using it for Best Western stays. With this card, you earn 3X points per dollar on Best Western purchases (and another 10X as a Best Western Rewards member for 13X total), plus 2X points per dollar on all other purchases. You can earn points on any purchases you make, but Best Western stays offer you the highest earning potential.

Categories Rewards rate
Best Western purchases 3X
All other purchases 2X

Maximizing your redemptions

The Best Western Rewards program offers various redemption options for your points, but you’ll likely get the most value from your points when you redeem them for award nights at Best Western properties. For example, an award night at a standard Best Western could cost $94 or 16,000 points. That ends up being nearly 0.6 cents per point (94 / 16,000 = 0.005875).

On the other hand, a $100 Amazon gift card would cost 32,000 Best Western Rewards points, which nets you about 0.3 cents per point (100 / 32,000 = 0.003125). And if you were to transfer your points to a partner loyalty program like Alaska Mileage Plan, Asia Miles, or Aeroplan, you can redeem points only at a 5:1 ratio. This means you’d have to transfer 5,000 Best Western Rewards points to equal just 1,000 Alaska Airlines miles. So you’d be losing value if you transferred points at these types of ratios.

Best Western Rewards Mastercard transfer partners

Best Western Rewards members can transfer their points to other loyalty programs that Best Western partners with. While this won’t often give you the best value for your points, it’s an option if you need another type of rewards currency or you don’t have any upcoming plans for your Best Western Rewards points.

Here are the Best Western Rewards transfer partners:

Transfer partner Transfer ratio
Aer Lingus AerClub 5:1
Aeromexico Club Premier 5:1.6
Air Canada Aeroplan 5:1
Alaska Airlines MileagePlan 5:1
Alitalia Millemiglia 6:1
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club 5:1
Avianca LifeMiles 5:1
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 5:1
KLM Flying Blue 6:1
Southwest Rapid Rewards 5:1.2

Best Western Rewards Mastercard FAQs

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

You need at least 8,000 points for a free night at Best Western, though the average award night typically starts at 16,000. Award nights for 8,000 points or 12,000 points are more difficult to find, but they do exist.

What credit score do you need for a Best Western Rewards Mastercard?

You likely need a good or excellent credit score to qualify for the Best Western Rewards Mastercard. Good credit scores start in the high 600s, whereas excellent scores start around 800 and max out at 850.

How much are 1,000 Best Western Rewards worth?

If you go by the average value of Best Western Rewards points of 0.6 cents per point, then 1,000 points would be worth about $6 (1,000 x 0.006 = 6).

Is the Best Western Rewards Mastercard a good credit card?

The Best Western Rewards Mastercard can be a great credit card for travelers who frequently stay at Best Western hotels. With automatic Gold elite status and the opportunity to earn Best Western Rewards points on every purchase, you get a lot of value for a card with a $0 annual fee. In addition, it doesn’t hurt to get a generous 32,000 bonus points sign-up bonus that you can put toward free award nights.

What is the Best Western Rewards program?

The Best Western Rewards program is the loyalty program for Best Western Hotels & Resorts. It’s free to join and offers its members rewards points for purchases on Best Western hotel stays. Once you’ve earned enough points, you can redeem them for free award nights at Best Western properties around the world.

You can also earn tier status within the program as you stay at more Best Western hotels. Tier statuses provide certain benefits to members, such as no blackout dates on award nights, complimentary early check-in and late checkout, and bonus points for eligible stays.

Other cards to consider

The Best Western Rewards Mastercard is an excellent choice if you want a card with a $0 annual fee and worthwhile benefits. However, if you want more earning potential or more flexibility, consider the Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

The Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard is another Best Western card, but this one has a $59 annual fee. However, its rewards and benefits can easily offset the annual fee. You can earn 20 points per dollar spent on Best Western stays (10 points as a Best Western Rewards member and 10 points for using the card), and 2 points per dollar spent everywhere else. In addition, you also get automatic Platinum elite status and you can earn a welcome offer of 50,000 points. That’s plenty of value for the low cost of $59.

With the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, you get all the benefits of one of the best travel credit cards available. This travel rewards card has a $95 annual fee, but you can earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day and a welcome bonus of 100,000 miles. Plus, this card offers fantastic benefits like TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit, travel accident insurance, an auto rental collision damage waiver, and extended warranty protection on eligible purchases. You also get flexible redemption options, including flights, hotels, or redeeming points at more than 10 Capital One transfer partners.

Earn Big Rewards on Hotel Stays

Best Western Rewards Mastercard

Best Western Rewards Mastercard

Best Western Rewards Mastercard

Special Offer

Earn up to 32,000 bonus points: 16,000 points after making your first purchase, and another 16,000 points with your first Best Western stay

See how these cards compare:

Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard
Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard
  • Earn 20,000 bonus points annually
  • Earn free stays
  • Automatic Platinum Elite Status
  • Best Western discounts
  • No foreign transaction fees
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • 100,000 bonus mile welcome offer
  • 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • No foreign transaction fees