Choice Hotels, Wells Fargo Debut Choice Privileges Select Card
With spring well underway and the summer travel season now just around the corner, Choice Hotels and Wells Fargo have unveiled their latest co-branded credit card offering. Today, the two companies announced the Choice Privileges Select Mastercard. Carrying an annual fee of $95, this card will serve as the premium option in the hotel brand’s new lineup.
Looking at the Choice Privileges Select, it offers a mix of rewards categories. First, the card earns 10 points per dollar spent on stays at participating Choice hotels. On top of that, cardholders will earn 5x points at gas stations, 5x points at grocery stores, 5x points at home improvement stores, and 5x points on phone plans. All other eligible purchases earn 1x points.
As for perks, a key one is that cardholders will earn 20 Elite night credits, which will automatically qualify them for Platinum status each calendar year while also putting them closer to reaching higher tiers of status. Additionally, cardholders will receive a 30,000-point bonus every account anniversary year. Elsewhere, the card also offers a statement credit toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees.
To mark the launch of the card, Choice is offering a special welcome bonus. Currently, new Choice Privileges Select cardmembers can earn 90,000 Choice Privileges points after spending $3,000 in qualifying purchases during their first three months.
The introduction of the Choice Privileges Select Mastercard follows the announcement of the Choice Privileges Mastercard in February — which replaced the previous Barclays-issued version. That card carries no annual fee and allows customers to earn 5 points per dollar spent on stays at participating Choice hotels, 3x points at gas stations, 3x points on grocery store purchases, 3x points at home improvement stores, 3x points on phone plans, and 1x points on all other purchases. Cardholders also receive 10 Elite Night credits, qualifying them for Gold Elite Membership status. Applications for that card are now open as well.
Like the lower-tier Choice Privileges Mastercard, the Choice Privileges Select Mastercard has some pros and cons. On the upside, the 5x categories are fairly solid and represent more “everyday” categories that cardholders can make use of. Of course, earning 5x Choice Privilege points is not the same as earning 5% cashback with other cards. Instead, The Points Guy values Choice Privilege at 0.6¢, meaning that the 5x categories are closer to 3% back. That’s still pretty good but not great.
Meanwhile, the automatic Platinum status is a great perk for a card with an affordable annual fee — although the fact that this status is so attainable begs the question of how valuable it really is. All things considered, for those who frequent Choice Hotel properties, the Choice Privileges Select Mastercard might make sense and may even be the top pick over the no-annual-fee option. As for everyone else, it’s likely not the right Choice.