Wells Fargo and Choice Hotels Announce Revamped Credit Card
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Choice Hotels is making a move when it comes to its co-branded credit card. This week, the hotel chain announced that its Choice Privileges credit card would soon be issued by Wells Fargo. In turn, the bank released some details on what the new offerings will entail.
When the updated Choice Privileges card launches this spring, it will allow 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. Plus, cardholders will enjoy automatic Gold Elite Membership status. More accurately, the card will provide customers with 10 Elite Night credits, which will qualify them for Gold Elite status but also put them closer to reaching higher levels.
The new Wells Fargo-issued Choice Privileges card will replace the previous version, which was issued by Barclays. That product also offered 5x points on Choice hotel purchases but included 2x points on all other purchases rather than the category-specific structure of the new card. Another change is that the previous card was a Visa while the updated version will operate on the Mastercard network. Lastly, a benefit on the Barclay card that allowed customers to earn 8,000 bonus points if they spent at least $10,000 on the card in a year seems to have been removed from the incoming edition.
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Commenting on the card’s impending launch, Choice Hotels’ chief commercial officer Robert McDowell said, “Teaming up with Wells Fargo and Mastercard allows us to provide cardmembers with even faster ways to earn exceptional rewards. We are dedicated to rewarding and delighting our loyal Choice Privileges members through easy ways to earn reward nights, exclusive benefits, and member-only pricing.” McDowell continued, “Now with the launch of our refreshed cobranded credit card program, cardholders will have the opportunity to unlock the best Choice has to offer.”
Overall, the updates to the Choice Hotels co-branded card are a mixed bag for customers. While those who frequently purchase gas and groceries with their card or are willing to pay their cell phone bill with it may be happy with the new 3x categories, others may have preferred the simpler 2x “on everything else” feature of the Barclays version.
Meanwhile, the addition of automatic Gold Elite Membership status could be a nice perk for travelers, although the value of such a benefit is difficult to quantify. Of course, those who already have cards (ironically) won’t really have a choice in the matter as their current product will be transitioned in May. As for prospective cardholders, they’ll likely want to wait and see what types of welcome offers and other details Wells Fargo announces at that time before making a decision.
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