There are several new Best Western Rewards MasterCards that just hit the market and my be worth looking into. There are actually four versions of the card which are issued through First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO).

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 10.18.13 AMThe most enticing card offer is for the Premium version of the card which is offering up to 70,000 Best Western Rewards points as a sign-up bonus. In total the four versions of the card that are available include a Rewards, Premium, Secured, and Business version of the card..

As I mentioned above the most lucrative sign-up offer is for the Premium version of the credit card which does comes with a annual fee, but also offers the most rewards earning structure and benefits.

The non-premium versions of the cards do not look incredibly attractive in my opinion, but you compare them hereHere are the details of the Premium version of the card:

Best Western Rewards MasterCard Premium Card Review

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Sign-up Bonus

Currently the Best Western Rewards Premium Card is offering an sign-up bonus up to 70,000 points. However, the cards bonus is not a straightforward lump sum and is actually broken down into three separate bonus tiers which look like this:

  • 25,000 bonus points after spending $2,500 within the first 3 billing cycles
  • An additional 25,000 bonus points after spending a total of $5,000 within the first 6 billing cycles
  • An annual points bonus of 20,000 bonus points after spending a total of $10,000 during each 12 billing cycles

Card Earning

With the Best Western Rewards Premium Card you will earn 10 points for every dollar you spend at Best Western hotels and 1 point on all other purchases.

With the automatic Platinum Elite status you get with having the card the total earning at Best Western hotels is actually 20 points per dollar.

Card Benefits

With the card you get automatic Platinum Elite status with Best Western Rewards program. Normally to earn Platinum Elite status you would need to stay 15 nights or earn 15,000 points in a calendar year.

Best Western Platinum Elite Status

Key benefits that come with Platinum Elite status include:

  • Earn 15% elite bonus points per stay
  • Earn 10 points for dollar spent or airline/partner rewards with each stay
  • Upgrade to the best room available (Specialty rooms or suites may not qualify for room upgrades, only applies for hotels in U.S. and Canada)
  • Welcome gift of a snack/beverage or 250 bonus points

The other card benefit worth mentioning is that you get a 10% discount on Flexible Rate Stays booked at bestwestern.com. If you frequently stay at Best Western properties this could actually be a nice perk, but not a game changer by any means.

Annual & Foreign Transaction Fees

The card does has a $59 annual fee, but it’s waived the first year. Also to note, there is a 3% foreign transaction fee for any non-US dollar purchases. This obviously doesn’t make it an ideal card for international travel.

What Are Best Western Rewards Points Worth?

I recently enjoyed several stays at a few Best Western hotels in Europe, but I’m not entirely familiar with the Best Western Rewards program. I thought it would be interesting to check out what a reasonable value per point you can expect when redeeming Best Western Rewards points partly based at the properties I booked.

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While in Bergamo, Italy I stayed at the Best Western Hotel Piemontese which had a great location and was a very nice and new property. The nightly rate at this hotel runs around 123 Euros or 20,000 points per night, which would come out to be 0.665 cents per point.

This is definitely on the upper-end of value I’d expect to get per point and depending on where and when you redeem I’d reasonably put a value of 0.4 – 0.6 cents per Best Western Rewards point. Remember that you can The issue I ran into when running some various hotel award night searches was that availability seemed very limited or non-existent at some hotels.

Best Western Rewards award night chart is as follows:

  • Category 1 – 8,000 points
  • Category 2 – 12,000 points
  • Category 3 – 16,000 points
  • Category 4 – 20,000 points
  • Category 5 – 24,000 points
  • Category 6 – 28,000 points
  • Category 7 – 32,000 points
  • Category 8 – 36,000 points

The Bottom Line

I’ve noticed that Best Western properties across Europe generally have very good and central locations in the city center and the shear number of hotels seems quite high. Each hotel can differ dramatically in style and quality because many are independently owned.

That said, adding Best Western as a back-up program (or third option) could make sense if you there are many properties in the part of the world you’re planning to travel.

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