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- Wells Fargo will soon launch a new co-branded credit card with Choice Privileges, the loyalty program of Choice Hotels.
- The new Choice Privileges® Mastercard® will be available to new applicants by May 1, 2023.
- Existing Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card
cardholders (no longer open for applications) will automatically be converted to the new card in May.
- Read Insider’s guide to the best hotel credit cards.
Choice Hotels might not be the first chain that comes to mind when you think of fancy or aspirational hotel stays, but you’ve probably stayed at a Choice brand and not even realized it. Choice Privileges, the chain’s loyalty program, encompasses over 20 hotel brands across more than 7,500 locations worldwide, including family-friendly Comfort Inns, extended-stay properties like MainStay Suites, and more-upscale Cambria and Ascend Collection hotels.
Previously, Barclays issued the Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card, but it stopped taking applications last year. Now, Choice and Wells Fargo are teaming up to launch the new Choice Privileges® Mastercard® this spring.
Here’s what to know about Wells Fargo’s new Choice Privileges credit card, and what its arrival means for those who already have the Barclays Choice credit card.
Insider’s Featured Credit Cards for Travel
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase.
75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
20.24% – 28.24% Variable
Earn 5x points on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Earn 3x points on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out. Earn 3x points on select streaming services. Earn 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs). Earn 2x points on other travel. Earn 1x point per dollar on everything else.
60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
20.24% – 27.24% Variable
We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
Wells Fargo Choice Privileges Mastercard coming soon
The Choice Privileges® Mastercard® will open to applications by May 1, 2023, and at that time, existing Barclays cardholders will be converted to the new card.
There’s no word yet on a welcome bonus offer, but the new Choice Privileges® Mastercard® will have no annual fee and earning rates as follows:
- 5x points on stays at participating Choice hotels (you can find the list here)
- 3x points on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores, and phone plans
- 1x points on other purchases
The earning rate on stays matches that of the old Barclays Choice card, but the 3x categories are new. Unfortunately, with the new card, non-bonus spending only earns 1 point per dollar; on the previous version of the card, you’d earn 2x points outside of bonus categories.
In addition, the Choice Privileges® Mastercard® will offer a handful of perks, including:
- 10 Choice elite night credits per year (enough to qualify for Gold elite status)
- Cell phone protection (up to $800 in coverage with a $25 deductible and maximum two claims per 12-month period)
- World Elite Mastercard benefits, including merchant discounts, access to the World Elite Concierge, Mastercard Priceless Experiences, and Global Services Emergency Assistance
- No foreign transaction fees
Should you consider the Choice Hotels Mastercard?
Unless you stay at Choice Hotels properties frequently, you’ll probably want to give the Choice Privileges® Mastercard® a skip. While there’s plenty of value to be had from Choice points, they’re easy enough to earn with other popular travel rewards credit cards.
Choice is an Amex Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer partner, so you can effectively (indirectly) earn Choice points with credit cards like American Express® Gold Card
or Citi Premier® Card. These cards have better earning categories and more flexibility in redeeming rewards.
Existing Barclays cardholders who want to continue holding a Choice Hotels credit card will have a decision to make soon. By keeping the card and allowing it to automatically convert to the new Wells Fargo version, you won’t receive a welcome bonus. But canceling the Barclays card now may not guarantee eligibility for the welcome offer on the Wells Fargo card — as the terms of the new bonus haven’t been released yet.
I have the old Barclays version from when I frequently stayed at Choice properties for work, so I’ll probably just wait for it to convert to the new Wells Fargo version — then stick it in the sock drawer unless I’m staying at a Choice Hotel. The new card doesn’t have an annual fee, so it’ll be free to keep for the long term, and having automatic Gold elite status won’t hurt either. But if I were just starting out with no annual fee travel credit cards, the new Choice Privileges® Mastercard® probably wouldn’t be on my shortlist.