2 new Choice Privileges credit cards are now open to new applicants

19 April 2023

Editor’s note: We’ve updated this post with new information.

Wells Fargo has opened applications for two new Choice Privileges credit cards as of today.

We’d first heard about the new no-annual-fee Choice Privileges® Mastercard® in February when Choice Hotels made Wells Fargo the official credit card issuer and Mastercard the exclusive payments network for its Choice Privileges program. If you have an existing Choice Privileges credit card, your card will soon be converted to the Choice Privileges Mastercard.

Now, Wells Fargo has launched a second Choice Privileges card: the Choice Privileges Select Mastercard, which has a $95 annual fee and a compelling sign-up bonus.

Hotel credit cards can provide significant value if you frequently stay with a particular hotel loyalty program. So, here’s what you need to know about the new Choice Privileges Mastercards.

The information for the Choice Privileges Mastercard and the Choice Privileges Select Mastercard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Overview of the new Choice Privileges Mastercards

Before we dive into the details of the new Choice Privileges Mastercards, here’s an overview of what these cards offer:

Choice Privileges Mastercard
Choice Privileges Select Mastercard

Initial limited-time sign-up bonus
60,000 points after spending $1,000 in qualifying purchases during the first three months.
90,000 points after spending $3,000 in qualifying purchases during the first three months.

Earning rates
5 points per dollar spent on stays at participating Choice hotels.

3 points per dollar spent on qualifying purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores and phone plans.

1 point per dollar spent on other purchases.

10 points per dollar spent on stays at participating Choice hotels.

5 points per dollar spent on qualifying purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores and phone plans.

1 point per dollar spent on other purchases.

Elite night credits each year
10, enough for at least Gold Elite status each calendar year.
20, enough for at least Platinum Elite status each calendar year.

Annual fee
No annual fee.
$95 annual fee, waived for the first year.

Other notable perks
Cellphone protection.

No foreign currency conversion fee.

World Elite Mastercard benefits.

Cellphone protection.

No foreign currency conversion fee.

30,000 bonus points every account anniversary.

TSA PreCheck or Global Entry statement credit.

World Elite Mastercard benefits.

Related: Which credit cards offer the most lucrative rewards for hotel stays?

Choice Privileges Mastercard: No annual fee

Applications are now open for the new Choice Privileges Mastercard. For a limited time, the card offers new applicants a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after spending $1,000 in qualifying purchases during the first three months. Based on TPG’s valuations, this bonus is worth about $360.

This no-annual-fee card has several useful features, including cellphone protection, no foreign transaction fees and World Elite Mastercard benefits. Here’s a look at the card’s other benefits.

KSENIYA OVCHINNIKOVA/GETTY IMAGES

Earning rates

When you make eligible purchases with the new Choice Privileges Mastercard, you’ll earn Choice points as follows:

5 points per dollar spent on qualifying stays at participating Choice hotels.
3 points per dollar spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores and phone plans.
1 point per dollar spent on other purchases.

Choice Hotels acquired Radisson Americas in 2022 and plans to integrate Radisson Rewards Americas into the Choice Privileges program later this year. So, you should also earn 5 points per dollar spent at Radisson brands in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean once these hotels are bookable through Choice.

Related: From Yellowstone to Austria: 27 hotels you can book for less with Choice Hotels’ Sweet Spot Rewards

10 elite night credits for Gold Elite status

As a Choice Privileges Mastercard cardholder, you’ll get 10 elite night credits each year as a perk of your card account. These elite night credits will get you automatic Gold Elite status and could also help you earn a higher status within Choice Privileges.

I expect we’ll see changes to the Choice Privileges program, including elite status benefits, as Radisson Rewards Americas is integrated. So, although Choice Privileges elite status doesn’t currently provide many helpful benefits, it may become more valuable later this year.

Related: Is hotel elite status worth it anymore?

Choice Privileges Select Mastercard: $95 annual fee

Applications for the new Choice Privileges Select Mastercard are also now open. For a limited time, this card offers new applicants a sign-up bonus of 90,000 points after spending $3,000 in qualifying purchases during the first three months. Based on TPG’s valuations, this bonus is worth about $540.

Plus, for a limited time, new applicants will also get the card’s $95 annual fee waived for the first year.

XAVIER LORENZO/GETTY IMAGES

Cardholders of the Choice Privileges Select Mastercard also enjoy several ongoing benefits, including cellphone protection, no foreign transaction fees, World Elite Mastercard benefits and a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry statement credit. Now, let’s look at the card’s other primary benefits.

Earning rates

The Choice Privileges Select Mastercard offers better earning rates on most purchases than the Choice Privileges Mastercard. In particular, you’ll earn as follows with the Choice Privileges Select Mastercard:

10 points per dollar spent on qualifying stays at participating Choice hotels.
5 points per dollar spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores and phone plans.
1 point per dollar spent on other purchases.

This means you’ll get an effective 6% return on qualifying stays at participating Choice hotels, according to TPG’s valuations. This rate of return on hotel stays is competitive with some of the best travel rewards cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Citi Premier® Card.

Related: 8 of the best credit cards for general travel purchases

20 elite night credits for Platinum Elite status

As a Choice Privileges Select Mastercard cardholder, you’ll get 20 elite night credits each year. These elite night credits are enough for automatic Platinum Elite status but could also help you earn Diamond Elite status (which requires 40 nights per year).

Bonus points each year

Travelers with the Choice Privileges Select Mastercard also get 30,000 points at each account anniversary. Based on TPG’s valuations, those points are worth about $180 — more than enough to justify the card’s $95 annual fee after the first year.

Thought of another way, you’re getting 30,000 Choice points each year for $95. So, you’re effectively buying Choice points for 0.31 cents per point. This is well under TPG’s valuation of Choice points at 0.6 cents each, representing great value if you enjoy redeeming Choice points.

Related: College sports fans: You can redeem Choice points for exclusive events and experiences

Bottom line

The new no-annual-fee Choice Privileges Mastercard may be a good option for Choice loyalists due to its 10 elite night credits per year and no foreign transaction fees. However, the earning rates are likely too low to compete with other travel rewards and everyday spending cards.

The new Choice Privileges Select Mastercard is a more compelling offer for most Choice loyalists. The limited-time sign-up bonus and waived annual fee for the first year are great reasons to get the card. Additionally, the 30,000 points at each account anniversary and higher earning rates should provide enough value to justify keeping the card long term.

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