Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card review
A no-annual-fee card for Choice Hotels regulars.
- Get this card if you stay with Choice Hotels often.
- Pick something else if you prefer other hotels or want a general travel rewards card.
- Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Points as welcome offer
Up to 15x
16.74%, 21.49% or 26.49%
Purchase APR (variable)
|Product Name||Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card|
|Purchase APR||16.74%, 21.49% or 26.49% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||0% intro for the first fifteen billing cycles (then 16.74%, 21.49% or 26.49% variable)|
|Balance transfer fee||$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater|
|Cash advance rate||26.74% variable|
|Cash advance fee||$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater|
|Foreign transaction fee||3% of the transaction value|
|Interest free period||Up to 23 days|
|Late payment fee||Up to $37|
|Returned payment fee||Up to $37|
|Additional cardholder fee||$0|
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and expertly navigate the cutting-edge financial tools available -- including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
A simple way to sum up this card? Points, points and more points.
First, you get a decent signup bonus worth up to four nights at select properties. Then comes the annual bonus of 8,000 points each account year in which you spend $10,000 or more. And along with complimentary Gold status in the Choice Privileges loyalty program, you’ll receive 10% more points each time you book at more than 6,500 Choice Hotels properties.
Earn 32,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days of card membership. That’s enough points for a four nights at select properties.
Earn a whopping 15x points at Choice Privileges properties, 5x points for Choice Privilege points purchases and Choice Hotel gift cards and 2x points on all other purchases.
Anniversary bonus points.
Earn 8,000 bonus points every year that spend at least $10,000 with your card by your account anniversary date.
Get 10% bonus points with each stay at a Choice Hotel.
No annual fee.
You get all these perks without paying an annual fee for the card.
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Complimentary Gold status.
Every year, you’re automatically upgraded to Gold status in the Choice Privileges loyalty program. At this status tier, you get access to an exclusive reservations and customer service phone number. You can also book reward nights 50 days in advance. Typically, you can book only 30 days in advance.
Intro balance transfer APR.
Get a 0% intro APR for fifteen billing cycles on balance transfers that post within the first 45 days. Balance transfers are still subject to a fee of $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater. After that, a variable APR of 16.74%, 21.49% or 26.49% applies.
Visa Signature® concierge service.
Call Visa 24/7 for assistance with dining, travel and entertainment reservations.
Fraud liability protection.
You’re not responsible for unauthorized charges you report to Visa.
How much are my points worth?
For reward nights at Choice Hotels, points are typically worth between 0.4 and 0.8 cents apiece according to the provider website as of October 2018. This value falls well below the industry average of 1 point for 1 cent.
When you redeem points for other rewards, you’ll often get an even lower rate. For example, you can purchase a $16 AARP membership for 5,000 points. That’s a value of 0.3 cents per point. Similarly, a $50 Amazon gift card costs 16,000 points, which comes out to 0.3 cents per point.
At which properties can I redeem points for reward nights?
You can redeem points for nights with Choice Privileges properties that include:
- Comfort Inn
- Comfort Suites
- Sleep Inn
- Quality Inn
- Clarion Hotels
- MainStay Suites
- Econo Lodge
- Rodeway Inn
- Ascend Hotel Collection
- Cambria Hotels & Suites
- Suburban Extended Stay Hotels
What else can I redeem points for?
Redeem your Choice Privileges points for rewards that include:
- Reward nights at vacation rental properties.
- Gift cards from restaurants and retailers.
- Memberships to associations and organizations.
- Magazine subscriptions.
- Point transfers to airline programs and other loyalty programs.
- Donations or shared points.
What to watch out for
Balance transfer limitations.
To take advantage of the long intro APR period on balance transfers, your transfers must post within 45 days of opening your account.
Potentially high APR.
Depending on your credit, you could see a variable purchase and balance transfer APR as high as 26.49%.
For late and returned payments, you’re on the hook for fees of up to $37. On the positive side, the card imposes no penalty APR.
Foreign transaction fee.
Use this card when traveling abroad, and you’ll pay a fee equal to 3% of every transaction you make. Fees can add up quickly over a several days’ trip.
Compare similar hotel credit cards
How does a balance transfer work with this card?
Eligible balance transfers must post to your account within 45 days of card membership. Otherwise, you won’t get the 0% intro APR period for fifteen billing cycles. The standard variable APR on balance transfers is 16.74%, 21.49% or 26.49%, which applies after the intro APR period expires.
Each balance transfer comes with a fee of $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater. That means a $1,000 balance transfer will cost $30 in fees. Know that it can take up to four weeks for balance transfers to post to your account.
If your requested balance transfers exceed your available credit limit, Barclays may either decline your request or accept a partial amount. You’re not allowed to transfer balances from another Barclays account.
If you request a balance transfer along with your application and change your mind, call Barclays within 10 days of card approval to cancel it.
What should I know before I apply?
To apply for the card, you must be at least 18 years old and a US resident. Residents of Puerto Rico and US territories are not eligible.
You’ll need to provide information that includes your:
- Full name and contact information.
- Employment information and annual income.
- Social Security number, date of birth and mother’s maiden name.
What credit score do I need?
Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher to increase your chance of approval and to get stronger APR and a higher credit limit.
What do customers say about the Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card?
The Better Business Bureau accredited Barclays in 2001 and rates them with an A+. Barclays earns a composite score of 3.77 out of 5 that accounts for customer reviews and the BBB’s own rating. Most complaints revolve around poor customer service for the bank in general, while almost all positive reviews praise customer support. Overall, your mileage may vary when it comes to Barclays customer support.
How to apply for the Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card?
- Go to the Barclays website and select the Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card from the list of travel cards, then click Apply now.
- Complete the application with your details
- Review your application and submit it.
How long will it take to get my Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card?
Because conditional approval is automated online, you can typically see an immediate decision on your application. In rare cases, you may need to wait a few business days to a few weeks until Barclays manually approves your application.
After approval, expect your card by mail within seven to 10 business days. If you’re in a hurry, contact Barclays to pay a $15 fee for expedited shipping.
I got the card. Now what?
- Download the Barclays app. Set up automatic payments, manage your account, check your FICO® Score and more.
- Avoid interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 23 days to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
- Avoid fees. Late and returned payments attract fees of up to $37. Balance transfers, cash advances and foreign transactions also come with fees.
- Customer service. If you have questions, contact Barclays customer service at 1-866-928-8598.
If you’re a regular at Choice Hotels, this is an excellent card for points multiples on your stays. Through consistent bookings, you’ll accumulate points that you can redeem toward reward nights and other perks.
If you rarely stay at Choice Hotels, consider a general travel rewards card. That way, you won’t have to spend with Choice Hotels to maximize your points.