Is the Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card worth it? | October 2018

Review: Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card – October 2018

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A no-annual-fee card for Choice Hotels regulars.

30-second take

  • 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 680 or higher.
Product NameChoice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$0
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases17.24%, 21.99%, or 26.99% variable
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 0% for the first fifteen billing cycles (then 17.24%, 21.99%, or 26.99% variable)
Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate27.24% variable
Foreign Transaction Fee3% of the transaction value
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Interest Free PeriodUp to 23 days
Late Payment Fee$37
Returned Payment Fee$37
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Rates & FeesRates & Fees
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome Offer

Earn 32,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days, enough for up to 4 free nights.

Earn 8,000 anniversary bonus points every year you spend $10,000 or more on purchases with your card by your account anniversary date.

Reward Value per Dollar2 points
Rewards Points ExpiryNever

The basics

A simple way to sum up this card? Points, points and more points.

First, you get a decent signup bonus worth up to four free 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.

How much are my points worth?

For free nights at Choice Hotels, points are typically worth between 0.4 and 0.8 cents apiece, falling 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 free nights?

You can redeem points for free 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:

  • Free 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.
  • Cruises.
  • Donations or shared points.

The perks

  • Signup bonus.

    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 points.

    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.

  • Bonus points.

    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.

You’ll also like …

  • 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 0% 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 17.24%, 21.99%, or 26.99% 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.

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 26.99%.

  • Penalty fees.

    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.

Consider other cards if …

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 17.24%, 21.99%, or 26.99%, 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 680 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?

  1. Go to the Barclays website and select the Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card from the list of travel cards, then click Apply now.
  2. Complete the application with your details
  3. 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.

Bottom line

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 free 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.

Frequently asked questions

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JasonSeptember 11, 2018

    Can i use this card for gas and groceries or other everyday things?

    • finder Customer Care
      CharisseSeptember 11, 2018Staff

      Hi Jason,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      Yes, you can definitely use Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® card for regular purchases like gas and groceries. You can also earn 2 points per $1 spent on any other regular purchases you make using this card. You can find this information on the card’s terms and conditions.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Charisse

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