New Choice Hotels Credit Card From Wells Fargo… Are More Cards On The Way?

Comfort Suites Seven Mile Beach one bedroom suite
Comfort Suites Seven Mile Beach one bedroom suite. Courtesy of Choice Hotels. Photo by Dennie Warren Jr of
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Choice Hotels is launching a new credit card from Wells Fargo in May 2023. At the same time, the card will convert from Visa to Mastercard to offer World Elite Mastercard benefits. The new credit card will retain many of its current benefits and add new perks to provide even more value. Here’s what you need to know and what I think this means for the future of Choice Hotels credit cards.

Switching from Barclays to Wells Fargo

Choice Hotels has been working with Barclays for the last decade. When that contract expired, Wells Fargo swooped in to enter into a long-term agreement with Choice Hotels.

Existing cardholders will start receiving new Choice Hotels credit cards from Wells Fargo on May 1, 2023. Around that same time, new customers can start applying for a Choice Hotels Mastercard from Wells Fargo.

Radisson Blu Aruba guest building
You can redeem Choice Privileges points at the Radisson Blu Aruba.

Becoming World Elite Mastercard

As a World Elite Mastercard, the Choice Hotels credit card from Wells Fargo includes numerous benefits at no extra charge:

  • Monthly Lyft credits. Receive a $5 Lyft credit when you take three or more rides in a month and pay with your Choice Privileges Mastercard.
  • DoorDash DashPass trial. Free 3-month trial with $0 delivery fee and $5 off your first order.
  • ShopRunner membership. This complimentary membership (normally $79 per year) includes free 2-day shipping and returns from dozens of online retailers.
  • Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services. Booking through Mastercard Travel includes a best-rate guarantee, a hotel stay guarantee, and elite-level benefits like upgrades, amenities, and more.
  • World Elite Concierge. These personal assistants are available 24/7 to help you plan travel, book dinner reservations, and buy concert & event tickets.

For a complete rundown of the benefits you’ll receive from a World Elite Mastercard, read the article I wrote for U.S. News.

Comparing old vs new Choice Hotels credit card

To better understand the changes of the new Choice Hotels credit card from Wells Fargo, this chart provides an overview of what’s changing and what’s not.

Barclays Wells Fargo
Annual Fee $0 $0
Points at Choice Hotels 15x points (5x from card + 10x as a member)
15x points (5x from card + 10x as a member)
Bonus Categories
  • 2x points on everything
  • 3x on gas, groceries, phones & home improvement
  • 1x on everything else
Elite Status
  • Gold status
  • 10 Elite night credits
  • Gold status
  • 10 Elite night credits
Welcome Bonus 32,000 points after $1,000 in 90 days
Info not yet available
Intro APR Offer 0% APR for 15 months on balance transfers
Info not yet available
Renewal Bonus 8,000 points after spending $10,000 in a calendar year
Info not yet available
Other Benefits
  • Visa Signature benefits
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits
  • Cell phone protection

For a complete analysis of the new Choice Hotels credit card from Wells Fargo, read the article I wrote for U.S. News.

What is coming next?

In my opinion, this is just the first of many new Choice Hotels credit cards from Wells Fargo. Choice Hotels is focusing on growing its mid-tier and premium hotel brands with new properties under the Ascend and Cambria name.

With the acquisition of Radisson Americas, numerous higher-end properties have been added to its portfolio. In May 2022, U.S. Bank converted all existing Radisson cards for consumers and small businesses into non-brand cards.

Choice Hotels is the only major U.S. hotel brand with only one credit card. Hyatt, Hilton, IHG, Marriott, and Wyndham all have multiple versions of their cards for consumers and small businesses to choose from. Even Best Western has at least two cards.

Future Choice Hotels credit cards?

To stay competitive in the hotel market, Choice Hotels will need to launch multiple versions of its credit cards. Here’s what I’d like to see happen (in this order):

  1. Mid-tier card. Introduce a card with a $95-$99 annual fee with Platinum status (20 elite night credits), the ability to earn additional stay credits based on spending, an annual free night (capped at 20,000 points), and higher earning power on Choice stays.
  2. Business credit card. Small business credit card with a sub-$100 annual fee that includes Platinum status (20 elite night credits) for the business owner and Gold status for authorized users. No fee for employee cards and similar features as a mid-tier card.
  3. Premium card. Launch a premium card once they open more Cambria and Ascend properties and fully integrate higher-end locations from the Radisson Americas portfolio. The card should include Diamond elite status, an uncapped annual free night, higher earning power, and other premium benefits, like an annual hotel credit that partially offsets the annual fee.

Would you apply for any of these cards? If not, what would Choice Hotels need to add to get you to sign up?

Choice Hotels credit card from Wells Fargo. Choice Hotels International Reception Area.
Choice Hotels International Reception Area. Photo © Tony Powell.

The Bald Thoughts

While many travelers overlook Choice Hotels and its current credit card, I see big things coming with the switch to Wells Fargo. The bank wouldn’t bid for the brand if they didn’t have bigger plans than just a single no-annual-fee card. Wells Fargo is launching the no-annual-fee Choice Privileges Mastercard in May 2023. I see this as the beginning salvo of new credit cards to match travelers of all spending patterns.

What do you think?


  1. Some of the Choice and Wyndham properties offer great redemption options. Recently booked a Radisson for 20,000 Radisson points when the rooms were going for $450 (before taxes).

    • Hey Kate, I don’t think you need to worry about that. Generally, application rules are based on when you’ve opened an account or received a bonus. Your existing Barclays account will convert to a Wells card, but shouldn’t interfere with your ability to get a new card. However, you may need to close the account eventually since Wells probably won’t let you have two Choice cards at once.

      There’s still a lot of time before the cards convert over. And we’ll receive more info about potential welcome bonuses and other features in mid-to-late April in anticipation of release in May 2023.


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