Posted by William Charles on July 6, 2016
Credit Card Review

Published on July 6th, 2016 | by William Charles


La Quinta Returns Visa From FNBO Review – 45,000 Point Sign Up Bonus & Earns Up To 5x

First National Bank of Omaha issue the La Quinta Returns credit card, this card isn’t talked about often so I thought I’d do a full review of the card to see if it’s worth applying for or not.

The Basics

Let’s take a look at the main marketing bullets for this card

  • Sign up bonus of up to 45,000 points, broken down as follows:
    • 25,000 points after your first purchase
    • 20,000 points after $10,000 in total spend within the first 12 billing cycles
  • La Quinta Returns Gold Status after your first purchase
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 5x points at La Quinta
    • 2x points on all car rental, gas and dining purchases
    • 1x points on all other purchases
  • No annual fee

la quinta returns visa credit card review


Card Benefits

The only real benefits this card offers is Gold status and also the ability to extend the validity of your points, you receive this after your first purchase.

Gold Status Benefits

Gold is La Quinta’s second tier (Silver is below & Elite is above). It gives you the following benefits:

  • 20% bonus on all base points earned
  • 2 free room upgrade certificates per year

King Plus Upgrade Certificates

Thanks to The Value Traveler for providing more information about the room upgrades certificates. These upgrades give you access to a King Plus room. Here

  1. Call 1-877-8-GOLDLQ
  2. Mention the King Plus Upgrade Certificate and obtain reservation number (write this in the confirmation number area of your certificate)
  3. Present & surrender the certificate at time of check in

Each certificate is valid for one night only and one room only and can only be used on rooms that are 1-4 person per room. Not all properties have King Plus Rooms and there is also limited availability.

Avoid Points Expiry

La Quinta points don’t expire as long as you’ve earned or redeemed points at least once every 18 months. It’s not much of a benefit, but holding the credit card would be one way to keep the points from expiring.

Earning Points

The two main ways to earn points with this credit card is through the sign up bonus and also the on going category bonuses for spend.

Sign Up Bonus

Sign up bonus of up to 40,000 points, broken down as follows:

  • 20,000 points after your first purchase
  • 20,000 points after $10,000 in total spend within the first 12 billing cycles

As far as I know this card has always had the same sign up bonus and has never offered higher targeted bonuses.

On Going Spend

Card earns at the following rates:

  • 5x points at La Quinta
  • 2x points on all car rental, gas and dining purchases
  • 1x points on all other purchases

Keep in mind you’ll also earn another 12x (2x from your gold status and another 10x from regular status) when making purchases at or for La Quinta properties.

Redeeming Points

We’ve covered your options for redeeming points and their valuation in this detailed post, click here to read it.

Our Verdict

This card is hard to justify considering the high spend required for the full 40,000 points. You’re basically getting 3x points per dollar spent on the first $10,000 in spend, considering cards like Discover it Miles would earn 3% cash back the first year it’s not very exciting (or any other card that earns at a high rate on every day spend). This is especially true when most people will prefer 3% cash back to 3x La Quinta points (although I was a bit surprised by some of the valuations you can get out of the points).

There are also better credit card options for your car rental, gas and dining purchases. If you do spend a lot of money at La Quinta properties, I could understand picking up this card for the 5x points – it would also help to meet that $10,000 spend requirement without only earning 1x points. The good thing is there is no annual fee, so you can keep this card long term.

If the spend requirements were much lower (say $1,000-$3,000) then this card would probably be a lot more attractive. As it stands I’m not really tempted by it at all. What are your thoughts on the La Quinta credit card? Let us know in the comments section.


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Dan @ Points With a Crew

I guess you could just get it for the first 20K.


I would wait for a 40,000 offer, as it will sweeten the deal more.


This offer is for 25K so slightly better. This is the only credit card application I’ve ever been denied. I’ve got approved for about 20 cards the last 2 years.


One reason I would consider La Quinta (and therefore this card) is their free pet policy at 90% of their locations. Even if I redeem nights for free using IHG or Carlson pts, I still pay $10-$100 for two dogs (policies are all over the map). So a free night at La Quinta (often at same or better low-tier pricing) has more value than at first blush, considering my alternatives.

NRA Member 20+ years
NRA Member 20+ years

NRA members it’s time to dump your Best Western and LaQuinta cards and reward club memberships, now that FNBO has dumped us. Same for Enterprise, Alamo & National car rentals.

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