Should You Buy Club Carlson Points?

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Link: Discounted Club Carlson points

Daily Getaways is a promotion sponsored by American Express and the U.S. Travel Association, and is intended to boost US tourism. Every weekday from May 19 through June 20, 2014travel packages and getaways will be on sale at discounted prices. The good thing is that you don’t have to decide on your dates or travel right away, because most packages come in the form of certificates or points, which can be redeemed over time.

A few things to keep in mind for all of these travel packages:

  • Travel packages go on sale at 1PM ET, so you’ll want to be there a couple of minutes early if you want to take full advantage of it
  • You get a 10% discount for paying with your American Express Card, which will be applied at the time of purchase
  • Some travel packages sell out quickly, so if one shows as “sold out,” keep refreshing your browser and more packages may become available from people that “reserved” one in their cart but didn’t complete the purchase

Today’s Daily Getaways Package: Discounted Club Carlson points

Club-Carlson-Points

Today Daily Getaways is offering discounted Club Carlson points, in the following increments:

  • 50,000 Club Carlson points / $247 / 100 available
  • 100,000 Club Carlson points / $495 / 50 available

When you factor in the 10% discount for paying with an American Express, that’s $222.30 for the 50,000 point package, and $445.50 for the 100,000 point package. That’s a rate of ~0.44 cents per point, regardless of which package you go for (the 50,000 point package is marginally cheaper on a per point basis).

What are Club Carlson points worth?

Here’s why this deal is a bit tricky. I value Club Carlson points at ~0.4 cents each. Redemptions at most of their higher end properties go for 50,000 points per night, so that’s valuing a stay at one of those properties at ~$200. That can be a hell of a deal compared to what the paid rates are (though I find paid rates at many of the Club Carlson properties in London and Paris to be way high compared to what else is out there):

Club-Carlson-2

So why would I consider buying points at slightly more than my valuation of them?

Well, if you have the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card — which is easily one of the most lucrative hotel credit cards — the second night of your award redemption is free. That means when you redeem 50,000 points for a free night at a hotel, you really get two nights for that. So you can buy 50,000 points for $222.30, and that’s enough for two free nights at one of the better Club Carlson properties in London and Paris. ~$110 per night is a rate that’s impossible to beat in those cities.

So if you have the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card and make hotel stays in the right increments, I’d value Club Carlson points at closer to ~0.8 cents each.

Bottom line on buying Club Carlson points

If you have the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card I’d say this could definitely be worth it. If you don’t have a Club Carlson Visa, I’d say this is probably a break even value proposition and not worth it.

Will you try to take advantage of the Club Carlson Daily Getaways deal?

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Comments

  1. I see they are going to be selling club carlson points in the next two weeks with a 75% bonus. Do you know what the cost will be?

  2. @Lucky – it came over their twitter feed and facebook. FLASH SALES are coming. Keep an eye on our page over the next two weeks for chances to purchase Gold Points with a 75% #bonus.

  3. I “buy” these points all the time for around $55 per 25k, by doing some manufactured spending.

  4. Thanks for the tip Karen! I was thinking about buying this offer but I’m going to hold on for this 75% bonus. 🙂

  5. Why I will unlikely ever stay at Radisson properties or use their program again.
    Award availability is crap/unacceptable compared to Hyatt Starwood Hilton Marriott and any other global program. What good is 3rd night free on award when its tough enough to find one single night let alone 3 in a row?
    I only like Radisson Blu properties generally
    Became a concierge elite member their 75 nights a year tier and stayed at their Radisson Blu property at Chicago and the breakfast offerings in the lounge were not only pathetic and stingy but limited to one person!!! Just the elite member.
    Program value is created by reasonable award availability of what one earns and reasonable recognition.
    Reasonable recognition is at least breakfast for two as a top tier member when staying over 50 nights.If one insists staying with them take gold tier status for free with their credit card and spin the wheel in this fatally flawed program
    But generally run from this awful program
    Finally they lack quality properties in major cities and most of the US hotel hard product is subpar at best with some exceptions.Europe much better

  6. This may seem like a dumb questions, but how do you do the manufactured spend to get such a great rate?

  7. @bdf.. last year they did this. Anyone could take advantage of it.. but they open it open for a quick time frame each day. So,unless you have twitter or facebook or a friend to tell you about it.. you could miss it..

  8. Last year I bought 28,000 plus a 21,000 bonus during flash sale on june 19 th for $196.00. Had to keep checking and it was a small window for each flash sale. Their website also got pretty slow. I could easily have missed it.

  9. Well, I guess I’ll watch for the flash sale. I just wasted 10 min. trying (and trying . . . .) to buy the amex deal, with no luck. I’m really tired of trying for these things and never getting them. The odds must be really bad. I feel like a kid trying to win the concert tickets by calling the radio station again and again.

  10. BDF — the club carlson Visas give 5x on any spend, so a $500 gift card that costs about $5.30 to load and clean out to money orders (depending on cost of MOs in your area). This generates 2500 points, which scales to 25k pts for ~$53. If you get cheaper GCs, like at Simon malls ($2.95 or 3.95 / $500), the cost can be even lower.

    Regardin people bitching about bad availability, I stayed in Radisson Blu Sydney this year around NYE. Only had 4 out of 6 days I needed available, but still… In London there’s so many of them you can always find something available. Can’t beat 5-star London hotel for $53/night.

  11. Can owners of the Club Carlson credit card game the system by making two consecutive two night reservation at a given property, thus staying 4 nights and getting 2 nights free?

  12. For us prehistoric souls who communicate via EMAIL, and don’t watch Twitter and Facebook all day, is there any way to get Twitter/Facebook to send an EMAIL message when a flash sale is announced?

    Stuart – no, the system prevents you from doing that. What you can do is book nights 1 and 2 using an award; book nights 4 and 5 using an award, then book night 3 using an award. That’s 2 nights out of 5 free, if you book them in the correct order.

  13. Stuar Falk — YES you can. You just have to have both the Business and Personal credit cards, thus two accounts. I do it frequently.

  14. I managed to snag 1 50k set of points. I waffled up to the last minute whether to do this or not (I also use MS to methodically collect points cheaply, albeit much more slowly). With 3 new CCs in the house between the 2 of us and much spending to be done, I figured I’d rather buy points now and use the MS for these new guests.

    I used my last set of CC points at the expensive May Fair Hotel in London. Not really sure WHY it lists as high as it does. I mean, it was very nice … but $600-700 a night in cash? Free, I can do. Wanted to turn 2 free nights into 4 but the web page wouldn’t let me. I recently heard from a fellow who toggles reservations between him and his wife; they each have the card and points. 2 nights/1 free on him, the next set on her. He says that haven’t been made to switch rooms yet. This is second hand info.

    My wife now has a card too, scheming this same way (one of our new guests). Will watch for a chance to try it!

    Oh, the 1pm deal. I swear I was watching closely and refreshing at the rights times. 1PM hit and I pressed BUY immediately – all sold out. Page suggested I retry and some may choose not to complete the transaction. I did several times and finally scored. I’m happy (using my wife’s new SPG card to pay and saving the 10% for that, too).

  15. @ Nick Knight – It works. My husband and I both have the CC Visas. We booked Radisson Blu Amsterdam 2 nights/1 free on me, then 2 nights/1 free on him, then last 2 nights/1 free on me again. Upgraded to canal view room, not made to change rooms. Of course, I made the reservations very far in advance since it was prime tulip time. I had absolutely no problems doing this.

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