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It’s been rough year for the Club Carlson program with multiple devaluations. The devastating blow came back in the spring when they announced the end of the Free Night on all award bookings for those who have their co-branded credit card. Prior to that it was basically a Buy One Get One opportunity whereby you could redeem points for one night, and then get the second night free.
If you were traveling with a companion who also had the credit card, you could book a sequence of two-night stays, alternating the account from which they were booked, such that you were always getting award nights at half off.
It was really a fantastic deal, which apparently wasn’t sustainable.
In an attempt to soften the blow, Club Carlson simultaneously announced a promotion for cardholders whereby they would earn 30,000 bonus points for a stay by August 31. That means that if you haven’t booked a stay yet, you’ve got about a week left.
Now I’m not saying that 30,000 bonus points is sufficient to make you forget about BOGO award nights — it’s clearly not — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t claim it.
My Experience Claiming The 30k Bonus
I had a one night stay at a County Inn and Suites back in May and my bonus posted properly along with my regular points within a couple of days. That led me to believe that this would be easy, as it should be.
Then we did a little
mattress run staycation back in June at the Radisson Hotel Colorado Springs Airport. One night was booked from my wife’s account, and one night from my father’s account, both of whom have the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card. Neither of them received the 30,000 bonus points automatically. I had to call Carlson customer service and have them open a ticket with their IT department. One of them has been resolved and the other is in progress, but I’m confident it will post eventually.
I’ve read about others that were told it could take 6-8 weeks. So there seem to be some glitches with this. Be prepared for some hassle.
Do Award Nights Count?
Originally there was some speculation that award nights which also incurred some incidental charges would trigger the 30,000 bonus points. From what I’ve read, that doesn’t seem to be working anymore.
I would not advise trying it, especially this late in the game — if the bonus doesn’t post, you won’t have much time to run out and try again.
What Are 30,000 Carlson Points Worth?
I tend to redeem at the low end of the award chart, so I see 30,000 Carlson points as the equivalent of 2-3 nights at a $100 property.
For simplicity, let’s say that I redeem 30,000 points for two nights at a Category 2 property (15,000 points) that costs about $100 per night. That means I would get $200 of value for 30,000 points, making them worth around 0.6 cents each. And yes, that’s about half of what I might have previously valued them at.
Ben, who wouldn’t be caught dead at a Country Inn and Suites, values them at 0.4 cents each.
Should I Do A Mattress Run?
Probably, at least for those of us who live near an inexpensive Radisson, Country Inn and Suites, or Park Inn.
Also keep in mind that there are a variety of other Club Carlson promotions running right now, and they will stack with this one.
- 2,000 point promotion running through September 27
- 5,000 points for a Radisson stay through August 31 using the code summer5k
In my case, I earned around 13,000 points in addition to the 30,000 point bonus. 43,000 points for a $100 night is a pretty good deal in my opinion.
I know a lot of folks are pretty mad about the Club Carlson devaluation, and for sure, it sucks big time. But it just seems silly to not take advantage of this lucrative promotion. If you haven’t claimed it yet, you’ve got about a week.
And for what it’s worth, I’m keeping my Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card. I still think there’s value in the program, but I’ll cover that in a separate post.
Did you earn the 30,000 bonus points?