3 Days Only: Buy Club Carlson Points With A 75% Bonus

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Through June 16, 2016, Club Carlson is offering up to a 75% bonus on purchased points.

Club-Carlson-Gold-Points

Club Carlson limits you to purchasing 40,000 points per account per calendar year, and the 75% bonus applies even if you purchase just 1,000 points. Factoring in the 75% bonus, you can buy a maximum of 70,000 points through this promotion. The 70,000 points would cost you $280, meaning they’re charging~0.4 cents per point.

Club-Carlson-Bonus

It has been a while since we’ve seen a bonus on purchased Gold Points. To frame this promotion in the context of past ones, this is one of the better promotions we’ve seen:

So this bonus isn’t the best we’ve ever seen, but it is the best they’ve offered in over 18 months. Back in the day buying Club Carlson points with a promotion could represent a great value, but then they devalued their program in two major ways:

It goes without saying that the biggest devaluation was them eliminating the second night free benefit on their co-branded credit card, since it was essentially a way to double the value of your points.

Personally I value Club Carlson points at ~0.4 cents each, so this purchase price is right at my valuation. That being said, with the right redemptions in mind you can absolutely get more than value out of your points than that.

Radisson-Blu-Royal-Copenhagen-17
View from the Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen

Also keep in mind that while you’re limited to purchasing 40,000 points (pre-bonus) per account per calendar year, you can always purchase points for multiple accounts, and then combine the points in those accounts for free. All members can combine points within a household, and elite members can combine points with anyone. Those with the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card get automatic elite status in the Club Carlson program.

The purchase of Club Carlson points is processed by points.com, so doesn’t count as hotel spend for the purposes of your credit card. Therefore you’ll want to buy these points with a card which maximizes your return on everyday spend, like the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit CardChase Freedom® UnlimitedStarwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American ExpressCiti® Double Cash Card, etc.

Bottom line

This is the best bonus we’ve seen on the purchase of Club Carlson Gold points in quite a while. However, since the program was devalued a couple of years back, there aren’t as many ways to get outsized value out of these points. I’d say that this promotion could be useful for topping off an account.

Personally this isn’t a rate at which I’d purchase points. As always, with a specific, short-term use in mind, it could make sense to purchase Club Carlson points.

Do you plan on buying Club Carlson Gold Points with a 75% bonus?

(Tip of the hat to Kalil)


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Comments

  1. Really? With most of their top locations requiring 70K points per night, you are pre-paying $280, and hoping you will have a use for those points before they are devalued again. We’re staying at a Radisson Blu in Paris on points in a couple of months. Current rack rates are $231 non-refundable, refundable rate of $271 if canceled by 6 pm day of arrival. So it would cost $10 to $50 more to buy the points than just to pay for the room. And if you pay for it you get points for the stay.

    True, the Copenhagen property pictured above is $340 for a night this July. So if you were already planning on paying to stay there, you would save $60 by buying the points. But I’m just not one to pay $340 a night for a Radisson Blu; nor $280 either.

    I used to love the Club Carlson program when it was 2 for 1, and at a lower points level as well. But since the devaluation Club Carlson is a total dud program. 🙁

  2. Nah. There’s plenty of value in the Club Carlson program. People bash it now, because they’re still mad about the devaluations and the loss of the last-night-free deal. I used points for the Radisson Blu Royal in Dublin last month at 50,000 points per night for rates that were $485 and $505 per night. The Radisson Blu 1919 in Reykjavik was over $400 last month when I was there. In general, the real value in the program is for stays in hotel categories 1, 2, 5, and 6. And since the credit card earns 5 points per dollar, it’s not a bad deal either, since the 40,000 point renewal bonus more than covers the annual fee. It isn’t an awesome program the way it used to be, but it’s no worse than average now.

  3. Ben,

    I appreciate finding out about this, as Club Carlson doesn’t seem to send me this information directly.

    Perhaps you haven’t updated your points value list, unless I missed it, but I can’t see how the program holds anywhere near either the 0.4 cents you claim or that Carlson is currently offering with the 75% bonus.

    For my own sanity check, I chose to look at both the Category 3 and Category 4 properties in the U.S., since one of each would spend through 66k of the 70k maximum. For $280, or $140 per night, I would expect options in major metropolitan area (Houston, Austin, New York, etc). But either they are not available, or they are in remote areas where rates would be a lot lower than in city.

    You’ve got to wonder whether this company is serious about their program!

  4. I will not be purchasing these points. “In general” the CC program has become obsolete, IMHO. It used to be a good program when they gave us the free second night. This perk added value that could be used at any of the properties (wherever). Since they dropped this perk, I dropped CC. I think it will be an uphill battle for CC to make the case that there is still value in the program. And no, I’m not mad.

  5. Club Carlson program is on a decline. Various hotels have been leaving the program recently (Paris, Aruba etc.). Also, they have devalued their program as well recently (70K+ is the new 50K)..

  6. Pretty useless points now. Even hard to burn what I already had even when I went to London & Amsterdam where it’s said there are relatively better CC hotel options, but don’t feel forced to go to one of their so-so properties while I have plentiful better options in those cities. In the end, burnt them all at CC-affiliated airport hotels which were also rather unimpressive. Also cancelled their credit card too.

  7. I bought points recently and was stunned to find out it takes 2-5 business days turnaround time before I see them in my account. This is such a deterrent for a someone that is currently traveling and likes to be spontaneous. Has anyone had any experience with seeing points post to their account sooner??? I have a 24-hour window of time to book a hotel and don’t know what I should do. Thanks!!

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