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Through May 15, 2017, Club Carlson is offering a 75% bonus on purchased points.
At least I think that’s the bonus most people are getting. The terms suggest that the offer is the same for everyone, while the email I got about the offer suggested that this was a “mystery” bonus. So it’s possible others are getting different offers, but I don’t think so based on the terms. You’ll want to log into your account through this link to be sure.
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 doesn’t sell Gold points all that often anymore. To frame this promotion in the context of past ones:
- In October 2016 we saw Club Carlson offer a 75% bonus on purchased points
- In June 2016 we saw Club Carlson offer a 75% bonus on purchased points
- In September 2015 we saw Club Carlson offer a 30% bonus on purchased points
- In August 2015 we saw Club Carlson offer a 50% bonus on purchased points
- In November 2014 we saw Club Carlson offer a 100% bonus on purchased points
So it has been over two years since we’ve seen a better promotion on purchased points from Club Carlson. If you’re in the market for Gold Points, I doubt it’ll get better than this anytime soon. 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 a couple of years ago:
- The second night free benefit was eliminated on Club Carlson’s co-branded credit card
- The cost of redemptions at many of Club Carlson’s top hotels increased, due to some award category adjustments
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 value out of your points than that.
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 Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, Citi® Double Cash Card, Chase Freedom® Unlimited, etc.
This is the best bonus we’ve seen on the purchase of Club Carlson Gold points since last year, and it has been over two years since we’ve seen a bigger bonus. 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, if you’re just a few thousand points short of a redemption.
Personally this isn’t a rate at which I’d speculatively purchase points. However, 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?