Last Call: 30,000 Bonus Points For Club Carlson Visa Cardholders

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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.

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.


Bottom Line

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? 

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  1. Staying tonight. it’s obviously the first stay since the no-more-last-night-free news (had 10 nights before that this year). Then no more paid stays (unless something REALLY attractive is offered) as customer service has said I wasn’t “picked” for the e-cert free night.

    As far as the 6 to 8 weeks is concerned I’ve usually found Club Carlson holds up points until pretty much the last day of what they say. But I’ll probably check earlier since you said there may be some glitches.

  2. I was wondering if you knew anything about the e-cert they are supposedly sending to a lot credit card holders giving a free night anywhere as part of them trying to make it up to card holders for the changes in the reward program. I haven’t gotten anything yet and I had even called a couple of months back to complain about the changes. Has anyone called them up to ask about the free 1-night e-cert?

  3. The 30k bonus is not applicable to all accounts. I got a similar email about the change in benefits back in April, but mine did not include the last line about the 30k bonus. I’ve stayed since then and no bonus was posted either. So this promo is probably targeted.

  4. Make sure you pay with your Club Carlson credit card to comply with the terms. Just completing a stay and paying with another card is not enough.

  5. “It’s been rough year for the Club Carlson…”

    I think you meant “It’s been a rough year for the Club Carlson…”

  6. Buddy – I called Club Carson customer service about the e-certificate. Customer service said if I hadn’t seen anything then I wasn’t “picked” for the promotion. When I called US Bank they just transferred me back to Club Carlson. I told her I had the card and 10 stays earlier in the year and no matter. I could not get anywhere asking about the targeting criteria.

    I left it at if they evidently didn’t want me then they didn’t have to worry about seeing me anymore (on paid stays at least). They didn’t seem to care,

  7. Anyone tried getting a friend to check in on a paid stay at Club Carlson? I don’t have any cheap CC near me and found some cheaper ones in a different state. I have done this with award stays but not with paid stays. I am guessing it should work the same way.

  8. I did a fair bit of MS on the CC card for awhile. FWIW, I got this 30k offer, 40k on my anniversary, the domestic e-cert on the same anniversary, and the global e-cert a few days ago.

  9. Heart skipped a beat as I couldn’t believe I’d missed this. Then I double checked and it appears I was not targeted for the 30K. My Member Benefits Update email ended with “Updated program terms and conditions will apply and be available on June 1, 2015. Thank you for your continued loyalty.”

  10. Well, interestingly, I’m coming to the conclusion that this was indeed targeted. I went back and looked at emails. My email, and my Dad’s both have the 30,000 offer at the bottom. My wife’s does not. Her email just…. ends.

    I don’t think Ben knew this was targeted when he posted about it, or he would have been sure to call that out. He’s really careful about those things.

    Sorry for any confusion this has caused.

    And for the record, I think it’s BS to target some people with 30,000 points and not others, when ostensibly the bonus is to compensate for the loss of BOGO awards which we are all losing!

  11. It appears both my wife and I were targeted with our e-mails. Does anyone know or have experience with staying consecutive nights at the same property under 2 separate reservations (possibly one business card and one personal or husband/wife combo) and each earning the 30K bonus?

  12. Question: What’s your understanding of the exact last day that this promo will score? Will stays for the evening of August 31st count? (and checked in that day) I get a bit antsy over the wording, “stays by” (wondering if “by” is synonym meaning completed before the end of 31st)

    ps: my wife’s CC account & card was not explicitly targeted for this promo — yet she did get the 30K bonus after a stay paid for with the cc. I was targeted — just haven’t used it (yet) — and thus the question about stays for the 31st (as in Monday evening)

  13. Jason —

    Thanks for the clarification.

    I’m happy to say that myself, my wife, and my Dad all have our 30K points now. Even my wife, who apparently didn’t get the 30,000 text in that april email.

  14. Will —

    My guess is that you need the stay to post for Aug 31. Checking-in on Aug 30 and out on Aug 31 would likely post a stay for Aug 31. That would be my interpretation at least, and seems safe.

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