Should You Buy Club Carlson Points With A 75% Bonus?

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Through October 30, 2016, Club Carlson is offering a 75% bonus on purchased 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.


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 about four 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.

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, 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 CardStarwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American ExpressCiti® Double Cash Card, etc.

Radisson-Blu-Longyearbyen-Svalbard - 1
Radisson Blu Polar Hotel in Longyearbyen, Norway

Bottom line

This is the best bonus we’ve seen on the purchase of Club Carlson Gold points since June. 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. 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?

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  1. Just checked my favorite European Raddison Blu for next Summer. It costs 70K points, or $300 (US). So by buying the points you save $20, but forfeit the points you would get by paying cash for the room. And you risk another devaluation of the program, especially if you have to cancel and rebook later under any new rules.

    Of course, if you are 1,000 points short of an award, then that would be different. But to pay $280 for 70,000 points? No thanks….

  2. lucky, any opinion on the future of Club Carlson’s credit cards, generally? spoke to a retention-er last week who offered his opinion that US Bank has lost over half of its cardholders in this program since the “big deval” and that they have given up trying to establish a credit card program that is both attractive to new customers and agreeable with Carlson. but…that’s one dude. do you know when the Agreement between USB and Carlson expires? do you see them renewing? i can’t really imagine this card going forward in its current state. seems like it will vanish or will be revamped. curious if you have any insider info. thanks.

  3. @Steve,
    The credit card is still worth it since you get 40,000points every year for $75 which is 0.19c per point. At that rate, you can still easily double the value at an average hotel.

  4. Tom, I agree (and that’s why I’m keeping the card this year – in addition to taking advantage of buy 1 get 1 free rates in the EMEA region that requires Gold status). But i wouldn’t apply for a NEW card today, no sir. I don’t think the 85k sign-up is worth a hard-pull given the increased redemption prices (and a very annoying hard pull at that – i had to freeze those 2 funky credit bureaus US uses, and then had to fax in documentation about my mortgage and job to get approved. not fun.).

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