Why I’d Get the Club Carlson Visa ASAP

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In my view the worst miles and points news thus far in 2015 is that the Club Carlson Visa last award night benefit is going away.  This isn’t the flashiest redemption value out there, but it sure is a very good one and one of my personal favorites.  As I shared previously, May 31st is the deadline to lock in future award reservations using this last award night free perk.  Normally I would not recommend getting a credit card that is about to have fewer perks, but in this case it can actually make sense if you act quickly.  Here’s why…

The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card awards 50,000 Club Carlson points after the first purchase and another 35,000 after you spend $2,500 on the card in the first 90 days.  It comes with a $75 annual fee and awards 40,000 points at each renewal with payment of the annual fee.  Beginning this summer it will also offer a Free Night Award valid at U.S. properties upon renewal of your card after an annual spend of $10,000.

All of that is well and good, but the real reason you may want to pull the trigger on the card now is to get the last award night free benefit that is going away effective June 1st.  If you get approved for the card now, you can put that last award night benefit to use for your existing Club Carlson point balance and lock in future reservations.  I know lots of us have healthy Club Carlson balances thanks to some generous promos and points sales over the years.  Depending on how lucky/speedy you are, it is also possible you will get the 50,000 first use points in time to use them before June 1st.  I can’t guarantee that will be the case, but given that you still have over a month to go it is entirely possible if you act quickly.

I love being able to get two award nights for the price of one by using this benefit and I am locking in as many future reservations as I can before June 1st.  The Club Carlson award booking window is very generous and I have seen properties with award availability several years out into the future.  That is not universally the case, but it does happen so take a look if you are speculatively planning a getaway in 2016 or 2017.  Lots can happen between now and then, but it can be worth a gamble that the stars will align to let you use your last award night free as long as possible.

Club Carlson Mayfair

I will add the caveat that the Club Carlson Visa from US Bank can be tough to get if you have lots of other recent credit applications.  I have never personally had a problem getting a card from US Bank, but I know others that apply for more cards that we do have had a tougher time.  You can read more about that here.  While we are on the topic, if you are very unhappy that this benefit is going away, I encourage you to call US Bank and let them know.  Some are getting point bonuses up to 7,500 points, and a few have gotten annual fees refunded.  I do find it interesting that the last award night free benefit is still being advertized to new customers without any obvious disclaimer that the perk goes away in just over a month.

Personally I have locked in a future reservation in London, will likely add a future Notre Dame football weekend in Indiana for 2016, and perhaps a Chicago or NYC redemption before all is said and done by June 1st.  Since I usually have two night stays at Club Carlson properties, my points will be much less valuable after this change kicks in.  Here are some reviews and posts about Club Carlson properties I have written previously.

Radisson Aruba Resort

The May Fair (London)

Radisson Blu Champs Elysees – Paris

The Radisson Dublin Royal Blu

Radisson Blu Trysil Resort

Radisson Blu Airport Hotel – Gardermoen Airport

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel – Oslo

I haven’t yet written about my stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel Madrid, but here are some shots from that recent stay.  That property was solid and very convenient to many attractions like the Prado.

You can also read this post on places to use Club Carlson points in the United States, or this one where to use Club Carlson points at international beach locations in the Caribbean and beyond.

If you want in on this last award night free perk, I would not wait any longer to pull the trigger on the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card.  I personally would do it now (or never) as every day between now and May 31st counts!

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

Comments

  1. Just to clarify: are you saying that if we make our reservation prior to June 1, but the stay is scheduled for after June 1, Club Carlson will honor the last night free credit? Months ago, I have the US Bank Club Carlson Visa and made a two night reservation at a Raddisson Blu in Europe for June, but after US Bank’s announcement on its changes, I assumed Club Carlson would deduct points for both nights. Do you understand they will only deduct points for one of my two nights in June? Thanks.

    • DWG, correct. As long as you make the reservation before June 1 and don’t change/modify it the last award night free will be honored.

  2. I closed on a condo purchase in February. Would you recommend getting this card so soon after getting a mortgage? Probably not an issue with other banks, but US Bank is very picky about approving credit card applications.

    • I don’t think that will be as big on an issue as if you also have a bunch of other apps. Never know for sure though.

  3. I’ve already booked two short trips for spring and summer 2016 to take advantage of the last-night-free benefit! Thanks!

  4. I was approved for the card on the 6th of this month, my statement closed on the 17th, and I had the bonus points in my account and had booked a summer 2016 stay for two nights in a deluxe room at the Radisson Blu 1919 in Reykjavik on the 18th.

    So, it took a total of 12 days from approval to having the bonus points and the award stay booked. Based on my experience, I’d say that people definitely still have time to get in on this deal.

    And, if you don’t think you can spend $2500 in such a short period of time, you can actually get the Platinum version of the card with 60,000 points after a $1500 minimum spend (and only a $50 annual fee). That’s actually what happened to me, as I was only approved for this version and not the regular one due to too many recent inquiries on my credit report.

  5. I heard there was a promotion to existing card holders offering 30,000 bonus points for one stay. Have you heard how long it takes for the points to post after a stay under that particular promotion? It would be nice if they do post before the deadline. I payed and stayed at a Radisson property two weeks ago, but haven’t seen the bonus yet. Fingers crossed.

  6. Hi,

    I’m planning to redeem my Club Carlson points for my London stay as well. But cannot decide whether to stay at May Fair or the Plaza on the River – Club and Residence (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g186338-d577593-Reviews-Plaza_on_the_River_Club_and_Residence-London_England.html). Both cost 70K points per night. Rooms at Plaza on the River seems to be bigger with a small kitchen, but the location is not that central compare to May Fair. Have you have any stay experience at the Plaza on the River?

    thanks!

    • Apple, I’ve only stayed at the May Fair, but had booked Plaza on the River for a trip this summer we had to cancel. It certainly appears to have more spacious room options.

    • While I have not stayed at May Fair I have stayed at Plaza on the River and have another visit scheduled for July this year. It’s awesome. Try to get a balcony over the Thames, the views are worth it. Also the kitchen has a small but serviceable clothes washer and dryer combo machine. How awesome is that? It’s a short walk to some places to visit as well as Tube stops. Nice room service available and a decent grocer/convenient store almost next door.

    • Stayed at the May Fair. The location was about as perfect as it gets. They put us in a huge room. We loved it there. I’d go back to the May Fair if I had the need.

  7. I sent a message complaining and got 7,500 points…better than nothing. Took about 2 weeks to get a letter in the mail.

    • I also sent them a message about the end of the last day free benefit but was only given 2,500 points. They said that was the maximum they were authorized to award in response to complaints about that issue.

  8. I don’t disagree with what you write here, but it seems to me outright deceptive, if not illegal, that they’re still advertising this perk to unwary new customers who might sign up now.

  9. Also burning my last points for Madrid, so I am excited to hear your review. I actually had burned my points for Scotland, but did a mattress run for the 30,000 bonus points, 1,000 booking on the app, triple points promo, and 25% off three day sale. I’m staying for $75, and will basically yield enough with my existing points for two nights in Madrid. Couldn’t be more excited!

  10. I’m trying to make reservations before the deadline and finding some of the best hotels for this summer no longer have availability – i.e. they have rooms, but not rooms left that are set aside for use with points 🙁 Looks like people are grabbing them up fast.

  11. I applied for the card using your link on the 23rd. Do you think I will get the card in time to take advantage of the second night free benefit? Also, can I ask them to change my statement close date to the 29 or 30th so the points post in time, since I’m cutting it close? Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Jennifer, you will be able to use last night free for points you already have. As for the points from your card, I wouldn’t change dates I would just use it quickly and cross fingers!

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