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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.
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.
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.