Last Minute Tips to Maximize Club Carlson Points Before June 1

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Tomorrow (Sunday) is the last day to lock in Club Carlson awards as we know them using the current categorization and the last award night free benefit that has come with the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card.  Effective June 1st they are not only taking away the “Last Award Night Free” benefit that has come with the co-branded card, but they are also “blowing up their award chart” by increasing the number of points required for many properties.  A two-night stay that might cost you 50,000 points if you book before June 1st can easily potentially cost you nearly 3x that amount at 140,000 points after June 1st.

Beach at the Radisson Aruba

Two nights at Radisson Aruba going from 50k to 140k

Hopefully you have already burned through much of your stash of Club Carlson points, but if you haven’t, here are some last minute tips to get as much value out of your points as possible.

  • Make reservations by May 31st for future dates as far out as you can – often that is through 2016, but at some properties award availability is loaded even further than that – up to 2018 in some cases.
  • You and a partner or traveling companion can alternate two night bookings to maximize the last award night free perk, or you can simply make a cash or cash and points booking between two award nights.  For example, you book Monday – Wednesday using points for Monday night and the last award night free for Tuesday night.  Your partner (who has to have their own Club Carlson card for this to work) makes a reservation Wednesday – Friday using points for Wednesday night and the last award night free for Thursday night.   Another option is to simply change Club Carlson hotels every two nights if you wish.
  • Elite members (which you are if you have the credit card) can transfer Club Carlson points to another person’s account for free. All other members (non-elite) may transfer points to another Club Carlson member residing in the same household provided that both individuals have been a program member for at least one year and the addresses for either account involved in the transfer have not been up updated within thirty days before the request.  This could be helpful in combing points to maximize the number of award nights you can book before June 1st.  You need to call 1-888-288-8889 to make the request to combine, and in my experience the process has been completed within a few minutes.
  • Don’t expect to be able to modify your reservations after May 31st and keep the last night free or the old award chart rates.  You may get lucky, but I would assume that if you need to make modifications to the dates or properties then you will no longer have access to the last night free or lower points rates.
  • Call to complain about the benefits going away.  Many have had success getting 2,500 – 7,500 bonus points by calling US Bank to complain about the changes.  If you no longer care about Club Carlson points, some have also had their annual fees refunded.  You can even make the complaint online via the email option from your US Bank online account if that is more your style.
  • Find some Club Carlson properties that look good for your family.  Club Carlson has many lower and mid tier property, but they have some pretty decent spots, too.  I think some of the better value for Club Carlson points comes from Chicago, New York, Iceland, London, Paris, Sydney, Aruba, Amsterdam, and a few other spots.  Here are some posts to help:

Best Club Carlson Properties in Europe

Best Club Carlson Properties in the United States

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

Radisson Blu Ski Resort in Trysil

Radisson Blu Ski Resort in Trysil

I do not recommend waiting until 10PM tomorrow night to get started on this process as there can always be glitches and slowdowns.  Get busy now, if you haven’t already, and burn as many Club Carlson points as you can!

 

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. Canceled the card and got my fee back paid 11 months ago. the bonus award night being removed was disaster and i wanted to wait to cancel , than they became more evil by increasing the number of points for award stay. mostly huge increase at over 300 of their properties. Many up to 70K points a night. Most of their hotels are like MOTELS except for BLU that requires 70k points and they don’t have many properties around the world. The GOLD benefit is name only with no real benefits and most of their hotels don’t even recognize gold members.

    Called yesterday and CANCEL and it was good riddance! I have too much over all credit line and wanted to reduce that and CC card was just useless.

    I want you share you some important info .

    Due to massive complaints filed against US BANK & CLUB CARLSON with CFPB by card members, they allow you to cancel the card regardless of the date you paid the annual fee. Just don’t say if you can get fee back when you call, ask to cancel but make sure fee is refunded and they send you confirmation too.

  2. I called in to complain today. I was transferred to a supervisor who immediately offered 7500 points. He told me that it was Club Carlson’s decision to change the award nights, etc and not USBank. I accepted the 7500. My husband needs to call about his this weekend. Both of us have fees coming due in June. We will both cancel our cards. Does anyone know when I can expect the 7500 points to hit the account? I should have asked the supervisor but I forgot. Thanks!

    • I was told I would get the points when my credit card closed, which is next month on June 4th. She said she couldn’t post them sooner. However, I think others have had theirs posted within a day.

  3. Burning my 800K with 16 monthly 2-nights at the Martinique NYC over the next 19 months. For some reason Sept-Dec 2015 can’t be booked on points but all 2016 can. Decent availability.

    Actually just checked in for the 1st stay—ok nice hotel across from Macy’s. Plenty perks for Gold, especially with a Vegas tip.

    • Update on the New York Martinique Hotel after 1st day:

      While the website shows rooms usually well over $200, Expedia today showed it for $139 for today. The hotel is heavy with airline crews; one of those fairly nice hotels. The neighborhood is not as nice by any means as Lexington or Fifth and a little under Times Square, literally and figuratively. It’s on 32nd Street “Korea Way” or K-Town. There is scaffolding around the building which seems semi-permanent and I believe because of the ornate 1890 mansard roof on the 18th floor crumbling. Windows are very small.

      Otherwise the staff and the rooms are excellent and the location is convenient. Amenities also are very nice and upgrades generous.

      Since I will now value Carlson points at one-half cent, that works out to a 2-day reward here costing $125/day. That’s still a very good deal for the hotel even though it’s not my desired location.

  4. Do you know if calling will expedite purchasing of points? I just need 2000 points to top off for a final booking to clear out my points, but am worried about them posting. Thanks!

  5. Called in a few months ago to cancel the card, and got refunded annual fee after speaking to supervisor. Logged in today to find I still have access to the free extra night. So surprisingly, I’m booking concurrently. 🙂

  6. But if one cancels the card – won’t the free night benefit be withdrawn on future bookings? The T&C are fairly explicit that a valid CC Visa must be presented at the time of check-in. Is that just a bluff? I’d hate to be confronted with the rack-rate for every-other night of my multi-reservation forward bookings…

    • In practice I have heard that the last award night free remains even after you cancel the card. I’m sure we will have more data points on this soon.

  7. “You need to call 1-888-288-8889 to make the request to combine…”

    Their call center is closed on Sundays. Any suggestions? I need to combine some points with my wife.

    • Eek. Didn’t realize they were closed all day on Sunday! You can try tweeting them, though I’m not sure that is really manned 7 days a week.

  8. call to cancel soon to get fee back even if paid 11 months ago, otherwise they will go back to their normal policy of 30 days account open date to cancel.

  9. You can try the Australia number +61 2 9320 4477 but they told me they won’t transfer my points and I can call back tomorrow! not cool Club Carlson…

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