I’m not a huge follower of the Club Carlson program but I’ve debated getting their credit card solely for the purpose of award stays. You see, they have this nifty benefit where the last night of any award stay is free when you’re a cardholder. That means even a 2-night award stay gets the last night free. So, booking short award stays is very lucrative. Well, was lucrative.
The new benefit is a free night for every $10,000 spent on the card. Assuming it’s not limited to specific categories of properties, that’s still a nice benefit in a vacuum. But, it’s much less lucrative than a free night on every award. And, most people don’t have the means to generate $40K-$50K on a credit card to earn a handful of free nights every year.
There’s no doubt this kills any desire I have to get the card.
It may still be a good benefit for folks who have a high amount of spend and value hotel nights. If we just consider everyday spend, this is what $10,000 in credit card spending would get you from two of my favorite chains versus the new Club Carlson offer:
Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX: 10,000 points, good for a free night at a Category 1-4 property.
Hyatt Gold Passport Visa: 10,000 points, good for a free night at a Category 1-2 property.
Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature Card: 30,000 points plus one free night. The 30,000 points will get you a free night at a Category 1-3 property. But, if the free night isn’t limited by category, then there are definitely Club Carlson properties at the high-end of the spectrum that make this a worthwhile offering.
Bottom Line It For Me, Ed
By removing the benefit that earned one free night on every award stay, Club Carlson has made their credit card less appealing to “free agents”, people who don’t have a specific loyalty chain in mind when they stay. It’s also less appealing for folks who already have a favorite chain, like me. If you’re a Club Carlson fan, the card should stay in your wallet. Whether you should spend $10,000 or more on it each year is another story, based on your individual travel goals (and whether the free night is category-limited).
The post Club Carlson Credit Card Free Award Night Benefit Going Away was published first on Pizza In Motion.
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