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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card
Club Carlson is currently offering a double points promotion when you book a Double Gold Points eligible rate at participating Carlson Rezidor hotels.
The offer is only available on new reservations booked through the promo page at specific locations for stays Sunday – Thursday, now through December 31, 2013. Advance reservations are required and bookings are subject to availability and restricted by blackout dates.
The current earning rate for regular Club Carlson members is 20 Gold Points per dollar spent on hotel stays. So for example, a room at the Radisson Martinique on Broadway in New York in November would cost $295 per night and earn you 11,800 points with this offer. This hotel requires 50,000 points for an award night, so you would have to stay 5 nights in order to have enough points to redeem an award night there.
Destinations included in the double deal are:
- Los Angeles
- New York
- San Francisco
While there are a number of major cities included in the offer, I found the participating properties in each city to be severely restricted. For example, in a search of New York City the only downtown location that is eligible is the Radisson Martinique on Broadway. All the other locations were further afield such as in Queens, Newark, or near JFK.
Similarly, the options in Dallas started at the Park Inn Radisson Dallas-Love Field, which is 5.7 miles from downtown, and everything else was further out.
San Francisco fares better with the Radisson Park Hotel Fisherman’s Wharf available at $242.10 per night in November, earning 9,684 points. Less than a mile from downtown and close to the entertainments of Pier 39, it is a prime waterfront location that requires 44,000 points for an award night.
Even with the double points offer, it will still take you a long time to earn enough for an award night at one of the more high-end destinations, but applying for the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa personal card will get you there a lot faster.
Although the sign-up bonus of 85,000 points sounds like a big number, it’s actually not that much compared to other hotel credit cards like the Citi Hilton Reserve that gives two free weekend nights at almost any Hilton (which nowadays is almost 190,000 points). However, the card (which has an annual fee of $75) has several potentially very valuable benefits including:
- Up to 85,000 Bonus Gold Points to start. Receive 50,000 Gold Points after your first purchase, plus 35,000 points after you spend $2,500 on your card within the first 90 days
- 10 points per dollar on eligible purchases at participating Carlson Rezidor hotels worldwide and 5 points per dollar everywhere else Visa is accepted
- 40,000 bonus points each year after you renew your card and pay the annual fee
- Automatic Gold Elite Status once the card is used. Existing Gold Elite members receive 15 qualifying nights toward Concierge Elite Status
- Bonus Award Nights – when Gold Points are redeemed for two or more consecutive award nights, the last night is free – exclusively for cardmembers
I’ve already taken advantage of the “bonus award night” benefit – where, on award stays of two nights or more, you get the last night free, which equates to a 50% discount on two-night stays – to stay at the chain’s Radisson Blu Madrid Prado property. It should have been 75,000 points per night in a premium Business Class Room, but was half-price at 37,500 points per night for a two-night stay thanks to my being a cardholder.
While I wouldn’t bank my hotel points strategy on this promo, if you do have any upcoming Carlson stays in the eligible destinations, it’s worth looking through the participating properties to see if any are convenient for you since earning double points can really add up fast.
For more information on Club Carlson and their properties, read my previous posts:
This cash back card has a focus on dining and entertainment where you can earn unlimited 4% cash back in those spending categories. You can also earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
- No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
- No foreign transaction fees
- Access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that