Club Carlson Card Downgraded BUT You Can Still Get Big Hotel Travel Through 2016!

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Update:  Club Carlson sent an email to cardholders confirming that award stays must be booked before June 1, 2015, to qualify for the last night free perk.  And the new free night certificate will only be good towards US hotels.

But cardholders will also get 30,000 bonus Club Carlson points if they use their card to pay for an eligible stay before August 31, 2015.  That’s enough for a night (or 2, if you book before June 1, 2015) in a category 3 Club Carlson hotel.

Via Frequent Miler, the free night perk that comes with the US Bank Club Carlson card will be ending soon!

Club Carlson Card Downgraded BUT You Can Still Get Big Hotel Travel Through 2016

Soon You Might Not Get the Last Night Free When You Book 2 or More Consecutive Award Nights at Club Carlson Hotels!

But there is a bit of confusion about when these changes will really take place.  So I did some digging to find out!  And I’ll show you how you can still get a free night through 2016!

What’s the US Bank Club Carlson Card?

Link:   US Bank Club Carlson Card

With the US Bank Club Carlson card you get 50,000 Club Carlson points after your 1st purchase.  And you get another 35,000 Club Carlson points after completing the minimum spending of $2,500 within the 1st 90 days of opening your account.

Other perks include:

  • 10X Club Carlson points per $1 spent at Club Carlson hotels
  • 5X Club Carlson points per $1 spent on everything else
  • 40,000 Club Carlson point annual bonus when you renew your card
  • Free Club Carlson Gold elite status

And the most valuable benefit of all is, 1 free night when you book 2 or more consecutive award nights!  But that’s changing!

When Is the Best Perk of the Club Carlson Card Coming to an End?

I called US Bank Club Carlson customer service, and it was confirmed this benefit will no longer be available starting June 1, 2015.

Club Carlson Card Downgraded BUT You Can Still Get Big Hotel Travel Through 2016

Starting June 1, 2015, You Won’t Get the Last Night Free When You Book 2 or More Consecutive Award Nights at Club Carlson Hotels Like the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa in Dubrovnik, Croatia

So What Happens Next?

The good news is that folks who book soon, will still get the free night!  And you can currently book Club Carlson hotels ~1 year in advance.  So start spending those Club Carlson points!

Club Carlson Card Downgraded BUT You Can Still Get Big Hotel Travel Through 2016

I Was Still Able to Get the Free Night Through April 2016!

I was told by 2 different agents that you have to book before June 1, 2015, to get still get the free night.

Club Carlson Card Downgraded BUT You Can Still Get Big Hotel Travel Through 2016

Use Your Club Carlson Points Before This Perk Is Gone!

Not as Attractive, but There Will Be a New Incentive to Use the Card

After June 1, 2015, a different kind of free night will replace the old one.  Instead you will get 1 free night certificate at participating Club Carlson hotel within the US when you spend $10,000 within 12 months on the card and pay the $75 annual fee.

So you’ll get 1 free night per year at US hotels instead of a free night each time you book 2 consecutive award nights.  This is a BIG change!

Is This Card Still a Good Deal?

If you’re a US Bank Club Carlson cardholder, this card may still be a decent deal when you earn the new free night certificate.  That is, if you have plans to stay at a hotel within the US that costs more than the $75 annual fee and will spend $10,000 in 12 months to qualify for the certificate.

Plus you’ll get 40,000 bonus points when you renew your card, which is enough points for 1 free night at a category 4 Club Carlson hotel.

Club Carlson Card Downgraded BUT You Can Still Get Big Hotel Travel Through 2016

The 40,000 Club Carlson Points You Earn by Renewing Your Card for $75 Can Get You a Free Night at the Radisson Blu Seaside in Helsinki, Finland

That said, Club Carlson has fewer hotels around the world than many of the other larger hotel chains.

So while it won’t be as good as it used to be, it may still be worth hanging onto this card!

Don’t Have the Club Carlson Card?

You may still have time to sign-up for US Bank Club Carlson card and take advantage of the free night when you book 2 or more award nights perk!  That’s because you get 50,000 Club Carlson points after your 1st purchase.  And you can book hotels through April 2016.

In my experience, it only took ~5 days for the points to post to my account after I completed the spending.   But this is just my experience, there is no guarantee that you will get the points before the free night perk expires.

However, even if you don’t get the points in time for the free nights.  You’ll still get all of the other benefits that come with the card including 85,000 Club Carlson points when you complete the minimum spending.

You can use those points towards a free night in a top Club Carlson hotel!

Club Carlson Card Downgraded BUT You Can Still Get Big Hotel Travel Through 2016

85,000 Club Carlson Points Is More Than Enough Points for a Free Night at a The May Fair or the Plaza on the River Hotels in London!

These hotels can cost ~$450 per night.  So again, this is still worth paying the $75 annual fee!

Bottom Line

The US Bank Club Carlson card’s free night perk that gives you the last night free of any award stay of 2+ consecutive nights will be coming to an end on June 1, 2015.

But if you book your room with points before June 1, 2015, you can still take advantage of this benefit through April 2016!

Update:  Cardholders will also get 30,000 bonus Club Carlson points if they use their card to pay for an eligible stay before August 31, 2015.

This benefit will be replaced with a free night certificate (for use at US hotels only) that you can earn when you spend $10,000 within 12 months.  This combined with the 40,000 card anniversary bonus points (worth another free night at a category 4 hotel), makes this card still worth the $75 annual fee.

If you don’t already have the US Bank Club Carlson card, you may still have time to sign-up, get the bonus, and take advantage of the 1 free night when you book 2 or more consecutive award nights perk before it’s gone.  But there’s NO guarantee!

I’m not happy about these changes, but the Club Carlson card still offers some opportunities for Big Travel with Small Money!

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45 responses to “Club Carlson Card Downgraded BUT You Can Still Get Big Hotel Travel Through 2016!

  1. So the 40,000 points at renewal is staying for sure? Just read somewhere that it was going away…

  2. Kelly S, I received an email from Club Carlson and the 40,000 points for renewal is NOT going away. At least for now.

  3. Wow, this is huge news for me. First I find out my 74,000 Marriott points have been devalued and I can’t get the 2 nights in hilton head island I was planning on, and now the bonus night for Club Carlson gets wiped out? Time to start cancelling some credit cards and stay loyal to IHG

  4. There are some reports of offers of 30k points on next stay (paid with this card) through 8-1-15 and I think there is a 5k booking with app bonus on this program right now as well.

  5. What a bummer…and my bonus literally just posted yesterday. With the annual 40k points being about the same perk some other credit cards that offer one free night a year, I’ll probably stick with IHG and/or Marriott given they have substantially more locations.

  6. Good Friday went way bad based on this! Just got the card last month.

  7. This was one of the reasons I signed up for the card a few months ago, I definitely won’t renew it when due.

  8. Can this really only be used through April 2016? If you can book a year in advance, couldn’t I still use this for my May 2016 trip to Iceland?

  9. I just got the card in February and my wife last month. We got our points and already booked nights for Dublin at the end of April and Copenhagen in June. Looks like I need to take another European trip in the next 12 months as long as they allow it and don’t cancel the reservation later.
    Others are also reporting that the new “Certificate” for $10,000 spending in a year is only good for US locations and not Europe. That would hurt also, but as long as the yearly anniversary points still deposit, I’m OK.
    We got the card for some future plans that are now out, but I think there is still some value here, if not nearly as much as there was yesterday.

  10. I just signed up for this card last week really wish i hadn’t now. It’s basically a bait and switch they had been pushing this card lately with this feature and got. A bunch of people to sign up only to strip the benefit

  11. I can’t find anything about the 30,000 bonus points. The email I received doesn’t say anything about that.

  12. Patricia Steckelmann

    The 30,000 points bonus is one paid stays only. And I read that the free night certificate is only good for a US hotel. Anyone else see that.

  13. Well this sucks, especially because I just paid a massive tax bill with that card AND bought points through the daily getaway.

  14. Now I think I’m glad not being able to get that 100,000 deals. I still have 400,000 to spend. This is a HUGE change. I’m gonna have to cancel all my 3 cards.

  15. Yes, Free Night is ONLY for US properties. What a load of crap! Nice of them to throw out a nearly useless perk to make up for the loss of the beneft.

  16. If you book the free night before May 28th for a two night stay, say in September, but cancel the card because the AF is due in May, will that second night stay free? In other words, do you still have to have the card open during your actual stay to get the free night?

  17. Wow, big blow. I just applied for the personal and business cards last week and was planning to use points in Europe next year. Well, I have a RTW trip this summer so I may make my spend quickly and use up the points now since value is better with free 2nd night.

    I think the sign up bonus is still reasonable if people want to get the card, but the hotel chain seems to be worth more value outside the US. The free night in the US only after $10k spend doesn’t seem very good when IHG has free night anywhere or Marriott has 5th night free anywhere. We’ll see if I keep the cards for the 40k yearly bonus. Could be worth paying annual fees. Not sure yet.

  18. The notification email I received does not have the 30K new benefit. Could this even be targeted? Here’s my email:

    As a valued Club CarlsonSM member and Club Carlson Visa® cardholder, we would like to tell you about an upcoming change to your Visa benefits.

    Beginning June 1, 2015, you can earn a Free Night, good at any Carlson Rezidor hotel in the U.S. This Free Night will replace the current Bonus Award Night benefit. Bonus Award Night stays may not be booked after June 1, 2015. You’ll receive the new Free Night award upon renewal of your card after an annual spend of $10,000. Updated program terms and conditions will apply and be available on June 1, 2015.

  19. Bummer, I was thinking of getting this card. Now I think I’ll pass.

  20. Yes, the 30,000 point bonus is targeted. (I got it on my personal cc, but not my business cc. Others report not getting it, or getting it on their card but not their wife’s card.)

    For me, and others staying frequently in large European cities, the Club Carlson card remains the most cost-effective way to earn free hotel nights at quality, well located properties (example: No one else offers a free night in nice London hotels for $10,000 in credit card spend, which earns 50,000 CC points). For those staying primarily in the US and Asia – there are probably better choices.

    At least my girlfriend will no longer have to suffer through Country Inn stays in the US to help earn the points for the “second night free” benefit, or make the “Club Carlson trudge” between hotels every two nights :-).

  21. It lasted…what…1 year or so. Not sustainable as an ongoing profitable business. Clowns were running the show. Did any logical person think otherwise? For those who are upset that it ended, come to grips with your sense of entitlement. You never had that right.

  22. Would consider keeping it if you received annual free night with no minimum spending but 10k is a lot to put on this card when I can put that elsewhere. Will consider canceling!

  23. The terms and conditions clearly state that you get one free night in the U.S.. So forget about the Mayfair or any other international properties. Club Carlsson properties in the U.S. Are less than inspiring. Would rather put $10,000 spend toward the Citi HH reserve for a weekend night at ANY HH property worldwide. It just takes a bit more planning.

  24. Wow, my annual fee posted as due just a week or so ago. Since I’d basically emptied my CC points on my trips to Berlin, Istanbul, Athens and Bangkok, I decided that the $75 for another 40,000 points didn’t make much sense for me and cancelled the card. At the time, I felt the value proposition really could have gone either way, but now I’m very happy and feel lucky that I dodged this bullet. I feel bad for anyone who just jumped in or, worse yet, bought lots of their points in the dailygetaways sale with one valuation in mind who are now finding themselves stuck.

    FYI to anyone going on Star MegaDO6: the evening program in London includes a cocktail reception with Club Carlson. Wonder whether there will be any execs there to vent at (keeping it polite and within decorum, of course)?

  25. can i book the double points promotion and still get the 30000 bonus points on top of that?

  26. I have the same question as Jack above, “do you still have to have the card open during your actual stay to get the free night?” I want to cancel the card after burning my points while I can still get the bonus free nights, but not if those nights would not be honored if I am no longer a cardholder. Did anyone save all of the T&Cs that came with the card to check on this?

  27. This stinks. I just got my card last week and am working earning the 85,000 points. Since they marketed it as a card that gives the last award night free, I think they should grandfather all of us in that signed up under that. I likely would not have applied had I known that benefit was going away.

  28. You can now make reservations with bonus award night through the end of 2016.

    I contacted US bank regarding the loss of this benefit and requested a refund of annual fee, I was told the annual fee refund request is submitted and I can expect a statement credit in 7-10 days. I do not know if the request has to be approved. I will know shortly, if the rep gave me accurate information.

  29. Let’s see how US Bank responds to my CFPB complaint. . Good faith and fair dealing are not exempted as far as I can tell–and I had just paid the annual fee.
    To those who think this benefit was a stupid business decision, that may well be, however I’m bound by my stupid business decisions for a period of time, also.

    Do they think they have the same rights as airlines?

    They need to do this at the card anniversary.
    I haven’t even read the Cardmember Agreement but I would assume it’s issued in S.D–and I don’t care. It’s strategically a bad move and will cost US Bank on other card use. They don’t exactly have the most stellar card offerings.

  30. And they are still using this as an incentive on their new card apps. How long did they have this card feature? Has anyone gotten the annual 40000 deposited in their account and then cancelled the card and not pay the AF? Will the claw them back or are they like Chase?

  31. I just called and was told you would lose your points when you cancel the card. She said to use them before you cancel.

  32. I was SHOCKED when I received the email. Will be canceling our three cards at the next renewal period.

  33. Do points show up for a prepaid stay when you book and pay, or not until you actually stay? I have a trip with a one night stay coming up in late June that would be perfect for getting the 30,000 point bonus, but I’d like the points to hit before then of course, so I can book the two-for-one night bonus by the end of May. Will prepaying for a June stay now get me my points immediately so I can take advantage of them before the devaluation? Thanks!!

  34. Hi Daraius, I could not find the detail info about the 30,000 points bonus with an eligible stay until Aug 31. I’ll be staying at a couple Club Carlson hotels in Europe this summer. Pls help with clarification on how to take advantage of this wonderful offer. Thank you !

  35. I am totally confused and I apologized. I remember if booked two nights in a row you used to get the second night free. Just booked two nights in a row at a hotel in Massachusetts from April 24-26th but it’s showing up as I have to pay for both nights. Was the deal that if I used points for two straight nights, I only got charged for the points for the first night? I am very sorry, I just don’t use Carlson that much and I am completely out of the loop and this notice has me totally lost. I am very sorry.

  36. If you book two nights before June 1, are you able to change the date of your reservation after June 1 and still receive the award night?

  37. What a terrible devaluation. Club Carlson has been my number one card for all my daily spending needs for the past 2 years because of it’s superior reward benefits that were offered. Now with this new change, it is no longer far superior to any of my other card choices I have to use. If fact, I can think of a few that are likely better. Such a sharp devaluation of the rewards program in such an abrupt time frame is very disappointing. 1 free night per year for $10,000 spend on the card? Could they not have made this change for all future card members and kept the program in place for past loyal members? Or at least could they not have reduced the number of bonus free nights from unlimited to let’s say, 8 or 5 days per year? Could they not have at least given 6 months for this change to occur instead of less than 60 days? This is a drastic change to the program. Because of this, I will no doubt have to reassess the value I place on my Club Carlson Visa and review my alternative choices to use for my future daily spending needs. In my opinion, this program has gone from top notch to less than average.

  38. Wow, this has been an up-and-down day for me. I only started Club Carlson this year, as says in the UK and Norway were convenient at their properties. I just discovered how quickly points add up… I have 125k, and by this time next month, should be at 360k! We take long weekends quite often, and I thought 28k/night for a hotel near us was a good deal… then just today I learned of the incredible “last night free” benefit, and was about to jump on the credit card! Then in showing my wife the details, I happen across this post. I guess my dream died quickly… wow. I was about to throw away my Marriott Platinum, and go all-in with Club Carlson… I might want to re-think that now.

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  40. You met the spend and your points posted within 5 days?! Do you think maybe there’s hope for my bonus points to post?

  41. Do you know if points for normal spending are posted throughout the month, or are they posted at the end of the billing cycle?

  42. 1. Can you book 2 rooms for the same dates (before June1) and get free extra day on both rooms?

    2. for the 30000 mile bonus for a stay before aug28 can the room be booked through orbitz,, etc? The club carlson website rates are higher.

  43. If I book two nights now before June 1 with the 2nd night being the free night, will I be able to change the date of the reservation after June 1 and still receive the free night?

  44. Hi Dariaus,
    If I booked already for 9/2016 and got 2nd free night. Do you know what would happen if I decided to cancel the club carlson card?

  45. Hello,
    Can you tell me if I have booked for sept. 2016 and get 2nd night free can I still cancel my card or do I have to keep it to keep the booking valid?Thanks