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That’s because the changes to Club Carlson’s award program take effect Monday, June 1, 2015. Even if you don’t have the card, it’s worth looking into award stays now, because on the same date, some Club Carlson hotel award nights will cost more points.
Even if you’re not sure of your travel plans, you should still book now. As long as you meet the hotel’s cancellation policy, you can get your points back if your plans change.
What’s the Deal?
On June 1, 2015, the Club Carlson award program is changing. So you have until this Sunday, May 31, 2015, to book award stays under the old rules.
The most significant change is the elimination of the last night free on award stays of 2 nights or more for US Bank Club Carlson cardholders.
This was the card’s most valuable perk, because on a 2-night stay, you’d only pay points for 1 night. So it was like getting award nights for 50% off!
Also on June 1, 2015, Club Carlson is changing the number of points required for award nights at 300+ hotels. Here’s the full list of hotels that are switching categories.
Over 200 hotels, like the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago, are moving to a higher category. So they’ll cost more points per night!
That said, if the hotel you’re interested in is moving to a lower category, don’t book until after June 1, 2015. That way, you’ll pay fewer points.
What If You Don’t Have Firm Travel Plans?
Even if you’re not 100% sure of your travel dates, there’s no harm in booking Club Carlson award stays now. For most hotels, you can make reservations through 2016.
And at worst, you can change or cancel your reservation in the future and get your points back.
But be sure to read the hotel’s cancellation policy, because they vary!
However, if you’re a Club Carlson cardholder and book an award stay with the last night free, Club Carlson will NOT honor the free night if you change your booking dates after June 1, 2015.
Your points WILL be refunded if you cancel before the deadline, though. So it’s still a good idea to book now!
Is the Club Carlson Card Still Worth It?
Even though the US Bank Club Carlson card’s best perk is going away, this card is still worth it for many folks.
The 85,000 Club Carlson point sign-up bonus alone is more than enough for a night at a top Club Carlson hotel, like The May Fair in London, UK. Paid nights here can cost over $500 per night!
And you’ll still get 40,000 points each year when you renew your card, which is enough for an award night at a category 4 Club Carlson hotel. This more than makes up for the $75 annual fee.
They’ve also added a new perk to the Club Carlson card. If you spend more than $10,000 on your Club Carlson card in 12 months (and pay the annual fee), you’ll get a free night certificate to use at a US hotel.
That’s not nearly as good as the last night free on award stays of 2 nights or more, but it might be of interest to Big Spenders!
This Sunday, May 31, 2015, is the last day US Bank Club Carlson Premier Rewards cardholders can book and get the last night free on award stays of 2 nights or more.
And remember, some Club Carlson hotels are changing categories effective June 1, 2015. So book before then if the hotel you want will cost more points in the future.
It doesn’t hurt to make reservations now, even if you’re not sure of your travel plans. As long as you cancel before the hotel deadline (check the cancellation policy!), you can get your points back.
But if you change a reservation with the last night free after June 1, 2015, Club Carlson will NOT honor the free night.
Which Club Carlson hotels will you book before the deadline?