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Here’s a look at what you can expect.
What’s the Deal?
On June 1, 2015, certain Club Carlson hotels will change categories. So award stays at some hotels will cost more points, while award stays at other hotels will cost fewer points.
Due to this category switch combined with the US Bank Club Carlson card losing the free night perk, I recommend most folks use their Club Carlson points BEFORE June 1, 2015.
Even if you aren’t 100% certain of your travel plans, you can book now and cancel for a full refund at a later date. But be sure to read the cancellation policy before you book!
Club Carlson Hotels That Will Cost More Points
Over 200 Club Carlson hotels will cost you more points. And many of those are the top-tier Club Carlson hotels in Europe which are often the best value for your points.
Here are a few examples:
- Radisson Aruba Resort Casino & Spa – From 50,000 points per night (Category 6) up to 70,000 points per night (Category 7)
- Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Copenhagen – From 50,000 points per night (Category 6) up to 70,000 points per night (Category 7)
- Park Plaza Riverbank London – From 44,000 points per night (Category 5) up to 50,000 points per night (Category 6)
- Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Dubrovnik Sun Gardens – From 50,000 points per night (Category 6) up to 70,000 points per night (Category 7)
And a some hotels like the Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel in Reykjavik are going up 2 categories.
Club Carlson Hotels That Will Cost Fewer Points
117 Club Carlson points will cost less after June 1, 2015. However, these are primarily lower tier hotels.
- Radisson Blu Hotel at Disneyland Paris – 50,000 points (Category 6) down to 44,000 points (Category 5)
- Radisson Blue Athlone – 38,000 points (Category 4) down to 28,000 points (Category 3)
- Radisson Resort Orlando – Celebration – 38,000 points (Category 4) down to 28,000 points (Category 3)
- Radisson Narita – 28,000 points (Category 3) down to 15,000 points (Category 2)
Even though the price of these hotels is decreasing, most US Bank Club Carlson cardholders should still book before June 1, 2015. That’s because you’ll pay more points at most hotels than you would with the free night perk.
For instance, if you book 2 consecutive nights at the Radisson Resort Orlando-Celebration before June 1, 2015, you’ll pay 38,000 points because you get 1 night free. After June 1, 2015, you’ll pay 28,000 points each night for a total of 56,000 points.
But a few hotels like the Park Inn Yaroslavl (going down 2 categories), will cost less after June 1, 2015, so do the math to make sure you get the best deal.
And if you do NOT have the US Bank Club Carlson card, you should wait until June 1, 2015, to book hotels that are moving to a lower category.
Is the Club Carlson Rewards Program Still a Good Deal?
These category changes aren’t good news. Booking award rooms at Club Carlson hotels was a terrific deal. And in our hobby, when something is great deal, it’s best to take advantage of it while it lasts! Because it will NOT stick around forever!
While their points won’t be as valuable as before, you can still get Big Travel with Club Carlson. Club Carlson has frequent promotions where you can earn lots of bonus points.
Plus, you’ll earn 85,000 Club Carlson points when you sign-up for the US Bank Club Carlson card and complete the minimum spending. That’s good for 1 free night in a category 7 hotel and 1 free night in a category 2 hotel, or almost 2 nights in a category 5 hotel.
You’ll also earn a free night certificate, to use at a US hotel, when you pay the $75 annual fee and spend $10,000 on your card within 12 months.
And you’ll get 40,000 bonus points when you renew your card, which is enough for another free night at a category 4 Club Carlson hotel.
Over 300 Club Carlson hotels are changing categories on June 1, 2015. US Bank Club Carlson cardholders are also losing the free night perk on the same day.
So most folks should book Club Carlson award nights before June 1, 2015.
That said, Club Carlson’s frequent promotions make it easy to earn lots of points. And you can still get up to 2 free nights each year you keep the US Bank Club Carlson card (1 free night certificate when you spend $10,000 on your card and 40,000 points for renewing).
So while I don’t like these changes, you can still get Big Travel with Club Carlson. But it won’t be the great deal it was previously!