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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