Managing Editor – Writing & Editing Assignment #1

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Managing Editor – Writing & Editing Assignment #1

Million Mile SecretsManaging Editor – Writing & Editing Assignment #1Million Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

We’re expecting lots of applicants for the Managing Editor position.  But I’m only looking for the best, so I have an editing and writing assignment for you!

Yes, this is a lot of work, but being a Managing Editor for a blog is a dream job for many folks!  These tests will show me if you have the skills and motivation to be a successful Managing Editor.

How to Submit

a.   Please email your editing and writing assignments to emily@millionmilesecrets.com.  I’ll start processing applications as soon as I receive your application and tests.  Please use the same email address which you use to fill out the application form so that I can match your application to your tests.

b.   Please write “Managing Editor – Writing & Editing Tests” in the subject line.

c.  You can submit formatted posts in either a word document or you can write it in WordPress or any other blogging platform and email me a link or email an HTML file of the post.

1.   Editing Assignment

a.   Please edit the draft post below on the Club Carlson credit card.  Make sure to edit the post to fit the voice and tone of Million Mile Secrets.  Add external links, screenshots and whatever else it takes to “fix” the post so that I can publish it on Million Mile Secrets.

b.   Select a headline for the post

2.   Writing Assignment

I’m expecting a completely formatted post which is ready for publication!

Write a post on either:

a.   I have paid stays in hotels for only 5 to 7 nights a year.  What is the best strategy to book my hotel stays so that I pay the least and get the most points?

b.   Compare and contrast the award redemption options to Europe using American Express Membership Rewards points and Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

______________________________________________________

Club Carlson Editing Assignment

Club Carlson came out swinging with some big promotions in the last year or two. They ran the 50,000 points from one stay promotion and followed it up even bigger the next time. They ran a triple points promotion when they already give 20 points per dollar. Then it got even better.

Many of us were already sitting on hundreds of thousands of Club Carlson points when they announced their next biggie, their credit card. Like most credit cards, they offer points for signing up for the credit card but they decided to offer something even better.

The credit card gives one free night per award stay of two nights or more.

If you understood this correctly, then you realize that a two night stay is half priced. A Radisson Blu in Paris or London goes from being 50,000 points for one night to 50,000 points for two nights. Just like that, I got the credit card, added points to my stash and doubled the value of the rest of my points. Well, at least ideally doubled them.

Here we’ll go over strategies and how to use and book the free night award.

The free night is automated

Once you have the credit card clubcarlson.com has the process of booking the free night built into your profile. You go through the normal process of booking and in the end it will charge one night less.

 

1) Go to ClubCarlson.com and select the “Book With Points” tab.

2) Go through the normal booking process of selecting your destination and select at least two nights for desired dates.

3) It will start to price without a discount but ignore and follow through. But if you’re logged in it should tell you that you get a free night in a red box below.

Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 2.42.49 PM

4) On the second screen it will have the adjusted price.

Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 2.43.25 PM

It’s that simple. If you have the card, log on and book a free night. It will charge the points right away but the room is cancelable and if you do cancel (within the allowed time of cancellation), the proper amount should be refunded immediately.

Rules of the free night

  • Free night does not work with cash and points.
  • The free night only applies to one room at a time.
  • You only need enough points for the amount the final price would require.
  • You get 50 free nights in one year, but I seriously doubt you’ll have to worry about that.
  • You can not book two free nights back to back

Getting around the one stay restriction

If it’s not obvious, the hot spot is certainly one free night on a two night stay. It’s essentially a buy one get one free every stay. However, you can not stay back to back at a hotel. The website is pretty smart and will restrict you from booking two of these stays in a row. But there are two main ways I’d recommend to maximize this as a buy one get one free.

1) Leave a one night gap.

It might be inconvenient but you could certainly go somewhere else for a night and then come back. Redeem points for another hotel and come back the very next night for another two night stay.

2) Switch hotels to a different Radisson.

If there is more than one Club Carlson hotel in a city, do a two night stay at each. In other words if you have four nights, book two nights at one property and two nights at the other. You’ll for sure only have to pay for two of those four nights.

3) Have your spouse book the second stay.

I’ll add one more tip, although it requires two credit cards; just rotate accounts. You could book two nights at a single hotel with your account and then log into your spouse’s account and use their account to book the next two nights. The free night will book no problem.

Added benefits of the credit card

  • The main advertised benefit is 85,000 points after spending $2,500 in the first 90 days.
  • After the first year and paying the annual fee, you’ll get a bonus of 40,000 points.
  • Gold status.
  • Bonus award night benefit.

The downsides

1) Unfortunately the annual fee is not waived for the first year. Still, $75 isn’t a bad annual fee considering both the benefits and the annual bonus.

2) US Bank is notorious for downgrading applications. You’ll apply for one card and get approved for a lesser version of it. As bad as that sounds, all the credit cards have the free night benefit and decent sign up bonuses. They all have great values in terms of signup bonuses relative to the annual fee.

 

Neither of these downsides are worth avoiding this card. The fact of the matter is that the free night benefit is worth any version of the card and it’s annual fee. The more points you have the better the benefit.

Not only is it a great card if you have points, it’s a great card if you will take the time to earn points. They continually have great promotions and even sell points for a decent price every now and then.

Free nights apply to award nights only, but…

 Yes, you get a free night for award nights and no, it doesn’t affect cash rates at all. But Gold members do get an interesting benefit of a “2 for 1” rate for weekends. Go here to check out the 2 for 1 availability. Just as it sounds you stay two nights and pay for one.

Really it’s only good for stays starting Thursday or Friday. It’s also only available for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

There is also a “4 for 2” rate. Check here for the 4 for 2 rate. As it sounds, you stay two nights and pay for two. Similarly it’s for stays starting Wednesday or Thursday and is only good in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

 

 

Club Carlson is such a giving program the hardest part is determining which discount to use. And sometimes the promotions are so generous you would rather pay cash than use points.

Well, in all actuality, Club Carlson may be one of the best programs in terms of earning free nights but it comparitively lacks in two ways. Status and brands. While even Gold members get generous upgrades, top tier status (concierge) can hardly be compared to Hyatt or Starwood.

But this is partly because of the properties. Hotels don’t always have lounges to give access to. In general it’s not a luxury hotel chain like Hyatt or Starwood. I even find some of the Radisson Blu hotels (which is the Ritz Carlson or Park Hyatt of Club Carlson) to be barely decent hotels. Not all Radisson Blu hotels are created equal.

In the end, even if your loyalty isn’t with Club Carlson and even if all their hotels aren’t 5 star this is a great card to have. Perhaps the sheer number of nights you can get out of the lower category redemptions would be worth it to you. Or perhaps two nights at one of their nicer properties (which they do have) would be worth it to you.

If your goal is free nights, the choice is easy.

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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How does one contact your website with questions? I have been on the contact page for half an hour and cannot find where you want your questions? I have BA Executive card and want to know if flying American airlines gives me the same tier points as BA? I need to move to silver but am not planning transatlantic flight in near future??