A week or two ago Club Carlson announced their new co-branded credit card with US Bank. Over the years I haven’t been much of a Club Carlson person, but this past year has changed my loyalty due to their various free night promotions. Due to that Mr. Deals and I have racked up quite a bit of Club Carlson points which I am anxiously excited to redeem hopefully in Europe (at some point in life). The BEST perk of having this credit card is that every time you redeem your points for 2 or more nights your last night of the stay is free. So if you have a two night stay, your second night is free – which is AMAZING! This can be thought of as a bogo with points. This perk is limited up to 50 times a calendar.

There are four different versions of the card, each with a different annual fee, bonus points upon applying, bonus points annually, and amount of points earned for spend. ALL of the cards has the last night free on award redemption which I mentioned above.

  • Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature
    • Points earned for spend: 5 Club Carlson points per dollar on everyday spending; 10 points per dollar on Club Carlson hotel spending
    • Bonus points upon applying: 85,000 point signup bonus — 50,000 after first purchase and 35,000 more after $2500 spend within 90 days
    • Hotel status: Gold
    • Bonus points annually: 40,000 points annually for card renewal
    • Annual fee: $75
  • Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature
    • Points earned for spend: 3 points per dollar on most spending; 6 points on Club Carlson hotel spending
    • Bonus points upon applying: 60,000 point signup bonus — 50,000 after first purchase and 10,000 more after $1500 spend within 90 days
    • Hotel status: Automatic Club Carlson Silver status
    • Bonus points annually: 25,000 points annually for card renewal
    • Annual fee: $50
  • Club Carlson Rewards Visa Card
    • Points earned for spend: 1 points per dollar on most spending; 3 points on Club Carlson hotel spending
    • Bonus points: 30,000 point signup bonus after spending $1,000 on the card within 90 days
    • Hotel status: None
    • Bonus points annually: None
    • Annual fee: $0
  • Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa
    • Points earned for spend: 5 Club Carlson points per dollar on most spending; 10 points per dollar on Club Carlson hotel spending
    • Bonus points: 85,000 point signup bonus — 50,000 after first purchase and 35,000 more after $2500 spend within 90 days
    • Hotel status: Automatic Club Carlson Gold status
    • Bonus points annually: 40,000 points annually for card renewal
    • Annual fee: $60

So with the four different card options, if you are in fact interested with this card, which one should you get?
For the annual fee cards, the best option is the Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa. It has the most to offer in terms of sign up bonus and points awarded annually, but with a lower annual fee ($60 vs. the personal card of $75). Now, the Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature card has an annual fee of $10 less at $50, but I’d suggest paying the extra $10/year. You’ll get 15,000 bonus points annually and of the bat an additional 25,000 points.

The no annual fee card is also a great catch. However, I personally am going to opt for the $60/year option. For $60 the first year I’ll earn an additional 55,000 points and every year thereafter 40,000 points.  This to me is well worth $60/year, especially since it is also a card I’ll keep year after year (due to the annual points bonus and the free night redemption perk). By combining those two perks every year you’ll be able to earn two free nights for $60. A top tier hotel requires 50,000 points, so if you are eager to redeem for a $300+/night room, you can purchase the additional 10,000 points for $70 annually. This will total $130 a year, but give you two free nights at a top hotel (Aruba, St. Thomas, throughout Europe, etc.). I personally think this is great. Now, free nights start at only 9,000 points/night, so if you are looking to redeem at lower end categories, these 40,000 points annually can get you 4 stays of two nights each. Again, well worth the $60/year!

I know many people already have a boatload of Club Carlson points and do not see them staying at Club Carlson hotels all too often, so for those, you might see the no annual fee card a better option. No need to spend $60/year if you do not need the additional points.

I personally do not have any other US Bank credit cards, but from what I hear/read they are harder on approving credit cards than some others. If you recently applied for many other cards, I’d hold off a bit to ensure you are approved.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

  • Flyer said,

    I got the premier version in mail y’day. I booked two nights for the cost/points (15k) of one night due to my gold status.

  • Hans said,

    I hadn’t applied for any cards since last February and yet was still denied. I even tried calling the reconsideration line and no luck.

  • dealswelike said,

    @Hans – Wow, that is crazy. Did they suggest when you should be able to apply again?

  • topspinner said,

    I applied for the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa card on December 3. I was not instantly approved but was told that I would hear in 7-10 days. I am currently in Europe and had not received any email notification. I logged into my Club Carlson account and tried to book a two night stay using points. In the process a red lined box appeared saying I was a Club Carlson credit card holder and I would receive the second night without a point deduction. This is how I discovered that I had been approved. I have read that credit card/USBank did not have an actual reconsideration phone number.

  • Carl said,

    I already have the US Bank FlexPerks card from the Olympics promotion. I would guess I have about 4 new cards in the last 6 months with two of the them being about three months ago. I wasn’t given instant approval, but I was approved.

  • Carl said,

    topspinner – I found out by calling 800-947-1444 (Credit Underwriters). I also saw it when I logged on checking something on my other USB card. No email. I am out of town this week, but expect the card will have arrived while I am gone.

  • Hans said,

    @Dealswelike – They said to apply again in the spring. I think what happened was that as I was applying for several cards the other night during my churn that this was the last one and I submitted at 12:01 EST. I figured it may still go through, but when I called they said they could not reconsider due to too many recent applications (obviously the night before) as I hadn’t applied for a CC since last February. Oh well. Don’t have a need for the free nights until summer anyways, so I can wait to apply again.

  • dealswelike said,

    @Hans – Bummer, but you’ll get it in a few months which is good.

  • Darryl said,

    Planning a trip to London and Paris. If we stay 6 nights in London, can I book 3 consecutive 2 night stays with points so that I get the second night at no charge? In other words, I would pay for four days and get three nights free. (Pay for Monday night, get Tuesday night free; Pay for Wed. night, get Thurs.night free, etc.)

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