Yesterday I posted about a pretty good promotion when staying at Country Inn & Suites (which is a Club Carlson brand), where you can earn triple Southwest Rapid Reward points with every stay. The kicker was that you must change your earning preferences to miles (from points). With other hotel chains this is no big deal and you can temporarily change your earning preference back and forth.

But, with Club Carlson there is a HUGE caveat which can easily go unnoticed. When changing your earning preference from points to miles it will convert your entire existing balance into the mileage program selected! It is not only for points earned moving forward. While I personally think this is ridiculous, my assumption is it has to do with how the system is currently set up as it is an automated process in the back end of the technology.

This disclaimer is given right front and center when selecting your earning preference, but can easily go unnoticed. I skipped right over it, but luckily a blog reader commented letting me know of this policy – thanks reader James! The terms state:

Important Information: When you select Miles as your earning preference your entire balance of Gold Points and all future Gold Points earned will automatically convert to Miles with the airline you have selected in 10,000 point increments. Miles can not be converted back to Gold Points. All miles with this auto conversion option will be redeemed at an 10:1 ratio.”

Moral of the story is, if you want to take advantage of any Club Carlson promotion where you earn miles, know that you all points in your account will be converted.  If you have a large Club Carlson point balance, I would not suggested converting all of your miles as I personally think they are more valuable being used at Club Carlson hotels. A great roundabout to this is to create another Club Carlson account and stay under the newly created account number. The only downside to this is if you are trying to earn status, you will not be able to combine stays from two different accounts.

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.

  • KMEO said,

    This is a great offer. If you read the terms and conditions of this offer you will note that you do not earn Gold Points with this offer. All you need to do is present your Rapid Rewards number at check-in and you will earn the triple Rapid Rewards points. This offer has nothing to do with setting your earning preference in Club Carlson as you are not presenting your Club Carlson membership number at checkin. Very simple offer.

    Also you should note that there are two ways to earn miles in the Club Carlson program. Automatic mileage conversion for if you want all of your points automatically converted to miles every time points are earned in the account. Yes, this does convert all of your points to miles everytime the account hits 10,000 points. But if you choose not to set your profile up for auto miles you can do one time redemptions on the redeem page. You can turn the mileage preference on and off any time you want by altering this in your profile. With one time redemptions from the redeem page you can save up your Gold Points and then convert to miles as you need them. You don’t have to convert all of them and just do what you need.

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