Yesterday I posted about Club Carlson’s “Flash Sale” where you can purchase Club Carlson points with a 75% bonus. This is a 24-hour deal that will end today (June 19) at 11:59am EDT. You can purchase points here.
While purchasing points is typically a horrible deal, this might be one situation where you can actually make out big time. You can purchase up to 40,000 points per calendar year where points cost $7 per 1,000 points. If you go all in, you can purchase 40,000 points + 30,000 point bonus for $280. That means that you are ultimately purchasing points at .4 cents per point. As a frame of reference, the Daily Getaway promotion for the Club Carlson offer was actually more expensive – you were purchasing points at .45 cents per point.
So what can 70,000 points get you and is it worth it? Back in March, Club Carlson increased some hotels from 50,000 points to 70,000 points, but there are still some great 50,000 point hotels available. These 70,000 points include: Radisson Royal Hotel Dubai, Radisson Blu Le Dokhan’s Hotel Paris Trocadero, Radisson Blu 1835 Hotel & Thalasso Cannes, Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan Hotel Paris Eiffel, Radisson Blu Hotel Champs Elysees Paris, The May Fair London, Plaza on the River London, art’otel Amsterdam, and Radisson Royal Hotel, Moscow. So if you purchase the maximum amount you can stay at any of these 9 hotels for a fixed $280 (assuming availability). While $280 might seem like a lot, these hotels typically cost much more and remember you are not paying any additional taxes on top of the points used. Now, if you have the Club Carlson credit card, you can stay two nights for those same 70,000 points. That means for a two night stay, you are really paying $140/night which is really cheap.
If you want to stretch your points further, there are many other great hotels that cost 50,000 points or less. For example, the Radisson Aruba is 50,000 points and I hear this property is great! I am actually going there this winter and really excited for my stay, especially since I am hardly using any points for a room that typically goes for around $400/night. This particular property has peak and non-peak season, so if you are looking to go in the summer you can find a sub-$200 rate, but during the winter time rates are around $400/night plus tax. If you want to redeem for this particular hotel, you can purchase the 50,000 points required for $203. 99% of the time, this is a great rate for this hotel (especially because it includes taxes). Again, if you have the Club Carlson credit card, you can stay two nights for those same 50,000 points – that means each night is only $101.50!!
You can also get a great value at lower end hotels. For example, the Park Inn by Radisson Resort & Conference Center in Orlando is only a mile away from Disney. While I do not know anything about this particular hotel, it only requires 15,000 points a night for a free night stay. While hotels in Disney are overall relatively cheap, this particular hotel can range from $65-$125/night depending on the season. Purchasing points, however, is cheaper then the lowest available rate! The cost to purchase 15,000 points (with the current bonus) will cost you a total of $63. And like all other point redemption options, if you have a Club Carlson credit card, your 2nd night is free! That means $31.50 per night!
How do I really stretch my points? As I mentioned throughout this post, if you have any of the four Club Carlson credit cards, on every stay you book with points you’ll get your last night free. So if you have a two night stay, you’ll use points for the first night and then the second night is completely free. No cash or points required! Now, if you are traveling with someone else and they are also a cardholder, you can have two separate reservations – one under your name for the first two nights and one under your travel companions name for the last two nights (assuming a four night stay). Or, if there is only one credit card holder, you can stay at the hotel two nights on points (nights 1 and 2), book another reservation and pay with cash (night 3), and then stay at the hotel again on points (nights 4 and 5). So you are using points for nights 1 and 4, paying with cash for night 3, and nights 2 and 5 are absolutely free! The free night is only valid for reservations using points, not those paying cash. You are also limited to using this benefit 50 times a year, which I believe most people won’t even come close to hitting.
Will I be taking advantage of this promotion? Absolutely! Although I realize purchasing points speculatively is not the best idea as points can devalue, I am pretty confident that I will get a great value from my purchased points. Also, since Club Carlson increased changed their award chart back in March I do not see another devaluation happening anytime soon. I value Club Carlson points very high and personally think their co-branded credit card is the best hotel credit card currently available.
Keep in mind those that Club Carlson has an eclectic mix of properties and if you are looking to always stay in high end hotels this might not be the program for you. I personally think there are enough nice hotels available that I am happy to earn points in their program. I also think their Country Inn & Suite properties are perfectly nice for a lower-end hotel.
You can read more about the Club Carlson credit card here. This post details out all the perks along with the differences between the four co-branded cards.
Remember, this promotion ends today at 11:59am EDT. Club Carlson did state that they will be having these “Flash Sales” throughout the next two weeks so you might have an opportunity to purchase at another time if you missed out on this one.
Will you be purchasing Club Carlson points with this current promotion? Like always, do the math to see if purchasing points works for your travel plans.
- Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature: Earn a total of 85,000 bonus points for signing up (50,000 points after your first purchase on the card and an additional 35,000 after spending $2,500 on the card within the first 90 days). Earn automatic Gold status and 40,000 points annually for card renewal. $75 annual free. Blog Post
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.