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It might be!! Earlier this month I wrote about a promotion with Club Carlson where you can get a 30% bonus when purchasing their points. Generally, purchasing points through a loyalty program is not a good idea, but this might be an exception. Keep in mind though, if you are not in desperate need for Club Carlson points at this moment, they have run much better bonus promotions in the past – as high as a 75% bonus when purchasing points! With that being said, a 30% bonus still might give you a great value for your current needs!
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 + 12,000 point bonus for $280. That means that you are ultimately purchasing points at .54 cents per point. Remember though, if you already purchased during the 75% promotion this past summer, you will not be able to purchase again for your account. If you purchased through the Daily Getaways promotion though, that will not count against your 40,000 point maximum.
So what can 52,000 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. Only a handful of hotels (9 to be exact) went to the increased level, so you can still stay in most of Club Carlson properties for 50,000 points. While $280 might seem like a lot, many of these hotels can cost more than $280/night. For example, I am stay at the Radisson Aruba this winter and the advanced purchase non-refundable rates were over $300/night.
Now, the real benefit is if you have the Club Carlson credit card. The best benefit of the card is that you get your last night is free on an award redemption – even if the stay is only for two nights! So for those same 50,000 points you can actually get two nights for $280, which really means $140/night! And remember, you typically do not pay taxes on an award stay!
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, could possibly be cheaper then the lowest available rate! The cost to purchase 15,000 points (with the current bonus) will cost you a total of $84. And like all other point redemption options, if you have a Club Carlson credit card, your 2nd night is free! That means $42.00 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? Not right now as I do not have an immediate need and do not love purchasing points speculatively unless at a really low value. I also already have a bunch of points currently in my account. I did, however, purchase this past summer when it was a 75% bonus! 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 though 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.
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. You can purchase points here after signing into your Club Carlson account.
- 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 detailing out the perks and differences between the four co-branded cards