The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card offers up to 20 free hotel nights after spending $2,500 on the card in the first 90 days.

The basic idea is:

  • 50,000 Club Carlson Gold Points after first purchase
  • 35,000 more Club Carlson Gold Points after spending $2,500 on the card in the first 90 days
  • Earn 5 points per dollar on all purchases (and 10 on purchases at Carlson Rezidor hotels), so you’ll earn at least another 12,500 points from meeting the minimum spending requirement. After meeting the minimum spending requirement, you’ll have at least 97,500 Gold Points.
  • Free nights at Radisson, Park Plaza, and other properties start at 9,000 Gold Points
  • On award stays of two or more nights, you get the last night free as a cardholder. That means a two night stay at a 9,000 point-per-night property costs only 9,000 total points.
  • That means 90,000 points is enough for 10 two-night stays (20 nights total.)

The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card is a must have if you are traveling near the 1,000 participating Club Carlson hotels. No other card offers a free award night on all award stays of 2+ nights. I picked up the card in 2013 and don’t ever plan on canceling it.

  • At what hotels can you redeem Club Carlson Gold Points?
  • How does the free night on award stays work?
  • What can you do with 85,000 Club Carlson Gold Points?
  • Why should some people put all their spending on the Club Carlson card?
  • Why do I never plan on canceling my card?

What is Club Carlson?

Club Carlson is the loyalty program of Radisson hotels and several other brands with over 1,000 locations worldwide.

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Here is a map of the worldwide destinations, which shows impressive coverage in North America, Europe, and India.

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Racking Up Points

The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card earns points at an extraordinary rate.

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The sign up bonus is 85,000 points–50,000 after first purchase and 35,000 more after spending $2,500 in the first 90 days.

The card earns 5 points per dollar on everyday purchases. That means you’ll earn another 12,500 points as you meet the minimum spending requirement, bringing your total to at least 97,500.

Every year you renew your card for the $75 annual fee, you get 40,000 more bonus points. That’s like buying points for 0.19 cents each. This renewal bonus is one of two reasons I never plan on canceling my Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card.

Redeeming Points

Club Carlson hotels are divided into seven categories, and free nights range from 9,000 to 70,000 points for a Standard Room.

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But cardmembers get a huge discount on awards.

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If you book an award stay of 2+ nights, you get the last night free. This is the second reason I’ll never cancel this card. Put another way:

  • 1 night awards have no discount
  • 2 night awards have a 50% discount
  • 3 night awards have a 33% discount
  • 4 night awards have a 25% discount

As you can see, cardholders are best off booking a lot of two-night award stays with their Gold Points. The 97,500 Gold Points cardholders will have after meeting the minimum spending requirement are enough for 10 two-night stays (20 nights total) at Category 1 properties, which cost 9,000 points each after the last-night-free perk.

Since the lower category hotels stretch your points farther, I took a look at Category 1Category 2, and Category 3 hotels for interesting properties. Category 1 has a ton of Indian properties and some properties in Eastern European cities that I might visit this summer like Sofia, Budapest, and Vilnius.

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Category 1 Hotels in Europe, Middle East, and Africa

 

Category 2 has about twice as many hotels and many more interesting ones in cities like Berlin, Riga, and St. Petersburg that cost 15,000 points for two nights.

Category 3 cities include Abu Dhabi, Capetown, Lisbon, Cork, Prague, Cairo, Beijing, and Bangkok. They cost only 28,000 points for two nights.

To search for award nights, head to clubcarlson.com and select the Book With Points tab above the search box.

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Your results will look something like this.

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There are no blackout dates on Club Carlson awards. If a standard room is for sale, you should be able to book it with points. According this FlyerTalk thread, sometimes no award availability is shown online even when a standard room is for sale. In that case, you should contact the hotel and remind them of the policy. Most people have had success getting the award space released.

Status

The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card confers automatic Gold status on the holder, which normally takes 35 nights or 20 stays to earn. Gold members get:

  • free internet (all members do)
  • 27 points per dollar on hotel stays
  • 15% on food at certain hotel restaurants
  • free upgrades where available
  • early check in and late check out where available
  • an in-room welcome gift

Fees

The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card has a $75 annual fee that is not waived. That is swamped by the massive 85,000 point sign up bonus in year one, and the 40,000 point renewal bonus in subsequent years. I don’t like annual fees, but this one is worth paying.

The card has a 3% foreign transaction fee, so don’t use it abroad.

Bottom Line

The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card has a massive 85,000 point sign up bonus and is the only card that offers the last night free on all award stays of 2+ nights.

It earns an incredible 5 points per dollar on all purchases. When you consider this earning rate in conjunction with the last-night-free perk, you can see why for many people this card offers the best return on every day spending.

Just $1,800 in spending on the card would earn 9,000 points which is enough for a two-night hotel stay. No other hotel card offers a return like that.

Plus the 97,500 points you’ll have after spending $2,500 in the first 90 days is enough for 20 free hotel nights. Enjoy all those free nights with automatic Gold status.

Your Take

How have you used your points earned from the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card?


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