Today is the second day of the last week of five weeks of discounted travel packages sponsored by the US Travel Association and American Express called Daily Getaways. Every weekday at 1 PM ET, a discounted travel package or packages will go on sale and will usually sell out in a few minutes.

Today only, Club Carlson points are being sold cheaply enough that you can stay at a hotel in Europe for as low as $20 per night!

Today’s deal is:

  • 100,000 Club Carlson points for $445.50 (0.45 cents each)
  • 50,000 Club Carlson points for $222.30 (0.44 cents each)

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 12.18.05 AM

Award nights start at 9,000 points, and those of us with a Club Carlson personal or business credit card get the last night free on award stays of 2+ nights, so on two night stays, we pay half price.

  • How can you get in on the deal?
  • How good is this deal?
  • How does the Club Carlson deal make buying points twice as good of a value?

All Daily Getaways packages are discounted. And you get an additional 10% off each sale price by paying with an American Express, so that’s a no-brainer, and I’ll always quote prices after the American Express discount.

The two offers today are:

  • 100,000 Club Carlson points for $445.50 (0.45 cents each) | 50 packages available
  • 50,000 Club Carlson points for $222.30 (0.44 cents each) | 100 packages available

You can buy up to two of each package, four total. If you bought the maximum, you would be getting 300k Club Carlson points for $1,335.50.

Club Carlson points can be used at over 1,000 hotels with the following brand names:

  • Radisson Blu
  • Radisson
  • Park Plaza
  • Park Inn by Radisson
  • Country Inns & Suites By Carlson

How far do Club Carlson points go? Here’s the award chart.

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A Category 1 hotel costs 9,000 points, which is $39.60 if you buy points for 0.44 cents each. Needless to say $39.60 is a great deal for a hotel night in Europe at some decent Category 1 properties. I have my eye on the Park Inns in Sofia, Bulgaria; Budapest, Hungary, and Vilnius, Lithuania for next fall.

There aren’t any aspirational Club Carlson hotels at the level we see from Hyatts and Hiltons, but the top tier hotels are still a steal at $315 per night, compared to the retail price. The full Category 7 list is here.

I recently stayed at the 70,000-points-per-night The May Fair, London. It was a fantastic location from which to explore the city, and I really liked the hotel. Its retail price is $721 per night this summer.

Make the Hotel Deal Twice as Good

The hotel awards I’ve described already are enough for some to get in on the deal, but the deal can be twice as good.

The Club Carlson Visa from US Bank has the following offer:

  • Up to 85k bonus points
  • 50k bonus points on first use
  • 35k points after spending $2,500 in 90 days
  • 10 points per dollar at Carlson hotels
  • 5 points per dollar on all other purchases
  • 40k bonus points on renewal
  • Automatic Gold Status while holding the card
  • When you redeem points for an award stay of 2+ nights, the last night is free
  • $75 annual fee, not waived

That means if you buy a 100k package and make all two night award stays, Category 1 hotels cost $20 per night and Category 7 hotels cost $158 per night! Those are all in prices for Europe, Australia, and other places where hotels cost an arm and a leg.

The only issue with the card is that US Bank–the issuer–seems to hate to see a lot of inquiries on your credit report, so a lot of people who are into miles and points have a hard time getting the card.

More Info on Club Carlson Cards

During last year’s Daily Getaways, Club Carlson points went on sale for about 25% cheaper, and the top-tier hotels cost only 50,000 points per night. Those Daily Getaways sold out in seconds.

This year, the award chart is worse and the points cost more. I still expect this deal to sell out quickly because enough of us have a Club Carlson credit card with its second-night-free benefit to get humungous value from Club Carlson points, and there are so few packages.

Check the hotels you have in mind for redemptions to see if this deal makes sense for you.

Purchasing the Packages

To maximize your chances of getting in on the deal, I recommend using a site like whattimeisit.com to figure out the official time. This year’s sales have all started on time to the second. Keep refreshing for the best chance.

This is what happens if you try to purchase something where all quantities are already in someone’s cart.

This doesn’t mean the deal is sold out. If someone doesn’t complete his purchase, that quantity will immediately become available for someone else. Keep checking until the dreaded “Sold Out” appears.

I will be by my computer at 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT check out how these deals are selling. Do you plan to buy them? Post your successful or failed attempt in the comments, so we can gauge how quick you had to be to snag a deal.

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