The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card currently has the best benefit of any hotel credit card by far: you get the last night free on award stays of 2+ nights. Two night award stays are effectively half price.

 

Unfortunately the benefit was too good to last. I reported a few weeks ago that the last-night-free benefit ends June 1, 2015. You can still book Club Carlson stays as far out as 2018 with the benefit as long as you book by May 31.

To soften the blow of removing its best benefit, Club Carlson added two new benefits to the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card:

  • a free night at any Club Carlson hotel in the United States after spending $10,000 during your membership year (ongoing benefit)
  • 30,000 bonus Gold Points for making one paid stay at a Club Carlson property by August 31, 2015 and paying with your Club Carlson card (one-time benefit)

The one-time 30,000 bonus points for a paid Club Carlson stay by August 31 is excellent. If you planned to make a paid Club Carlson stay in the future, the 30,000 points are gravy. Even if you weren’t planning a stay, it was probably worth going out of your way to book a stay. There are very likely some $100 or less Club Carlson properties near you, so a mattress run to one of those properties would be like purchasing points for 0.33 cents each.

But, View from the Wing reports an even cheaper way to get the 30,000 bonus points. One of his readers booked an award stay–not a paid stay as Club Carlson said would be required–at a Club Carlson property and had some food and beverage charges that he paid with his Club Carlson card at checkout. He got the 30,000 bonus points when his points posted to his Club Carlson account for paying the food and beverage charges.

A few other commenters jumped in saying that their experience was the same this month.

Even better, a few commenters say that they had awards booked with Club Carlson points this month, didn’t charge anything to their rooms, checked out, and still got the 30,000 bonus points a few days to a week later.

However one commenter said that his Hotwire stay with charges to the room did not get the 30,000 bonus points.

If your results are the same as the commenters’, you can take an award stay with your Club Carlson points–preferably a two night stay for obvious reasons–and you should get the 30,000 bonus points within a week of checkout.

If you get those points by May 31 (meaning a checkout by May 24), you can use them for award bookings with the last night free. The cheapest Club Carlson hotels go for 9,000 points per night. That means a two-night stay is 9,000 points with the last night free. At that rate, 30,000 points is enough for three two-night stays–six total nights–with some points leftover.

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Bottom Line

Taking a two-night award stay with you Club Carlson points can earn Club Carlson cardholders enough points for six free award nights at a later date.

The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card comes with 85,000 bonus points after spending $2,500 on the card in the first 90 days, and the last night free on all award stays of 2+ nights though this benefit only applies to bookings made before May 31. Check out My Review of the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card.

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