Coveting Club Carlson Credit Cards

I’m on a roll with the Club Carlson posts, so I decided to keep it going with a review of the Club Carlson co-branded credit cards.  These cards are relatively new to the scene, so neither Josh or I have one yet, but I will definitely be adding one to my next App-O-Rama.  There are several reasons that the Club Carlson cards are attractive to me.

As you may know, I am a fan of luxury travel.  Don’t get me wrong: I can rock a backpack and a pair of hiking boots in an insane way.  But I do love a good five-star hotel.  While Club Carlson has a good mix of hotels all over the world, their properties in the US aren’t super compelling to me.  However, their properties in other countries are a different story: Club Carlson has luxury properties sprinkled throughout the rest of the world.  I’ve got my eye on the Radisson Blu Resort in St. Martin:

Rooms go for around $500/night.  Of course, I am planning to redeem 50,000 Club Carlson points (or less!) per night, but I will get to that shortly.

At first glance, the four Club Carlson credit cards seem pretty basic.  Here is a rundown of the different perks you get with each card:

Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature

    • 5 Club Carlson points per dollar on daily spending
    • 10 points per dollar on Club Carlson hotel spending
    • 85,000 point sign-up bonus — 50,000 after first purchase and 35,000 more after $2500 spend within 90 days
    • “Bonus Award Night” – when you cash in points for an award redemption, your last night is free
    • Club Carlson Gold status
    • 40,000 points a year on your “card anniversary”
    • $75 annual fee

Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature

    • 3 points per dollar on daily spending
    • 6 points on Club Carlson hotel spending
    • 60,000 point sign-up bonus — 50,000 after first purchase and 10,000 more after $1500 spend within 90 days
    • “Bonus Award Night” – when you cash in points for an award redemption, your last night is free
    • Club Carlson Silver status
    • 25,000 points a year on your “card anniversary”
    • $50 annual fee

Club Carlson Rewards Visa Card

    • 1 points per dollar on daily spending
    • 3 points on Club Carlson hotel spending
    • 30,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 on the card within 90 days
    • “Bonus Award Night” – when you cash in points for an award redemption, your last night is free
    • No annual fee

Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa

    • 5 Club Carlson points per dollar on daily spending
    • 10 points per dollar on Club Carlson hotel spending
    • 85,000 point sign-up bonus — 50,000 after first purchase and 35,000 more after $2500 spend within 90 days
    • “Bonus Award Night” – when you cash in points for an award redemption, your last night is free
    • Club Carlson Gold status
    • 40,000 points a year on your “card anniversary”
    • $60 annual fee

The very best part about these cards is that they all feature a “bonus reward night.”  This is huge, because it is a benefit that can effectively double your points; if you redeem points for a 2-night stay, your second night is free.  So if you are traveling as a family and both adults have a Club Carlson card, you could stay 2 nights under one reservation, then swap to the second reservation and stay 2 nights, and so on.  In other words, if Josh and I both get the Premier or Business version of this card, we could enjoy a 6-night stay at the Radisson Blu in St. Martin for only 150,000 points…which would be less than the combined sign-up bonus of 170,000 points.  So just by applying for these cards and meeting minimum spend, we would be able to “splurge” on a luxury hotel stay worth $3,000…for free.

Food for thought.

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Comments

  1. I have been reading this is a tough card to be approved for if you have many apps in past 6 months to year! I started this in September of 2012 and have applied and been approved for 7 cards in that time (3 apporamas) . . . Last apporama was in early March for 2 cards. I have no US Bank cards.

    Did you and hubbie apply? We’re you both approved? How many apps in what time period before applying? Should I apply or do I need to wait 6 months? UGH

  2. Points Pixie says:

    Hi BFD – This does seem to be a tough card to be approved for if you’ve got numerous inquiries. Our personal experience was that we each applied for and received both the business and personal versions of the card. We hadn’t had any apps within the past 4 months, but within the previous year we each had 8 cards. Our scores are pretty high – high 700’s/low 800’s.

    My thought is that going slowly is always a safe bet. These cards will still be here in 6 months if you choose to wait that long. However, if you apply and don’t get the card, you can always try again in 6 months.

    It’s a personal decision so I will say that I think you should go with your gut and do what feels right for you!!

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