Why I’m not going for the latest Club Carlson 38,000 point promo.

I’ve been a Club Carlson fan for a long time. I’ve even said the L-word about them.

Over the past two years, their huge promos have made it easy to rack up hundreds of thousands of points, just by staying a handful of nights at their properties. Paired with their co-branded credit card, these hundreds of thousands of points double in value because of the “buy one, get one free” award night feature of the card, creating a situation where you can potentially get thousands of dollars of hotel room stays, depending on where you decide to redeem your points.

As a personal example, both Josh and I have a Club Carlson Visa. We’ve each booked six nights in Paris this summer (2 rooms per night), but are only paying (with points) for three of those nights. If we paid cash for these stays, our total cost would be approximately $5,000. If we paid the regular amount of points, our cost would be 300,000 points each. However, we are each paying 150,000 points…for six nights in Paris.

Amazing deal.

So, when I saw the news that Club Carlson came out with another big-points promo, I wanted to jump in with both feet.

The promo is titled, “Stay 3 Nights, Get 1 Free.”

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The way it works is that when you complete 3 nights, you earn 38,000 points, which is enough points for a night at most of their properties. You can register here, and you need to complete your three eligible nights between January 6, 2014 and April 13, 2014. If you’ve got the Club Carlson credit card and use it to pay for your stays, this promo is even more lucrative, because you earn 10 points/dollar on Club Carlson spend.

Although this is extremely tempting, I’m not going to go for it. Here’s why: first, it doesn’t make sense financially. We’ve already got all of our travel planned/booked for the first few months of this year, and at this point I’m not planning on squeezing in any more trips. In other words, I’m not tempted enough to do a mattress run for this one. (in case that sounds weird to you, a mattress run is a hotel stay/stays for the sole purpose of accumulating points). Second, I think that Club Carlson might be ripe for a devaluation. They’ve been handing out points like candy over the past two years, so I’m not going to stock up speculatively in case this is true.

However, I’ve got a secret weapon: my husband Josh. Since he travels for business at least once a quarter, he can knock out this promo with one trip by hotel-hopping. So we’ll be able to scoop up one set of promo points after all. I’m still going to register for this one, because you never know, but I doubt it’s in the cards for me.

How about you – are you going to go for it, or sit this one out?



  1. ???

    38K is just a few trips to the drug store and ~$60 in fees. Can’t believe ANYONE would bother doing the promo if it req’d doing anything other than what you had already planned – not worth anyone’s time for a MR to save a lousy $60.

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