Club Carlson

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Whatamuji
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Club Carlson

Postby Whatamuji » Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:47 am

Anyone have any experiences with Club Carlson cards. Seem like a pretty good card to me. Free nights when your approved and points when you renew your membership fee. The cpp is a bit low on some of the card options. But still seems reasonable.
Kohls: $300, Discover IT: $1.8k, Capital One Quicksilver: $2k, Amazon Store Card: $2.2k, BoA Cash Rewards: 1k, Chase Freedom: 3.2k, AMEX HHonors 3k


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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Club Carlson

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:33 pm

It doesn't look like it actually has free nights. It looks like it's entirely a point-based card. You get whatever your points can buy. The 85k bonus points can mean 18 free nights (9 regular award and 9 bonus award) at a really low-end property, but not even one free night at their only Manhattan property.

They also don't have very many properties. I think I've stayed at a Country Inn & Suites once before, but I can't remember where it was.

What is/would be your travel behavior at Carlson?
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

Whatamuji
Centurion Member
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Posts: 277
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 10:08 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Club Carlson

Postby Whatamuji » Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:19 am

Well it would be just for one night stays while travelling cross-country to visit relatives or sight-seeing. I also noticed they don't have a large footprint as well which is an issue. I did have a very good experience at their Country Inn & Suites in Marquette, MI last summer which is what made me consider looking into the card. I'm thinking a different card might be better due to their small footprint.
Kohls: $300, Discover IT: $1.8k, Capital One Quicksilver: $2k, Amazon Store Card: $2.2k, BoA Cash Rewards: 1k, Chase Freedom: 3.2k, AMEX HHonors 3k

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Club Carlson

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:59 pm

Whatamuji wrote:Well it would be just for one night stays while travelling cross-country to visit relatives or sight-seeing. I also noticed they don't have a large footprint as well which is an issue. I did have a very good experience at their Country Inn & Suites in Marquette, MI last summer which is what made me consider looking into the card. I'm thinking a different card might be better due to their small footprint.

Only making one-night stays will make the card a lot less suitable for you, especially since you often stay at other chains.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

Whatamuji
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 277
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 10:08 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Club Carlson

Postby Whatamuji » Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:37 am

Yeah good point. I like the free night but CSP would probably work better for me.
Kohls: $300, Discover IT: $1.8k, Capital One Quicksilver: $2k, Amazon Store Card: $2.2k, BoA Cash Rewards: 1k, Chase Freedom: 3.2k, AMEX HHonors 3k

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Club Carlson

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:59 am

Whatamuji wrote:Well I could change my hotel usage to match the card. I typically just stay at the more economical hotels. But if I got the card I'd be more inclined to be loyal to a single brand if I'm getting benefits from it. Do you know of any other good cards that offer free nights?

IHG, Marriott, and Hyatt cards all offer a free night. I got IHG because the free night can, with a little flexibility in planning, be used in a high-cost area.

Put more directly, if I want my annual free night to be even a small, simple room somewhere in Manhattan, (I think) I have fairly good odds of getting that with IHG. I cannot possibly get that with the Hyatt or Marriott cards, since those companies have decided that rooms at some of their properties are too valuable to give away as annual free nights (but they can still be booked with regular points). For Marriott and Hyatt, those "too valuable" rooms include every room in Manhattan. Therefore, the IHG card seems like it will make more sense for me in the long run.

Look at the hotels where you've stayed before and/or might stay in the future. For Marriott and Hyatt, the hotel category matters immensely since many properties can never be used for the annual free night. Marriott and Hyatt can still have great options for an annual free night if you can use a room within the hotel categories they allow. The signup bonuses can be very good, too.

Also consider whether a stay is determined by short-term convenience or careful advanced planning. When I'm driving a long distance, I just like to stop when I get tired. I've liked staying at the numerous Holiday Inns in rural areas, so extra rewards/perks from those stays are a nice plus with the IHG card. If I were to try to book one of those nights in advance as an award/annual free night, though, I think it would be a big headache since I might end up wanting to drive further (or not so far) before resting for the night. A stay in an urban area is more likely to involve advanced planning, and will allow me to use free and award nights more easily.

So if you're picking a hotel at the last minute, planning award nights may be a hassle. IF you're doing sightseeing for the day, though, then it could be worth it.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

Whatamuji
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 277
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 10:08 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Club Carlson

Postby Whatamuji » Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:53 am

Thanks for that information. Usually we plan our trips and stops months in advance and book hotels ahead of time.
Kohls: $300, Discover IT: $1.8k, Capital One Quicksilver: $2k, Amazon Store Card: $2.2k, BoA Cash Rewards: 1k, Chase Freedom: 3.2k, AMEX HHonors 3k



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