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Is the 85,000 point Club Carlson Visa offer worth your time?

by on Tue January 17, 2017 • No Comment


Club Carlson hotels can present decent redemption value if you’re headed to Europe, and the Club Carlson Premier Visa has been offering an 85,000 point signon bonus points for a while, and it’s one to consider if you’ve already tried some of the more popular cards. 

The Offer

You will earn up to 85,000 points: 50,000 points after your first purchase and 35,000 points after spending $2,500 on your card within 90 days of opening your account. There’s a $75 upfront annual fee.

What are the card benefits?

clubcarlsonpremierWith the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card, you’ll earn the following rewards on your spending:

  • 10 Points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at participating Club Carlson hotels
  • 5 Points per dollar spent on all other purchases

You also have the option to earn some bonuses each year. Upon your card renewal date, you will earn 40,000 bonus Club Carlson points. Additionally, each year that you spend $10,000 or more on your card, you will earn an e-certificate for one free night valid for a stay within the U.S.

You will also have Gold Elite status for as long as you are a cardmember.

> Read our full review

What You Get with Gold Elite Status

Gold Elite Status is a benefit of the credit card, which gets you:

  • 15% Discount on Food and Beverage Purchases
  • 35% Point Bonus
  • Rollover Nights
  • Early Checkin and Late Checkout
  • Elite Member Services Line
  • In Room Welcome Gift
  • Room Availability Guarantee at 72 Hours

How You Can Use the Points

Points can be redeemed for free nights at Club Carlson hotels according to the following redemption rates:

  • Category 1 – Standard Room: 9,000 – Premium Room: 13,500
  • Category 2 – Standard Room: 15,000 – Premium Room: 22,500
  • Category 3 – Standard Room: 28,000 – Premium Room: 42,000
  • Category 4 – Standard Room: 38,000 – Premium Room: 57,000
  • Category 5 – Standard Room: 44,000 – Premium Room: 66,000
  • Category 6 – Standard Room: 50,000 – Premium Room: 75,000
  • Category 7 – Standard Room: 70,000 – Premium Room: 105,000

You can use your Club Carlson points at whatever Club Carlson hotel you want, assuming that there is availability on the dates that you want to stay. Carlson hotels include these brands:

  • Radisson
  • Park Plaza
  • Park Inn
  • Country Inn
  • Quorvus Collection

Carlson tends to be strongest in Europe, where its higher end Radisson properties are in most major cities, while coverage in the U.S. is more sparse. Here are three ideas to get your mind thinking about possible redemption options.

Park Inn by Radisson Budapest – Category 1


It doesn’t get much better than this. The Park Inn by Radisson in Budapest, Hungary costs only 9,000 Club Carlson points per night for a booking in a standard room. A booking in a premium room costs 13,500 Club Carlson points per night. Rates during the summer are generally around $80 per night, so you’ll end up getting over 0.8 cents per point in value for your Club Carlson points.

Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel Copenhagen – Category 5


The Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark presents decent value for redeeming your points. Since it is a Category 5 hotel, standard rooms cost 44,000 points per night and premium rooms cost 66,000 points per night. Copenhagen can be a tough place to get a good price on a hotel room, and a standard room can easily hit 300 Euro per night during the summer high season, which gives you almost 0.7 cents per point in value – a very decent number for hotel currencies like Club Carlson Points.

Radisson Blu Hotel Champs Elysees, Paris – Category 7


It’s going to cost you a good number of points to stay at this great location in Paris, but if you want to be close to everything you’ll want to see it’s a great place to consider.

The Radisson Blu Hotel Champs Elysees, Paris costs 70,000 points per night for a standard room and 105,000 points per night for a premium room. It’s not uncommon to see rates around 400 Euro per night in the summer, so you’ll still get over 0.5 cents per point in value for your Club Carlson points with this redemption.

What a Club Carlson Point is Worth?

Hotel points are generally worth less than airline miles and transferrable currencies. Of hotel points, Club Carlson points are worth on the lower end of the spectrum in part because of how easy they are to earn. You earn 20 points per dollar spent on stays plus 5 points per dollar spent on all purchases with your Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Card.

Your valuation of your points will vary somewhat based on how you use them, but we would not recommend redeeming a Club Carlson point for less than 0.35 of a cent in value. A great redemption for Club Carlson points is anything over 0.5 cents per point in value.

Is it A Good Deal?

85,000 points is a decent signup bonus for a hotel points currency, and we value it at about $300 – $400, so even though you’ll still be paying the $75 annual fee, just one redemption can easily recoup the cost.

The card doesn’t present the best options for everyday spending, but considering that you’ll be given 40,000 renewal points after paying the $75 annual fee each year, it’s not a bad card to hold on to, since those points could be worth over $100.

We’d recommend it if you travel to Europe annually, and have stayed at Carlson affiliated hotels before. We wouldn’t recommend it if you haven’t stayed at Carlson hotels, or are okay with Airbnb, Priceline, or other nontraditional lodging options. You’ll generally get better deals using those options and using your card spending to earn points for flights with an airline or transferable points program.

Dealing with U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank is sometimes considered one of the more difficult banks to have credit card offers approved with. While your mileage may (and will) vary, many people have reported getting approved more easily for US Bank credit cards after freezing their SageStream and ARS (Advanced Resolution Services) reports.

Other applicants have seen success in getting approved without freezing these two reports.
Typically, the more cards you have applied for in a short period of time, the more difficulty you will have getting approved for a new credit card with U.S. Bank.

Other banks don’t typically use these credit reports, so you shouldn’t have any issues getting approved for other credit cards if you freeze your SageStream and ARS reports. If U.S. Bank is unable to access these reports, they will still make a decision (often an approval) based on other credit reports.

The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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"These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered."

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