One of my favorite credit cards is the US Bank Club Carlson Visa. I have both the personal and business version of the card. My favorite benefit of the card is the ability to get your “last night free” when using points to book 2 or more nights.
Current benefits of the US Bank Club Carlson Visa
On the US Bank website, here are the benefits of the card vs. the $75 annual fee.
Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card Benefits3
- 10 points per $1 spent in eligible net purchases at Carlson Rezidor hotels.3
- 5 points per $1 spent in eligible net purchases everywhere else.3
- Up to 85,000 Bonus Gold Points – receive 50,000 Gold Points after your first purchase plus 35,000 points once you spend $2,500 on your card within the first 90 days.1
- Bonus Award Nights – When you redeem Gold Points for 2 or more consecutive Award Nights, your last night is free.2 Exclusively for cardmembers!
- 40,000 renewal bonus points each year when you renew your card.4
- Your Gold Elite Status upgrade is automatic5- your Club Carlson membership will reflect your Gold Elite status after you activate and use your card.
- Already reached Gold or Concierge Elite Status? You will receive 15 qualifying nights toward obtaining or maintaining Concierge Elite status after you activate and use your new card.6
- No Preset Spending Limit.8
- Visa Signature Concierge.9
Last Night Free when using points
These are some great benefits… and I’ve taken advantage of the “last night free” benefit several times. On our European trip to pick up a Mercedes S550, we stayed 2 nights in Amsterdam for the price of 1. In Australia, we stayed 2 nights at the Sydney Radisson Blu for the price of 1 night.
And, later this year, we’ll take full advantage of the “last night free” by staying 2 nights in Dublin, and 2 nights each at two different properties in London while there for the NFL game at Wembley Stadium of the Miami Dolphins vs. the New York Jets.
Email from US Bank and Club Carlson
I received an email today with bad news. The “last night free” benefit is being eliminated effective June 1, 2015 and will be replaced with a spend qualifier of $10,000 to earn a free night. The email doesn’t indicate which category of property the free night can be used at.
My fingers are crossed that it can be used at any property, similar to Chase IHG, rather than be limited to the lower category properties, like the Chase Marriott card.
Here is the text of their email:
As a valued Club CarlsonSM member and Club Carlson Visa® cardholder, we would like to tell you about an upcoming change to your Visa benefits.
Beginning June 1, 2015, you can earn a Free Night, good at any Carlson Rezidor hotel in the U.S. This Free Night will replace the current Bonus Award Night benefit. Bonus Award Night stays may not be booked after June 1, 2015. You’ll receive the new Free Night award upon renewal of your card after an annual spend of $10,000. Updated program terms and conditions will apply and be available on June 1, 2015.
As a Club CarlsonSM Visa® cardholder you will continue to enjoy the following benefits:
- 10 points per $1 spent in eligible Net Purchases at Carlson Rezidor hotels worldwide – that’s in addition to the 20 points per dollar you earn as a Club Carlson member
5 points per $1 spent in eligible Net Purchases everywhere else
- 40,000 renewal bonus points each year when you renew your card by paying the annual fee
- Gold Elite Status – which now includes a dining discount at participating hotel restaurants!
- And, to thank you for your continued loyalty, you can earn 30,000 bonus Gold Points® on your next Eligible Stay at a Carlson Rezidor hotel worldwide when you pay with your Club CarlsonSM Visa®. Offer ends August 31, 2015. Terms and conditions apply.*
- * Bonus Points Offer Terms and Conditions The 30,000 Bonus Points Offer (the “Offer”) is available only to Club CarlsonSM Visa® cardholders. The Offer is valid for 30,000 bonus Gold Points® on an Eligible Stay between April 1, 2015 and August 31, 2015 (“Promotion Period”). One Offer per Club Carlson Visa account holder. You must provide your Club Carlson number at the time of reservation or at check-in and pay for your stay with your Club CarlsonSM Visa®. Stays or nights paid for by redeeming points or by using Points + Cash are not eligible for the Offer.
Will you keep your US Bank Club Carlson Visa?
If you decide to keep your card, you’ll still receive 40,000 after paying the $75 renewal fee. And you can definitely find some great redemption values for 40,000 points that make up for the $75 fee.
I will keep my business version of the card to maintain Gold status and receive the 40,000 points. I’ll have to reconsider keeping the personal version. I might cancel it to show my dissatisfaction with the changes in the card, then apply for a new card a year or two later to get the 85,000 sign-up bonus. By that time, Club Carlson may have realized the error of their ways and reinstated the last night free benefit.
Either way, before I cancel or keep either card, I will certainly take advantage of the 30,000 bonus points offer mentioned above by staying 1 night and paying using the US Bank Club Carlson credit card.
There is still time to apply for the card and redeem for future vacations before the June 1st deadline. Is this a card you already have? Will you keep your card? If you don’t already have the card, will this change stop you from getting it in the future?