Update at 1:35 PM ET: I missed the sale, which it looks like sold out in mere seconds. The good news is throughout the week, Club Carlson is having flash sales for just a few hours that sell points for about 0.4 cents each.

Follow me on twitter to learn about the next one.

Glad to see some readers got in on the deal!

End of update.

Today might be the best Daily Getaways deal so far. Club Carlson points are being sold cheaply enough that you can stay at a Radisson in Europe for as low as $15 per night!

Today is the third day of the second week of five weeks of discounted travel packages sponsored by the US Travel Association and American Express called Daily Getaways.

Every weekday at 1 PM ET, a discounted travel package or packages will go on sale and will usually sell out in a few minutes. Some of the offers will be awesome; some will be duds. Today’s is incredible.

Today’s deal is:

  • 100k Club Carlson points for $346.50 (0.3465 cents each)
  • 50k Club Carlson points for $174.60 (0.3492 cents each)

How can you get in on the deal?

All Daily Getaways packages are discounted. And you get an additional 10% off each sale price by paying with an American Express, so that’s a no-brainer, and I’ll always quote prices after the American Express discount.

The two offers today are:

  • 100k Club Carlson points for $346.50 (0.3465 cents each)
  • 50k Club Carlson points for $174.60 (0.3492 cents each)

There are 71 of the 100k packages for sale and 142 of the 50k packages. You can buy up to two of each, four total. If you bought the maximum, you would be getting 300k Club Carlson points for $1,042.20, which is about 0.347 cents each.

What can you do with 50k to 300k Club Carlson points? Here’s the award chart.

A category 1 hotel costs 9,000 points, which is $31.18 if you buy points for 0.3465 cents each. Needless to say $31.18 is a great deal for a hotel night in Europe at some decent Category 1 properties. I have my eye on the Radisson Blu Beke Hotel in Budapest, where I hope to be this fall.

Worth $31.18

There aren’t any aspirational Club Carlson hotels at the level we see from Hyatts and Hiltons, but the top tier hotels are still a steal at $173.25 per night. I have heard rave reviews of the Radisson Royal Hotel in Moscow. The full Category 6 list is here.

$400 per night retail or $175 through a points purchase

Buy Airline Miles

Buying Club Carlson points is also a way to buy airline miles because Club Carlson points convert to airline miles at a decent rate if you’re buying the points at today’s prices.

The best transfer ratio is 100k points to 18k miles in nearly every major airline program including the four legacy carriers in the US. If you bought the 100k point package, you could get 18k American or United miles for $346.50 or 1.925 cents per mile.

I would not buy miles speculative at that price, but if you have an award in mind and are a few miles short, this is a relatively cheap way to buy them since airlines usually charge 3.5 cents per mile or more. And it’s well within the realm of possibilities that you would get way more than 1.925 cents per mile of value from your miles.

Still, I am definitely not buying these points to convert to miles.

Make the Hotel Deal Twice as Good

The hotel awards I’ve described already are enough for me to get in on the deal, but the deal can be twice as good.

The Club Carlson Visa from US Bank has the following offer:

  • Up to 85k bonus points
  • 50k bonus points on first use
  • 35k points after spending $2,500 in 90 days
  • 10 points per dollar at Carlson hotels
  • 5 points per dollar on all other purchases
  • 40k bonus points on renewal
  • Automatic Gold Status while holding the card
  • When you redeem points for an award stay of 2+ nights, the last night is free
  • $75 annual fee, not waived

Here’s more info on that unique benefit that basically doubles your point balance if you make exclusively two-night stays:

That means if you buy a 100k package and make all two night award stays, Category 1 hotels cost $15.59 per night and Category 6 hotels cost $86.63 per night! Those prices are all in, in Europe, Australia, and other places where hotels cost an arm and a leg.

The only issue with the card is that US Bank–the issuer–seems to hate to see a lot of inquiries on your credit report, so a lot of people who are into miles and points have a hard time getting the card.

Back to the Deal

These packages will sell out in seconds because the deal is incredible.

You’ll get the points in a few weeks: “Please allow 2-3 weeks from the time of purchase for Gold Points to be credited to your Club Carlson account. ”

Look at the properties where you’d want to stay to determine if buying points will save you money.

Purchasing the Packages

To maximize your chances of getting in on the deal, I recommend using a site like whattimeisit.com to figure out the official time. This year’s sales have all started on time to the second. Keep refreshing for the best chance.

This is what happens if you try to purchase something where all quantities are already in someone’s cart.

This doesn’t mean the deal is sold out. If someone doesn’t complete his purchase, that quantity will immediately become available for someone else. Keep checking until the dreaded “Sold Out” appears.

I will be by my computer at 1 PM EST / 10 AM PST / 7 AM HST / (2 PM in Buenos Aires) to buy some points. At least 100k and maybe up to 300k by having two computers ready. Do you plan to buy points? Post your successful or failed attempt in the comments, so we can gauge how quick you had to be to snag a deal.

Daily Getaways home page

Daily Getaways Help

Daily Getaways FAQ

Full Terms and Conditions for the 100k package:

  • Offer valid for the purchase of 100,000 Club CarlsonSM Gold Points®, which is the maximum number of Gold Points required for a 2-night stay at participating Carlson Rezidor hotels.
  • A maximum of two sets of points can be purchased per member for a total maximum of 200,000 points. A maximum of 4 sets of points is allowed between both Carlson offers for a maximum of 300,000 points per member number.
  • Must be a member of Club Carlson to participate. If you are not a member, click here to join Club Carlson today at www.clubcarlson.com.
  • Award stays at hotels are for standard room and are subject to availability.
  • The number of Club Carlson Gold Points required for an award night ranges from 9,000 Gold Points for a category 1 hotel to 50,000 Gold Points for a Category 6 hotel. To view hotel categories, visit our hotel category page.
  • Gold Points will be posted to the Club Carlson member account upon validation of purchase from the Daily Getaways promotion. Allow 2-3 weeks for Gold Points to be credited to a member’s account.
  • Purchased Gold Points do not count toward elite status qualification.
  • Club Carlson membership and the earning and redemption of Gold Points are subject to Club Carlson Terms and Conditions
  • All sales are final.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Sitting this one out….(1) because I’m on vacation and don’t want to be at my computer, and (2) because I’m still flush with points from their huge promotions last year. That deal makes this one seem just ok. Kind of spoiled me!

  2. It’s an interesting thing that there are such a small number of total packages available. I was happy to grab one of the 50k packages today, so that’s 1 out of the 140ish possible.. Will the other 139 recipients step forward? :)

    • Oops, by the way, I had the official http://www.time.gov in one browser tab and the Daily Getaways in the other tab, hitting refresh starting about 10 seconds ahead of time until the option to buy showed up. So I got in on the initial round, and didn’t have to wait for someone else’s cart to expire and give up the package.

  3. Sold out! I tried to get the Daily Deal exactly at 1pm and 5 seconds later, they were all already in someone else’s cart.

  4. I also used an atomic clock website. My goal was to get 100,000 points so I had 2 computers ready, one for the 50,000 and one for the 100,000 point deal. I ended up being too late for the 100,000 point deal but u got in on the 50,000 and was able to purchase 2. The atomic clock really does work. I also use it for limited release ticketmaster sales and almost always get through.

  5. I was also fortunate enough to score one of the 50K packages today but couldn’t get near the 100K package in my other browser. I decided to go for the smaller package first since there were more of those available, and I was actually surprised at my success! Thanks for the reminder in your morning blog post, Scott!

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