Club Carlson Removes Last Night Free for Cardmembers Effective 11 PM CT Today (June 1, 2015)


Update June 1 at 9:12 AM ET: Club Carlson has tweeted that the benefit will still be bookable until 11 PM CT tonight, so book, book, book. I burned all my points yesterday on speculative two night stays in Lithuania and Chennai. I can cancel them and get the points back if my plans change. Hat Tip @ThrashSoundly on Twitter.

In a move announced in April, Club Carlson will remove the last-night-free benefit on 2+ night awards booked by people who have the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card effective this Monday, June 1, 2015.

The good news is that the change is effective for bookings made June 1 or later, not for stays made June 1 or later. Some hotels lets you book up to three years in advance, so you can get your last night free on award stays through 2018 as long as you book by Sunday.

As further compensation, the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card introduced two benefits: a free night at any Club Carlson hotel in the United States after spending $10,000 during your membership year and 30,000 bonus Gold Points for making one paid stay at a Club Carlson property by August 31, 2015 and paying with your Club Carlson card.

  • How is the last-night-free benefit the best benefit of any hotel credit card?
  • How does it work?
  • How can you use it for stays through 2018?
  • Can people who don’t yet have the Club Carlson card get the card in time to use the last-night-free benefit?
  • What is my analysis of the two new benefits?

The Last-Night-Free Benefit Is the Best Benefit of Any Hotel Credit Card

Here’s the card’s bullet point on the benefit:

  • Bonus Award Night – When you redeem Gold Points for 2 or more consecutive Award Nights, your last night is free. Exclusively for cardmembers!

It really is that simple. On any award stay of 2+ nights, the last night is free. That means that the ideal award length is two nights in order to get a 50% discount on the points needed for an award.

This benefit can save you 50,000 points per stay. No other hotel credit card benefit is nearly this good. And that’s why the benefit is disappearing. It was too generous. Offers that stick out as too generous eventually disappear. *cough* Southwest Companion Pass from opening two credit cards *cough*

How the Last-Night-Free Benefit Works

Your Club Carlson account knows you have the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card, so at the payment stage for your award, it deducts the last night’s points from the price.

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 8.59.03 AMScreen Shot 2015-04-03 at 8.59.18 AM

Here’s a full post on How the Last Night Free Benefit on the Club Carlson Card Works.

You Can Use the Last-Night-Free Benefit Through 2018

The last-night-free benefit is available on bookings made until tomorrow, May 31, 2015, no matter when the stay takes place.

Club Carlson’s calendar lets you search up to three years in advance. Here’s an award booking you could make today for 2018 that includes the second/last night free.Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 9.36.32 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 9.20.33 AM

Unfortunately not all hotels take bookings so far in advance. Here is a search for next summer in Paris. Only two of the hotels are taking bookings, and only one with points.

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 9.03.04 AM

Take a look at the places you want to go for the next few years, and book now, so you can to lock in the last night free. You can always cancel and get your points back if you didn’t pick the correct dates a few years in advance.

The Two New Benefits

Here’s the email sent out to cardholders.

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 8.53.18 AM

The new permanent benefit to “replace” the last-night-free benefit is that every cardmember year during which a cardmember spends $10,000 on his card and then renews his card, he’ll get a free night at any Club Carlson hotel in the USA.

This is a definite downgrade from last night free on awards worldwide.

Club Carlson does have some expensive properties in New York and San Francisco, so this benefit could be worth a few hundred dollars per year, and it is is a nice benefit overall. If a hotel credit card added this benefit, I would be excited. But if a hotel credit card replaced the best benefit of any hotel credit card (last night free on all awards) with this benefit, I’d be disappointed.

The other benefit is a one-time offer. Stay at a Club Carlson property worldwide by August 31, 2015 on a paid rate and pay with your Club Carlson card to receive 30,000 bonus points.Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 8.53.35 AM

I value 30,000 points at $120, so I’ll be sure to stay at a property that costs less than that as a mattress run if I don’t have any real hotel needs by August 31.

These are nice new benefits. Combined with the fact that the card gives you 85,000 bonus points, 5x per dollar on all spending, and Gold Status, the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card will still be one of the best cards after the last-night-free benefits disappears on June 1, but losing that benefit is a huge blow.

Bottom Line

The last day to book Club Carlson awards with the last night free for holders of the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card is tomorrow, May 31, 2015.

Some Club Carlson properties allow points bookings up to three years in advance, so you can use the benefit for stays through 2018. Feel free to book speculatively since hotel awards usually allow free cancellations until the last day or week (depending on the property.)

To partially offset the sting, the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card is offering two new benefits: a free night at any Club Carlson hotel in the United States after spending $10,000 during your membership year and 30,000 bonus Gold Points for making one paid stay at a Club Carlson property by August 31, 2015 and paying with your Club Carlson card.

The last-night-free benefit was too generous, and too generous benefits always disappear. I’ll miss this one. Use this as a reminder to pound all the best offers while they last. *cough* American Airlines award chart *cough*


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is 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 questions are answered.

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  1. Thanks !!!! Now I understand it , you get the 40k annual points BUT no more free nites when booking after 5/31 just the points..I’ll be booking something before ..

    • Book them NOW you can always CANCEL and rebook ..I got hotels for 5/16 which will work but not what I wanted ” NOT Available “.

      • I just canceled the Sig card but will keep the Bus.card .I told them why and will have enough for one great nite somewhere after annual fee..

        I WONDER IF ING card will devalue next ???? I got 3 great nites worth there ..

    • If you spend $10k in a cardmember year, and you renew your card (ie pay the annual fee), you get a free night certificate. To earn another, repeat.

  2. Scott, question from a non-cardholder: Did the e-mail from Club Carlson mention anything about changes to existing reservations? Say, would it be possible to book a hotel now with the free night, then change the date of the reservation AND still keep the free night? Trying to figure out if I can make the booking now and take advantage of this benefit despite no concrete travel plans for the foreseeable future…

    • No plans will be made to existing reservations according to Twitter. Make last-night-free bookings until May 31.

  3. The notification email I received does not have the 30K new benefit. Could this even be targeted? Here’s my 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.

  4. They should have made this announcement before the Daily Getaway sale. I just bought 100,000 points speculatively to pad my balance, which I wouldn’t have done had I known this was coming. I always book Club Carlson rooms internationally, so the U.S. free night is a huge downgrade. I won’t be keeping this card much longer.

    • It depends on how you value the 40,000 points you will still get as a renewal bonus. I think they can be worth considerably more than than the fee, so it is still likely going to be worth renewing for me. I wonder if you could cancel or challenge that Daily Getaway purchase. You’re right that you aren’t getting what you thought you were paying for, and they surely knew it at the time they sold you those points.

  5. So I got my card on 07/2014. Does this mean that if I spend a total of $10,000 for the year until 07/2015 I’ll get a free night at any club carlson hotel? Or am I supposed to spend the $10,000 after the annual free?

  6. If you book now and get the bonus free nights, will those bonus nights still be honored if you cancel the card before the actual stay?

    • I think they try to cancel the bonus award night if you cancel the card. Whether they’re successful (ie their computer works) is unknown to me.

  7. @best_daddy….looks like the 30K promo email is targeted. Got my card in Feb – almost done with spend. Got the 30K. Wife got her card this week. No 30K

  8. Does anyone know if I can book multiple rooms if I have both the personal and business credit cards? I want to book 2 rooms for 2 nights in NYC.

  9. The new chart is one night free after the yearly spend, but the 40K points upon renewal is STILL at least one night free in most of their hotels worldwide.
    So, yeah, the change is awful compared to the sweet deal we had, but, that 40K renewal bonus is about on par with the rest of the hotel cards.

  10. Is it still too late to apply for this card now and book a hotel by May 31st? I mean what if the points don’t post before May 31st, then is it still a good deal to have the card with 97K+ points?

    • MC
      Do the Math apply today and CALL when you active the card and ASK the DATEs then make sure you hit the MIN 3 days before the cards post date . I min. most cards in 30 mins after I get them and I got this card’s POINTS in 48 hrs after the next statement .

      GO FOR IT ..

      Then Book It DANO

  11. Post-devaluation, I think a more realistic valuation for cc points is 0.3 cents. If you value them at 0.4 cents, there are very few places (other than extremely expensive cities like London and Manhattan) where an award stay gives better value that a paid stay.

    Still, I’m keeping my personal and business cards – the 40,000 point annual bonus and free US night after $10,000 spend remain worthwhile for my stay patterns. And I’ll continue to book paid stays at cc properties in less expensive locations, especially when they are running promotions such as the current “triple points”.

  12. lively .. I agree R.I.P… I was hoping forever but 2 bad for US but I did buy high end Pillows and a 200 thread King sized count sheet (car cover) for my car because of my last stay ..
    UAPhil .. we play by their rules because it’s their Bat and Ball but I’ll do another year to get another 5* nite stay but gone in 6/16

    I got 12 nites London and Nice @ NO COST . in 5/16 ..

    Keep LOOKin !! Scott will find us a deal

    May the FREE be with You

  13. I crunched the numbers and this program no longer makes sense. I’m better off generating Hilton points since the return on MS and stays is about the same now and Hilton has way more pro worries. plus I can also MS on 2% cards and pay cash for under $250 hotels.

    I’ll burn what I can and not bother earning anymore.


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