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Targeted Club Carlson Visa Promo: 6 points per dollar in March and April

Screenshot 2015-02-23 16.18.04A really cool promo with some very confusing wording is being offered to select US Bank Club Carlson Visa cardholders.

It’s no secret that I love Club Carlson points. It’s probably my favorite hotel chain for collecting and redeeming points, alongside Hyatt. I use my Club Carlson Visa quite a bit – in fact, I’d argue that it’s one of the best cards for everyday, non-bonused spend as it earns 5 points per dollar on every purchase.

I use the card quite a bit already, so it’s not like I need to be incentivized to use it more, but all the same, I got targeted for a new promo where I can earn up to 2,000 bonus Gold points during March and April.

Le offer email

Le offer email

That’s nice and all, but you have to unravel some really squirrely language in the T&Cs:

T&Cs (click to enlarge)

T&Cs (click to enlarge)

OK, so here’s how I’m interpreting this (sorry, it’s been a really long day and my brain is mush):

You have to spend on the card $1,900 to “unlock” the bonus points. After that, the next $2,000 spent on the card will earn 6 points per dollar. And after that, you go back to the normal 5 points per dollar.

Is this right? Is it just me or is this some seriously roundabout wording?

Bottom line

I’m glad to see US Bank stepping up their offerings (and this is a great article about how to get a free checking account + $100 for putting $1,000 in a savings account with US Bank) and offering some bonus points, even to customers who regularly use the card.

Getting past the initial $1,900 shouldn’t be too hard, and then the other $2,000 will be pretty easy as well – but I won’t let this card touch my new, re-virginized Serve account. I’ve had luck buying PayPal cards with the Club Carlson Visa at CVS as well as using it for Evolve Money payments while they were accidentally free for a sec (and still are until tomorrow, presumably).

I’ve added a reminder in my Evernote account to switch out my cards on March 1st, as I’m focusing my spend on other cards right now.

Was anyone else targeted for this offer, or perhaps for another one? Would love to know if there are any variations on this promo.

What is Club Carlson Visa’s annual 40K Gold Points bonus worth?

Also see: 

I’ve said over and over that I think the US Bank Club Carlson Visa Signature card is one of the best for everyday, non-bonused spend. In addition to 5 Gold Points per dollar on every purchase, you also get buy-one-get-one-free award bookings, and an annual bonus of 40,000 Gold Points by renewing the card – which is $75 per year.

Got my annual 40K Gold Points bonus!

Got my annual 40K Gold Points bonus!

My bonus posted a couple of days ago and got me thinking: what is the annual bonus actually worth? Or rather, what could it be worth? After Club Carlson-ing my way through Europe a few months ago, I can firmly say, “a lot.” But I like putting numbers and values to things, and hence this post was born.

Club Carlson has an awesome online interactive tool where you can filter hotels by category… which is pretty sweet. They currently have Categories 1-7, but for this post, I’m only going to focus on 1-5.

Category 1

This category can get you 8 free nights at Club Carlson properties.

How?

With the buy-one-get-one (BOGO), you pay just 9,000 Gold Points for every 2 nights. Even if you book 8 nights at Category 1 hotels, you’d still have 4,000 points left over – and realistically if you stay 8 nights in a hotel, you’ll get 5,000 more from room charges (make sure to charge everything to your room at Club Carlson properties, because with the card you get 30 POINTS PER DOLLAR20 points per dollar for being Gold + 10 more points per dollar for using the credit card – which is insanely awesome!). And then you could book 10 free nights. 🙂

A few Category 1 properties that jump out at me are:

8 nights in Sofia would run you ~$500

8 nights in Sofia would run you ~$500

8 nights in Bratislava would also run you ~$500

8 nights in Bratislava would also run you ~$500

This is a pretty sparse category, but if you are in the right place at the right time, it could really be a boon.

Category 2

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What’s in my wallet? (Evaluating credit cards and travel goals)

As I begin to figure out my points and miles strategy for 2015, I thought it would be helpful assess what I currently have in my wallet.

Pre-warning: this is a very text heavy post. No pretty pictures to look at, just a whole lotta straight talk (1,200 words worth).

By bank:

American Express

  • Platinum Card
  • EveryDay Preferred

I just got a new Platinum Card in hopes that I’ll actually get a bonus for opening it – but I’m not holding my breath. In any regard, I already cashed in the $200 in airline incidentals on AA gift cards in 2014 and will do so again this year, so I will make back most of the annual fee right away.

I occasionally use Priority Pass Select on lounge visits that would otherwise be $50 a pop, and love dipping into the Centurion Lounges where I easily drink over $50 in cocktails alone (not to mention the spa treatments).

I also have utilized the Fine Hotels & Resorts program a time or two, and really love the near-constant Amex sync offers. So, I’m keeping it.

As for the EveryDay Preferred… it really has become by “EveryDay” card – I use it constantly and get 1.5-4.5x Membership Rewards points on everything I buy, which is pretty sweet. The earning is decent for non-bonus spend and is great for groceries, gas, and even more sync offers. (Email me if you’d like a referral to this card!)

If only Amex would up the points-earning power of the Platinum Card, I might actually put a buck or two of spend on it.

Barclays

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Club Carlson-ing my way through Europe

<3

<3

In the middle of Eurotrip 2014, I had a moment where I was like, OMG, I’m staying exclusively at Club Carlson properties (except for one night at the Grand Hyatt Berlin).

So the news that US Bank, issuer of the Club Carlson Visa, may be imposing cash advance fees for Serve reloads was disconcerting. And now that Amazon Payments is over, too… I don’t know what I’ll do to manufacture spend now. This is a hot topic in the points and miles community, and there is some speculation about the new REDcard and possible changes to Serve. In any case, I am looking forward to the next step because I do think the Club Carlson Visa is a very good card to focus on for day-to-day, non-bonused, or manufactured spend.

I couldn’t have done Eurotrip 2014 without that card.

How I did it

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