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Ever have those moments where everything is turned upside down in an instant? Where everything you thought you knew went out the window in a split second?
Club Carlson devalues
That happened to me this morning when I saw that Club Carlson will be eliminating its free award night for credit card holders on award stays, effective June 1st.
That makes this post about how much the annual bonus is worth, um… worthless.
This benefit is literally the only reason I have the US Bank Club Carlson Visa. And I’ve been such a fanboy about it here on Out and Out for so long. In fact, I’ve been geeking out about staying with them in Ireland for about a month by now.
I’ve gone out of my way to stay in their properties. But, given their tiny footprint, they can’t compete with Hyatt or Starwood (similar footprint) or with the big guns (IHG, Marriott, Hilton).
Some of their Category 1 and 2 properties will still be good deals, but those are few and far between, and in some really far-flung places.
The elimination of the free award night brings them more in line with Hilton and IHG prices, which they can’t compete with. Period.
Their only saving grace is the generous earning ability with the co-branded credit card. But given the sparseness of their hotel network, I’m not sure if it’s worth it any more.
I’m torn between hanging on to the US Bank Club Carlson Visa for one more year just to get the anniversary bonus one more time, then canceling and… dumping them right now out of spite.
I’ll probably hang on to it, but my spending on it will drop like a stone.
I think I’ll turn to Hyatt now as my primary chain, and not go out of my way for Club Carlson any more. If one of their properties work, then great… but when I have the choice, I won’t make them my go-to any more.
Very, very disappointed. But can’t say I’m really surprised.
My prediction for next devaluation: sadly enough, American’s AAdvantage program.
Does this news affect your relationship with Club Carlson? Will you burn your points and dump the card when June 1st rolls around?
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