While Club Carlson has increased the price of some room redemptions, they’ve also introduced premium room redemptions — using more points for a better room. And unlike at some chains, it’s only a modest increment over a standard room.
In fact, a premium room is a 50% upcharge over a standard room — that’s what Hyatt Gold Passport used to do. (Starwood charges double for a suite, Hyatt 60% more, and Hilton based on a poor valuation per point and the going rate for the room. With IHG Rewards premium room redemptions aren’t an option.)
What’s more, several hotels offer better-than-standard rooms for less than a ‘premium room’ award. These can include family rooms (at a 25% premium), junior suites, and even sometimes one bedroom suites. (HT: Mommy Points)
A tip for searching for these rooms online is to put in two adults and two children in the search box, otherwise sometimes only the standard room option shows available on points. It also helps to click on “view complete list of rates” as that is the only way some of these family room options display.
Ironically then, it’s these program changes — that in many ways constituted a devaluation — that have probably finally sold me on greater participation.
See, I like suites. I like premium rooms. I don’t like redeeming points on vacation and getting a standard room.
Now I can use points for better rooms. And the Club Carlson Premier Visa Signature Card provides real leverage in doing so because it still gives you the second night free on all award redemptions.. even on premium room awards.
This $75 annual fee card comes with:
- 85,000 point signup bonus — 50,000 after first purchase and 35,000 more after $2500 spend within 90 days
- 40,000 more bonus points each year old card renewal
- Gold elite status
- 5 Club Carlson points per dollar on most spend, 10 points per dollar on Club Carlson hotel spend.
- “Bonus Award Night” Your last night on an award redemption is free.
The key here is that Bonus Award Night. On a two night award stay, it’s two for the price of one. Redeem 2 nights at a top tier property, pay for only one night. Even if the room is a suite.
Accounts with elite status can still transfer points to other accounts with few restrictions. And award nights now count towards elite status.
(Note that cards in this post offer credit to me if you’re approved using my links. The opinions, analyses, and evaluations here are mine. The content is not provided or commissioned by American Express, by Chase, by Citibank, US Bank, Bank of America, Barclays or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say.)