Maximizing Club Carlson’s Triple Points Promotion

Through Club Carlson’s Triple Points promotion it’s possible to earn up to 110 points per dollar (or more)!  Here’s how…

Club Carlson has just announced their latest Triple Points promotion which is valid for stays from January 8th through March 15, 2013.  Here is how to maximize your point earnings:

1. Sign up for the promo

You won’t receive triple points automatically, you must signup first!  Do so here.  Club Carlson normally gives 20 points per dollar for stays.  With this promotion, you’ll earn 60 points per dollar instead!

2. Get a Club Carlson credit card

I’ve said before that these cards are awesome (see “Club Carlson rocks our world… Again“).  For earning points during stays, the best of the cards help in two ways: they give you Gold status (which means higher point earnings) and they give you 10 points per dollar at Club Carlson properties.

Both of the following cards are winners.  The personal card has a $75 annual fee and the business card has a $60 annual fee, but they otherwise are almost identical.  If you have a business, go for the business card unless you would miss the consumer protections that come automatically with the personal card.

3. Sign up for Club Carlson for Business

Club Carlson has a program for businesses to earn even more.  You can find details about the program (including how to sign up) here.

If you qualify for this program, you can earn an additional 10 points per dollar for each stay (8X automatically + 2X for booking online).Even better, businesses are given a 5% discount off standard rates.

Things get complicated, though, if you want to use a promo code.  Let’s say, for example, the AAA discount is better than the business discount.  In that case, you can use the AAA code and get business points by following this advice.  Unfortunately, if you do that, you won’t earn an online booking bonus (see “Club Carlson for business one more thing“).

So, do the math to see which works best for you.  Your options are:

  • Use business 5% discount:  With this approach you get the extra 10X business points, plus the online booking bonus.
  • Use a better promo code (AAA, for example):  With this approach you need to pick either the extra 10X points or the online booking bonus.  For short, cheap stays, the online booking bonus is preferable.  For expensive stays (over $200), getting an extra 10X would be preferable.

4. Book your stays through an online portal

I use CashBackHolics to find the best shopping portal.  If you are planning a stay at a Radisson, for example, go to CashBackHolics, type in Radisson and find the best cash back options.  Currently, CashBackHolics reports that BeFrugal, TopCashBack, and Upromise all offer 5% back.

5. Add up the points and savings

Let’s assume you find a Radisson for $105 per night and you follow all of the above steps…

  • Use Club Carlson for Business 5% savings, so the rate becomes $99.75
  • Go through shopping portal for 5% back = $4.99 savings
  • Thanks to your Gold status, you get an online booking bonus of 2000 points
  • Thanks to the Triple points promotion, you earn 60 x 100 = 6000 points
  • Thanks to your Gold status you earn an extra 10 points per dollar, 10 x 100 = 1000 points
  • Thanks to your business account you earn an extra 10 points per dollar, 10 x 100 = 1000 points
  • Thanks to paying with your Club Carlson credit card you earn an extra 10 points per dollar, 10 x 100 = 1000 points

In total, you would save about 10% and earn 11,000 points.  That’s 110 points per dollar!  Free nights at some properties start at only 9000 points, so with one paid night you would earn enough points for a free night at some properties.  Even better, the Club Carlson credit card gives you a bonus award night with each award stay. (Note: The Bonus Award night feature was discontinued on June 1, 2015.) So, you can use 9000 points for two nights at certain properties!

Is this mattress run worthy?

A mattress run is where you book a hotel room just to earn points, elite status, or other perks.  110 points per dollar is fantastic, so some might wonder whether it is worth checking into Club Carlson hotels just for the points.

First, let’s look at the above example. Suppose hotel taxes came to 10%.  In that case, you would pay $109.73 and get $4.99 back from a cash back portal for a net cost of $104.74.  For that price, you would get 11,000 points.  In other words, you would be paying $104.74/11000 = .95 cents per point.  That’s not bad, but since Club Carlson sells their points for .7 cents each, this would not be a worthy mattress run.

How about a much cheaper stay?  Suppose you can find a property that costs just $50 per night after discounts, or $55 after tax.  In that case you would earn 6500 points and $2.75 cash back.  Cost per point would be $52.25/6500 = .8 cents per point.  Again, this is a great return, but it is more expensive than simply buying points from Club Carlson.

So, unless you can find another promotion that stacks on top of this one, the answer is still “no”, the deal is not mattress run worthy.  But it’s close!

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    • Dennis: I don’t think they offer the card outside of the US.
      Carl P: Yes, Concierge status gets you closer especially with the 3000 point booking bonus. I didn’t mention it since I expect it is outside of the range of most readers to get to Concierge status.
      ace: Um, thank you?

  1. If you are Concierge and do double-points rate it gets even closer. In my situation I come to $.0082 per point ($!05 room – $116 after taxes).

    Even closer to mattress run, but most stays are company reimbursed anyway.

    YOu can buy at .007 (sometimes 50% bonus). I consider the .007 to be a conservative valuation, especially give “free last night” with CC visa.

  2. Dennis – FAQ on US Bank site.

    Do I have to be a U.S. resident to apply for the Club Carlson Visa card?
    Yes, you need to have a permanent U.S. residence to apply for the Club Carlson Visa Card. This ensures the bank is able to verify your information for a credit card. Of course, you can use your Club Carlson Visa card worldwide.

  3. Can you confirm this, about the Club Carlson for Business. I was under the impression if you booked under that program, you could not get the gold bonus booking points (2,000). So no double dipping. On short/cheap stays, the 2k are more than the business discount/points?

  4. Never mind, just read:

    Unfortunately, if you do that, you won’t earn an online booking bonus (see “Club Carlson for business one more thing“).

  5. ORD-TGU: Just to be clear, you CAN get both the online booking bonus and the business points if you use the business 5% discount. If you use another discount, such as AAA, you have to choose one or the other.

  6. ” Get a Club Carlson credit card” , That’s a deal breaker right there. I don’t think they want many customers from this pack of thieves 😉

  7. DaninSTL: Unless you are seeking higher level elite status with Club Carlson, this is not mattress run worthy since you can simply buy points directly from Club Carlson for less money. Why go out of your way to check into a hotel to get points when you can get points more cheaply just by buying them? The only exception I can see is if you need more than the 40K points you are allowed to buy annually.

    Yes, I explicitly mentioned TopCashBack in the post.

  8. If I were to book a Radisson through do I get any points besides the 5X per $1 from my Club Carlson CC? Or, is it always more beneficial to book through the Radisson/ websites?

  9. Ken: I think you would do better to go through a cash back portal directly to Club Carlson. I’m not sure if you would earn any CC points directly when booking through (probably not).

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