How I’ve Burned All My Club Carlson Points

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POINTS UPDATE Free Night

Tomorrow, May31, most probably will be the last day when you can still get two Club Carlson nights for the price of one at the old reward levels. The language is a little confusing as it says “can’t be booked after June 1″ which might suggest that June 1 is the actual final day, but I wouldn’t bank on it.

If you are a procrastinator, this is the final call to get all your ducks in a row.

I control three Club Carlson accounts: two personal and one business. Here is what I’ve booked.

  • 4 nights in Stockholm
  • 4 nights in Reykjavik
  • 2 nights in Bangkok
  • 2 nights in Hamburg

Stockholm

In June 2016, I’m traveling to the #TBEX conference in Stockholm (now, here are people who know where to hold conferences!), so I  booked two nights at the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, Stockholm, where the conference is going to be held in July 2016, and 2 nights at the nearby Radisson Blu Royal Viking Hotel, Stockholm for 50,000 points each. I’ve read suggestions that favored another central Stockholm hotel, Radisson Blu Strand Hotel, Stockholm, but it doesn’t have a pool, so the Viking won.

Club Carlson Stockholm Radisson Hotels

Burning Club Carlson Points: Stockholm Radisson Blu Hotels

Bangkok

In October, I’m traveling to Bangkok (and will attend the first TBEX Asia conference too, I guess, I’m getting addicted), Honk Kong, and Vietnam. I didn’t see many options to burn Club Carlson points except in Bangkok where I booked two nights at the Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit for 28,000 points.

Club Carlson Bangkok Radisson Suites

Burning Club Carlson Points: Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit

Reykjavik

I still had too many points left, so I decided to do what I always do in situations like that—invent a reason to go somewhere. I’ve wanted to visit Iceland for quite some time, and Iceland presents quite a nice opportunity to burn some hot points: Reykjavik is expensive and it does have 2 Radisson hotels: the Radisson Blu Saga Hotel, Reykjavik and the Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel, Reykjavik. I booked 2 nights at each of them.

Club Carlson Reykjavik Radisson Hotels

Burning Club Carlson Points: Reykjavik Radisson Blu Hotels

Hamburg

There were still some Club Carlson points left that were burning me from the inside, so I decided to make a stop in Hamburg on the way back from Reykjavik. Why Hamburg? Oh, there are plenty of reasons why one would want to see Hamburg. Here is mine.

Parents beware: this is what happens to grown men who didn’t have enough toys to play with as children. 🙁

Anyway, Hamburg is where I hit a snag.

All my bookings have worked great so far. Some of them were booked on my points, and others on my wife’s. The only thing that does concern me somewhat, is that the Club Carlson T&C state that the member has to travel in order to be eligible for the free night benefit. I’ve never heard from anyone that they would really deny the benefit to anyone, but technically, it can happen. What the hell—let’s live dangerously. 🙂

At that point, I found myself actually short of miles. I (well, wife) had slightly more than 41,000 points left, and I needed 44,000 in order to book the Radisson Blu Hotel, Hamburg.

Club Carlson Radisson Hotel Hamburg

Burning Club Carlson Points: Radisson Blu Hotel, Hamburg

So, without thinking much, I went ahead and bought 3,000 miles for $21. Not a big deal, right? Right, only the points don’t get to your account right away. The confirmation message said it could take up to 72 hours for the points to appear in her account. I’m sure they tried to warn me before buying the points somewhere, but I was in a hurry. This is the email they sent us.

POINTS UPDATE

I have no idea how I work this out or if I actually can work this out (they are closed tomorrow). I’m going to try the general reservation number, but if push comes to shove, I’ll grab 2 nights at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Hamburg Airport instead. It’s reportedly a 10-minute train ride to the city center, so I don’t sweat it much. Live and learn.

UPDATE 5.31: The points appeared in wife’s account, so canceled and rebooked Radison Blu Hamburg. Took less than 24 hours.

Club Carlson Radisson Hotel Hamburg Airport

Burning Club Carlson Points: Radisson Blu Hotel, Hamburg Airport

Will I be able to use all these reservations? I never know 100%, and that is why I’ve booked all my flights with my Chase Ritz Carlton Visa, which, supposedlyoffers the best credit card Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance coverage, although I have never (thank god!) had a chance to find out!

So, how is your Club Carlson housekeeping: ongoing or done? Share with the class!

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Tony

I applied for Club Carlson personal card on line for the 85K points with 2500 spend in 3 months and free night benefit and card issued on 5/11/15.
Neither US Bank or Club Carlson could explain this. US Bank did cancel first year fee and Club Carlson will give 38K points. Curious what you think?

Peter Allemano

Dear Andy, Those sound like great plans, and thanks for the “heads up” on what draws you to visit Hamburg; it has got me thinking that I too ought to go there someday! I have a personal and business Club Carlson accounts — and have also made plans . . . . LATE JUNE 2015: Radisson Admiral Hotel Toronto-Harbourfront: 44K points for 2 free nights. These will be followed by 2 paid nights, earning me 30K bonus points for *each* of my two Club Carlson accounts (i.e., a total of 60K bonus points). On the first paid night, I’ll also… Read more »

Peter Allemano

You’re welcome, Andy! And thanks, as always, for maintaining your blog. Your articles not only are newsworthy but — for my sensibilities — chock full of chuckles. If you ever decide to do a stand-up comedy routine, please let me know. I’ll definitely want a front-row seat! (And — hey! — if you *do* get into stand-up comedy, here’s hoping that your act will become so successful that it’ll turn into a “hot ticket” New York tourist attraction for which I can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points!) Best wishes, Peter

Sam

Here is my haul:
6 nights in Aruba
6 nights in barbados
4 nights in Istanbul
2 nights in Athens
2 nights in Rome
2 nights in Dubai

Hopefully I can make those trips…:)

mintcilantro

definitely a nice haul

mintcilantro

It’s a bitter sweet feeling to depart with club carlson points.. they had so much promise and yet it was so difficult to redeem them because so many of their properties are sub par and I don’t want to spend precious vacation time in sub par properties. In my last few years booked 20 free nights taht would have retailed for over $5k. I spent roughly $1000 in various fees. I’m happy. I will still keep the personal and biz cards. I look forward to reading about next club carlson program from you. At this time, I am not aware… Read more »

[…] Iceland for a week. Going to stay four days in Reykjavik at—you’ve guessed it–two Radisson hotels. Going to stay in Hamburg for two days (at the Radisson, too). Why Hamburg? What do you […]

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