Wow, two posts on the same subject on the same day, must be a big deal. Well, it is a big deal. I wanted to wait till we had more details before I wrote an update. So, it appears that you will still get 40,000 points upon renewal and paying $75 annual fee. The free night offer after spending $10,000 is pretty useless to me, but some will find it valuable, I’m sure. I would only bother if I planned a stay in an expensive city like New York, London or Paris. Update: Reader Arathorn has pointed out that free night can only be used at US properties.
Also, it looks like Club Carlson page still lists “second night free” benefit, which is why I decided to write a follow-up post. If you’ve been thinking about applying for this card, now is the time. You get 50,000 points after first purchase, and mine posted within a week.
If you spend $2,500 quickly, you might even get an entire bonus before the end of May, the cutoff date to get “second night free” benefit. I suggest you apply without delay and take a screenshot of the offer page. That way, Club Carlson will have a hard time weaseling out of it.
Here are a few questions and answers, consisting of my own opinions, as always:
1. Is it still worth renewing this card?
In my opinion, yes. You get 40,000 points for $75. Many hotels in US go for only 15,000 points per night. Worst case scenario: You redeem for hotel that costs 38,000 points. That’s still a pretty good deal, especially during holidays or peak times. I do plan to renew my card if no further changes are made.
2. Is it worth to put your everyday spend on it?
Probably not. There are very few category 1 hotels in US (costing 9,000 points). So, let’s say you plan to redeem for category 2. It would take you $3,000 in spending to get one night since the card earns 5 points per dollar. You could have gotten $60 with a 2% cash back card. To me, that’s not all that compelling, especially since you are stuck with one chain that could devalue without notice.
Overall, I do recommend you apply for this card now if you’ve been thinking about it. If you get one in yours’ and your spouse’s name, you will have 100,000 points between two accounts after just 1 purchase on each card. Even if you don’t get the second part of the bonus, this amount could go a long way toward hotel stays if you maximize your “second night free” benefit. Earn and burn!