Earlier this year, a major benefit of the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card was removed, and it was honestly a devaluation that brought me to tears. As of June 1, “BOGO” award redemptions were no longer a card-member benefit.
I quickly developed a strategy to earn and burn as much as I could before the dreaded deadline. So far we’ve taken a nice weekend trip to Chicago, have an extended-weekend in Aruba coming up, as well as a long family trip to Panama and Colombia in the fall.
When I first opened up my Club Carlson Visa, I was certain it would be one that I’d keep for a long time. I found it “worth it” to pay the $75 annual fee since the value I got out of the card was lucrative. Over the course of my short-but-sweet card membership, I’ve saved thousands of dollars (and a boatload of points) at great properties such as the Radisson Aruba (now Hilton), Radisson Blu Sydney, Radisson Blu Chicago, and many others.
I noticed that my $75 annual fee popped up on my statement yesterday, and though the 40,000 anniversary bonus points isn’t a terrible incentive, I just don’t have this card that high on my list anymore (the best hotel credit card IMHO at the moment is the IHG Rewards Credit Card).
Like many other Club Carlson Visa holders, a few weeks ago, I got a surprise piece of “junk mail” alerting me that my free night certificate was on the way. That was a sweet surprise, and my free night voucher, valid at any property worldwide, arrived via email just a few days later. FWIW: My dad is also a card member and did not receive the free night offer. He made a quick phone call and was able to get the free night voucher too, YMMV.
Since I already had my free night delivered, and I didn’t see any language in the T&C indicating that I needed to be a card member at the time of redemption, I decided to call and cancel the card.
For those naturally wondering, I was not given any type of retention offer (wasn’t expecting any, though in that same day I called to cancel my Citi AAdvantage card and was able to get the annual fee removed + bonus miles for the fourth year in a row… not complaining).
It was bittersweet to bid farewell to a card I once adored so dearly, but hey, it’s the game we play, right?
What are you doing with your Club Carlson card(s) and points?