US Bank Club Carlson Hotel Card Review

Advertiser Disclosure

What’s your favorite hotel? Where do you feel at home even you’re away from home? If you answered the Radisson, Park Plaza, Country Inn & Suites or any other Club Carlson chain hotel, then you should consider the Club Carlson ™ Premier Rewards Visa Signature ® Card and the Rewards Visa Signature Card from US Bank. As hotel rewards cards go, the Premier Rewards card has a fantastic sign-up bonus and a cost-effective points-earning system. If you’re willing to stay brand loyal, this card will prove quite rewarding.

 

US Bank Club Carlson Hotel Card Review

 

Annual Fees

The two cards are very similar, one simply having a higher annual fee and therefore great rewards returns. The Premier Rewards card will run you $75 per year while the Rewards card is $50 annually. The fee is not waived like other travel rewards card, but the fee is much less than hotel rewards similar cards, so if you are keeping the card for multiple years, overall the annual fee is quite reasonable.

Earning Points

The Club Carlson Premier Rewards card earns 10 Gold Points for every dollar spent on hotel purchases within the chain. For everything else, you’ll earn 5 points per dollar. The more economical fee card, the Club Carlson Rewards card earns 6 points for eligible purchases, such as a night at a Radisson, and 3 points for other purchases. You also earn points every year for renewing your card. Though that annual fee may hurt a little bit, that pain is eased with a nice 40,000 point bonus for the Premier Rewards and 25,000 bonus for the Rewards card. This is enough four nights free with the Premier Rewards and two nights free with the Rewards card. Not a bad return on your annual fee.

 

Beginner’s Luck

If you’re new to the US Bank Club Carlson cards, the sign-up bonus is a solid one. For the Premier Rewards, if you spend $2,500 on the card in the first three months, you’ll receive 85,000 Bonus Gold Points. What does that many points earn? It’s enough for up to nine free nights at any Category 1 Carlson around the world. If you’d like to splurge, you can also spend 70,000 of those points on one night at a Category 7 hotel, like the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge in London, England. If you opt for the more economical Rewards card, you need to spend $1,500 on your card in the first 90 days. Your sign up bonus is still a nice 60,000 points, earning you up to six free nights. As far as sign-up bonuses go, the immediate rewards within the hotel chain are well worth it. You’ll have your annual fee returned to you within your free first night, and then you can settle into to enjoy five or seven more.

Flaunting your status

If you’re a Club Carlson hotel fan, you’ll be familiar with the status levels and perks within the program. With this US Bank card, your status will be automatically increased as soon as you activate your card. With the Premier Rewards card, your Club membership will become Gold Elite status. At this level, you’ll receive 15% off of food and drink at hotel restaurants, complimentary room upgrades, roll-over nights and an in-room gift. If you already enjoy all these benefits with your current Gold status, then your card activation will get you 15 qualifying nights towards obtaining or maintaining the Concierge status (75 nights). If you make it to the Concierge status, you’ll enjoy a huge range of perks, including all those listed above as well as free continental breakfast and 48 hour room availability guarantee. If you go for the Rewards card, your card activation will automatically upgrade you from Red to Silver status. At this level, you’ll receive 10% off of food and drink at hotel restaurants, complimentary room upgrades, and roll-over nights. If you’re already a Silver member, you’ll receive 10 qualifying nights towards Gold status (35 nights) and its perks.

Beyond the Hotel Doors Benefits

Both the Premier Rewards and Rewards cards come with the same additional benefits. To make sure you’re safe on the road, the card comes with travel and emergency assistance services, travel accident insurance and auto rental collision damage waiver. In the case of suspicious activity on your card, it offers zero fraud liability. Of course, it comes with online banking and in case you’re forgetful, you can set up automatic bill payment to ensure you don’t unnecessarily pay interest.

However, be careful if you’re staying at a Radisson abroad, as this card does not waive international payment fees. You’ll be paying to pay at international destinations, so be sure to use it only at Club Carlson hotels where the points you earn will offset the fees you pay.

Conclusion

The US Bank Club Carlson ™ Premier Rewards Visa Signature ® Card and the Rewards Visa Signature Cards are a very cost effective option for earning points and free stays at the Carlson Rezidor brand hotels. If you’re already a fan of these hotels, these cards will earn lots of points towards free nights. The sign-up bonus already sets you up to enjoy the perks of the hotel chain. In addition, the upgraded membership status provides another set of benefits that would be appreciated by someone who spends a lot of time in hotel rooms in the run of a year. However, if you can’t remember the last time you stayed at a Radisson or Park Plaza, this card is not for you. While the earning and using the rewards is very favorable, the places where you can do either is very limited. If you like to shop around for hotels or spend your points on flights, this card won’t be much help. However, the inexpensive annual fee and the great sign-up bonus might be worth a try. You just may come to love Club Carlson and enjoy reveling in free nights from the card.

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