Ain’t No Cure for the Radisson Blu(es)

Is it worth it to keep the Club Carlson credit card?
Is it worth it to keep the Club Carlson credit card?

U.S. Bank sent me a letter today thanking me for being a loyal Club Carlson Visa cardholder.

The reward for my loyalty?  7,500 bonus points.

This is an interesting development, considering that in the last few months, Club Carlson has decimated the value of their credit card by eliminating the second night free benefit and by raising the points required for a reward night at all their best properties.

If you did not receive a similar bonus, I suggest calling U.S. Bank, at 800-236-7546.

I was all set to cancel my Club Carlson Visa business card when the $60 annual fee comes due next month.

But after reading an article by Freequent Flyer about how the new one free night annual benefit will work, I am reconsidering.

Basically, you will be awarded a one-night free cert (for use in U.S. hotels only) upon paying the annual fee, if you have spent $10,000 on the card in the prior year.

After checking my account, I realized that I have already met the spending threshold.

In August, if I pay the $60 annual fee, I will earn 40,000 points.  My current balance is 30,000 points.  Thus, I would have enough for one award night, and one free night at a hotel like the Radisson Martinique on Broadway which charges 70,000 points for an award night.  In general, two “free” nights is worth more to me than one “free” night, because reduces the likelihood of having to pay for a second night at the same hotel on  a weekend trip.

Had I not already met the spending threshold, it would not be worthwhile for me to hold on to the Club Carlson Visa card.  That’s because I would rather use a 2 percent cash back card like my Venture card if I were to spend $10,000.  That would get me $200 to spend on travel, and I know I could find a nice New York City hotel on Priceline for less than that.  $200 plus a $60 annual fee is not a good value for one night.

Have you decided what to do?  Are you quitting Club Carlson or hanging on?

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