If you picked up a pile of Club Carlson points during their Summer promotion this year, this may be a good chance to top them off to the right amount needed for an award.
I have an account with 48,700 points in it, for example, and this promotion allows me to get up to the 50,000 needed for a top-category reward by purchasing just 1,000 (plus bonus) instead of 2,000.
The price is a flat $7 per 1,000 points, so $7 per 1,500 under this promotion. The most you can buy is 40,000, which is bonused up to 60,000.
Apart from topping off an account, there are 2 other possible uses for the points:
1. To get a cheap night somewhere
If you pick the right hotel on the right night, purchasing points could be cheaper than paying cash. Let’s say I want a room in London on Tuesday 9th October. The May Fair hotel is £300 inc VAT, or 50,000 points, for a refundable rate. Those points would cost you just $233 (£143) to buy through this promotion. Similarly, the Radisson Royal in Moscow is 27,140 rubles (£539!) versus £143 for buying 50,000 Club Carlson points.
There are also plenty of places where the maths don’t work, of course, but if you are heading somewhere expensive soon it is worth considering.
2. To buy fairly expensive airline miles
Club Carlson has decent conversion rates for turning points into airline miles. The sweet spot is 100,000 Club Carlson points, which gets you 18,000 miles. To get this level, both you and a friend would need to buy 50,000 points each and then ring up CC to transfer points from one account to the other (CC is happy to do this, there is no charge, surnames and addresses do NOT need to match. It must be done by telephone, though.) 50,000 points gets you a lower amount of 8,000 miles and the rates get worse as the numbers get smaller.
Let’s imagine that, between you and a friend, you buy 100,000 Club Carlson points for $467. That is £288 for 18,000 miles, or 1.6p per mile.
Now, 1.6p per mile is rarely good value. However, if you are looking to get hold of a chunk of miles to top off an account to redeem an award, it may be worth a look. This is especially true for programmes which make it difficult to obtain miles cheaply, eg those which don’t have a credit card and are not Amex Membership Rewards partners.
Club Carlson has 23 airline partners – Aeromexico, Aerloplan, Air Berlin, Air China, American Airlines, Asiana, BA, Cathay Pacific, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad, Frontier, Gulf Air, Icelandair, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, KLM Air France, Lan Chile, Miles & More, SAS, US Airways and United.
I have bought 1,000 points for a grand total of $7 to top-off my account to 50k. I will then use this for a top category Club Carlson award, or will take the 8,000 airline miles option.
(To see our complete list of all current hotel promotions for the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)