Did you know that Club Carlson has a $0 annual fee credit card? Last week, when I wrote about 10 places to redeem the Club Carlson annual free night certificate, reader Zach brought it to my attention. Sure, I knew about it back when the Club Carlson credit cards first came out, but since the no annual fee version no longer appears on the Club Carlson Visa landing page, I assumed it was no longer available – perhaps a casualty of the Club Carlson program massacre of 2015. Anyway, this post isn’t all about my cluelessness about the no-annual fee Club Carlson card. It’s about the benefit that makes getting this card a no-brainer.
We all know how great the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card is for generating free nights via manufactured spending. But have you looked closely at the no-fee Club Carlson card? It earns an annual free night certificate valid at U.S. hotels. All you have to do is spend $10,000 in a calendar year. That’s the same bonus paid out by the other three Club Carlson cards, except those cards carry annual fees. Yes, those cards also offer an annual 25,000 – 40,000 point bonus in addition to the free night certificate. However, you’re paying a $50 – $75 annual fee for that extra benefit. If you don’t care about that annual point bonus or earning Club Carlson points via manufactured spending, the no-fee Club Carlson card is for you.
The sign-up bonus and earning rate aren’t as generous as what the cards with annual fees are offering, but they’re still great for a $0 annual fee card:
- 30,000 bonus Gold Points after you spend $1,000 on your card within the first 90 days.
- 3 points per $1 spent in eligible net purchases at Club Carlson hotels.
- 1 point per $1 spent in eligible net purchases everywhere else.
This isn’t the best credit card for manufactured spending since it earns just 1 point per $1 spent on non-category bonus spending and the sign-up bonus isn’t anything to get excited about, but if you’re someone who regularly stays at Club Carlson hotels in the U.S., then the annual free night benefit is enough of a reason to get the no fee version Club Carlson card. Since you’re not paying an annual fee, you’re getting an annual free hotel night that’s actually free! If this describes you, the $0 annual fee Club Carlson card is really a no-brainer for you.
As for channeling $10,000 worth of spending on the card, it’s really just four giftcards.com orders and liquidating them via money orders can be done in as little as a day. If you’re someone who anticipates putting the annual free night to use, then getting this card and putting a minimal amount of effort into meeting the spending requirement seems worthwhile.
What do you think of the no annual fee Club Carlson credit card? Do you think it’s worth keeping just for the annual free night benefit?
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