Any Room Charge on an Award Stay Enough for 30,000 Club Carlson Bonus Points

When Club Carlson announced that their co-brand Visa will stop giving second night free on award stays, they offered something of a sweetener to make the news go down more easily.

They announced 30,000 bonus points on your next stay paid with the card by August 31.

Presumably that was to keep cardmembers from cancelling their Club Carlson Visa — since they’d need to hang onto the card and use it to earn the 30,000 points, and presumably many would have cooled down or forgotten the devaluation by then.

Reader B.K. confirms for me that it doesn’t actually have to be a paid stay in order to earn the 30,000 points. Any hotel charge that posts to your account should work. He passes along an award stay where he had a food and beverage charge on his folio:

Seemed worth knowing, if only so that if all you have planned through August 31 is an award night that it’s worth charging something to the room and paying with the card.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. i wonder if you can just walk into the lobby/bar and make a charge? I assume you need to have it tied to a room somehow.

  2. Hmmm… Didn’t work for me. I recently had two award nights in Iceland and charged breakfast and one dinner to the room. Paid with my CC credit card but no extra points. Think it might be tied to the credit card’s points posting before they give the 30k? My statement date hasn’t closed yet for that stay.

  3. Confirmed. Two night award stay in Copenhagen where I bought theme park tickets and rented bicycles from the hotel directly. 30,000 bonus points posted a week after.

  4. Wonder if a prepaid stay will count? I had a prepaid stay last Friday but have not seen the bonus (or the points from the stay) post to my account yet.

  5. I think it does actually need to be during a stay, though. On a whim, I stopped in and bought a snack and soda from the front desk of my local Radisson with my Club Carlson card, and I did not get the bonus.

  6. Similar thing happened to me with a Marriott promo. Had the front desk agent create a “temp guest account” for me with my credit card attached. Then purchased something which posted to that account which eventually posted to my AMEX credit card and I received the bonus. Don’t know if Club Carson works the same – maybe worth a try.

  7. Did not work for me on a prepaid stay (via Hotwire) where I dined at restaurant, charged to room, and paid with Club Carlson Visa.

  8. I completed a 2-night stay in Radisson Blu in Gdansk, Poland 3 days ago using points for the stay. I only paid for the breakfast 2 days using my Carlson Biz card. 30,000 points credited to my today. Surprise to me!

  9. I had a 2-night stay on points from April 17-19 with nothing charged to the room. To my surprise, I got 30,000 points for the stay posted April 26.

  10. For employer accounting reasons I have to pay for hotel stays with my employer’s card. Figure if I stayed at a Radisson, paid for the stay with my employer’s card but incidentals with my Club Carlson Visa, this would work, no?

  11. Had same experience as Darrell: I stayed 2 award nights and didn’t have anything charged to my room, didn’t use my card at all — and still got 30000! Sweet!

    But just to be safe, already used them for a reservation next year…

  12. This would be a nice treat. We have two rooms booked for two nights on each of our 4 CC cards/accounts in Athens in June. Net of these points, it would end up costing us 4000 points a night!

  13. Also had a 2 night award stay (Apr 17-19) & got 30,000 points over this past weekend without charging anything.

  14. Any experiences/info on paid stay but not using CC card triggering bonus? Would prefer not to use it on an international stay because of FTF.

  15. I had a two night award stay in early April. Used Sapphire card at check in (because I’m in burning–rather than earning–mode) and charged bar bill to the room. A few days later, points posted for the bar bill plus the 30K bonus points.

  16. I received the 30k bonus for a stay last week that I did not book or use my Club Carlson Visa. (It was a business trip and we have to use our corporate cards.)

  17. Is the bonus tied to the credit card, or the Club Carlson account?

    I have 2 cards, one business, one personal, which means 2 different Club numbers. I only use one for my stays so that I can ensure to get Concierge status.

    But I would like to get the 30K bonus for both accounts. Any idea how to do that without a stay on the second Club account? I can pay with either credit card off course.


  18. Just got off the phone with CSA who told me it had to be a paid stay. We stayed on points May 3-5, charged lunch to the room, charged to the room, paid the hotel bill with the Club Carlson card, but no 30,000 bonus points. Anyone else have this experience? Should I hang up and call back?

  19. @Bruce: I also had the same experience. On a recent award stay in Paris, I ate in the hotel restaurant specifically to trigger this bonus. Alas, all that posted to my Carlson account were 789 points (for what may have been the most expensive – albeit delicious – burger I’d ever eaten). Kind of a drag – since based on this post, I’d expected the bonus would also have posted.

    Gary: would you think there’s sense in contacting Carlson about this?

  20. I agree with Gary. They probably fixed what was broken in awarding the 30,000 points on award stays Instead of only on paid stays.

  21. Any update? Does this still apply? I have some award stays coming up and am hoping to know whether it’s worth it to pay for breakfast with my card or not.

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