Things have been dull around here for a while, especially after the Vanilla Reload shutdown. Aside from completing an $82,000 spending requirement, I’ve been twiddling my thumbs and getting bored with points and miles. Today, I’ve got something to be excited about: I finally got approved for the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature card! This card has been on my wish list since it came out, but my first application was rejected. Even after the obligatory reconsideration call, they would not budge.
When I brought this up, Howie explained that the reason it’s so hard to get approved for the card is because US bank looks at the number of credit inquiries. As a a result, card churners tend to get their applications rejected and the way to get around this is to freeze your ARS report. I didn’t follow this step before either application, but did get approved the second time. It may be because I received an invitation to apply for the card, with a specific code. A pre-approval of sorts.
In the spur of the moment, I decided to give it a shot and forget about it if it didn’t work out. This morning, three days after applying for the Club Carlson card, I received an approval email. I’m not sure why I was approved this time around, since I’ve racked up plenty more credit inquiries since the first application. But perhaps they’re loosening up the rules.
I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited about a credit card since my Sapphire Preferred application two years ago. The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa is definitely the best hotel credit card in terms of point accrual and perks. For starters, cardholders who book at least two award nights get their last night free. This basically doubles the value of your Club Carlson Gold points. Currently, I have nearly 600,000 points saved up, which is enough for 8 – 66 nights at a Club Carlson hotel, depending on the hotel category.
While the $75 annual fee isn’t waived on the card, the 97,500 sign-up bonus is worth it. Plus, cardholders get Gold status along with a 40,000 point bonus each year for renewing the card. Which is worth well over $75.
Club Carlson is one of the best hotel program in terms of earning free nights. Standard Red members can earn a free night at a Club Carlson Category 1 hotel after spending just $450 on hotel stays. Combined with the Club Carlson card and the elevated Gold membership (which earns a 15% point bonus), it takes just $272 in spending for a free night at a Category 1 hotel.
This is totally starting to sound like a paid advertisement for the Club Carlson card. But if I could just have one hotel card, this would absolutely be it. It’s nice to get excited about something again when things have been so dull in the manufactured spending game. I’m looking forward to putting the card (and the points) to good use next year.
Have you applied for the Club Carlson Visa? What has your experience been?