Club Carlson

One Year Blogging Anniversary & 50,000 Club Carlson Point Giveaway!

The other day one of the bloggers I follow on Twitter announced her 1-year blogging anniversary. This prompted me to check my own history. I felt I was getting close to the 1-year mark, but wasn’t entirely sure. Sure enough, my blogging anniversary was on September 2! Yes, it’s been a year since I started this blog and it’s been a pretty amazing one.

It all started with my 2011 trip to Afghanistan, Shortly after I started blogging, I got a spot on MMS’s weekly interview series. Next, I was asked to guest blog for Frugal Travel Guy. A few months later, I was asked to join BoardingArea. Eight months later I was offered a job as Managing Editor of Frugal Travel Guy and FlyerTalk.

I’m truly grateful for all of these experiences and all that’s come my way as a result of starting this blog. I want to say thanks to all who regularly read, subscribe to, and follow this blog.

As a show of appreciation, I’m going to give away 50,000 Club Carlson Gold Points. I’m a huge fan of the program and there are quite a few ways to put those points to good use. Here are the giveaway rules:

  • Enter by leaving feedback about the site (suggestions for future posts, etc) OR tell me about your favorite PointChaser post. I know, this is a bit self-serving, but like I’d to know what readers want in terms of future content.
  • You can earn additional entries by tweeting your comments to @PointChaser with hashtag #Pointchaser.
  • Giveaway ends September 15 at 11:59 PM (PT)
  • Winner will be randomly chosen, using and announced on Monday, September 16. Prize will be delivered electronically.

Best of luck!

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  1. It was your post on Mystery Shopping Goes Awry and free mystery shopping guide that hooked me on Coyle Hospitality Group. I turned a phone call or two into a some freebies.

    By far, the funniest story was trade school experience you shared on that post! Good times.

    Happy Anniversary Ariana!

  2. Your post on your travel to Afghanistan. That is something very unique and haven’t seen it anywhere else.

  3. My favorite posts were your trip reports about Afghanistan. It’s great to see the country from a different perspective!

  4. Congratulations for one year anniversary! You are so “honest” to let us know the secrets of the blogger world. Thanks!

    • Thanks Peter! Just FYI, this post went up before it was supposed to. I think you’ll agree the prize is better than before.

  5. Congratulations Ariana. I’m thrilled to have you with FTG.

    Happy Anniversary


  6. Any posts regarding points and how to use/earn them for couples/families are always much appreciated!

  7. Congrats on the one year anniversary. You’re one of a handful of sites that I follow. I think my favorite things here are that the posts are typically not just copies of what other bloggers have done. I’ve tried to get my RSS feeds down to where I’m not reading the same story over and over again, and this site made the cut!

  8. Congrats on the 1 year mark!

    Your trip to Afghanistan has to be one of the best post.

  9. Congrats, it is a breath of fresh air to read your posts.

  10. GetToThePoints

    We need a post summarizing all the annual benefits from different spend levels for various credit cards. That seems to be the hardest thing I have keeping track of.

  11. For me, your Afghanistan trip reports are the best! I’m a little bit bored of luxury first/biz cabin and hotel reports. Need something about the real world. Cheers!

  12. I really enjoyed your series on the best hotel redemption for each category in the Club Carlson and Hyatt programs. It provided a lot of great ideas for future travel. Keep up the great work!

  13. Since I too live in the Bay Area, I enjoy reading your posts regarding VR locations and possible places to find them near me.

  14. I really enjoyed your posts about the best hotel redemptions for each category. It was very useful and definitely helped inspire future trips. Congrats and keep up the great work!

  15. I enjoyed the post about the best Club Carlson redemptions in each category

  16. Justin Hurley

    I like your blog as the material is unique

  17. My favorite post was “Chaos at Dubai Airport That was about the time I started following your blog, and I’m always a sucker for a “good samaritan” story.

  18. susan golenbock

    I was so glad to read your column on Istanbul, since it made me feel as though I was there, I love knowing what’s magic about a country before I visit, and am not particularly interested in pictures of the plane or the food. Rather, I want to hear about the people, and what’s special about the country.

  19. I love your trip reports. Always nice to hear a new voice and see things through a new set of eyes in the blogosphere. Keep it coming!

  20. I actually find your Points Database portion of your website to be incredibly handy! One stop shop. Thanks!

  21. Having just visited Maui for the first time I really enjoyed your write-up of your experiences there.

  22. Congratulations on the first year! The post on “How to Meet $40,000 in Spending Requirements Next Month” is my favorite. Thanks.

  23. Congrats on the milestone.

    I enjoy your writing because it very clear and simple (I’m a simple guy). Your write up the Best Club Carlson properties, by level, is the type of posts that brings me back.

  24. A list of do’s and don’t for places that you have visited in the pass (e.g. restaurants/bars/museums/events to go or to avoid)

  25. I liked your posts on the best club carlson by category

  26. I enjoy the cultural commentary that comes along with your info on travel and points. The mixture of the two makes for the most interesting reading. Thanks.

  27. Loved all of the pictures of every day life in your Kabul post. It adds so much to the post. 🙂

  28. I like the information on how to get more points. I have always been a collector and user of them but now I am getting more serious on generating more so that I can travel more.

  29. A series on your favorite destination and how to go there using points /miles.

  30. Hi, Ariana ! I enjoyed your “IHG big win promotion” post. I’m trying to figure out how to do a post on it and link to your blog for reference. Good stuff!

  31. I enjoyed your IHG Big Win post too. Like you said, it’s gotten less attention than it deserves.

  32. Congrats on all your success in the last year.

    The most useful post for me was the one on manufactured spending.

  33. I enjoyed the Afghanistan story … it was awesome 🙂

  34. Michelle Olson

    I enjoyed the post on Afganistan…something you don’t read on all the other blogs.

  35. For me it was Afganistan also. I hope you can do more places in that detail.

    Thanks for the blog!

  36. i really enjoyed your afghanistan trip report

  37. I first became intrigued by your Afghanistan posts. Though it may be too personal, I think it’d be fascinating to know more about that part of your life and your experience living in the US as an Afghan during what has been a tumultuous period to say the least for US-Afghan relations.

    I also love your transparency on your posts on manufactured spending. I find those incredibly valuable.

  38. Here is another vote for your Afghanistan post. I do tire of all the bloggers who generally post for the Elites… me, it’s “the rich getting richer” type of thing, and not all of us are in a situation that we can maximize points in that way.

  39. Congratulation on your first year, I love reading trip reports of places that aren’t written about often, your Afghanistan Trip certainly counts as one of those.

  40. Your posts about the best hotel redemption by hotel category and hotel brand really got me hooked on your blog, i still reference those posts today. Thanks

  41. My favorite post – Club Carlson Cat 5 review – I plan to visit Dubrovnik next year and stay at the Radisson Blu

  42. Congrats on the one year anniversary. My favorite post was the one about Afghanistan. Keep up the god work 😀

  43. I have the Best Club Carlson redemptions filed in my reference folder

  44. I liked the Club Carlson redemption series. I’ve grown attached to Club Carlson after several awesome stays with them.

  45. enjoyed your Afghanistan post — always good to get other perspectives

  46. Congrats on the anniversary! Keep up the good work!

  47. I really enjoy your trip reports as well as your Mystery Shopping writings as I love to both travel and mystery shop when possible. It’s best when the mystery shopping involves travel!

  48. Overall very good content but in the future I would like more creative articles on Prepaid Card and manufactured spending

  49. I also liked best hotel redemptions. Happy anniversary!

  50. Gozer the Traveler

    Congratulations on your anniversary! I love to read all of your posts, especially the ones on meeting spending requirements. Please continue to write about Club Carlson!

  51. Congrats on your anniversary! My favorite post was on the best use of Club Carlson points, which was very helpful when I planned my last trip. Keep up the great work!

  52. Michael H.(oldfox)

    I love the post about Afghanistan. It must be a fascinating place. I am traveling now in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. After I return to Houston in about 3 weeks, perhaps I will consider Afghanistan as a sidetrip from Tajikistan next year. Happy anniversary……. Keep up the great work!!

  53. Congrats! Would like to see MR transfer partner redemption options for the lesser known partners.

  54. I enjoyed the best hotels redemptions for Hyatt. I would love to see this for all major hotel chains!

  55. I have been reading your posts for many months now and I love your good work.
    Very useful information and helpful. Keep up the good work!

  56. Congratulations! My favorite was the hotel redemptions for Hyatt!

  57. my favorite posts are the ones about the best redemptions in each hotel program category

  58. IHG Post was awesome!!

  59. My favorite posts are the trip reports from Afghanistan and the Middle East.

  60. Congrats on the anniversary! I loved all of the Hawaii related blog posts!

  61. I’m a brand new reader to your site, but I enjoyed your post on top Hyatt & Club Carlson redemption options. Look forward to exploring your site more.

  62. Aleksander Nordahl

    Hi, really like your blog. Started reading when i realized that I was going to spend a lot of time in ClubCarlson-hotels. my favourite post is of course the best-club-carlson-hotel-redemptions…

    Best regards,
    Alex, Norway

  63. I really like the Club Carlson best redemption series.

  64. Congrats on your anniversary of blogging, and best wishes for your upcoming year. I completely became a fan with your Afghanistan entry and even created a shortcut to you from my desktop months and months ago. Devoted reader. Seems I’m always short on hotel points and tend to focus on hotel points accrual entries, so if that becomes a new focus for your blogging, it wouldn’t kill me. 🙂 Thx for the Club Carlson giveaway opportunity.

  65. The mystery shopping post was a very interesting one. I never followed up on it but it gave me good insight into the whole thing….something i knew almost nothing about. The Afghan trip was also great content!

  66. Report on Afghanistan.

  67. Points database.

  68. I love the hyatt award level best of the best posts.

  69. I really enjoyed the posts on the best use of hyatt and club carlson points. I have gone back to those post many times.

  70. best use of hyatt and cc points and congrats on 1 year

  71. This is a great post because I just got the Club Carlson card and was wondering about the properties they have. Also my first time stumble upon your post. So this is favorite post.:)

  72. my fav post is the one about the $40k/month spending for a single person.

  73. I liked the club carlson series best. I hope I win so I can put your recommendations to use. 🙂

  74. The Afghanistan article is great, and the Maui posts have lead me to want to visit more of Hawaii than just Oahu. Congrats, would love to keep seeing great trip reports!

  75. My favorite posts are the Afghanistan series. It is great to see posts that not just describe the places but also includes observations and interactions with the locals there. I can also see that you try to give back as much as you can to your community.

  76. Your best hotel category for Club Carlson are AMAZING!

  77. I enjoy your trip reports.

  78. Congrats on your anniversary of blogging, Ariana. Best wishes for your upcoming years. I do appreciate your series on the Best Club Carlson Hotel Redemption. I did not know about this (and your blog) until saw your post at ThePointsGuy (if I remember correctly).

  79. The two series on Best Redemptions for Hyatt and Club Carlson are so useful… I’d love seeing the same thing for the other chains!

  80. I really enjoy your best hotels by chain/category posts; please keep them coming!

  81. Loved your Afganistan posts! Really fascinating!

  82. Loved your Afganistan posts!

  83. I enjoyed your trip reports on Afghanistan. They felt like real trips rather than sanitized reports of airport lounges, hotels and what food was served in first class.

  84. General suggestions for posts is MORE DATA! Im of the impression that point people (like all of us) are really just data junkies. I love great articles that include a bunch of data that would otherwise take me hours of precious time to collect 🙂

    Congrats on the blog! Trying to get one up and running myself, but ‘life’ keeps getting in the way!

  85. Congrats and I really enjoyed your Afghanistan trip.

  86. Happy anniversary!!

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