Club Carlson℠ Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card
The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature card doesn’t get as much attention as some other hotel credit cards, but it offers surprisingly good benefits. The great things about the card are the sign-up bonus, the anniversary bonus, how many points you can rack up through everyday spending and complimentary Gold Elite Status with Club Carlson.
The card does have one major downside, however; you’ll get charged a foreign transaction fee if you use it abroad. Considering that most cards with an annual fee no longer charge a foreign transaction fee, this is something to keep in mind. It probably means you won’t use the Club Carlson Premier card as your primary card, especially when you travel.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the Club Carlson℠ Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers and the value of the U.S. Bank Club Carlson℠Rewards Gold Points® you earn.
The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature card offers a 50,000 points sign-up bonus after making your first purchase within three months of opening your account. Additionally, it’s possible to earn 35,000 more bonus points by spending $2,500 within the first three months. Every year, on your card member anniversary, 40,000 bonus points will be awarded, too.
What You Get
- 50,000 Gold Points® after making your first purchase
- Get an additional 35,000 Gold Points® if you spend $2,500 within 3 months
- Every year you have the card you’ll get a bonus of 40,000 Gold Points®
- Every year you have the card you’ll get a bonus of Free night if you spend $10,000 in a year
- Automatic Gold Elite Status or 15 elite qualifying nights with Carlson Rezidor
- 10 Gold Points® per dollar at Carlson Rezidor hotels
- 5 Gold Points® per dollar on all other purchases
Club Carlson points expire if there is no activity on the account within a 24-month period. Earning points, including spending on the credit card, and redeeming points are qualifying activities.
What is the value of the Club Carlson℠Rewards Gold points®?
The value of Club Carlson points depends on how you use them. At a minimum, it should be possible to get at least 0.38 cents per point, though high-value redemptions can easily be worth one cent per point or more. It’s always best to look up both the cash price and the points price for a given hotel reservation to determine if it is worth using your points.
What is CPP and How is it Calculated?
Cents Per Point (CPP) is a way to measure the value of points. It tells you how many cents you get for each point you redeem by dividing the cash price of the hotel room by the number of points of an equivalent award stay costs. This can be a somewhat subjective calculation because the price of the stay in both cash and points fluctuates by season and availability.
How we calculate CPP:
The Best Ways to Redeem Club Carlson Gold points®
The best way to use Club Carlson points is for free nights or Points + Cash nights at Club Carlson hotels. Club Carlson offers some insanely cheap hotel redemptions, including the art’otel Berlin Kudamm in Berlin, Germany, and the Radisson Blu Beke Hotel in Budapest, Hungary, which cost only 15,000 points per night. There are a number of other great midrange and super-nice Club Carlson hotels, but it’s always worth it to compare the cash price for the night you want to stay to the price in points.
Country Inn & Suites By CarlsonSeattle, WA · Category 4Points price38,000pointsDollars price/Night$107
Radisson Hotel FortWorth South, TX · Category 1Points price9,000pointsDollars price/Night$88
Country Inn & Suites By CarlsonAnaheim, CA · Category 6Points price50,000pointsDollars price/Night$129
Park Inn by RadissonHasselt, Belgium · Category 1Points price9,000pointsDollars price/Night$100
Radisson Blu HotelCairo Heliopolis, Egypt · Category 3Points price28,000pointsDollars price/Night$68
Radisson Blu PlazaDelhi Airport, India · Category 5Points price44,000pointsDollars price/Night$162
Other ways you can redeem Gold Points®
Hotel Staysmore than 1,000more than 1,000
Hotel stays are the main way to redeem Club Carlson points. Club Carlson hotels include Radisson, Country Inn & Suites, Park Inn by Radisson and Park Plaza properties.
You can redeem your Club Carlson points for gift cards with Club Carlson’s retail, travel and restaurant partners.
You’ll rack up Club Carlson points pretty quickly with your everyday spending. The Club Carlson Premier card earns 10 points per dollar spent at Carlson Rezidor hotels and five points per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Car Rental
- 5Gold Points®/$1
- 5Gold Points®/$1
- 5Gold Points®/$1
- Carlson Rezidor purchases
- 10Gold Points®/$1
- 5Gold Points®/$1
- All Other Purchases
- 5Gold Points®/$1
Receive instant Gold Elite status with Carlson Rezidor. If you already have status, you’ll get 15 elite qualifying nights that count toward the next elite level.
Receive free recommendations and advice for a wide variety of services and goods through the Visa Signature Concierge service.
Foreign Transaction Fee
You’ll be charged a 2% fee for each foreign purchase transaction or foreign ATM advance transaction in U.S. Dollars, and a 3% fee for each foreign purchase transaction or foreign ATM advance transaction in a Foreign Currency.
Earn Elite Status Fast
When you have the Club Carlson Premier Rewards card, you will automatically be upgraded to Gold Elite Status with Club Carlson. Normally, you would need at least 35 nights or 20 stays per year in order to earn Gold Elite status.
- Get instant Gold Elite status with Carlson Rezidor.
- If you already have Gold status, you’ll get 15 qualifying nights toward the next status level.
Fees: the cost of Having the Card
The Club Carlson Premier card has a $75 annual fee. If you make $3,948 in purchases a year, you’ll cover the cost of the card. That’s because you’ll earn at least 19,736 points, and they’re worth at least 0.38 cents each. If you spend about $2,000 a month, you’ll pay for the card in 2 months.
Since the combined welcome bonuses total 85,000 points, you more than cover the annual fee for the first year. In fact, since you earn 40,000 points every year on your card member anniversary, you’ll automatically cover the annual fee without spending anything at all.
- Annual Fee
- Balance Transfer Fee
Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- 2% - for foreign transaction in $; 3% - in a Foreign Currency
- Late Payment Fee
- Up to $38
See What It Takes to Cover an Annual Fee:
Get anniversary bonus: 40,000 Gold Points®
You will receive 40,000 bonus points each anniversary year – enough to cover more than a half of the annual fee.
We strongly recommend to spend not less than $1,316 per months to cover the annual fee in three months.
We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings you’ll get with the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature card. Is the card worth getting, and should you keep it after you get the sign-up bonus? Let’s find out.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card
The Club Carlson Premier card has many benefits. Here are the top five:
- Great Earning Potential: You’ll get bonus points for every purchase you make. Every dollar you spend earns at least 5 points, and purchases at Club Carlson hotels earn 10 points per dollar.
- Big Sign-Up Bonus: This card comes with a huge sign-up bonus of 85,000 points. That’s enough to redeem a free night at any Club Carlson property in the world!
- Anniversary Bonus: Every year on your card anniversary, you’ll earn 40,000 points. That more than covers the annual fee of the card as long as you use the points.
- Automatic Gold Status: Get an automatic upgrade to Gold Status with Club Carlson. Normally it would take 35 nights or 20 stays a year to earn Gold.
- Earn a Free Night: When you spend at least $10,000 on your card within a calendar year, you’ll earn a free night for use at Club Carlson properties in the U.S.
Should You Get the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature?
The Club Carlson Premier Rewards card is pretty much a no-brainer if you have the need for occasional hotel stays. Between the generous 85,000 points sign-up bonus, the 40,000 anniversary points and the free night at a U.S. hotel after spending $10,000 within a year, this card’s got you covered. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be upgraded to Gold status for all of your stays.
That said, the card does fall a little short in a couple of areas. Most importantly, it charges a foreign transaction fee. Most cards that charge an annual fee no longer have foreign transaction fees, but that’s just not true here. For that reason, it would not make sense to use this card on purchases abroad, even at Club Carlson hotels.
Considering the card’s affordable $75 annual fee, it would definitely make sense to get it if you think you’ll spend two or more nights per year in cities that have Club Carlson properties.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
- Most people who are approved for this card report having a credit score of 710 or higher. It is possible to get approved with a lower score, and it is possible to get denied even if you have a higher score. U.S. Bank will evaluate your entire application before deciding to approve or deny it.
- If you aren’t already a Club Carlson member, it’s okay. When you apply for your new credit card, you will automatically be assigned a Club Carlson number if you don’t already have one. For this reason, there’s no need to sign-up to be a Club Carlson member before you apply for the credit card.
- Unfortunately, this is something that is no longer available. Previously, holders of the Club Carlson Premier Visa card were able to redeem points for stays that were two nights or longer and get the last night free. This means that two-night stays had the last night free, three-night stays had the last night free, and so on. Club Carlson discontinued this part of their program and replaced it with the ability to earn a free night at a U.S. hotel after spending $10,000 within a year.
- The lowest number of points required for a free night at a Club Carlson property is only 9,000.
- Yes, Club Carlson does offer Points + Cash reservations. If you don’t have enough points for a completely free night, this is one option to save some money. Additionally, sometimes the value achieved for your points is different for Points + Cash reservations when compared with full points reservations, so it’s always worth checking!
Before you decide to apply for the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature card, you should consider the other Club Carlson credit cards that are available, including the Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature card and the Club Carlson Rewards Visa card.
Other Club Carlson Rewards cards
|Sign-up bonus||60,000 Gold Points®||85,000 Gold Points®||30,000 Gold Points®|
|APR On Purchases||15.24% to 24.24% Variable±||15.24% to 24.24% Variable±||24.24% Variable±|
|Second Year Value||$369||$608||$91|
All three of these cards earn Club Carlson points both for the sign-up bonus and everyday spending. The differences between these cards are how many points you can earn and the annual fees.
If you’re not sure about the Club Carlson Premier’s $75 annual fee, know that the Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature only has a $50 fee, and the Club Carlson Rewards Visa doesn’t have an annual fee. However, both cards offer lower sign-up bonuses and rewards for everyday spending.
The Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature card offers a 60,000 points sign-up bonus, three points per dollar spent on most purchases and six points at Club Carlson properties. The Club Carlson Rewards Visa offers a 30,000 points sign-up bonus, just one point per dollar spent on most purchases and three points at Club Carlson properties.
Compare the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card to Other Cards
In addition to the Club Carlson cards, it is worth considering other hotel credit cards. We’ll take a quick look at the Choice Privileges Visa Signature, the Starwood Preferred Guest Business card and the IHG Rewards Club Select. All of these hotels offer good options for hotel redemptions, but they’re all a little different.
These cards all offer good sign-up bonuses and reasonable annual fees. What really matters when deciding which one to get is how you plan to use your points. If you frequently travel to a city that doesn’t have a hotel from one of these programs, that card may not be a good choice.
Additionally, the IHG card is the only other card that offers as good of an anniversary bonus as the Club Carlson card. With the IHG card, you’ll get a free night that’s good at any IHG property around the world every year when you renew your card.
If you want more flexibility for your points, the SPG card probably makes the most sense. SPG points can be used at SPG hotels, but they points can also be transferred to nearly any airline program and redeemed for flights. There’s not a bad choice in this bunch, and it depends what hotels you usually stay at and how often.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature card, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this Visa Signature card.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- 15.24% to 24.24% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 24 - 30 days
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 26.24% Variable±
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Either 4% of the amount of each advance or $5 minimum, whichever is greater
Security and Protections
The Club Carlson Premier card from U.S. Bank offers standard security features.
- Automatic Bill Pay:
- Never worry about missing a payment with automatic bill pay.
- Zero Fraud Liability:
- You’re not liable for any unauthorized charges.
- EMV Chip + Signature Technology:
- Get global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip-enabled terminals.
U.S. Bank offers a mobile app so you can monitor your account activity while you’re on the go. The Club Carlson Premier card is also compatible with Apply Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
In addition to the benefits already discussed, the Club Carlson Premier comes with all the perks of a Visa Signature card.
Visa Signature Travel Benefits
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
- Coverage for theft and collision for most rentals in the U.S. and abroad. Coverage is secondary to your personal insurance.
- Lost Luggage Coverage:
- If your luggage gets lost while you’re traveling, you’re covered if you paid for your flights with your Club Carlson Premier card.
- Travel Accident Insurance:
- Receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $1,000,000 for any air, bus, train or cruise ship transportation paid for with your card.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services:
- Legal and medical referrals, and other travel and emergency assistance is available any time of day. Service charges apply.