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Why does one sign up for a credit card, and especially why might it be worth keeping long-term? To me, there are 3 basic reasons when choosing a credit card
- Signup bonus (probably the biggest one for me)
- Recurring spending bonuses, such as the 5x spending bonus on the Chase Ink card which gives lots of free money at office supply stores.
- Inherent perks of the card, such as status with a hotel, or free lounge access, or free checked bags.
The Club Carlson Visa has one of the best credit card perks out there I think. I’ve written about it before, but on any award stay, your last night is free.
Obviously this is best used when staying for 2 nights. In fact, One Mile at a Time just had a post where he talked about staying at various Club Carlson hotels on his recent trip to Iceland. He stayed in several different Radissons in part I’m sure to try out different hotels but I’m sure also in part to maximize the Last Night Free bonus.
Planning our next family vacation
So we’ve actually had a pretty full summer of traveling, both with and without the kiddos. Although we did pull off a successful Bartering for Babysitting (trading a roundtrip plane ticket for a weekend of kid-watching), I don’t think we have any upcoming “getaway” plans.
So that turns us to a total family vacation. We’ve tossed around a few places as potential spots, but we’re mostly focusing on places within a 4-6 hour drive of home. We drove to Chicago (5hr) for our family trip to Reno and it went mostly without problems, so we’re setting that as sort of the maximum radius.
Plus, the kids just don’t care about whatever destination we’re at. For real, if it has a swimming pool and a waffle-maker, we’re golden.
Where to go, where to go….
I had a hankering to use some Club Carlson points, so I pulled up AwardMapper, which is my tool of choice when I don’t really care where I stay.
Dragging the map around (isn’t the Internet great?) I saw some potential options in Nashville (4hrs away)
Do Bonus Night Awards work on multiple rooms?
Now I already knew that you couldn’t stack them back to back (i.e. stay for 4 nights and get the 2nd and 4th nights free). But I was not sure how it might work on multiple rooms.
Since unlike Lucky at One Mile at a Time, I actually DO have a Brady Bunch, we can’t really do 1 regular hotel room. Snagging a 2BR suite at a Homewood Suites has worked for us before, but generally we’ll need 2 hotel rooms.
Since 2 nights is about all the family vacation we can really handle, I thought that Club Carlson might work out perfectly – use 30,000 points to book 2 Category 2 rooms, then get the 2nd nights free.
Trying to book that online, I ran into the website limitation that you can’t book multiple rooms on points. I’ve seen this before on other sites (IHG) but you’d have to book them separately.
So then I took a look at the terms and conditions – Here’s the “fine print” on the Bonus Award Night terms.
- For multiple night / multiple room bookings, only one room will receive the Bonus Award Night.
So now what?
One option might be to book them separately (since you have to do that anyways). I am not sure what would happen there, but it seems that it would be pretty risky.
The other option is to have my wife apply for a card as well, since then she can book one room and I can book the other, and since we’ll both be Club Carlson Visa holders, that should work out perfectly. We are actually prepping for another credit card churn soon, so that could work out well.
Anyone else have experience booking multiple Club Carlson rooms? Would the separate booking trick work?