Don’t let Club Carlson / US Bank get away with latest devaluation without getting something back!

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The link above that is still currently live is the same one I used about 6 months ago to get my US Bank Club Carlson card. Now there are some interesting bits on that application page.

One of the most important to me is the perk that when you book two days in a row, the second night is free. This, as we have seen first blogged about by Frequent Miler yesterday, will be ending on 1JUNE2015.

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The key part of the application page shows that you get all of the above for paying the $75 annual fee that is NOT waived the first year.

Now here is the deal. Banks have really tight rules. They can get in BIG trouble with the government, especially the CFPB, if they do not live up to the terms and conditions when you got the card.

To me, by changing the terms of card membership mid stream rather than extending it until your card membership year ends, breaks the rules. So what to do?

tweets to usbank

I was really upset when I learned the news and tweeted to Club Carlson and US Bank and let them know. That did not do much good but I did feel a little better 😉

Later in the day Friday, I did what I should have done in the first place and that is call and ask for compensation for breaking the terms of my card membership.

The first rep was completely worthless. She was nasty and wrong in most of what she told me. I gave up and asked for a supervisor. The worthless first rep reprimanded me and told me that the superior would not refund any of my membership fee or give me any points but to hold. After 10+ minutes on hold a supervisor, after I had explained my displeasure, and was first offered 2,500 points. I said that is not enough to offset 6 months of lost perks. I asked for 15,000 and was offered 7,500 and I accepted.

Since I have prepaid the card I will keep it for the full year as the perks still for now are worth it but then I will dump that card as the value of the card is just done to me. As you can see from my affiliate link you can still get the perks and if you do book before 1JUNE15 you can still enjoy the perks. I would, however, call after 1JUNE15 when the change hits and ask for points as I did.

Now the card has also announced a change to 1 free night after 10k spend. That is not worth it to me. I would much rather spend 10k on an SPG AMEX card that will give me much greater value, but that is just me.

What do you think of the change? Have you called yet to get some bonus points for the changes? – René
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11 comments

  1. Totally agree. Who would spend 10k on personal and business when they could do that on SPG?

    And a free night in the US? Garbage.

    I’m torn if I should keep it for the 40k anniversary and just accept that it’s half the value like we have with Hilton.

  2. No question, this stinks. Removing the largest single benefit is harsh. As someone who has both the personal and business cards, I’m torn. I’m not making any rash choices, but will see what other decisions work for me.

  3. Asking for points is a great idea. Waiting until the benefit is gone is brilliant. Still 7,500 added to my current balance still isn’t a free night so I would need to use the card or sock drawer and wait for AF points to post and then it’s just a single night not BOGO. I really see no need to keep this around as its a business card.

  4. The Club Carlson card was very lucrative so I think it was unsustainable. Just last week I booked two weekend nights at the Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago in August for 50k points using the card bonus night feature. Cash for the same two nights was about $1300 total. Clearly this couldn’t continue forever.

    On the other hand CC needs to do something to lure travelers, since they have such a weak presence in the US. This certainly doesn’t help. And a free night for $10k spend is almost insulting.

    I’m debating whether to keep the card for the Gold status (it’s nice to get an upgrade even at Country Inn) and the 40k points per year for renewing, which is enough for one night at most of their properties. For now I’m leaning toward keeping it and seeing what else shakes out in the future.

  5. That really stinks, but thank you for the heads up, Rene’. I intended to leverage the bonus nights for a UK trip later in the year and see that I need to book ASAP now.

  6. I took your suggestion and called. Got 7,500 points after talking to the supervisor. Thanks for the tip.

    The supervisor made the comment that the 40,000 point annual bonus is the US Bank decision. The bonus night for using the card is (has been) a Club Carlson promotion. She said the bank doesn’t control that, and it was a Club Carlson decision to end that benefit, not theirs. I don’t know if I believe her or not, but I pointed out that it was in their own advertising, though, as of very recently. She said they didn’t know about the change until yesterday. I asked if she really believes the CEO of Club Carlson picked up the phone yesterday and told the CEO of US Bank that they were ending the benefit? Obviously the two corporations knew about this for some time, but the bank kept advertising the benefit as though it would be in effect.

    I think the bank has responsibility here, but I also wonder if a call to Club Carlson isn’t in order.

  7. Actually, I just checked and their application landing page is STILL advertising the free bonus nights. That can’t possibly be legal.

  8. If I were to book my 1+1 reward night and then cancel the card, would that cause problems with the reservation? I say we all just dump these cards like the plague and show them they made the wrong call on this. I can see revamping the benefit to reduce “abuse” of it (say one free night per 7 day rolling period or something…heck even month would be ok with me). Without this perk, the card is useless and I plan to call and raise hell as soon as I figure out how to burn my points the quickest…

  9. @Jacbo – It should stick but I am holding until my next fee date. Now if you make changes either way after 1JUNE it looks like you are stuck so book before then.

  10. @Rene-Thanks for the heads up. I called and got 7500 for my personal and business cards (total 15K!). I was told I have to put any spend on the cards to generate statements or I would not be awarded the additional points. I’ll have to have my husband call on his card and then convince him to go somewhere for 6 nights!

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