Saturday, January 19, 2013

Club Carlson Gold points to the rescue

Last week the wife and I found us stranded at Dallas (DFW) airport with a 12-hour layover (6pm to 6am).  The airport lounges close for the night so sleeping in an airport lounge wasn’t an option for us.  The idea of sleeping in the airport didn’t appeal to us either. 

We collect different types of points that allow for free hotel stays including Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citibank ThankYou Points, SPG Starpoints, and Club Carlson Gold points.   

Right now we are saving our Ultimate Reward points for an international trip to Asia later this year, and we redeemed most of our Citibank ThankYou points to pay for our honeymoon (more on that trip another time). 

The choice came down to a Starwood property versus a Club Carlson property.
First, I did a quick hotel search for Starwood hotels at  I found 2 hotels, one at $197 / night  or 4,000 Starpoints and one at $200 / night or  7,000 Starpoints.
Next I searched for Club Carlson affiliated hotels (Radisson, Park Plaza, Park Inn, and Country Inns & Suites) at  I found a hotel for $99 a night or 9,000 Gold Points.  
We currently have over 80,000 Starpoints and over 160,000 Club Carlson Gold points available through various promotions in the past.   Since we have much more Club Carlson points and we value Starpoints more, I decided to book a free room with Club Carlson.
The room was actually pretty nice.  We enjoyed our comfortable room with free wifi.  Hot tip: Most hotels near airports provide free shuttles to pick you up from the airport as well as drop you off every 30 minutes.   Booking with Club Carlson points is instant and free.  There were absolutely no taxes or fees on our completely free night stay.
Diversifying your reward points can really come in handy; it’s like having an extra savings account.    

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