Status match, activate and charge, rollover.
I received my Club Carlson Premier Rewards card yesterday, Business Rewards also approved from same-day applications, though Business Rewards took a few days of processing in contrast to instant approval for the Premier Rewards.
I knew about the Gold Elite status benefit that comes with both of those cards (while Platinum Rewards confers Silver Elite status, and the no annual fee Rewards confers no status) though not the lesser personal versions. But I am already Gold Elite from a status-match earlier this year, and noticed footnote 6 in the card description (bold emphasis added):
6 Elite Night Credit: If you are already a Gold or Concierge Elite member (Silver, Gold or Concierge for Platinum Rewards) in the Club Carlson program at the time that you applied for your Account, you are eligible to earn a one-time credit of 15 nights (10 nights for Platinum Rewards) towards obtaining or maintaining your current Concierge Elite status (Gold or Concierge for Platinum Rewards) after opening your Account and your first Net purchase on the Card (“Elite Night Credit”). Elite Night Credits are eligible for Elite Roll Over Nights the first year following the date of issuance, but will not carry-over thereafter. Please allow 6 to 8 weeks after the date of the first Net Purchase to receive your Elite Night Credit. The Elite Night Credit is not available to applicants who have had this Card or another Club Carlson credit card product within the last 12 months.
I have no idea what my travel patterns will be in the next 1-2 years, but with the year almost at an end, I will not activate/use my cards until January 1, so that I can get the Elite Night Credits in 2013 and have them through 2014. Maybe in 2014 I will stay at a ton of their properties and those nights will come in handy.
The terms says I won’t get the bonus twice. I will post if I get both, maybe try the ‘2-activation method’ and the ‘2-purchase method’ in the spirit of the ‘2-browser method’.
For those who plan to get the cards and plan to go for Concierge Elite status, then a consider a status match to Gold prior to getting the cards so you will have the Elite Night credits. There are a number of forum discussions on getting a status match, this MilePoint one I find useful because it shows that matches in 2012 were good through Feb 28, 2014 so I have no worries about waiting until 2013 to activate. (The Club Carlson website currently does not display elite status expiration.)
Is Club Carlson worth it over Gold? Probably not worth making any special effort (see comparison table). You don’t need any nights to have Gold with the credit card vs 75 night/30 stays for Concierge Elite. If these Elite Night Credits put you over the top for Concierge Elite, though, an extra 1,000 point online booking bonus, 25% point bonus, and free breakfast are nice to have. Don’t forget the ego benefit of top-tier status!
Note 1: Rapid Travel Chai does not receive any commission for the Radisson credit cards, and is unaware of any better offer than the current publicly available offer.
Note 2: Many people have expressed indignation that US Bank has denied their applications or approved them for the lesser Platinum card. Why wouldn’t US Bank want people with dozens of cards who use them for the sign-up bonuses and benefits and never put another dollar of spend on them?