Good morning everyone! With the impending demise of the “old” US Bank Club Carlson Credit Card, I thought it would be a good idea to compare the “new” Club Carlson free night certificate with other free night certificates from other co-brand hotel credit cards. Here is the table comparing Intercontinental, Hyatt, Marriott, Club Carlson, Hilton, Fairmont, and Starwood:
I added Starwood as a reminder that this is one of the few co-brand hotel credit cards that does not offer a free night certificate. Maybe someday AMEX and Starwood will add that benefit.
This table is in order from best free night certificate to worst free night certificate based on the co-brand hotel credit card’s annual fee, annual spending, and category restriction. As always, the Chase Intercontinental (IHG) Credit Card has the best free night certificate, since you can stay at any IHG hotel anywhere in the world just for paying the $49 annual fee. That benefit simply cannot be beat!
Coming in at silver and bronze are the Chase Hyatt Credit Card and the Chase Marriott Rewards (personal and business) Credit Card which also offer free night certificates after paying the annual fee ($75 – $99 depending on the credit card). Unfortunately, both of these free night certificates have category restrictions, meaning you cannot stay at any top tier hotels. The Marriott free night certificate is only valid for 6 months. Apparently when I pay the *annual fee,* I am only offered a *semi-annual* free night certificate. If you do not use your certificate before the 6 month period, call Marriott / Ritz Carlton to have them extend the certificate for another 6 months (see link for more details). I hope Marriott gets their act together and starts to issue annual free night certificates like all the other hotels on this list.
Up next, we have the “new” Club Carlson free night certificate which you can earn each year you spend $10,000 or more on US Bank Club Carlson (personal or business) Credit Card. The drawback to this free night certificate is that the certificate can only be redeemed at US hotels. I hope Club Carlson changes this benefit to include all hotels, but until then, the certificate can only be redeemed for domestic hotels.
Up next, we have the Hilton free night certificate which you can earn each year you spend $10,000 or more on the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Credit Card. The drawback to this free night certificate is that the certificate can only be redeemed on weekends. I’m not sure if I should switch the order with the “new” Club Carlson credit card. Which certificate is worse: only using the certificate on the weekend or only using the certificate in the US?
Last but not least, we have the Fairmont free night certificate which you can earn each year you spend $12,000 or more on the Chase Fairmont Credit Card. This free night certificate requires a bit more spending than the “new” Club Carlson and Hilton free night certificates, but there are no category restrictions for using the credit card. Since I do not have this credit card and have never stayed at a Fairmont, should I move this card up the list above the “new” Club Carlson free night certificate?
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. Have a great day everyone!