There are very few hotel programs useful to people who like to get off the beaten path and out into the bush where the birds are. After a major mass burning of points last year, I was down to 2 useful programs – Club Carlson and IHG. One day remains on the lucrative benefit of the Club Carlson Visa in which you could redeem one free night for one award night. Club Carlson did have a few properties that were well located for eco-tourists such as the Summit in Panama, the Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth and the now defunct Radisson in Tahiti. I also burned quite a few points to visit Tel Aviv and Nice using the free night benefit while we were in Europe attending the World Parrot Conference in Loro Parque.
I still had ample points for the radisson in San Juan where it would have made a nice base for visits to El Yunque Rainforest but that property has since left the Club Carlson chain. I managed to use the last few points I had for 2 free nights in Bogota where we can make a day trip to Chingaza NP and 2 free nights in Minneapolis to visit family next year. The last few points I have will probably get sent to an airline when I need to bump up the miles. I’ll be cancelling my Club Carlson Visa when it next comes due. If they had more properties in places where we will be traveling, I might have kept it but there are just too few Club Carlson hotels in exotic places!
So goodbye Club Carlson, it was nice knowing you for the last few years!
I still have the annual IHG free nights from the Chase card and enough points for some redemptions at airport hotels as required. IHG is larger and has hotels in more locations I can use. Otherwise, I will be booking independent hotels and earning airline miles using Pointshound and Rocketmiles from now on!