Oh Club Carlson, oh US Bank, oh sometimes I get a feeling that they are messing with us for their own entertainment much like a boy shining a magnifying glass on an insect crossing the sidewalk. It’s a waste of time to retell the story of the devaluation, the lack of the e-certs, and the eventual jubilation of receiving them. There are two new, more pressing issues regarding these institutions.
Minimum night requirements:
I was casually browsing hotels around the world for New Years Eve and came across a few decent redemptions for Club Carlson with rooms available. As is my rule from the Vacationer’s Guide to Vacations, I planned on staying 3-4 nights in one city to see and do everything required to stay true to the Guns & Butter Travel Philosophy. The majority of hotels have minimum night requirements for peak season travel but nothing longer than 4 nights. Since that worked with my plan, I thought I could speculatively book some reward nights and cancel later if I found a hotel or city that was more appealing.
This could not be done because the e-certs can only be booked for one night and there is no way to override the computer to say e-cert for night one, cash and points for night two, points for night three etc. Contacting the hotel directly also proved fruitless. The only way to meet the minimum stay requirement is to book a room for the same rate for 4 consecutive nights. I burned my Club Carlson on a 2016 trip to Iceland so that wasn’t an option.
Where is my e-cert?
Had I convinced customer care or the local hotel that I was meeting the minimum stay requirement by using a mixture of cash, points, e-certs, and cash n points, it would all be for naught. While on hold for an hour, I thought it wise to have the certificate numbers handy in case the voice of reason interceded in my favor. Instead, here is what I found:
That’s right, no E-Cert. Speechless, angry, dumbfounded, all of the above, I hung up the phone and can’t be bothered to deal with either US Bank or Club Carlson.