Rookie Misplay #6 – Annual Fees Don’t Count Towards Minimum Spend
Back in May I applied for the Club Carlson Visa. It’s a great card and for a $75 annual fee you get 50,000 Club Carlson Gold Points after your first purchase and 35,000 more after spending $2500 in 3 months. You also get Club Carlson Gold status, and an extra bonus night benefit where when redeeming Gold Points for two or more nights the last night is free! Upon card renewal (and a second annual fee) you get 40,000 more points.
For an example of how far those points go, I recently redeemed 28,000 for a two night Country Inn and Suites stay in Atlanta. And 50,000 will get you two nights at a Radisson Blu!
My third statement just closed – and guess what, no points. I messed up! I had double checked that I paid over $2500 to confirm that I met the spending. The catch was that $75 of that was for the first year annual fee. So in reality, I spent a little over $2450. I was aware annual fees didn’t count, and have avoided this in the past. I simply overlooked it this time. So here’s a reminder for those who know, and a lesson for those who are new. Don’t make my mistakes!
I called the number on the back of the card to see if there was anything that could be done. I spoke with a very friendly agent who sounded like she wanted to help. I was put on hold for about 10 minutes, but she came back after talking to her supervisor and said there was nothing she could do – which is the answer I was expecting. This is sad, but definitely not that bad. The card gives 5X on spending, so points are not that hard to get. If I had to miss it on a card, I’m glad it was this one.