Sep182009

Carlson Hotels Goldpoints Plus Double Points to Dec 15

Goldpoints Plus is offering unlimited double points with all Carlson Hotel stays through December 15, 2009. Goldpoints Plus regular earning rate is 20 points per $1 for Radisson, Regent, and Park Plaza brands; 15 points per $1 for Park Inn and Country Inns & Suites. Double points boosts these earning rates to 40 points per US$1 or 30 points per US$1. The high points earning ratio  is negated by the high points redemption cost for free hotel nights.

Promotion registration is required:  https://www.goldpointsplus.com/home.do 
 
[Sep 28 update: Looking back over this post I see I focused more on Goldpoints Plus Cash&Points. After taking another look at this promotion and checking some local hotels, I see room rates are significantly higher for the Double Goldpoints rate compared to the lowest available rate.
 
Here are two examples:
 
October 16-18 (Fri-Sun) two night stay at Radisson San Francisco Airport.
$115.50 per night Double Goldpoints rate
$84 per night same room and includes $10 breakfast credit (nonrefundable).
 
October 16-18 (Fri-Sun) two night stay at Country Inn & Suites, San Carlos (near SFO).
 $97.90 per night Double Goldpoints rate.
 $66.75 per night 25% off special offer rate for same room (nonrefundable).
Those are hefty premiums for earning Double Goldpoints and the significantly higher room rate being charged for Double Goldpoints effectively negates the value of the extra points.]
 
Loyalty Traveler hotel loyalty promotion key rating = 1.5 of 5 keys.
 

 
 
 

 

Radisson Hotels is Carlson Hotels’ flagship brand with over 400 hotels globally. Radisson Hotels are comprised of Radisson, Radisson Blu (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and Radisson Edwardian Hotels in the UK. Regent Hotels are the luxury brand of the Carlson portfolio with just a handful of hotels in destinations like Turks and Caicos, Maldives, Singapore, Bordeaux, Zagreb, Taipei, and Beijing.  Country Inn & Suites is a midscale hotel brand with about 480 hotels primarily located in the US. Park Plaza and Park Inn round out the Carlson Hotel portfolio.

Carlson Hotels is a slightly larger hotel chain than Starwood Hotels by number of properties with just over 1,000 hotels globally. Although Starwood Hotels has almost twice as many rooms globally.

The large amount of points required for a free room night reduces the value of Goldpoints Plus points and is Loyalty Traveler’s primary complaint about the program. The option for Points & Cash awards, periodic promotions like 50% off award nights, and brand-specific room rate discounts all combine to make Goldpoints Plus a competitive hotel loyalty program if you spend your points and cash wisely and take advantage of special offers.

Goldpoints Plus Free Hotel Nights

Goldpoints Plus Free Hotel Nights

 

https://www.goldpointsplus.com/offers/displayDetail.do?offerId=1826172

 

Earning Goldpoints Plus

Hey Goldpoints Plus. You need to redesign this webpage to enhance consumer useability. See my comments below.

I have not spent much time on the Goldpoints Plus website this past year. My first critique of the website is the difficulty in locating information about the points earning rate per dollar for hotel stays. There is a tab for “Earn” but the webpage it links to turns out to be hit or miss with information about how a member earns points from hotel stays.

The page highlights several ways a member can earn points. Unfortunately, the link for earning points from hotel stays is just one of a list of rotating options. Chances are that some consumers will have the page load without the link showing how points are earned from hotel stays. This happened to me several times as shown below.

Goldpoints Plus Ways to Earn - No link showing how to earn points from hotel stays

Goldpoints Plus Ways to Earn - No link showing how to earn points from hotel stays

You have to be lucky enough to have the Earn Points with Every Stay option be one of the choices loaded on the page to link to hotel stay earning rules. Several page loads did not show this link choice and I had almost given up before I noticed the link in an earlier screenshot I had saved. Refreshing the page several times eventually brought the “Earn points with every stay” link back.

 

Goldpoints Plus Ways to earn points option with hotel stays earning link

Goldpoints Plus Ways to earn points option with hotel stays earning link

 

https://www.goldpointsplus.com/fgp/earn/home.do

 

Earn points with every stay link (if you are fortunate enough to have it appear when the page loads), shows most hotel stays earn 20 points per $1, except Country Inns & Suites and Park Inn earn 15 points per $1.

Sizing Up Points Redemption with Goldpoints Plus

There are three Radisson Hotels locally in my area of San Francisco Bay coastal California. Radisson San Jose Airport,  Radisson San Francisco airport and the Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco. These three locations allow a comparison of the redemption rate of the Radisson Hotel compared to the redemption rate at a hotel with another major hotel chain at these same locations.

Comparing hotels across chains is challenging. Different hotel design, location, and amenities make it difficult to compare redemption rates, but it is a valid comparison for the frequent guest looking to assign comparative value of points with different hotel loyalty programs.

 

San Francisco Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf vs. Starwood’s Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf

Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf is a Goldpoints Plus Category 5 redemption property at 60,000 points per night. The double points promotion allows a member to earn 40 points per US$1 at Radisson Hotels.You would need $1,500 in spending to earn 60,000 points for a free night. Without the double points promotion you would need $3,000 in hotel spending.

Assume as a Goldpoint Plus member you have 10 stays at $150 per night during double points. The member will earn 60,000 points + 5,000 points for online booking. 65,000 points earned for $1,500 in hotel spend.

Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf is across the street from the Radisson. With Starwood Preferred Guest you need 10,000 points for a Category 4 hotel free night. At 2 Starpoints per $1 that would require $5,000 in hotel spend.

Assume an SPG member has 10 stays at $150 per night over the next couple of months during the 1,000 points per stay bonus. This SPG member earns $1,500 x 2 starpoints = 3,000 points from hotel spend. SPG bonuses add another 10,000 points. 13,000 points earned for $1,500 in hotel spend with Starwood.

$1,500 in hotel spend with Radisson earns sufficient points for one free night at Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf. The same spend and stays with Starwood hotels also earns one free night at the Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf.

Goldpoints Plus and Starwood Preferred Guest tie for value with these two hotels in San Francisco. 

Goldpoints Points & Cash vs. SPG Cash & Points

Tuesday, October 20

10,000 points + $107.40. The lowest paid rate is $143.65.

 

Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf

No Cash & Points available for October 20. Paid room rate is $179

GoldPoints wins. 10,000 points saves $36.25 + tax on room rate, but I believe it is better to save points in this situation since $143 would earn 5,720 points for this stay during the double points promotion. 

These are roughly equivalent values for two hotels in different hotel loyalty programs in the same location.

In my opinion though, the Sheraton is a nicer property.

San Francisco Airport: Radisson SFO vs. Hilton’s Homewood Suites SFO

Radisson SFO actually shares a parking lot with Homewood Suites in a bayside business park a few miles north of the San Francisco Airport in Brisbane.

Radisson SFO is a Category 3 redemption requiring 30,000 points per night. Assume the same $1,500 in hotel spend for 10 stays and the 65,000 points earned is sufficient for 2 free nights at Radisson SFO.

Homewood Suites SFO

HHonors Category 3 Hotel = 25,000 points for free night.

Hilton Points& Points preference earns 15 points per US$1 for non-elite members. Assume $1,500 in spend for 10 stays = 22,500 points earned.

Hilton currently has a promotion to earn 10,000 points after 5 stays. The frequent guest would earn 32,500 points after 10 stays with $1,500 in hotel spend.

The Goldpoints Plus member earns two free nights with equivalent spending while the Hilton member only earns one free night.

Radisson SFO Points & Cash rate for Tuesday, October 20

Rate is 5,000 points + $95.40. The lowest available paid rate for this night is $135.15. In this case 5,000 points is worth a $40 cash savings. The value of Goldpoints is double at the airport hotel compared to Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf Points & Cash example since 5,000 points for the SFO property is only 50% of the 10,000 points needed at Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf using Points & Cash to save $40.

Note to Carlson Hotels’ Goldpoints Plus and InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club on your Points & Cash bad and good points:

I had a boss once who repeatedly would say, “Don’t just tell me the problem. Give me a solution.” I have been on a Priority Club rant this week about the widespread promotion of Points & Cash option over the web without any substantial information on how this option works.

Looking over the Goldpoints Plus website I have to commend the designers for laying out an easy-to-follow page for points redemption choices. Under the Goldpoints homepage is a Redeem tab with a direct link to the Points & Cash option containing descriptive information.

This is a page IHG Priority Club could try to emulate in promoting their new Points & Cash hotel option.

The Priority Club and SPG models for Points & Cash are more consumer friendly with a defined Cash portion for this hotel payment option. Goldpoints Plus has the Points & Cash disadvantage of the member having to look up each hotel and a specific date to determine how much cash is required for a Points & Cash stay.

 

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. Selecting a perfect holiday destination is never an easy task. Hundreds of offers fight for our attention, luring with breathtaking surroundings, luxurious hotels and unbelievably blue skies. When it comes to comparing hotels, we rely on the pictures to tell us the whole story. The first impression seems to be the most important for our choice and that’s why travel brochures and Internet sites are brimming over with photos of elegant and spacious rooms with comfortable beds and fine furniture. To ensure the holiday seekers about the hotel’s quality, pictures depict hotels in their most impressive view: the building and its surroundings look neat and tidy, they never show any signs of use and the available swimming pools are always empty. When we compare hotels and their offers only by looking at the photos, we’ll soon find out that what differs are the colours of bedspreads and for most holiday makers these are not the most important factors

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