Jul262011

Club Carlson Double Points Rate sounds better than it is

UPDATE JULY 28: The original Loyalty Traveler post here is inaccurate and incorrectly represents the Club Carlson double points promotion running July 27 to September 15, 2011. The actual double points promotion outlined in an email I received today from Club Carlson looks like a good offer and better than the Double Points rate offer originally analyzed in this post. Here is my July 28, 2011 analysis of the Club Carlson worldwide double points promotion.

Club Carlson Double Points Promotion is a limited time offer for Club Carlson members who register for the Double Points promotion. and stay in any participating Club Carlson hotel worldwide from July 27 to September 15, 2011.

Registration Link: https://www.clubcarlson.com/secure/offers/4340574

  • Members earn 40 points per dollar for hotels stays at Radisson, Park Inn, Park Plaza and Country Inn & Suites worldwide. Food and beverage charged to your room also earn 40 points/$1 for any hotel stay on an eligible rate.
  • Double points promotion does not require a special rate. Any rate that normally earns points will earn double points for registered Club Carlson members.
  • Double points registration is required before the hotel stay to earn double points.
  • A member may earn double points credit for up to three hotel rooms during a stay.

 

My confusion came from the fact that I had seen a reference to the Club Carlson Double Points promotion in a trade journal without a direct link to the promotion. My searches of the Club Carlson site and Radisson only turned up a Double Points rate when checking hotels.

The Double Points promotion outlined in the Club Carlson email I received July 28th, two days after I posted this article, is not the same promotional offer analyzed in this Loyalty Traveler post.

My apologies to Club Carlson. I created another post to properly analyze the current double points promotion. I will keep this post intact as I feel it does offer Club Carlson members a good analysis on the value of paying more money for double points hotel rates.

[ORIGINAL LOYALTY TRAVELER JULY 26 POST analyzes only Club Carlson double points hotel rates which are a separate offer from the worldwide Club Carlson Double Points promotion for Club Carlson members July 27-Sep 15, 2011.

Apparently the double points promotion may be combined with a double points rate, outlined in this original post to earn 60 points/$1 for stays through September 15. My analysis shows paying higher rates for double points is not so great a deal. But 60 points/$1 can add up to a free hotel night quickly. – Original Loyalty Traveler post below:]

Club Carlson offers double points, 40 points per dollar, for Radisson and Country Inn & Suites stays in the Americasfor stays July 27 to September 15. This sounds like a great deal when the top hotels in the Club Carlson program are 50,000 points per night or merely $1,250 in spend for a free night.

I’m thinking a $400 per night hotel for free can be a great deal.

Then I plugged in the numbers and analyzed the rates and discovered the deal is not as good as it seems.

Club Carlson Double Points rate is 10% higher than the lowest available rate for hotels I checked. The lowest available rate is 5% to 10% higher than the AAA rate for these same hotels.

By the Numbers

Country Inn & Suites San Carlos, California on Friday, July 29, 2011.

  • Double Points rate $108.90 x 40 points = 4,356 points.
  • Lowest Available Rate = $99.00.
  • AAA rate = $89.10 x 20 points = 1,782 points.

Double Points rate is $120.09 after tax compared to $98.31 after tax for AAA rate.

$21.78 in additional cash earns 2,574 additional Club Carlson points for a rate of $8.46 per 1,000 points.

Country Inn & Suites San Carlos is a Club Carlson Category 4 hotel at 38,000 points. Weekday rates for this Silicon Valley location hotel run about $170 after tax for AAA rate making points worth about $4.47 per 1,000 points.

Paying an additional $8.46 per 1,000 points using the higher Club Carlson Double Points rate for points worth $4.47 per 1,000 points on a free night is not such a great deal for this hotel. You may always be able to leverage a better deal redeeming points for a free night at another hotel, but to get $8.46 value means finding a hotel at these rates after tax.

  • Category 1 = 9,000 points = $76.14 (There are about 50 category-1 hotels in the Club Carlson properties.)
  • Category 2 = 15,000 points = $126.90
  • Category 3 = 28,000 points = $236.88
  • Category 4 = 38,000 points = $321.48
  • Category 5 = 44,000 points = $372.24
  • Category 6 = 50,000 points = $423.00

There are probably some good savings with points at the category 1 level for a place like St. Petersburg, Russia but savings are probably harder to find when moving up the redemption category chain. The idea I am trying to illustrate here is paying a higher rate for Double Points is likely costing more than the points will be worth unless you are very selective in redemptions.

Example 2 Rate Analysis

Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis – Club Carlson Category 5 Hotel at 44,000 points

Friday, July 29, 2011

  • Double Points rate = $141.90 (10% premium) = 5,676 points
  • Lowest Available Rate = $129.00 = 2,580 points
  • AAA rate = $122.55 (5% discount) = 2,451 points

Double Points rate is $160.91 after tax compared to AAA rate at $138.97 after tax.  An extra $21.94 earns an additional 3,225 points for a rate of $6.80 per 1,000 points.

Friday night rate for Minneapolis is lower than weekday rates, but the redemption cost of 44,000 points per night remains the same regardless of day of week. Based on the room rate for Tuesday, October 11 at $297.33 after tax, then the value of points increases significantly when used for a free night at the Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis.

$297.33 / 44,000 points =  $6.76 per 1,000 points.

Even in this example the additional points earned paying the double points rate at the Radisson Plaza Minneapolis still cost slightly more than the redemption value when redeeming points for a free night on a date when the hotel costs twice as much as this next weekend’s rate.

Loyalty Traveler promotion rating = 2 keys out of 5 keys. Don’t go out of your way to earn this promotion unless you have a planned use for points where you will get more value than what you pay to earn double points.

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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