Posted by Ric Garrido

Club Carlson Gold Points promotion madness:  Earn Gold Points, Buy Gold Points and Redeem Gold Points.

Act Now!

I don’t want to overhype Club Carlson.

But why not?

My brain is reeling from the iterations of ways to play several offers from Club Carlson.

Even though I have been around Club Carlson and Carlson Hotels managers this past month, there was no leak of two back-to-back program offers and enhancements unveiled this past weekend.

1. Club Carlson members can buy up to 40,000 points in a calendar year at $7.00/1,000 points. You can also gift someone up to 40,000 points in a calendar year. The maximum limit is 40,000 points per account through purchased points, so you can’t buy 40,000 points and also receive 40,000 points in your account. The term “calendar year” means you can buy 40,000 points in December 2011 and another 40,000 points in January 2012 for your own member account.

2. Earn 9,000 points for every Club Carlson hotel award stay redeemed from December 1, 2011 through January 31, 2012. Points & Cash stays are not eligible for this points rebate offer. You must register for the award stay rebate promotion. This can be earned five times for up to 45,000 points rebate.

3. Earn 50,000 points for a single Radisson stay in the U.S., Canada or Caribbean by December 30, 2011 by registering for RadissonBigNightGiveaway.

Basically you can pay for one hotel night at a Radisson and earn 50,000 points. Rates were as low as $49.50 for December weekends with yesterday’s cyberMonday special offer at Radisson Sacramento, California.

You can buy 40,000 points in December 2011 for $280. You can redeem points for one night stays and get 9,000 points back for each award stay up to five times. With 50,000 gold points from the Radisson offer and the ability to buy 40,000 points in December and 40,000 points in January, you can accrue the points to book five single night award stays and get a maximum rebate of 45,000 points for five award stays in December 2011 and January 2012.

Buying Club Carlson points when the cost is less than the room rate is a Club Carlson member opportunity. Here is a table showing the cost to buy points for different Club Carlson hotel award categories.

You can buy 40,000 points for yourself for $280 and buy 40,000 points for another person, say your spouse or adult child for $280. The other person can book a hotel award stay in your name. Essentially you can play around with 80,000 purchased points a calendar year in addition to other points you may earn from hotel stays. You and a spouse/partner can buy 160,000 points over the next two months and plan for big savings on hotels stays.

Spending $1,020 $1,120 for 160,000 points might not seem sensible until you realize that you can get up to 90,000 more points for free through award stay rebates if you travel with a plan.

Why you should consider buying 40,000 points in December 2011.

Club Carlson announced a promotion last weekend that each award stay worldwide from December 1 through January 31, 2012 earns 9,000 points. This is a 9,000 points rebate on every hotel award stay.

From the table above you see a category 1 hotel only requires 9,000 Club Carlson points per night. Essentially you can redeem points for a free category 1 hotel night and get those points back after a few weeks. The only drawback is there are relatively few category-1 hotels after the hotel category shifts earlier this year. Currently there are 48 out of some 1,100 Carlson Hotels in Club Carlson category-1.

Loyalty Traveler Analysis

The two-night two person (or family) getaway strategy

There are numerous possibilities to consider. One hotel award night at a Category-2 hotel will cost 15,000 points. If you go with someone else you can book separate awards and each get a 9,000 point rebate on a 15,000 points expenditure.

Net result: Two night hotel stay for $210 in purchased points (Each person spends $105 per room night to buy 15,000 points x $7/1,000 points).

You spend $105 for 15,000 points, redeem for a free Category-2 hotel award night and get 9,000 points back. Your hotel night ultimately cost $42 for the 6,000 spent points.

You and second guest both receive 9,000 points back since you both booked an award night and you can stay in the same hotel for two nights.

This is a strategy for Club Carlson members with no points currently. You can always wait for the 50,000 point Radisson bonus and then do this strategy without buying points, but we don’t know when the 50,000 points will post. Buying points allows you to take advantage of the rebate offer right away.

Living it up in Lubbock

If you want to live it up at the Country Inn & Suites in Waco or the Radisson Lubbock Texas this deal can work out into some cheap hotel stays. Here is just one example to illustrate how good a deal these offers can be if you live or travel somewhere with a good Club Carlson hotel deal.

Buy 9,000 Club Carlson points for $63.

Redeem 9,000 points at Radisson Lubbock for an award night on Friday, December 16 for a free $199 night.

Buy 9,000 points for $63 and earn 9,000 points rebate on Radisson Lubbock $199 room.

Of course the Radisson Lubbock may not be your destination. This offer works well in many places.

Apparently Club Carlson is on a strategy to inundate the US and a large part of the rest of the world too with back to back, and in many ways combinable promotions and opportunities. And this is a good strategy for Club Carlson in my opinion as someone who likes to earn free hotel nights while traveling. Hyatt Gold Passport turned itself into a major player prior to the launch of its credit card. One thing I did learn from a presentation during my Chicago press trip to the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel is Club Carlson will launch a co-branded credit card in 2012.

 

 

 

18 Responses

  1. Any idea if I need to show up at the Radisson to earn the 50,000?

  2. Ric, have you written about their 2-1 or 4-2 promotions and whether they are valuable? What’s a good strategy for European carlson stays using above promotions?

  3. Agree that Carlson is a no-brainer for those of us (1) traveling in the next 2 months and (2) who can make use of one of the tier 1 or tier 2 hotels and (3) who envision themselves staying at a tier 1 or 2 after that.

    Ric, what do you make of their cash+points option?

    Also, like Michael, can you comment on the 2-1?

  4. @ Michael – I have not written about 2-1 or 4-2 that I recall. Up until the recent Radisson 50K offer I hardly saw interest in Club Carlson based on the number of page views my posts received so I tended not to cover many of the Club Carlson European offers.

    Loyalty Traveler posts are geared for an American audience.

    Here are links to Gold elite offers for EMEA region:

    http://www.clubcarlson.com/2for1

    Exclusive Gold Elite member offer.
    Now your weekend will last longer with the Club CarlsonSM Weekend Extend offer; available at locations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

    Stay Thursday night, get Friday night FREE!
    Stay Friday night, get Saturday night FREE!

    Terms and Conditions

    Two days advanced booking required.
    Valid for up to two rooms max. One of the rooms must be occupied by a member.
    Breakfast and taxes inclusion depend by hotel and local policy.
    Dates must be consecutive and include a Friday or Saturday.
    Rate shown is for the first night and the second night is for free.
    Two night minimum stay required.
    Offer subject to availability and valid at participating locations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa except at Radisson® Edwardian Hotels.
    Offer must be booked on clubcarlson.com or the Member Service Center; and ask for the 2 for 1 Weekend Extend Offer.
    Member must present Elite Gold card upon check-in.

    http://www.clubcarlson.com/4for2

    Exclusive Gold Elite member offer.
    Now your weekend will last longer with the Club CarlsonSM Weekend Extend offer; available at locations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

    Stay Wednesday and Thursday night, get Friday and Saturday night FREE!
    Stay Thursday and Friday night, get Saturday and Sunday night FREE!
    Also available – 2 for 1 night packages

    Terms and Conditions

    Two days advanced booking required.
    Valid for up to two rooms max. One of the rooms must be occupied by the member.
    Breakfast and taxes inclusion depend by hotel and local policy.
    Dates must be consecutive and include a Friday or Saturday.
    Rate shown is for the first 2 nights and the second two nights are free.
    Rates shown for the last two nights will not be charged.
    Four night minimum stay required.
    Offer subject to availability and valid at participating locations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa except at Radisson® Edwardian Hotels.
    Offer must be booked on clubcarlson.com or the Member Service Center; and ask for the 4 for 2 Weekend Extend Offer.
    Member must present Elite Gold card upon check-in.

  5. @Ed – Cash & Points rates have never impressed me for Carlson Hotels, but I have not looked at that many. When I check hotels I typically find it a better deal to pay for the room and get promotion points credit.

    I am sure there are good savings, but I haven’t found it for the hotels I checked.

    I only showed category 1 and category 2 hotel example due to time. I have to go to dentist today.

    There is good value for any hotel category.

    For example, my wife and I will each earn 50,000 points from Radisson promotion.

    We can each buy 40,000 points in December 2011 for $280.
    We can repeat this in January to accrue 160,000 points for $1,120.

    We spend $1,400 and we have 135,000 points each. Pick up another 9,000 points from a car rental bonus or Park Inn bonus offers 15,000 points.

    Assume we pick up 150,000 points each.

    We can go to Radisson Blu St. Martin or Paris or Sydney in January and stay for six nights. Each of us redeems three free nights at a Category 6 hotel for 150,000 points.

    Total outlay is around $1,500 and we paid for two nights at Radisson hotels in the US and perhaps a night at a Park Inn and we received six free nights at a hotel that would have cost over $1,500 (Radisson Paris Opera was US$600+ per night when I checked recently).

    And we each get 9,000 points back from our 3-night category 6 hotel stay.

    There are many ways to get good value out of these deals.

    One of the best values is to buy points and redeem for 50% discount award nights in Europe by December 15, 2011.
    http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2011/10/25/club-carlson-50-points-weekend-award-nights-emea-region-oct-1-dec-15-2011/

  6. Check my info here, but points could be unlimited. For example, let’s say you buy 9,000 points (or already have it). You book a stay at one of the category 1 rooms with the 9,000 points, and get the 9,000 points back (so, you are even). But, if you are a Gold Elite member (or silver member), you get 2,000 points for booking online. So, for every cat 1 reservation, you are going to net +2,000 points. I can’t find anywhere that states you can’t get the 2,000 points for booking an award stay, so, if somebody finds something different, please advise. Thoughts?

  7. Want to edit my info above…I just checked and you do not earn an additional 2,000 points if you are booking a full award stay. If you book cash and points, you will get the 2000 extra points. Called and spoke to a rep about it.

  8. The only thing I don’t like about the 50k promotion wording is that it says everyone beyond the first 50,000 registrants will only get 15k.

    It seems like we won’t have any way to know whether we registered in time for the 50k or will only receive the 15k (which is totally not worth it for me) until the points post in 6-8 weeks.

    If you do book a room, make sure to double dip by going to the Radisson site through a credit card points portal. I used AMEX for 3x the points.

    Also, register for “Stripes” membership with TGI Fridays and get an extra 4500 bonus at Club Carlson

  9. I myself never paid attention to Club Carlson before, but after this points galore started, I seriously looked into it.
    I was impressed with a $47 radisson, as well as $40 park inn. I always though of those brands on par with travelodge, but turned out it’s not at all and I will be staying there next year.
    I suppose this was the exact idea behind these promotions – to get new customers.

    Comment by alexander O on November 29th, 2011 at 3:01 pm
  10. @Ryan – that is a good data point to know that online booking bonus applies to Cash & Points. Club Carlson also allows the Radisson 50,000 points promotion to be earned on Cash & Points stays. But you do not get the award stay 9,000 bonus points for a Cash & Points stay.

    @Summer – I have been told directly from the Carlson Hotels people running the promotion that the page will change to indicate 15,000 points after the first 50,000 registrants have signed up.

    They are certainly aware that Club Carlson members are concerned about that aspect of the promotion.

    The page still says 50,000 points at http://www.radissonbignightgiveaway.com

    I think we will see Club Carlson change the promotion landing page when the change to 15,000 points for a stay happens.

    Comment by Ric Garrido on November 29th, 2011 at 4:30 pm
  11. @Summer – nice tip on TGI Fridays. I neglected to mention that promotion. Here is a write-up by Brian Cohen – The Gate on TGIFridays 4,500 points offer.

    http://www.flyertalk.com/the-gate/blog/8453-club-carlson-and-tgi-friday%E2%80%99s-team-up-free-points.html

    Carlson company own TGI Fridays and Carlson Hotels.

    Comment by Ric Garrido on November 29th, 2011 at 4:36 pm
  12. Ric, if you do want to go for the Sydney or Paris hotel, be sure to first status match. They will give you Gold (their 2nd tier), which might get you into an upgraded room.

    I’m sure you already thought of that…

  13. Thanks for the follow up on the promotion wording Ric! I feel much better knowing I’m spending real money on a mattress run for significant points

  14. I registered and was confirmed via email for the 50,000 big night promotion. I have yet to book a room.

    I received an email today for a 30% discount at participating hotels, and luckily one of them is in my area.

    The 30% discount rate puts it at $75. If I book it at the discounted rate, does that still qualify for the night required for the 50,000 points? The stay would be within the promotion timeframe of both promos.

    50k by Dec 30
    30% Dec 23 – March 2012.

    Is it worth a $75 stay for 50,000 points? I’ll assume yes…

  15. @Dave – 50,000 points are definitely worth a $75 expense if you need hotel nights. Not worth it if you don’t spend the points.

    Call Club Carlson customer service about the rate discount. They should be able to tell you if it qualifies for earning points. Earn points on the hotel rate and the 50,000 bonus is yours.

  16. Can you register for and earn both, the 50K & the 9K points concurrently? Thanks!

  17. @Kalboz – I registered and plan to use both promotions. They are for different activities (50K for a Radisson stay and 9 K for making an award stay), so I don’t see a reason why they would not combine.

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