Club Carlson Gold Points promotion madness: Earn Gold Points, Buy Gold Points and Redeem Gold Points.
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.
$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.
Redeem 9,000 points at Radisson Lubbock for an award night on Friday, December 16 for a free $199 night.
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.