Jan112012

Club Carlson 60 points per dollar is 5-star promotion

Club Carlson launches the best promotional offer so far in 2012 with triple points on all hotel stays worldwide from January 10 to March 16, 2012. Club Carlson members normally earn 20 points per dollar at all 1,070 Carlson Hotels worldwide in brands including Radisson and Radisson Blu, Country Inn & Suites, Park Plaza and Park Inn.

Club Carlson Triple Points promotion registration is required.

Two terms of this offer make the Club Carlson  triple points offer so much better than the current Starwood double and triple points promotion. The main problem with the SPG offer is there are no bonus points for one night Starwood Hotel stays and triple points applies only to stays of three nights or more at Starwood Hotels. There are also about 300 Starwood Hotels globally not participating in the SPG offer.

Club Carlson offers the triple points bonus on any paid stay at any hotel worldwide on any number of nights.

Kudos to Club Carlson promotion rollout

I want to commend the rollout of this offer compared to November’s Radisson 50,000 points promotion launch. This offer is announced with the registration page ready for member enrollment. Starwood Preferred Guest really screwed up their triple points promotion launch with the page being available for registration after it had been publicized across several blogs and then disappearing again without even a message on the website to state why the link didn’t work.

A global promotion with no excluded hotels is another reason to like this Club Carlson promotion. Since last year I feel like I am punished as a loyalty member of Hilton HHonors and Starwood Preferred Guest with the number of hotels in the San Francisco Bay Area opting out of global promotions.

And finally, it appears Club Carlson picked up a valuable customer service tactic with the promotion registration confirmation page appearing upon registration for this triple points offer.

Registration Confirmation for Club Carlson Triple Points promotion 2012

The future’s so bright, gotta wear shades.

Club Carlson is less than a year old as a hotel loyalty program. Carlson Hotels are about to start year 3 of a five year plan called Ambition 2015 with the goal of making Carlson Hotels a globally recognized major player in the hotel industry. Club Carlson loyalty program promotions have been one nice deal after another. Club Carlson may just fill the void while the other hotel loyalty programs appear to pull back in 2012 on their bonus offers for hotel stays. Double points with Priority Club or triple points with SPG or two free low category hotel nights with Marriott are not particularly lucrative bonuses. And Priority Club is about to raise the price of reward nights at 25% of its hotels around the world.

Club Carlson leading the way with hotel rewards

One measure to consider when comparing hotel loyalty programs is the cost of reward nights. Hotel loyalty programs earn points at different rates with SPG earning 2 points per dollar, Hyatt Gold Passport earns 5 points per dollar, Hilton HHonors, IHG Priority Club and Marriott Rewards earn 10 points per dollar and Club Carlson earns 20 points per dollar.

Club Carlson has the fastest earning rate for free nights when the amount of spend is compared to the cost of hotel reward nights across the major hotel loyalty programs. A good promotion makes that gap even more favorable for Club Carlson.

Club Carlson has a top category hotel reward of 50,000 points per night. This is equivalent to $2,500 in hotel spend to earn 50,000 points. Elite status, loyalty promotions like triple points, and Club Carlson’s online booking bonus lower the $2,500 in spend needed to earn a free category-6 reward night.

Hotel Spend needed to earn base points for high category reward night

  • Club Carlson Category-6 = 50,000 points = $2,500 hotel spend.
  • Hilton HHonors Category-7 = 50,000 points = $3,333 hotel spend.
  • Marriott Rewards Category-8 = 40,000 points = $4,000 hotel spend.
  • Hyatt Gold Passport Category-6 = 22,000 points = $4,400 hotel spend.
  • IHG Priority Club InterContinental Hotel high tier = 50,000 points = $5,000 hotel spend.
  • SPG Category-5 = 12,000 points = $6,000 hotel spend.
  • SPG Category-6 = 20,000 points = $10,000 hotel spend.

Elite status and hotel loyalty promotions reduce these amounts of spend.

Comparison of SPG and Club Carlson triple points promotions

Starwood triple points is 6 points per dollar for hotel stays. Club Carlson triple points means 60 points per dollar.

The number of points earned in a hotel loyalty program is only relevant to the cost of reward nights in that program. SPG is a good earning program for the category 1, 2 and 3 hotels on reward nights using points and Cash & Points stays where the cost of hotel night is 1,200 to 7,000 points. A person spending $1,000 can expect to earn 7,000 points or more as a Gold member on a triple points stay.

The higher SPG reward categories make redemption options prohibitively expensive for most members earning points primarily through Starwood Hotel stays. Low season category-6 hotels at 20,000 points will require more than $3,000 in spend to earn the points for one free night even with triple points bonus.

Low-season SPG category-5 hotel rewards at 12,000 points comparison to Club Carlson Category-6 hotels at 50,000 points.

  • 5-night stay at Starwood Hotel at $200/night earns 6,000 points (3x points) + 1,000 Gold elite bonus points = 7,000 points.
  • 5-night stay at Radisson Hotel at $200/night earns 60,000 points (3x points) + 10,000 Gold elite bonus points = 70,000 points.

7,000 SPG points can buy:

  • Category-4 hotel Cash & Points Reward night for $60 + 4,000 points.
  • Category-3 hotel Cash & Points Reward night for $45 + 2,800 points.

or

  • Category 3 reward night at 7,000 points.

These redemption options are likely around $300 rebate value for $1,000 in Starwood Hotel spend.

70,000 Club Carlson points can buy:

  • Category 6 reward night (50,000 points) and one category 2 reward night (15,000 points). These redemptions are likely $300 to $500 value depending on hotels.

The difference in promotions is not that great for $1,000 in hotel spend on an extended stay at Starwood or Radisson Blu.

One Night Stays make a difference

A person making frequent one night stays has a lucrative Club Carlson option for earning points. Spend $1,000 on ten Club Carlson Hotel 1-night stays in the U.S. and earn 60,000 bonus points and 10,000 online booking bonus points and Silver elite status for 25% bonus points on all stays through 2013.

SPG members making ten 1-night stays earn Gold elite through 2013, but no promotional bonus points during the double/triple points promotion over the next three months. 2,000 Starpoints after $1,000 in spend is not too exciting and not all that valuable. SPG category-1 hotel weekend nights are a cheap 2,000 points, but really, are you in that neighborhood for a free Friday or Saturday night?

In general, I am not big on spend-based promotions for double points or triple points. My goal is to not spend a lot of money at hotels while staying frequently. Club Carlson’s triple points promotion is a good offer for someone seeking elite status for the next two years (Silver elite after 10 stays or 15 nights). There are good Radisson Blu hotels around the world and hundreds of Country Inn & Suites when road tripping around the USA. This is a good time to invest some stays in Club Carlson and earn more free nights while triple point bonuses combine with the fastest earning free nights among hotel loyalty programs.

Club Carlson Triple Points Registration Page.

Club Carlson Hotel Rewards.

Post-shower post script Jan 11 10:35am Pacific: I received a comment that my ratings are too lenient lately. Club Carlson Triple points is more of a 4-star promotion in and of itself. The 5-star aspect of Club Carlson for this time period is multiple high value promotions following one after another. Earning 50,000+ points in November-December with the Radisson Big Night Giveaway along with 50% off Europe hotel rewards in late 2011 and reward night 9,000 points redemption rebate per stay through the end of January 2012, easy elite status match when most hotel programs are getting more restrictive, and to top it off, members earn online booking bonuses of 1,000 to 3,000 points.

The Club Carlson credit card is coming so take advantage of the giveaways while the earning is good.

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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Pingbacks

  1. […] ****Club Carlson – January 10 – March 16, 2012 Triple Points for all hotels worldwide is 60 points/$1. Club Carlson already has the fastest earning program for free nights and triple points gets you there so much faster. The highest category hotel reward night requires about $800 in hotel spend. Most hotel loyalty programs will require $2,000 to $4,000+ for a free night at their top hotels – even with promotion bonuses. LT post January 11. […]

  2. […] Club Carlson – January 10 – March 16, 2012 Triple Points for all hotels worldwide is 60 points/$1. Club Carlson already has the fastest earning program for free nights and triple points gets you there so much faster. The highest category hotel reward night requires about $800 in hotel spend. Most hotel loyalty programs will require $2,000 to $4,000+ for a free night at their top hotels – even with promotion bonuses. LT post January 11. […]

  3. […] ****Club Carlson – January 10 – March 16, 2012 Triple Points for all hotels worldwide is 60 points/$1. Club Carlson already has the fastest earning program for free nights and triple points gets you there so much faster. The highest category hotel reward night requires about $800 in hotel spend. Most hotel loyalty programs will require $2,000 to $4,000+ for a free night at their top hotels – even with promotion bonuses. LT post January 11. […]

  4. […] ****Club Carlson – January 10 – March 16, 2012 Triple Points for all hotels worldwide is 60 points/$1. Club Carlson already has the fastest earning program for free nights and triple points gets you there so much faster. The highest category hotel reward night requires about $800 in hotel spend. Most hotel loyalty programs will require $2,000 to $4,000+ for a free night at their top hotels – even with promotion bonuses. LT post January 11. […]

Comments

  1. Just signed up for this promo today. I’m still waiting on my 50k bonus points to post from a 12/30 stay.

  2. I signed up for Carlson last year, but I was told by them that any reservation made through our company TA, Orbitz for Business, was ineligible – even standard (not pre-paid) rack rates. Doesn’t offer me hope 🙁

  3. @Matt – You had to check out on 12/30 for the 50,000 point bonus. You might need to call them and ask for a waiver.

    I think that for Europe, Club Carlson and Priority Club are the 2 best combination of hotels. I am trying to retain PC Plat and CC Gold for 2013. It will be tough, but Cash+points is definitely going to help!

  4. You only need $518 spend in order to get 50k points assuming you’re gold (like most of us are/can be with status match) and do 7 $74 one night stays.
    Club Carlson wins hands down.

  5. Some people are in the neighborhood to take advantage of Level 1 Starwood hotel nights for low, low points. I am currently at the Dead Sea in Israel and what value, I really don-t see how you rated Club Carlson as a 5 star promotion.

  6. @john – Do you think it is a 4-star promotion?

    I have reset my promotion clock back to 2008 before the wildly lucrative promotions of 2009-2011. I don’t think we will see many free night promotions in 2012. I’d love to be proven wrong, but hotel industry economic indicators will likely result in a return to the promotions of 2008 and earlier years when double points were standard or a small bonus like 5,000 Starpoints after three stays.

  7. @Clare – I do not know any details. In November when I was at the Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago for a press trip a senior manager mentioned Club Carlson is in the process of putting together a credit card program that will likely come out in 2012. There was no mention of partner bank or release date.

    There might be more information next month when the annual Carlson Hotels global meeting takes place.

Comments are closed.