Club Carlson normally sells points for $7 per 1,000 (limit 40,000 points in calendar year) and the Daily Getaways price is as low as $3.50 per 1,000 points with a 50,000 points purchase for $174.60 when paying with American Express.
There are two Club Carlson points offers on sale Thursday, May 10 at 1:00pm Eastern. There is no noon presale for these offers.
Members can buy 2 sets of points from each offer for a total 300,000 points for $1,042.20. There are dozens of Radisson Blu hotels around the world where six hotel nights for $1,042 or less than $175 per night will be a substantial savings on the published rates.
- $174.60 with American Express payment ($3.50 per 1,000 points).
- $194.00 without American Express payment ($3.88 per 1,000 points).
- 142 sets of points available.
- Maximum purchase = 2 sets.
- $346.50 with American Express payment ($3.47 per 1,000 points).
- $385.00 without American Express payment ($3.85 per 1,000 points).
- 71 sets of points available.
- Maximum purchase = 2 sets.
Loyalty Traveler Analysis
This has got to be a quick analysis since the sale is in less than two hours after publishing this post.
While it is undeniable there are several Radisson Blu hotels where you can get a $300+ hotel night for 50,000 points costing $175, this loyalty traveler typically doesn’t even pay $175 per hotel night.
My interest is whether there is good value in 50,000 points for $175 for more than one room night. That means looking at hotels lower than the top tier category 6 reward nights for 50,000 points.
Club Carlson Award Night tiers:
In 2011 Club Carlson did a lot of hotel reassignments which had the effect of lifting hundreds of category 1 and category 2 hotels, mostly in the U.S., to higher categories.
50,000 points can be redeemed for 3 nights at a category 2 hotel or with a little more effort to reach 56,000 points you can redeem for two nights at category 3 hotels.
My rate check for Country Inn Fresno, California on Thursday May 24 shows a prepaid rate as low as $60 per night. This means three paid nights would cost $180 and earn points. Buying points is a savings, but not a big savings in this example where $175 in points buys three award nights for this category 2 hotel.
Radisson Hotel Madison, Wisconsin (Club Carlson category 2 hotel)
Radisson Madison is $90 for a prepaid rate. That is about $300 for three nights.
Points + Cash is only 5,000 points ($17.50 to buy in today’s sale) + $65.40 per night. That reduces the nightly cost to about $90 total after tax per room night using a Points + Cash reward, including the cost to buy 5,000 points in today’s Daily Getaways sale.
The prepaid nonrefundable rate $89.38 would be over $100 after tax.
The lowest refundable rate (BAR) would be about $120 per room night after tax. 5,000 Club Carlson points saves $10 to $30 on one room night in this example.
Buying 50,000 points could save $100 to $300 more than the cost to buy points today over the course of ten Points + Cash nights at Carlson Hotels.
Points + Cash Awards and the Club Carlson Big Night Giveaway Promotions
Now here is another aspect to consider. Club Carlson has some bonus points promotions launching May 15 for stays from May 15-July 15.
The Radisson Madison example shows how Points + Cash is even cheaper than prepaid nonrefundable rates. The previous Big Night Getaway promotion in November-December 2011 allowed Points + Cash stays to count for promotion earning hotel stays.
If you plan to maximize the three promotions that might offer as many as 138,000 bonus points, and if Club Carlson allows Points + Cash stays to again count for promotion earning credit, then you might be able to get even cheaper rate stays using Points + Cash.
Buying 50,000 points for $175 is a decent deal that might reduce the nightly cost of staying at a Radisson and Country Inn and Park Inn during the next couple of months as you try to earn the next Big Night Giveaway bonuses with Club Carlson.
Club Carlson Category 3 Hotels at 28,000 points per night.
The Club Carlson hotel selection grows to include many more touristy and business area locations once you get to Category 3 hotels. Many of these hotels will cost far more than $88 per night which is the rate at which you can buy 50,000 Club Carlson points today.
In this example for the Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City, you will save about $35 after tax using Points + Cash to redeem 5,000 points and $95.40 compared to the prepaid nonrefundable rate of $127.20. You save over $60 on the BAR rate for this night. 5,000 points costs $17.50 to buy today.
Bottom line: Buying 50,000 points for $175 is a decent deal, even if the Club Carlson promotions next week allow members to earn nearly 150,000 points on as few as three hotel nights. You should easily be able to get $175 in hotel stay value from 50,000 points.
Club Carlson Big Night Giveaway Summer Travel Promotions (May 8, 2012)
Boarding Area blogger Frequent Miler shows steps for maximizing points with 4,500 points Club Carlson new member enrollment bonus and other methods. (May 10, 2012)