May102012

Buy Club Carlson points May 10 Daily Getaways

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.

Offer #1

50,000 Club Carlson points 

  • $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.

Offer #2

100,000 Club Carlson points

  • $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:

image

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)

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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.

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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.

Related Posts:

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)

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.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. I bought 50,000 points. Feels good to build up a points balance after getting shut out of the Hyatt sale yesterday.

    So I missed out on Wyndham and Choice points this year with Daily Getaways, but I am happy to shore up the point balances for Best Western and Club Carlson available for some free nights this summer.

  2. i managed to get 200k. i can get great value from these staying in london during the olympics. absolute worst case is i can redeem in nyc at a value pretty much par to what i paid for. i don’t think this one got so much attention as the hyatts etc

  3. Re: promo 50k on the 15th
    Do I need to book through a link on the 15th, or can I book a stay today for a May 18th stay work. just as long as I register on 15th.

    Just want to make sure since at frugal travel there is a discount offer for radisson currently. I just don’t want to book now and find out that won’t count

  4. @Mark – I am working on a piece right now with new promotion details for the three Club Carlson offers that I received from a Carlson representative.

    I just made a request to Club Carlson for the information you are asking. The FlyerTalk thread indicates a Radisson spokesperson on Facebook responded that stays booked now will count for the Big Night Giveaway offers.

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/18549929-post145.html

    I just sent an email requesting confirmation from Club Carlson.

  5. I don’t get it. If you can get 50,000 Club Carlson points with a stay (most likely less than $100), why buy them at the Daily Getaways?

  6. @Chucairen – I showed how the cost of points can save money even on the cost of the hotel stays you pay for to earn the Big Night Giveaway 50,000 bonus points.

    I stay over 50 nights a year in hotels. I know that I will save more than $175 redeeming the 50,000 points I bought today.

    Sure you can get 138,000 bonus points over the next two months with the Club Carlson promotions paying for three hotel nights.

    I want enough points that I can spend 350,000 points at some top notch hotel if I find myself in Paris or Amsterdam and I need a lot of hotel nights.

    Bottom line is I stay in a lot of hotels and I rarely find that I have too many points & miles for my travels. I get points whenever I can when there are good value, low cost points to be had.

    That is the whole reason for being a loyalty traveler. I get good value in my hotel stays.

  7. There is good value, and there is great value. To reach 350000 points, couldn’t you just use multiple accounts to register for the 138,000 promotion? Also keep in mind, you don’t get breakfast/lounge access for these stays as Club Carlson can only match up to Gold with top tiers from other programs.

  8. WATCH OUT! Last year I registered plenty early, and the hotel never gave me the points for my stay. I just emailed them when I found out about this promotion, and they gave me points for the stay itself, but they refused to give me the 50K points for the last time. Last yeart they didn’t email confirmation for those who registered. I wouldn’t trust them-they ripped me off! TAKE SCREEN SHOTS. MAKE SURE YOUR POINTS POST.

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