My finger was on the mouse, poised to press purchase and fly San Francisco to Istanbul in March for $492. I pulled back on my trigger finger. And scurried off to bed. I already had purchased two KLM tickets to Dublin via Amsterdam in the hour before at $449 each. Loyalty Traveler – Delta/KLM $410 SFO-Dublin, $482 SFO-Istanbul Feb-April 2015.
I checked Club Carlson Istanbul hotel rates while quickly planning a potential trip last night. The SFO-IST airfare deal was available until about 8:00am Pacific. Fares to IST have been increasing this morning. Istanbul did not make my travel cut for early 2015.
So why am I writing about Club Carlson Istanbul rather than Club Carlson Dublin for bonus points deals?
My check of Dublin shows it is not one of the better places to ‘Extend Your Stay’ for 30,000 bonus points on 3-night or longer stays, or 15,000 bonus points for 2-night stays. Loyalty Traveler – Club Carlson Jan 12 to March 29, 2015 stays earn 15K for 2 nights, 30K for 3 nights (Jan 5, 2015).
Park Plaza has good discount rates in some cities in Europe. Some cities are plain cheap. Club Carlson Gold elite 2-for-1 and 4-for-2 rates offer even bigger discounts. More on those in this post.
Park Plaza Hotels in Europe currently have January Sale available for discount bookings.
There are some good deals with these discount rates. The first night’s rate is prepaid and nonrefundable.
Loyalty Traveler – Park Plaza Europe January Sale, book by Jan 7 for stays to April 12, 2015.
Club Carlson Istanbul for 60,000 bonus points
Istanbul, Turkey seemed like an added adventure opportunity to visit a place I have never been. Intrepid travelers can jump in and fly off to Istanbul and stay wherever. I weighed the $492 ticket price for Istanbul to paying $150 more to fly to another place, like Warsaw, Poland or Lisbon, Portugal. These are other places I have never been, but could visit cheaply staying at low cost Club Carlson properties I found in my searches
The main idea isn’t flying to Europe specifically to stay at Club Carlson hotels. The loyalty idea is that a low-priced ticket to Europe like $492 to Istanbul can be combined with low priced hotels in Club Carlson brands for 2-night and 3-night stays during their Extend Your Stay promotion. Plan the stays well and the Club Carlson bonus points earned are worth more than the cost to stay at Club Carlson hotels to earn the bonus points.
Club Carlson bonus points are only one objective to maximize the rebate value of money spent on lodging while in Istanbul. The goal of the trip is very simple. The goal is a week in Istanbul sightseeing and touring on the cheap (or anywhere worldwide your travels take you).
Radisson Blu Istanbul Pera shows a water view in the photo. Looks nice, but 180 EUR per night is a luxury price hotel expense I won’t pay on a solo trip.
I checked dates in February and found much lower hotel rates than the week in March I had planned for the flight. Keep in mind I was debating whether to buy a $500 airline ticket for a cheap trip to Europe, but my choice of week and month for the flight dates meant a difference in hotel rates of 50 to 85 EUR per night in Istanbul for the top tier Radisson Blu hotels. Getting a great airfare deal does not help if I pay $100 more per night for a hotel in March compared to the price in February.
- Radisson Blu Istanbul Pera 94.50 EUR = $113.87 per night.
- Radisson Blu Istanbul Sisli 78.00 EUR = $93.99 per night.
- Radisson Blu Bosphorus Istanbul 208.75 EUR = $251.54 per night.
Club Carlson 2-for-1 and 4-for-2 rates
Another strategy for Club Carlson Visa members and others with Club Carlson Gold elite status is Club Carlson Europe, Middle East and Africa 2-for-1 and 4-for-2 rates. 2-for-1 rates are good for arrival Thursday to Saturday and 4-for-2 rates for arrivals Wednesday and Thursday nights.
Nothing in the ‘Extend Your Stay’ terms and conditions seems to prohibit a Club Carlson 4-for-2 rate from earning 30,000 bonus points as a three or more nights stay. These elite member discount rates earn Club Carlson points.
***** Update Jan 7: In the comments section a reader states the 4-for-2 rates appear to post as 2 nights in Club Carlson account summary. The 4-for-2 rate may only qualify for 15,000 bonus points as a 2-night stay. We will know for sure how 4-for-2 rates are counted once Club Carlson member reports come out from members who stay on the 4-for-2 rate. *****
This search for a discount 4-for-2 rate did not offer rooms at the three top listed Radisson Blu Istanbul hotels for Thursday, February 12 to Monday, February 16.
Two other Club Carlson hotels in Istanbul offered the 4-for-2 rate.
Radisson Blu Istanbul Tuzla at $47.29 per night for a hotel rated 4.5 of 5 circles on TripAdvisor.com.
$189 for four nights in Radisson Blu Istanbul Tuzla is the kind of hotel travel deal where the value of points earned from the stay exceeds the cost of the 4-night stay in an upper upscale hotel.
Assume eligible spend is about 85% of $189 (I did not look up tax rate) for $160 in points earning spend as a Club Carlson Visa card member with Gold elite status.
- $160 x 20 points/$1 = 3,200 points.
- Gold elite 35% bonus = 1,120 points.
- Club Carlson Extend Your Stay 3-night bonus = 30,000 points. [Perhaps only 15,000 points if rate counts as 2 nights]
- 34,320 points for $189 four night stay (even more if pay with Club Carlson Visa). [or perhaps only 19,320 points]
Many U.S. travelers are going to Istanbul over the next few months with the Delta/KLM/Air France deal this past 24 hours. I am not one of them.
Club Carlson offers some good hotel values for your Istanbul trips.