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Book Club Carlson rewards before March 1 category changes

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Club Carlson is raising reward rates at 55 hotels on March 1, 2018. That is not an alarming number of hotels in a portfolio of 1,500+ hotels worldwide. What blows my mind is 11 of these 55 hotels are places I have stayed in the past three years or plan to be in 2018.

Loyalty Traveler – Club Carlson category changes March 1, 2018 have big cat 1 impact

A few days ago I redeemed points for 9 hotel reward nights to save 144,000 points compared to new reward rates as of March 1, 2018.

Bratislava is one hour by train from Vienna 

Radisson Blu Bratislava and Park Inn Bratislava are excellent tourist locations for Old Town. Park Inn Bratislava recently reopened after remodeling and I fully expected it would rise up from category 1. Sad to see it make a two category reward jump.

I would love to book Park Inn Bratislava as a category 1 stay (9,000 points/night) before it rises to category 3 (28,000 points). Slovakia is not high on my list for 2018 since I traveled to Bratislava three times in the past 18 months and stayed 7 nights at Radisson Blu Carlton Bratislava.

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Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel Bratislava, Slovakia changes from category 3 (28,000 points) to category 4 (38,000 points) on March 1, 2018.

In general, I find most Club Carlson hotels are better deals for paid rates during off-season or during promotional sales. I stayed at Radisson Blu Bratislava last summer for 85 EUR per night, which was a much better deal than 28,000 points, and soon to be 38,000 points per night.

My primary tip for Club Carlson reward nights at European hotels is check out the Premium Room options for 50% more points. This redemption value provides breakfast and higher category rooms in some hotels, like junior suites. That is an especially good upgrade deal at many category 1 (13,500 points) and category 2 hotels (22,500 points). At category 3 and higher the additional cost for a Premium Room upgrade is equivalent to giving up a free reward night.