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I’ve been writing about the Club Carlson Big Night Giveaway recently and have received many questions about the promotion. Instead of having to sift through the comments amongst multiple posts, I figured I’d answer the questions for all of you in this post here. Originally this was going to be a top 10 list, but I thought of additional questions as I was going along and others have posted questions in the comments section which I am including in this main post. Maybe it will be the top 20 questions soon?!
Q1: Do AAA, Government rates, or Senior rates qualify for the promotion?
Yes! All rates that earn regular points for your stay qualify for the bonus points as part of the promotion.
Q2: Do Friends & Family rates qualify for the promotion?
No. Friends & Family rates do not earn regular points, thus do not qualify for the promotion.
Q3: Do reservations booked with Cash & Points qualify for the promotion?
Yes! Club Carlson is unique where the Cash portion of the stay earns the 20 points per dollar spent. Since you are earning points on your stay, you will receive the bonus points as part of the promotion. This is the only hotel program currently where you earn points for the cash portion.
Q4: How does the Best Rate Guarantee work?
If you fine a rate on another site lower than the best rate available on clubcarlson.com (by at least $1.00 USD, €1 EUR or £1 GBP) Club Carlson will match the lower found rate and discount it by 25%. The rate you find MUST be for the same dates, same room type, same number of guests, same hotel, and same rate terms/restrictions (i.e., non-refundable, refundable, etc.). This lower rate must be found within 24 hours of your original booking and at least 48 hours prior to your arrival at the hotel.
If you find a lower rate, you must submit a claim form including the lower rate, the web address you found it on, the date found, and any additional comments you feel are necessary. Here are the respective claim forms: Radisson® Claim, Country Inns & SuitesSM Claim, Park Inn by Radisson Claim, and Park Plaza® Claim
If your claim is approved, keep in mind that the cancellation terms of the reservation fully change. The full prepayment will be billed to the credit card provided when making your reservation and $25.00 becomes non-refundable, even if you cancel your reservation well in advance. Regardless of the initial cancellation terms when you booked, cancellations made within 3 days of arrival will be charged 1 night plus tax.
For example, if the best rate available on clubcarlson.com for non-refundable King room at the Country Inn & Suites in Bentonville is $89 on June 3, 2012, but hotels.com has this same room type on June 3rd for $79, if the claim is submitted within 24 hours of your booking on the clubcarlson.com website, they will drop your final rate to $59.25 (25% less of the $79.com rate found at hotels.com).
Q5: Am I able to take advantage of all three Club Carlson promotions, or can I only register/qualify for one?
You can register and qualify for all three promotions and get a total of 138,000 points per person. The three promotions include:
- Radisson: “Big Night Giveaway” – Earn 50,000 bonus points after a stay at a Radisson or Radisson Blu hotel between May 15-July 15 – limited to the first 100,000 people who register
- Country Inn & Suites: “Stay 1 Get 1 So Go Promotion” – Earn 44,000 bonus points after a stay at a Country Inn & Suites by Carlson hotel between May 15-July 15 – limited to the first 35,000 people who register
- Park Inn Promotion: “Stay 1 Plus 1 Promotion” – Earn 44,000 bonus points after a stay at a Park Inn by Radisson hotel between May 22-July 22 (registration does not begin until May 22) – limited to the first 20,000 people who register
Q6: Will reservations I made prior to registering for the promotion qualify for the bonus points?
Yes! The original terms and conditions stated that only new reservations qualified for the promotion, however, after a few days that was changed and now ALL reservations count regardless of when they were made.
Q7: Is there a way to fully maximize this promotion by using one of the online shopping portals?
Yes! Prior to making your reservation you should scout out which shopping portal will work the best for you – you can earn either go for a site where you eran bonus points/miles and get cash back. This is just one quick and easy extra step to making your reservation. Once accessing the shopping portal, search for “Radisson” and then click the link that will take you directly to the Club Carlson/Radisson website. You will then make your reservation as you normally would but will receive commission in points or cash back just by going through the portal. I’ve compiled some of the portals and their perks:
- TopCashBack.com – 10% cash back
- Mrrebates.com – 7.5% cash back
- ebates.com – 3.5% cash back
- American Express Membership Rewards – 3x points per $1 spent
- US Airways – 1x point per $1 spent
- United – 1x point per $1 spent
Q8: If both myself and my significant partner are staying at a hotel can we book two rooms and get the points twice?
Absolutely, but you must book two rooms, not one! You will need to book each room under the respective person’s Club Carlson account number and check into both rooms. If you are staying at the hotel and actually only occupying one room, you will still need to pay for both rooms.
Q9: Can I check into both a Radisson and Country Inn & Suites on the same night and still get the bonus points?
While this is not confirmed, I do not see why not. There have been many times when I had multiple stays across the country on the same night at the same hotel chain and got the points and bonus points for those nights. I have never tried this at a Club Carlson brand hotel though, so I cannot confirm for sure. You might need one location for the evening and another location for the morning, right?!
Q10: If I have a three night stay, for example, is there a way to get this bonus more than once?
If you are staying with another person, make three separate reservations. Person X will be the first night, Person Y the second and third night. If there are three people in the room, the third night can be Person Z. Just make sure you check in and out each morning and the correct account number is on each bill. They might make you change rooms, but if you be-friend the person at the front desk and explain that you’d prefer to stay in the same room and that it will make it easier on the hotel itself you will probably get lucky – no guarantees though.
Q11: If I earn the bonus points at a Country Inn & Suites hotel, can they only be redeemed at Country Inn & Suites properties?
No! All points and bonus points earned will go into the same Club Carlson account. While the promotion is advertised as “Stay 1, Get 1” you are essentially getting the 50k (Radisson) or 44k (Country Inn & Suites and Park Inn) deposited directly into your Club Carlson account that can be redeemed amongst any of the Club Carlson brand hotels. This includes: Radisson Blu, Radisson, Country Inn & Suites, Park Inn, and Park Plaza. You can see all the hotels and the number of points needed to redeem at this Club Carlson site here. Keep in mind that on May 31st some hotels will be moving categories (up and down).
Q12: In addition to the bonus points earned, what other points do I earn when staying at a Club Carlson property?
You will earn 20 points per dollar spent plus bonus points for booking your reservation online. All members will receive 1,000 bonus points for booking online, Silver and Gold members will earn 2,000 points for booking online, and Concierge members will earn 3,000 points. If your room costs $99/night and you are staying 1 night, the regular points you will earn is 1,980 plus the booking bonus of 1,000-3,000 points. On top of this you will earn the 50,000 or 44,000 bonus points for the current promotion.
Q13: If I have status with another hotel chain, will Club Carlson match this status?
Typically yes. Email Club Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org requesting a status match and include a screenshot of your current hotel status at another chain. Make sure to include your Club Carlson number.
Q14: I am currently a Club Carlson member, how do I join?
If you are not currently a member you can create a new Club Carlson account here – this will give you a 2,000 bonus once you complete your first stay within 90 days.
Q15: If I took part in this promotion in November/December 2011, can I participate again?
Absolutely! This is the 2nd time they’ve offered this promotion (although last time only Radisson hotels qualified) and everyone is able to take advantage again.
Q16: Do I have to physically check in and check out to earn the points?
Like almost every other hotel chain, you must physically check into the hotel to be a registered guest. If you book a room and do not show up to check in they will mark you as a no-show. Typically, no shows are charged one nights rate (although it depends on the hotel) and points are not awarded. You will ONLY earn the promotional points when you earn regular points for your stay.
Regarding physically checking-out, ideally this promotion is catered towards getting folks to actually stay and experience their hotel. With that said, I typically do not physically check out of hotels when I stay and if I need the bill for any reason I call later and ask them to email or fax it to me.
Q17: If I book my stay through a third party booking site, like hotels.com or expedia.com, will I still be eligible for this promotion?
No, unfortunately, when you book through a third party booking site, you will not earn regular points for your stay. You will only receive the bonus points on a stay where you are earning the typical regular points. While there are times these stays slip through the cracks and some do earn points on these stays, I would not risk it. Anyways, when you do find a site that is cheaper than what is on clubcarlson.com, just book your reservation on Club Carlson and then submit the lower rate found via their Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) claim form (from Q4).
Any other questions you might have? Let me know! Also, as a final disclaimer, while I personally am very excited over this promotion, take a minute or two to see if this promotion works for you. Will you actually use these points? Is there a particular hotel that you desire to stay at?