Club Carlson Program Changes

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There are a bunch of changes coming to the Club Carlson program starting March 15, 2014. By no surprise, most of the changes are not in the travelers favor, although there are a few positive additions. Club Carlson includes: Radisson, Radisson Blu, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, and Country Inn & Suites.

Redeeming Points: 

  • Members will now have a choice of room types when redeeming Gold Points for Award Nights. You will be able to redeem for premium rooms, which will of course require more points I am assuming, but this is one positive addition – although no idea how many extra points it will require.

New Category 7 Tier

  • There will be a new category 7 put in place which will require 70,000 points for a free night. Quite a bit of points in my opinion for a free night.
  • The properties that are going up a category include (on in Europe):
    • Radisson Royal Hotel, Dubai
    • Radisson Blu Le Dokhan’s Hotel, Paris Trocadero
    • Radisson Blu 1835 Hotel & Thalasso, Cannes
    • Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan Hotel, Paris Eiffel
    • Radisson Blu Hotel Champs Elysees, Paris
    • The May Fair, London
    • Plaza on the River, London
    • art’otel, Amsterdam
    • Radisson Royal Hotel, Moscow

Changes in Other Hotel Categories

  • Some hotels will be going up or down a category. You can see the entire list here.

Earning Points

  • You will be able to earn points on food and beverage purchases if charged to the room
  • Currently all members earn a bonus for booking their stay online (Silver = 1,000 bonus points, Gold = 2,000 bonus points, and Concierge = 3,000 bonus points). They will be getting rid of this bonus and offering promotional bonuses from time to time. For those that stayed at Club Carlson properties often, this was a great way to increase your account balance.
  • Bonus points for those with elite status will be decreasing. Those with Gold elite status will go from earning a 50% point bonus to a 35% point bonus. Those with Silver elite status will go from earning a 25% point bonus to a 15% point bonus. Those with Concierge elite status will still receive their 75% point bonus.

Earning Elite Status

  • All stays, regardless if paid or award night stays, will count towards elite status

Overall, I hate seeing loyalty programs changing their program for the worse. The main devaluation here is the addition of a category 7. In Paris, for example, there is now only one hotel not in the category 7 tier (Radisson Blu Hotel, Paris-Boulogne).

I’m not surprised by these changes though as Club Carlson has been given out points like candy over the past few years. They’ve offered a bunch of opportunities to earn 50,000 points with just one stay and their new-ish credit card offer is giving up to 85,000 bonus points (which is great!). Even with these changes, I still am a fan of this program since having the credit card gives you a free night on EVERY award stay.

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  1. I was worried they were going to change the last night free policy to require a minimum of 3 night stay. That would have been a dagger to this program. I can live with the other changes. Since there are so many CC properties in Europe, even if a few go to 70,000 points, there are still a ton of “affordable” properties to choose from.

  2. I just booked Radisson in Prague for May: standard room is 44K points but they offer premium business room for 66K – kind of executive lounge I guess: free breakfast, free minibar and afternoon snacks and drinks.
    They plan to open 2 properties in Maldive next year: I think they will be 70K.

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