Up To 138,000+ Club Carlson Hotel Points…But Is It Right For You?

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Club Carlson is running three separate promotions which together could net you 138,000+ Club Carlson points.

Club Carlson is the loyalty program of Carlson Rezidor Hotels which includes hotels like Country Inns and Suites, Park InnRadisson, and Radisson Blu.

Loyalty Traveler confirms that you can take part in all three promotions and that cash & points reservations (where you use part cash and part Club Carlson points to make your booking) does count as an eligible rate.

If you don’t have a Club Carlson account, thanks to InfamousDX,  you can get 2,000 Club Carlson points by signing up for a new account and using code NSB2K12 and staying in a Club Carlson hotel within 90 days.

What Does Randy Petersen Think About This?

Most bloggers (except the steadfast Online Travel Review) are going ga-ga over this promotion and are assuming that many of their readers will redeem their points at the most expensive Radisson Blu hotels.

But here’s the most astute analysis I’ve read of Club Carlson’s previous giveaway, which not surprisingly is from Randy Petersen:

Radisson simply “out Groupon” Groupon by coming up with a bonus that caused many travelers to “pre-buy” an advance purchase at a Carlson Hotel?  Stays that increasingly, I observe, would not have been purchased if not for the Big Night Giveaway?

Essentially, Club Carlson (Raddison) ran a very well thought through promotion which compelled folks to stay in a Club Carlson hotel when they otherwise wouldn’t have. 

As a marketeer, this is just they type of promotion I want to run, where I want folks to shift consumption of my product (hotel rooms in this case) from the future to the current period and to get new users to try my product (hotel rooms in this case).

And better still, I know that not everyone will redeem their bonus points later on!

But as Randy points out (bolding mine):

Fact is, many of these opportunists will now likely use the points for a purpose far more pedestrian than the seven Radisson Blu hotels that are located in and around Paris.

So do the math for yourself before jumping in!  Club Carlson would not be running the promotion again if they didn’t make money during the last version of the promotion.

But of course Million Mile Secrets are savvy enough to not let hotel chains, airlines or banks make money off them!

What Is 1 Club Carlson Point Worth?

Travel By Points writes that you can buy 40,000 Club Carlson points for $280 or 0.7 cents per point.

  • Radisson Promotion – 50,000 points are worth at most $350 (50,000 points X0.7 cents per point)
  • Country Inn & Suites Promotion – 44,000 points are worth at most $308 (44,000 points X0.7 cents per point)
  • Park Inn Promotion – 44,000 points are worth at most $308 (44,000 points X0.7 cents per point)

This (0.7 cents per point) should be the maximum price you’re willing to pay for 1 Club Carlson point since you can buy them at that price from Club Carlson.  Yes, there is a limit of 40,000 points, but Club Carlson lets you combine points between accounts for free.

Your value (which is different from the price you’re willing to pay) should depend on how & where you redeem your points and whether you would pay the regular hotel room price or not.  And of course, you should be getting more value than what you’re willing to pay.

Is The Promotion Worth It?

It depends.

If you have a hotel stay planned before July 15, it doesn’t hurt to shift those stays to take advantage of the Club Carlson promotion.  At the very least, you’ll get 1 free night after paying for 1 night.

However, depending on how you redeem your points, you could get a lot more value  from the Club Carlson promotion.

1 free night at a Category 1 starts at 9,000 points and top tier Category 6 hotels cost 50,000 points a night.

You can get a lot of value if you use these points to stay in Europe or expensive US cities.  Or if you use them to stay for many nights at a low category Club Carlson hotel.

For example, the Radisson in Copenhagen costs 44,000 points a night or ~$300 a night. 

Similarly, you can get good values by using Club Carlson points for hotels in Europe (think Cannes, Paris, Scandinavia, London, etc.)  For example, the Radisson Blu Champs Elysees costs 500 Euros+ a night and the Radisson Blu in Cannes costs 320+ Euros a night!

You can also get good deals in US cities (New York, Boston, or Chicago) and in the Caribbean ( St Martin or Aruba).

Or 50,000 bonus points will get you 5 nights at a category 1 Club Carlson hotel such as Country Inn and Suites in Orlando or Cookville, TN (which I’ve actually stayed in).

However, keep in mind that you may not always get award availability and may have to pay more points for a premium room.

How Do I Register?

You have to register for each promotion starting May 15, 2012,  and then stay for 1 night in each hotel by July 15, 2012 to get the bonus points.  You can take part in one, two or all three promotions.

Here are the 3 separate promotions:

1.   Radisson Big Night Giveaway Promotion – Up to 50,000 bonus points

Earn 50,000 Club Carlson points  for 1  stay at a Radisson hotel.   Registration opens 12:01 am CST on May 15, 2012 and you have to stay in a Radisson hotel by July 15, 2012.

Do note that only the first 100,000 online registrations world wide are eligible for the 50,000 bonus points after 1 Radisson stay, after which you get only 15,000 bonus points for your stay.

Link:  Radisson Big Night Giveaway registration

Link:  Club Carlson hotel directory

2.   Country Inn & Suites – Stay 1 Get 1 Promotion – Up to 44,000 bonus points

Earn 44,000 Club Carlson points  for 1 stay at a Country Inn & Suites.   Registration opens 12:01 am CST on May 15, 2012 and you have to stay in a Country Inn & Suites hotel by July 15, 2012.

Do note that only the first 35,000 online registrations world wide are eligible for the 44,000 bonus points after 1 Country Inn & Suites stay, after which you get only 15,000 bonus points for your stay.

Link:  Country Club & Suites Promotion  registration

Link:  Club Carlson hotel directory

3.   Park Inn – One Plus One Promotion  – Up to 44,000 bonus points

Earn 44,000 Club Carlson points  for 1 stay at a Park Inn.  Registration opens 12:01 am CST on May 22, 2012 and you have to stay in a Park Inn hotel by July 15, 2012.

Do note that only the first 20,000 online registrations world wide are eligible for the 44,000 bonus points after 1 Park Inn stay, after which you get only 15,000 bonus points for your stay.

There are only 10 Park Inn hotels in the US, so it may be a bit hard to find one close to you.

Link:  Park Inn Promotion registration

Link:  Park Inn hotel directory

What Else Do I Need To Know?

Check-in & check-out

You have to physically check-in and check-out of the hotel to qualify for the promotion.

Like Gary, I’m not sure if they will enforce the check-out requirement, but you could check-in, go to your room, and change your plans or express disappointment at the room (but of course insist that the hotel charge your for the room), and check-out a few minutes later!

Extra points for online booking

You can earn 1,000 extra points (more if you’re an elite member) by making a booking online.

Match your existing hotel status

Mommy Points says that you can match your existing hotel elite status to Club Carlson by emailing them at [email protected] with a screen shot of your current hotel status.

This will help you get more points for online booking and also will get you some perks depending on which status level you’re matched.

If you don’t have any hotel elite status, folks are commenting that you may still be able to get free Hilton Gold elite status.

5% 10% Cash Back For Bookings

Frequent Miler writes that you can also get 10% cash back from Top Cash Back by booking clicking through from the Top Cash Back website (I get a $5 referral if you sign-up for Top Cash Back using my link).

Bottom Line:  

If you spend ~$100 for each hotel night, you will get at least 44,000 to 50,000 points (unless you register after the quota for online registration is filled).

That’s either 1 night at a very nice Radisson Blu costing $200+ or a few nights at the lower tier Club Carlson hotels (especially if you the cash and points).  In most cases, you should come out ahead with this promotion, but do the math for your situation before diving in.

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68 responses to “Up To 138,000+ Club Carlson Hotel Points…But Is It Right For You?

  1. The value floor and the beauty of the offer is that you can always transfer points out to miles, an $80 stay yielding 50,000 points transfers to 8,000 miles in your choice of airline programs. That’s a ‘worst-case scenario’.

  2. How do u combine accounts?

  3. I have a free night on hotels.com. Can I book a room with this free night or do I have to book through the hotel website?

    Thanks!

  4. Does one need to book through the Carlson website or will bookings made from Expedia, Hotels.com, etc qualify as well?

  5. @Jessica, lol that’s what I was getting at as well…

  6. @Jessica & @Seth – As a general rule, bookings made through other channels (Expedia, Hotels.com, etc) do not qualify for points. Club Carlson gives you additional points if you book online with them, rather than on the phone. Club Carlson does have a Best Rate Guarantee, if you find a better rate at the other booking sites.

  7. With Frequent Miler’s tips, it’s fairly easy to get enough Gold points for a 25K mile domestic ticket and spend under $270 in the process. Like Daraius points out, most people who participate wouldn’t ordinarily stay at a Carlson hotel, and I have no interest in redeeming points for more Carlson hotel stays.

    • @Gary Leff @Scottrick – Agreed that the air miles are another option, and is a good promotion to shift hotel stays you already planned on having. But I don’t think it is that great to go out of your way and waste time to check into and out of 3 separate hotels just for the air miles. Full disclosure – I’ll probably be taking part and hope to use the points at a Radisson Blu someday…

      @Mike – You can transfer them by calling member services —> http://www.clubcarlson.com/customerservice/redeem/q13

      @Jessica @Seth – As Katherine points out, you’ve got to earn points for the rate to qualify, and usually bookings via third party sites like Expedia, Hotels.com etc. don’t earn points.

      @Katherine – Thanks for helping out!

  8. Do you know if the promotion will work with rates booked at the Military or Government rate?

  9. Can you create multiple accounts under a pseudo name, then add your name to the reservation to allow you to check-in and then xfer the points to a central account? T&C says the person must be there to check-in (so people in other states cant just call to check-in) but would it qualify if another person on the reservation checked in instead?

  10. So you can’t use – say Southwest.com to book the room to get the points? The reservation has to be made through Carlson’s website?

  11. We’re checking into the Radisson Blu Ambassador Paris Opera next Sunday courtesy of the last promotion! It’s all booked but June rates are 430 Euro’s per night so we’re getting about $552 USD for each 50k Club Carlson points.

    We even drove my gf’s 88 year old mother to a local Radisson to check in for bonus points last year. She’s way spry and got a big kick out of the whole deal. I’m hopeful she’ll help out again this year!

  12. I can’t see why one wouldn’t enter this promotion: it costs nothing unless you decide to stay at one of these hotels. So, it is just a FREE option on up to 138,000 points.

  13. In reference to: ” If you spend ~$100 for each hotel night, you will get at least 44,000 to 50,000 points (unless you register after the quota for online registration is filled)” … Are you saying that if a room rate is $95, for example, it wouldn’t count?

  14. The 2000 welcome points promo also requires a hotel stay within 90 days of signing up.

    • @Danny – You should be eligible as long as the rate earns points.

      @TK
      – Your guess is as good as mine, but I suspect it should work.

      @Bob – Yes, you have to earn points for the stay, and you can usually do that only via the hotel’s website.

      @Eric P – Nicely done! lol at granny checking-in for the points. Safe travels!

      @Frank – Agreed. There’s no harm in registering.

      @Carol – I was just using $100 as an average room rate. Any price room will do!

      @Max – Thanks! I updated the post to mention that.

  15. Maybe a set up for Grand Slam 2012???

  16. Pingback: Club Carlson Promo Registration Goes Live Tonight | Indulge the Wanderlust

  17. I called the Radisson I have a reservation with and asked them what options I have for checking out. I told them I wouldn’t have time to stop by the front desk as I would be in a hurry and I didn’t want to wait at the front desk.

    They told me that I could just leave if I had a credit card on file. I asked a second time if there was anything I needed to do and they told me to just leave the key in the room. This way you are not required to stay the night. Be sure to call the hotel you are staying with to ensure they have the same rules.

    I am still going to call in the morning to let them know that I left.

  18. @TK Please do not abuse the system. Give everyone an equal chance at the offer.

  19. Sites were pretty overloaded when they went live, but I was able to register for both!

    – John…

  20. Sorry, but I’m still confused about booking rates. How do you tell if the rate earns points?
    Can you not see until you try to book the room? Also, since they have the best rate guarantee
    what if you find a room cheaper? Will they honor that and still give you the points? I apologize,
    as I should probably ask Carlson in an email but maybe someone here knows? Thanks!

  21. Bob: What is so confusing about this? It’s just a simple promotion. You register for the promotion and then, before July 15th, you PAY to stay at a Radisson hotel for one night. After you’ve completed that stay, you will get an extra 50,000 points for being registered in this program.

    That’s it. Nothing complex. They are just offering a 50,000 point BONUS for booking (and completing) a normal stay at their hotels during the promotional period. You can then use those points as you please later (either to stay at one of their hotels again or convert them to airline miles if you’d rather).

    – John…

  22. Gov’t rate earns points but beware! F&F rate does not.

    Doesn’t have to just be mattress runs- you’ve got 2 months and don’t tell me many here aren’t traveling in the next 2 months.

  23. there are 2 homeless guys i see next block, i will put them in my car and drive to the lowest priced radison hotel in IL and let them check in for one for my 50k bonus points. for MEALS, i will buy them mcdonald meals.

    JUST ONE NIGHT for them

  24. Can someone explain this line from the T&C for me?:

    ” A “Qualifying Stay“ is defined as a stay of one or more consecutive nights in the same room at a Participating Hotel regardless of the number of check-ins or check-outs on a rate for which Gold Points® are awarded in accordance with the Club Carlson Program Terms and Conditions. ”

    What do they mean “regardless of the number of check-ins or check-outs”? If I have 4 separate nights on 4 separate accounts and check out and then in each day, I’ll be fine, right? Can I have the hotel keep putting me in the same room?

  25. hey guys, no need to spend a boring night at a radison hotel if u really dont have to, just find a cheap one night radison hotel,

    go there and give cashier $5 tip, tell them you are checking in and out within 5 mins and you are doing this cos your card gives you $500 free money.

    VERY EASY

  26. Any idea on whether stays at Park Plaza will qualify for the Park Inn Promotion or if only Park Inn stays will qualify? Some of the hotels seem to kind of be cross listed on the website. If anyone know the answer to this this would really help me out as Park Plaza hotels are more convenient to me but if they wouldn’t qualify I will go a but further for Park Inn. Thanks!

  27. I fell asleep and didn’t register at 1am! I ended up registering this morning at 8:30 am EST.

    I am assuming that was too late but I remember reading that last year Club Carlson honored some registrations that were past the cut-off. I am wondering if there is some way to know if I registered in time or if I could still get the bonus points even if I didn’t.

  28. There are a LOT of slots for this (100,000) — so people can probably do it all day today and still be fine actually. We’ll have to see how it goes. In any case, it tells you right when you register if you did it in the first set to qualify for the 50,000 points on the confirmation screen. Also, you should get a confirmation email and it will start something like this:

    “THANK YOU for registering for the Radisson Big Night Giveaway. You are receiving this email to confirm that you have successfully registered and are eligible to earn 50,000 bonus Gold Points.”

    So, if you get that email — and it says 50,000 points (instead of only 15,000 points), then you did it in time!

    – John…

  29. My husband and I each booked cheap rooms at Country Inns ($70 w tax) over Memorial Day in a neighboring town. It will be fun for the kids to go swimming and sleep in a hotel. It will be fun for us to redeem at a much nicer hotel at a later date!

  30. @ John- Thanks! I did get the email so I guess I am good. That was a pleasant surprise!

  31. I’m confused as to which rates receive points and if I can book the room if I find cheaper rates? That
    info is included in my original message. Are you confused John…?

  32. Pretty much EVERY hotel chain now has a “best rate guarantee” for booking on their site. Carlson is no different. In general, they almost always ARE the best rate these days. There are a few exceptions, but usually even that is over a few dollars. Are you really that concerned about a few dollars that you’d risk losing 50,000 points? If not, do you have even one example of where the rate at the Carlson site is SIGNIFICANTLY more than a rate somewhere else for the same room on the same night?

    If you book it at their site, it qualifies. That still seems simple to me. It doesn’t confuse me at all. What confuses me is being that concerned about a few bucks that you’d risk losing 50,000 points.

    All that being said, I agree with your first comment… If you are that concerned about the few bucks and really want to make sure that you’d still qualify even if you made them do their price guarantee — then I’d call them directly and ask if you still get points for a stay even if you needed to use their price guarantee after booking with them.

    – John…

  33. @Robert — Some hotel clerks will act bizarre if you just tell them to check you in and out. Last time they ran this promo, I just checked in to the local Radisson, went up to my room, messed up the bed a little, put the key card on the dresser, and left. Took about 5 minutes total. Never did anything to check out, and all was fine. Hotels are used to people not officially checking out and just leaving the key card in the room — I’ve done it before when I’m in a rush and have never had a problem.

  34. I was hoping to book a night using Hotels.com to accrue a free night with them while also getting the 50k bonus. There’s no way to credit the stay to my Club Carlson account after I checkout?

  35. 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.

    • I stayed up until 11:30 pm CST, but then went to bed and registered when I woke up (still sleepy) 6 hours later!

      @Corridor! – Thanks for the tip!

      @John… @tassojunior – Thanks for helping out!

      @Jake – Not sure what you mean by 4 separate account, but if they are for separate persons you should get credit for each of them.

      @Peter – I believe it is only Park Inn, but we’ll know for sure once the promotion goes live next week.

      @Jasmine – You did the smart thing! You should get an email confirming your registration.

      @Mary Kate – Sounds like a great time for the kids! I’m looking for cheap hotels nearby as well.

      @Ken – Nope! It is a non-qualifying rate and won’t count towards the promotion.

      @Ann – Sorry to hear about that and a good reminder to not make a hotel reservation until you register.

  36. @Ann – I received email confirmations for both of the promotions I signed up for. Have you tried calling Carlson yet?

  37. I have read everywhere that reservations made prior to registration would count. Is this true? Here is what I found in the terms:

    Promotion is not valid on existing reservations and is subject to availability.

    http://www.radisson.com/bng?newSearch=true/&s_cid=confirm.20120510.radisson.trig.q2confirm.links.h.bookaroom

    Thanks in advance!

  38. I answered my own question. It currently appears that previous reservations won’t count.

    It also appears that you have to physically check in and check out. YMMV if you decide to check out via the phone.

    It has not been stated how long your stay must be though.

  39. @Corridor! – The Country Inn landing page says “Stay 1 Get 1” so I’m assuming you only need to stay 1 night to get the bonus points.

  40. Do you know whether using Cash and Points to book a room will work? Would it be a good idea to call Club Carlson to find out or not?

  41. Darius brother

    Can you tell me if this club carlson is really a club carlson country inn hotel? If i book a paid night at this hotel, i might get the 44k points? I was looking for 3 nights room in buffalo NY. I found no radisson there but there is a COUNTRY INN hotel but it says ” Soon to be joining Country Inn & Suites By Carlson ”
    Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Buffalo South I-90, NY
    164b Slade Avenue, West Seneca, NY 14224 | 716-259-8520

  42. Check out my blog. Just started so a little bare but someone has to start somewhere.

    http://loyaltyfrequenter.blogspot.com/2012/05/club-carlson-springsummer-promotion.html

  43. When will Top Cash reflect a reservation has been made an apply the cash back? Will it show pending or only reflect after the stay itself at a Radisson hotel?

  44. Just a reminder for people to go register for the Park Inn promotion today! Still within the first 20,000 as I write this!

    – John…

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  46. Does the stay still count/do I earn the bonus if I book a points + cash rate?

  47. Just wanted to let you know that I registered today, June 5, for the Park Inn promotion and was shocked that I received the email confirmation of 44,000 points… so I guess either there is no limit or they haven’t reached 20,000 people yet.
    We stayed at a Park Inn last weekend (a Hotwire suprise) and was actually very pleased with our stay, despite bad reviews online. Will be returning again soon just to get my points! Thanks!

  48. There are a very limited number of Park Inns in the USA, so I think a lot of people were slow to sign up for that one. So, yes, people can still get in on the full deal with that one!

    We actually have one here in Michigan that we were planning to hit — but then discovered one in Toledo when we actually needed a stay near there next month! So, we got lucky with our Park Inn stay! 🙂

    – John…

  49. @Kimmie – I’m curious to see if you receive the bonus points since you booked through Hotwire and not through Park Inn themselves.

    • @Daphne – Cash and Points stays do count.

      @Kimmie – I’ll be staying in one as well, though the reviews did have me worried as well!

      @John… – We might be visiting the Toledo Park Inn as well!

  50. Daraius: Interesting! Do you know when? We’ll be there on July 4th actually. Would be a great coincidence if you were around at the same time! 🙂

    – John…

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  53. We just HAPPENED to be going to Fresno after I read about the Club Carlson offer. So we stayed 1 night there = 44,000 points. Then we took our daughter and 2 young boys to Portland where we stayed 1 night in the Radisson = 50,000 points, and the next night in the Country Inn & Suites = 44,000 points. AND we got 3 x 1,000 points for booking online, and 2,000 points Club Carlson sign-up bonus. PLUS we clicked through TopCashBack.com so we got an extra 10% refund on all the nights. And of course we got the routine points for staying at the hotels, so all in all we snagged almost 150,000 points in 3 nights. After I send my Priority Club Platinum Elite status proof, Club Carlson should status match for an extra 50% on some of those points, so it’s just getting bigger all the time. The cool thing from now on is that we’ll be automatically upgraded because of the new status level. (We stayed on the Lindberg level in PDX Radisson — it was only a few $ more than the cheapest room available, came with 2 sets of tickets to evening treats (2 free drinks + free appetizer from the menu = it was a MEAL!) and Breakfast, which was lovely. We purchased 3 more sets of tickets for the other 3 guests in the room – had a double queen plus a sofa bed so all had beds – and the stay was delightful! The kids thought it was fantastic to have free drinks (non-alcoholic, of course) with all sorts of special things in them. What fun!! Thank you so much for all your tips. I would never have known all this — it’s mind-boggling as it is, trying to snag all the good deals – but it’s been pretty good wages per hour if I worked it out!

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  56. Any idea whether club carlson will be running this promotion in 2013? If so when do u think it will start?

  57. Can I say that the NYC Hotel week at the beginning of 2014 is something like this promotion? I mean we get cheap hotel reservations again, this thing is they are only for NYC and for a short time, but it’s still something.

  58. Do you actually have to stay? Can you book, no show, and get charged the rate and then get the promotions?