3 Weeks Left to Book Club Carlson Hotels For Less

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Starting March 15, 2014, there will be changes to the Club Carlson award program.  But if you book before March 15, 2014 you can still get the lower rates on award stays.

3 Weeks Left To Book Club Carlson Hotels For Less

Award Stays at Some Club Carlson Hotels Will Be More Expensive From March 15, 2014

Club Carlson hotels include Country Inns and SuitesRadissonRadisson BluPark Inn by Radisson,  and Park Plaza.

What Is Going to Change?

1.   A New (Expensive) Category 7

Club Carlson currently has 6 reward categories to book free night awards at their hotels.  But starting next month they will have a new 7th tier, which will cost 70,000 Club Carlson points per night.

3 Weeks Left To Book Club Carlson Hotels For Less

The Current Club Carlson Award Chart

Here’s list of the new category 7 hotels:

These hotels used to be in category 6 and cost 50,000 Club Carlson points.  So this is a 40% increase in the redemption rate!

The new category 7 hotels are in cities where hotels don’t come cheap.  For example, the Radisson Blu Hotel Champs Elysees Paris starts at 238+ euros (~$327+) per night.

3 Weeks Left To Book Club Carlson Hotels For Less

The Radisson in Paris Is Not Cheap

But Club Carlson points have been very easy to earn.  You get 85,000 Club Carlson points after completing the minimum spending & earn 5X points per $1 on all spending on the Club Carlson card.  Club Carlson also has good promotions where you earn lots of points.

So you shouldn’t be surprised that it is going to cost more Club Carlson points to stay in certain hotels.

3 Weeks Left To Book Club Carlson Hotels For Less

It Will Cost 20,000 Miles More per Night to Stay at the Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan in Paris

Club Carlson will also be launching a luxury brand called Quorvus (I wonder how much the consultants got paid for that tongue twister!)  These hotels will hopefully be part of the new category 7 for 70,000 Club Carlson points.

2.   Category Shuffle

Besides moving hotels into the new Club Carlson top-tier, there are also other hotels moving up or down categories.  ~114 hotels will move up a level and ~67 hotels will move down at least one level.  This means that about twice as many hotels will cost more points than those that will cost less points.

I’m not too happy about this, but it could have been a lot worse given how easy it has been to earn Club Carlson points.  Here’s a link to the full list of hotels costing more or less.

So book your Club Carlson award stay before March 15, 2014 to avoid paying more points for stays.  The notice seems to suggest that the new categories apply to bookings on or after May 1, 2014, but the same page also says that the hotels move categories on March 15, 2014.  So I’d book before March 15, 2014 to avoid any surprises!

3.   Some Elite Status Members Will Earn Less Bonus Points

If you have the Club Carlson card you get free Gold elite status.  So this change will impact you!

  • Silver member bonus declines from 25% to 15%
  • Gold member bonus goes declines from 50% to 35%
  • Concierge member bonus stays at 75%

4.   Earn Elite Status With Award Stays

You will get elite status credit when you redeem points for Award Nights.  This could be useful for some, but you need 75 nights or 30 stays to get Club Carlson’s top tier Concierge status.

3 Weeks Left To Book Club Carlson Hotels For Less

Here’s What You Get From Club Carlson Elite Status

5.   Book Non-Standard Rooms with Award Nights

You could only book standard rooms with Club Carlson points.  But now you can use your points towards suites and larger rooms.

The details on this change have not been released.  So we don’t know what type of rooms can be booked with points or how many points it will cost.

6.   Earn Points for Food & Beverage Charges

You can now earn Club Carlson points when you charge food and drinks to your room.  This is not a big deal because you would have to eat a LOT to earn enough points to make a difference.

7.   24 Hour Concierge Service Discontinued

On March 1, 2014 the 24 hour concierge service will be discontinued.  I don’t think this is a big deal for us, because how many of us were top-tier Concierge elite members?

8.   Online Booking Bonus Only During Promotions

You currently get up to 3,000 bonus points when you book a Club Carlson hotel online.  This was an easy way to earn more points!

  • Red members used to earn 1,000 points
  • Silver members used to earn 2,000 points
  • Gold members used to earn 2,000 points
  • Concierge members used to earn 3,000 points

However, with the changes you will only get the online booking bonus when Club Carlson runs a special promotion.  This will greatly reduce the number of points which I earn.

The Good News

Fortunately, the best part of the Club Carlson program is NOT changing.  Club Carlson card holders will still get 1 free night when they book an award stay of at least 2 nights.  This means that you get at least 50% more value from your points.  I was expecting this benefit to be made less lucrative at some point, but fortunately that is not happening now.

Twice as may hotels will soon require more Club Carlson points.  But some hotels are moving down a category or not changing at all.

For example, the Radisson Blu Mall of America is going from category 6 to category 5.  This hotel currently costs 50,000 points, but after March 15, 2014 it will only 44,000 points.

3 Weeks Left To Book Club Carlson Hotels For Less

Book Your Stay at the Radisson Blu Mall of America After March 15, 2014 and Save 6,000 Points

When we took Emily’s mom to India we stayed at the Radisson Blu Agra.  Luckily, this hotel will stay at the same redemption rate!

3 Weeks Left To Book Club Carlson Hotels For Less

Emily’s Mom Stayed With Us at the Radisson Blu Agra in India

Bottom Line

Book your Club Carlson hotel stays with points before March 15, 2014 to lock-in the lower points rate for your future stays!  These changes aren’t good news.  However, there have been some very good Club Carlson promotions which make this change seem inevitable.

However, it could have been worse.  That’s because there are several hotels which will cost less.  And some hotels will still require the same number of points.

But most importantly is that there is no change to the Club Carlson card which still gets you 1 free night when you book at least 2 or more award nights.

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16 responses to “3 Weeks Left to Book Club Carlson Hotels For Less

  1. You wrote:

    Concierge member bonus declines 75%

    But I think you meant:

    Concierge member bonus remains 75%

  2. Also the notice clearly says new redemption rates apply for bookings after May 1. The other changes start in March

    • @Jeanne – You’re right and it has been fixed.

      @Alex – The notice also says that the hotels change categories on March 15, 2014 so it is unclear to me why they would change categories earlier, but still let you book at the lower rate for 1.5 months.

  3. Looks like since I commented Carlson updated all the links to say March 15… I can’t find the May 1 date anywhere. Sad…

  4. I’m going to Paris in May with my family 4. Do you think I could go ahead and book Radisson Blu Hotel, Paris-Boulogne with for a standard room on points? Then call after the devaluation to see if I could change the room type to a larger room for the same points?

    • @Alex – It always appeared to me that the real change date was March 15 and that the May 1 date was a typo.

      @Temo – I’d lock in the lower rate now, but doubt they would give you a larger room for the same number of points.

  5. Daraius,
    I am planning on staying 4 nights at category 6 property, should I make 2 separate reservations of 2 nights each and pay only 100K? is this what people normally do when they need to stay more than 2 nights?
    thanks

  6. Hi, I am booking 1 night on March 14th and 2 nights on March 15th and 16th in separate country inn hotels. I have an silver elite membership. Will I get the online booking bonus ?

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  9. I have the credit card. Would I get the second night free if I use the points + cash option to book two nights, or do I need to book entirely on points to get the free night?

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  11. Patricia Steckelmann

    Do you know of any Club Carlson branded hotels in London that include breakfast? I haven’t been able to figure that out, thanks for any help.

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