Can You Book a Friend Using the Club Carlson Free Award Night?

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Million Mile Secrets reader Bill emails:

Love your blog, thanks for all the points you’ve helped me get!

I have a little Club Carlson tip for you in case you didn’t already know.

I just made a 2 night reservation (using points from my Club Carlson account) for a friend, so the guest name is not my name.  As a result of the guest name not matching my Club Carlson account name (or not matching my Club Carlson Visa name), the 2nd night was NOT free like it usually is.  So I called Club Carlson and the rep kindly fixed the reservation so the 2nd night would be free.

So it is possible to get the 2nd night free when booking Club Carlson with points for a friend, you just have to call Carlson and ask for it.

This is an interesting tip!  One of the best perks of the Club Carlson Premier Rewards card is the free night when you book 2 or more consecutive award nights.  On a 2-night stay, it’s like getting the room for half the number of points!

Can You Book A Friend Using The Club Carlson Free Award Night
Club Carlson Visa Cardholders Get Their Last Night Free on Award Stays of 2 Nights or More

But according to the terms and conditions, the Club Carlson Visa cardholder must be traveling to get the free award night!

So did Bill just get lucky?

What’s the Deal?

Link:   Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa

Link:   Club Carlson Free Night Explained

Club Carlson Premier Rewards cardholders get their last night free on award stays of 2 nights or more.  That’s a great deal, and 1 of the reasons I have 2 of these cards! Club Carlson includes Radisson, Radisson Blu, Park Inn by Radisson, Park Plaza, and Country Inns and Suites hotels.

But the terms and conditions clearly state:

Your account must be open and reservation must be in the Club Carlson member’s name and use the member number associated with your account to be eligible for the Bonus Award Night.

And on the Club Carlson award booking screen, there’s a warning under the discounted award rate that says:

As a Club Carlson Visa card member, you qualify for one Bonus Award Night redemption during your stay!  The Club Carlson member must be traveling to qualify.
Can You Book A Friend Using The Club Carlson Free Award Night
Club Carlson Says the Cardholder Must Travel to Qualify for the Free Night

There IS a workaround, but it’s not exactly what Bill described!

Authorized Users Can Get the Free Night

The Club Carlson representative I spoke with confirmed that to get the free night on an award stay, the Club Carlson cardholder’s name needs to be on the reservation.

But folks CAN book a room for an authorized user on their Club Carlson Visa card.  According to the representative, they can get the free night if you call to make the reservation at 888-288-8889.
Can You Book A Friend Using The Club Carlson Free Award Night
Authorized Users on the Club Carlson Visa CAN Get the Free Award Night, but It Won’t Work Online

Unless Bill’s friend was an authorized user on his card, I suspect he just got lucky with an agent who may have been willing to bend the rules.  Or perhaps they made a 1-time exception.

Sometimes you can get a deal just by being nice and polite!

Are There Other Workarounds?

You could try to book the hotel under your own name (as a Club Carlson cardholder), then add a 2nd guest name to the comments section of the reservation.

Then, your friend could check in “before you.”  This method works for some hotel chains, but it could be risky.  Because the rules say the Club Carlson cardholder must be traveling, there’s a possibility that a hotel employee might insist on seeing the cardholder and/or card.

Can You Book A Friend Using The Club Carlson Free Award Night
There Might Be Another Solution, but It Could Be Risky

Bottom Line

Million Mile Secrets reader Bill reports he was able to book a friend’s award stay through his Club Carlson account.  By calling Club Carlson, his friend got the free award night on a stay of 2 nights or more usually only offered to Club Carlson Premier Rewards cardholders.

It sounds like Bill ran into an extra-nice phone agent!  It’s not unheard of for hotel and airline representatives to bend the rules.

Club Carlson confirms that only Club Carlson cardholders qualify for the free award night perk.  But authorized users can also get the benefit, as long as you call to make the reservation.

Have you been able to book friends or family and get them a free award night using your Club Carlson account?  Please share your experiences in the comments!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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