There’s A 30% Bonus On Club Carlson Points Purchases…But Most Shouldn’t Bother!

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Club Carlson (the loyalty program for, amongst others, Radisson and Radisson Blu) has launched a promotion which gives members the opportunity to buy Gold Points with a bonus of up to 30%. The promotion runs through 30 September 2016 and, in essence, allows Club Carlson members to buy points for 0.54 cents each.

Club Carlson Gold Points Sale

This promotion is tiered so the biggest bonus (and therefore the lowest unit cost) is to be found when you buy at least 31,000 Club Carlson Gold Points:

  • Buy 3,000 – 10,000 points and receive 10% more – 0.64 cents/point
  • Buy 11,000 – 30,000 points and receive 15% more – 0.61 cents/point
  • Buy 31,000 – 40,000 points and receive 30% more – 0.54 cents/point

If you were to buy 31,000 points in this sale……


…you’d end up with 40,300 points (when you factor in the bonus) at a cost of $217.

If you were to buy the maximum allowed in the promotion (40,000)…..


…you’d end up with 52,000 points at a cost of $280.

Terms & Conditions – The Headlines

  • You may purchase a maximum of 40,000 Points per calendar year (excluding bonuses)
  • No Club Carlson member may have more than a total of 40,000 Points per calendar year deposited to their account through the Purchase Option (excluding bonuses).
  • Point sales are processed by so there’s no opportunity to maximise the travel bonus category on any credit cards you may hold (and you won’t get any bonuses for using a Club Carlson credit card either).

Link to the full terms and conditions.

Should You Buy Points In This Sale?

The first thing to note is that, as the top level Club Carlson properties (category 7) cost 70,000 points/night, you cannot purchase enough points for the best hotels Carlson has to offer….and I really don’t like that.

Still, you can just about buy enough points for a category 6 property (some of which aren’t bad at all) so how does the math work out?

I value Club Carlson Gold points at around 0.4 cents each so, straight away, I’m not likely to be tempted by this sale…but not everyone may feel the same way.

A category 6 property costs 50,000 Gold Points per night so, in this promotion, that would set you back $270. 

Here’s a link to all the Carlson-Rezidor category 6 properties and note that all are outside of the US – that’s because Carlson properties in the US aren’t really up to much (with one or two exceptions).

Taking the Radisson Blu Plaza Helsinki as an example (I reviewed this property last year) the Carlson website shows that a standard room for next weekend costs $174.74…..

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…which is a lot less than the $270 it would cost if you were to buy points and book with them.

Still, September is probably pretty cool in Finland so how about the cost of a night next July?

That’s pricing up at $242.37 for a night…..

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…and this really illustrates what a poor deal this points sale is. A booking 11 months away (which leaves plenty of time for the price to come down…and it will) is still cheaper than paying with points bought in this sale.

In case you’re thinking that I’m being selective here a re a few more randomly chosen nights at category 6 properties:

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 13.41.09

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And there isn’t one example in which the nightly rate is even remotely close to how much it would cost to buy points in this promotion and to book with them.

Sure, if I kept looking there would probably be a few examples here and there of where it would make sense to buy points in this sale but they’re outliers….and would you really stay in those properties anyway?

$270 is a lot of money to pay for a night at a Club Carlson property so that alone should be a good indicator of how good or bad this points sale is.

Bottom Line

There are only two instances that I can think of where buying points in this promotion may be a good idea:

  • If you’re about to lose your Club Carlson balance because your points are going to expire then it’s probably worth buying a minimal number of points to reset the expiration date on your account.
  • If you need a few points to get you to an award then that could be ok too. If, for example, you’re 10,000 points short of a long weekend at a category 7 property then paying $70 for those points isn’t the worst idea in the world.

Overall I suggest that most people should steer well clear of this promotion as it doesn’t offer good value – most Carlson properties worth staying at are Category 6 or 7 and the math of this sale just doesn’t work for booking those properties.


  1. […] Last month saw Club Carlson run a promotion with just a 30% bonus and I said at the time that most people shouldn’t bother buying points at that rate. Well, I hope you took that advice because this is a far better promotion and probably just about as good as we’ll see from Club Carlson if past promotions can be used to predict the future. […]

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