Over the past 6 weeks Club Carlson (the loyalty program for Radisson, Radisson Blu etc..) has been announcing some pretty horrific devaluations to their various offerings. These have ranged from culling the benefits on their US Credit Card to dramatically increasing the number of points you’ll need to book rooms in their hotels.
With all these devaluations set to kick in from 1 June here’s a recap of the changes and a reminder to use your points and benefits while you can (today & tomorrow) before they’re gone for good.
The Credit Card Devaluation
To my mind the biggest devaluation that Club Carlson have introduced is the withdrawal of the free night you could get if you held their US Bank credit card. This was a huge perk and made their credit card one of the must-have cards (especially if you enjoy travelling in Europe, where most of their better hotels are).
The bonus was simple: If you held their co-branded credit card you would get a bonus night when you booked a single night, with points, at any of their worldwide hotels. Basically it was a “buy one, get one free offer” but it was limited to one bonus night per stay (which was more than fair enough).
It was a fantastic deal and I made the most of it a few times by using it at their London May Fair Hotel where nights can go for in excess of £300/night ($465/night) or 70,000 points.
The bonus night from the credit card has given me a number of 2-night stays at this great hotel (located just behind Green Park tube station, between Piccadilly and Berkley Square) for just 70,000 points – thats a 1.3 cent/point redemption which is fantastic for this loyalty program.
This will be the devaluation that hits me hardest and I’ve already used most of my Club Carlson points to make speculative 2-night bookings at the May Fair over the next 18 months.
Anyone with a stack of Club Carson points and their co-branded credit card should be making as many reservations as they think they’ll need before this deal goes away on 1 June. If you think you may be visiting a city with a Carlson Rezidor hotel then make a speculative booking as you have nothing to lose – you can always cancel and get your points back later.
The Club Carlson Award Chard Devaluation
Even if you don’t have a US co-branded Club Carlson credit card the award chart devaluation should have you making speculative reservations before 1 June anyway.
As of 1 June the number of Club Carlson properties that will be classified as being in their top category (Category 7) will increase dramatically.
When Club Carlson introduced Category 7 last year there were just 11 properties in that category and they were the only properties that required 70,000 for a one night stay. The next category down charged just 50,000 points per night. As of 1 June the number of Category 7 properties will increase to a staggering 68 worldwide, with some properties moving up more than one category in their classification. That’s at the very least, a 40% increase in the number of points that will be needed to book a room at these new Category 7 hotels.
The hardest hit geographical area will be Europe with cities like London being hit the hardest. As of right now London has just one central London hotel (out of 17) requiring 70,000 points for a one night stay (The May Fair), from Monday that number increases to 14.
They’ve looked after us well at the May Fair
All the worldwide Club Carlson Award Chart changes can be found here and the vast majority make for very sort reading.
So, as I mentioned before, if you’re sitting on a stack of Club Carlson points you may want to start thinking about getting some reservations in place before you need a lot more points to get the room you need – you have less than 48 hours to get the current value out of your points. From Monday they’ll be worth a lot less!