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Club Carlson is the last of the major hotel chains to reveal its year-end global promotion which will run through to 31 December 2016.
As will most major hotel promotions registration is required before the end of your first qualifying stay and you’ll have to decide which bonus you want to receive (double points or double elite nights) at the time of registration.
Decisions, Decisions – Headline T&Cs
- You must be a Club Carlson member to participate in the “Decisions, Decisions” promotion
- Promotion is valid between 1 November and 31 December 2016
- To be eligible to earn 20 bonus Gold Points per U.S. Dollar spent in addition to the 20 standard Gold Points per U.S. Dollar spent (“Double Points”), or one bonus Eligible Night for each Eligible Night (“Double Nights”), members must:
- register online for the Promotion at clubcarlson.com/yourchoice
- provide their Club Carlson number at the time of reservation or at check-in
- complete an Eligible Stay at participating Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson RED, Radisson, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By Carlson hotels worldwide during the Promotion Period.
- Stays or nights paid for by redeeming Gold Points are not eligible for this Promotion.
- Members only need to register once, but registration must be received before checkout of the first Eligible Stay to qualify.
- Member’s selection of Double Points or Double Nights applies to all Eligible Stays completed during the Promotion Period and cannot be changed.
- Members registered for both Double Points and “Triple Points with RED” Promotions who complete an Eligible Stay at a Radisson RED hotel during the Promotion Periods will qualify for the “Triple Points with RED” promotion only.
- Promotion is only valid for the first 20 Eligible Nights of an Eligible Stay during the Promotion Period.
- Both the check-in and checkout dates of the Eligible Stay must take place within the Promotion Period.
Which To Choose
Club Carlson has three primary status tiers (Silver, Gold, Concierge) and travelers are required to spend 15, 35 and 75 nights, respectively, at Club Carlson properties to earn those statuses.
I don’t know anyone who earns Club Carlson status (most people seem to have Gold status courtesy of the Club Carlson co-branded Visa card issued by US Bank) but presumably some people do so, if you need help getting to the next status level the double nights offer may be best for you.
But unless you’re going for Concierge status there doesn’t appear to be any reason whatsoever for you to choose the “double nights” option. A $75/year credit card will automatically get you Gold status so why go to any extra bother if you don’t have to.
I value Gold Points at 0.4 cents each so the bonus 20 points/dollar spent that are on offer are worth 8.0 cents which is the same as a bonus 8% rebate.
If you have status with Club Carlson you get a bonus on the points you earn (15%/35%/75%) so here’s what you can earn from this promotion:
- No status – 40 points/dollar
- Silver – 43 points/dollar
- Gold – 47 points/dollar
- Concierge – 55 points/dollar
Assuming most people reading this blog will have, at best, Gold status (courtesy of a credit card) they will earn 47 points/dollar spend during the promotion period (excluding credit card earnings).
With most of the acceptable/good Club Carlson hotels now costing 70,000 points for an award night you would have to spend $1,490 during the promotion period to get a “free night” at one of those properties….and that’s a lot to spend at Radisson!
If the stay is paid for using the Club Carlson Premier Visa Signature card that will earn a further 10 points/dollar which reduces the spend needed for a good award night to $1,228.
That’s still a lot of money to spend and don’t forget that the Club Carlson Premier Visa Signature card comes with foreign transaction fees so you should only be using it in the US.
The real issue here is that Club Carlson doesn’t exactly offer very much any more.
Top-tier status requires 30 stays or 75 nights and, after having looked at the list of benefits that it offers, I can’t see any compelling reason not to just stick with Gold Status that comes with the credit card.
Double points sound pretty good but, after the huge devaluations we’ve seen over the past 18 months, are Club Carlson points really worth collecting? Probably not unless you’re stay at Carlson properties on a very regular basis.
There aren’t exactly very many Carlson properties that make traveler’s “must visit” lists (I’d be surprised if there are any!) and spending $1,228 just for a single free night at one of the better properties isn’t an idea that appeals.
I’ve chosen the double points option just in case I find myself at Club Carlson property before the year is out….but I doubt that I will.