It’s finally here.
After 16 years of Randy’s harping (and, frankly, a lot of solid work and testing by the good folks in Minneapolis), Carlson Hotels has announced the introduction of an elite-level program for Gold Points Rewards members.
Beginning in March, Carlson Hotels and four of its hotel brands (Radisson, Park Plaza, Country Inns & Suites, and Park Inns) will recognize more than 75,000 program members with elite-level status.
To qualify, members must earn a minimum of 30,000 base Gold Points (about 15 nights) per calendar year for stays at participating Carlson hotels. The first wave of new elite members has already earned elite status in 2002 through stays at Country Inns & Suites or Radisson hotels. In 2003, members can count stays at all brands to re-qualify for elite-level status.
Elite members staying at a Radisson hotel will earn 1,000 bonus points per night on top of the usual 1,000 base points per night, for a maximum of 10 nights on any one stay. Country Inns & Suites, Park Plaza Hotel and Park Inn guests will earn a 20-percent bonus — 12 points per dollar spent instead of the usual 10. In addition, elite members will have access to a dedicated call center and Web site for reservations and inquiries, as well as an upgrade to the best available room upon check-in.
Following a trend in the industry, Carlson will also offer additional benefits at each brand, including exclusive offers and hotel privileges such as early check-in when available.
We’re impressed with the richness of the program. By offering elite members double points per stay, Radisson has taken the industry lead overnight. By comparison, a Marriott Platinum member earns a 30-percent bonus, Hilton gives its Diamond VIP members a 50-percent bonus, and Hyatt offers a 30-percent bonus to its Diamond members. A 100-percent bonus is unheard of … until now.