Carlson Hotels Launches New, Cross-Brand Loyalty Program

Carlson Hotels Launches New, Cross-Brand Loyalty Program

Say what you want about Minnesota winters, but don’t think that North Star Staters are idle while the snow flies.

Minneapolis-based Carlson Hotels Worldwide (think Radisson, Park Plaza and Country Inns) has just announced the launch of a revised loyalty program, goldpoints plus.

Of course, all of Carlson’s hotels have had loyalty programs for some time: Radisson had Gold Rewards, Country Inns had Gold Points Rewards, and Park Plaza had Park Rewards. And before that Radisson Hotels had the Key Rewards program.

The new program draws all the previous schemes under one umbrella. Members of goldpoints plus can now earn points at Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson and Park Inn locations worldwide. This includes all the Carlson-affiliated hotels in the Americas, and partner properties operated by Rezidor SAS Hospitality in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

That bears repeating – the new program is slated to cover all SAS properties. For years, a common complaint from members has been that Radisson’s program lacked continuity in international markets. Members had difficulty with both earning and redemption at European properties. That problem, it would appear, has been solved.

Another major change is the way in which members earn points. Previously, Gold Rewards members earned a flat 1,000 points per stay at a Radisson hotel. Now, members earn 10 points per dollar spent at stays at all Carlson properties – a much more familiar standard for frequent guest programs.

Carlson was also formerly criticized for the lack of an elite program. Not until March of 2003 was an elite program implemented. The new offering improves upon that, providing levels of membership: Base, Silver Elite and Gold Elite. Silver Elite is reached at 5,000 points; Gold at 10,000. Upon reaching the elite tier levels, guests will earn 50-percent and 75-percent bonuses respectively on the points earned on hotel stays. Elite members will also have additional reward privileges, such as the option to convert points to the American Express Membership Rewards program. What is extremely unique about this program is that you can earn elite status not just based on your stays, but by using partners to accumulate the points required for the two elite levels. No other program offers this type of flexibility.

Active members who are residents of the U.S. and Canada will receive automatic entry in quarterly sweepstakes for vacation prizes with every hotel stay.

And of course, goldpoints plus is a part of the Gold Points Rewards Network, which, loosely translated, means that members can earn and burn points with more than 1,500 participating merchants.

This marks the third reincarnation of a hotel guest rewards program for Radisson, and we are hoping that the third time is a charm, since they have lost out over the years starting and stopping and really- onfusing hotel guests that would love to be loyal for the long term.

Bottom line: This program has a real possibility for success, and if they can quickly standarize the international hotels into the program as well as offer a unique elite benefit that no other program currently offers, then you just may find yourself covered in “gold.”

To find out more about the goldpoints plus program, visit

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