Club Carlson recently made changes to the program including how members earn and redeem points as well as changes to elite benefits. The changes are a mixed bag of good and bad for members with probably the most significant change being the addition of another hotel redemption category.
There is now a new Category 7 tier for Club Carlson’s most luxurious hotels, which will include the new Quorvus Collection. Category 7 hotels will require 70,000 points per night, an additional 20,000 points (a 40 percent increase) from the most recent highest category of 50,000 points. A full list of the hotels changing categories, can be found at http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?10959. Currently none of the hotels in the Americas or Asia Pacific will be a Category 7 hotel, but nine hotels in Europe and the Middle East will now require 70,000 points including Radisson Royal Hotel, Dubai; four hotels in France: Radisson Blu Le Dokhan’s Hotel, Paris Trocadero; Radisson Blu 1835 Hotel & Thalasso, Cannes; Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan Hotel, Paris Eiffel and Radisson Blu Hotel Champs Elysees, Paris; two hotels in London: The May Fair and Plaza on the River; the art’otel, Amsterdam and Radisson Royal Hotel, Moscow. Overall, 114 hotels are going up one category, 66 are going down one category and one hotel, Radisson, Petra Concepcion in Chile, is going down two categories.
In other redemption news, Club Carlson members will now be able to redeem additional points to stay in premium rooms at participating hotels–members will see their award options when searching for hotel rooms. There will also be additional gift card offers with redemptions starting at 7,000 points for merchants such as Old Navy, Toys’R’Us and American Eagle Outfitters.
Another change will have a definite negative impact on the amount of points members earn: the ongoing points bonus every time you booked a room online at clubcarlson.com is no longer available all of the time; rather, it will be offered “on a promotional basis.” For non-elite members, this bonus was 1,000 points, for Silver and Gold, 2,000 points, and for Concierge members, the bonus was 3,000 for online bookings–potentially a lot of lost points.
A positive note is that Club Carlson members will now earn points on food and beverage purchases when staying with points, if charged to the room.
Silver and Gold elite members are also getting hit with earning fewer bonus points for their stays. In the past, the points bonus amounts were 25 percent for Silver, 50 percent for Gold and 75 percent for Concierge members. Now, the amounts are 15 percent for Silver and 35 percent for Gold; Concierge will not change at 75 percent. On the positive side for those wishing to obtain elite status, eligible stays as well as award nights will now count toward elite (previously, award nights did not count toward elite). For more information about all of the changes to the program, visit http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?10966.
Bottom line: The bad news outweighs the good with these changes. Losing the automatic bonus when booking online is a definite loss for members and the addition of a higher award category means that they now may have to spend more points for the hotel they wish to stay in. It’s rare that elite members lose benefits such as the decreased points for Silver and Gold member stays. And although the program gave a warning about the changes, it was not a great deal of time.