Club Carlson...a generally great program, except...

Discussion in 'Carlson | Club Carlson' started by jetsetr, Feb 6, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. jetsetr
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    jetsetr Gold Member

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    I like the Club Carlson program. I've been pleasantly surprised by this program (primarily because I didn't previously have much experience with it), and I find it to be a sleeper amongst the hotel loyalty schemes. Though I don't have their co-branded credit card, I understand that the "second free night" benefit on award stays, as well as the annual retention bonuses are pretty sweet deals.

    But I have two nagging irritations with the program, one major, and one minor.

    The major issue I have is that the hotel's footprint is seemingly large, yet so inconveniently non-existent in places that I tend to go. For example, no properties in HKG?

    The minor issue I have is that on award night stays, I won't earn points on ancillary spend, such as dining charged to the room, even though I would normally earn points on such spend if it were a paid night. Other major hotel chains reward and incentivize this ancillary spend behavior, but not Club Carlson.

    Anyone else have similar (or different) pros and cons with the program?
     
  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    The "no dining credit on award stays" surprised me last year. Fortunately it was only about 30 Euros for breakfast one morning and the wasted time of emailing customer service asking why it didn't post, but you are right it takes away an incentive to spend money at the property (I might not spend money out of principle).
     
  3. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    I really enjoy the Club Carlson program, and think some of their benefits are terrific. Two pet peeves: a huge overseas presence without having a currency conversion-free credit card is one. The other is the uneven nature of the properties. Some are amazing (Copenhagen, Paris, Berlin, and <believe it or not> a very nice property at Stansted come to mind), but others can be, if the reviews are accurate, not "nice" at all.
     
  4. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

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    I think their program is inconsistent and if the property is not newer, they are often not all that good

    Carlson, Radisson, Rezidor......... it is all rather confusing

    two years ago I was Gold on a status match but you rarely got an upgrade (despite them almost always offering to sell it to me) unless you went directly to the manager. There are 6 different properties in Dubai but many other major cities have one or none, making it tough to retain status . I like the one at Dubai Media City best after getting GM to agree to upgrade my room and give me Club access on any stay

    Carlson needs to make it clearer what guaranteed benefits you get with Gold
     
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  5. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Wouldn't that be more on US Bank than Carlson?
     
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  6. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    Yes, certainly. But Club Carlson surely chose their bank, and it's a part of their overall program.
     
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  7. Terry Yap

    Terry Yap Gold Member

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    agree on the smaller footprint, at least in Asia, there are limited cities where i might travel where there are hotels.

    As a Gold member last year, so far in Asia, benefits are quite good, for the stays that i had. For example, managed to get an upgrade to a Club junior suite with lounge access at the Radisson Blu Cebu, kindly arranged by the reservations manager i had emailed beforehand..
     
  8. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    A part of their program they probably have little influence over. US Bank has that fee on the card because they think (rightly or wrongly) it will make them money. If they thought it were costing them money, it would disappear rather quickly.
     
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  9. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    They got a hometown discount. Both programs are Minneapolis based. ;)
     
  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    SPG and Amex Hilton have Forex Fee as well, right? I simply tend to not use those cards when traveling internationally. Will just earn some Chase Ultimate Rewards points via Sapphire Preferred then.
     
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  11. cliq

    cliq Silver Member

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    During my visits to NY, I also dont like the fact that there is only 1 CC hotel in Manhattan (Hilton has got... maybe 50?). If you dont stay in Radisson Martinique on Broadway, you will have to end up at the Country Inn & Suites By Carlson in Queens :(
     
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  12. Terry Yap

    Terry Yap Gold Member

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    if the Country Inn & Suites by Carlson in Queens offers 50,000 points for a stay like the Club Carlson promo offers last year, that will kinda make up for it ?;)
     
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  13. Terry Yap

    Terry Yap Gold Member

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    I status-matched last year to Club Carlson Gold, and just received an email today that as i did not have sufficent stays to re-qualify for Gold, i will drop to Silver tier..not a bad soft landing ! Plus, to help me to strive for Gold again, if i have a stay within the next month, that'll count for 5 qualifying nights, nice touch by Club Carlson i felt.:rolleyes:
     
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  14. Terry Yap

    Terry Yap Gold Member

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    didn't quite like the rest of the contents of the email though...on the devaluation...:(
     
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  15. rlee508

    rlee508 Member

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    I'm new to Club Carlson and recently became a Gold elite. My first stay was last month at the Country Inn & Suites near Newark Airport. I booked a King standard room and was upgraded at check-in to a King suite. After returning home, I realized that I never got an in-room welcome gift (didn't even realize it was a benefit). I emailed Member Services and two days later, received a note that an inquiry would be made with the property.

    Not 10 minutes later, I received an email from the front offer manager apologizing and offering 10,000 points to make up for the lack of gift (usually a small treat bag). Then, not 2 minutes later, I received an email confirming that the 10k points were credited to my account.

    In my limited time with Club Carlson, I must say this is spectacular service. The 10k points more than makes up for the lack of a treat bag and the prompt responses were great.

    I've been splitting my time between Club Carlson, Hhonors, and Hyatt, and I have to say this experience tilted things towards Club Carlson a bit! I can't wait for more Radisson Blu properties to open up or convert in the U.S.
     
  16. dickerso

    dickerso Active Member

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    That's some amazing service re: the 10,000 points for a missing gift. I've had the same thing happen to me several times at mid-tier midwestern hotels (primarily Country Inn and Suites and received nothing in return), although I brought it up through an after-stay survey, not customer service.
     
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  17. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    Just wanted to report that the two nights we spent on points at the Radisson Blu Le Dokhan's in Paris and the two nights at the Radisson Blu Berlin (one night free at each due to having the Club Carlson Credit Card) this month were great! We liked the property, location and friendly staff at each.
     
  18. fulthrust7

    fulthrust7 Member

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    Some of their properties are exuberantly priced, such that even w the free night, it may not be worth it or matches up w marriott and the likes. Clearly the Blu's internationally are the way to go. Not great domestically.
     
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  19. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Wasn't there a Radisson, midtown, on Lexington? 47th or 53rd st rings a bell.
     
  20. LauraPDX

    LauraPDX Silver Member

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    We have used our CC points at a number of European properties this year and have been overall pleased (although they vary tremendously by property). We stayed 6 nights (alternating between our two accounts) at Le Dokhans Palace in Paris and found the staff there to be the friendliest ever. We were upgraded to Business class room and free breakfast was included.
    We also stayed 2 nights in Vienna (no upgrade or breakfast), 2 nights at the Park INN Bratislava (upgrade and breakfast included) where the general manager went out of her way to meet and greet all the guests at breakfast each morning, and 2 nights in Berlin (underwhelmed by the property and the staff there), with no upgrade or breakfast (but they tried to upsell us at checkin at 11PM!.).
    My husband stayed at The Balmoral Spa hotel in Belgium and had multiple room problems, but the manager eventually made it right in the end there. Overall, great return for efforts made 2 years ago when they had the point specials for stays (and we stayed at several airport locations on the west coast, USA, all of which were a bit tired, but trying hard.).
     
  21. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    Pricing is irrelevant when using the free night benefit, as it's only on award stays. (Unless you mean award pricing is too high.)
     
  22. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    We didn't get breakfast at Le Dokhan, though we would certainly return to the property.
    Used two nights in Stockholm a couple of weeks ago, at the Radisson Blu Waterfront. (there are lots of CC properties in Stockholm.). Staff was great, breakfast (with caviar and lots of other things) included, and we loved the location. Still got lots of points to spend, and plan to do it mostly in Europe.
     
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  23. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    Are rubber ducks a typical amenity at Park Inn hotels?
     
  24. adl73x
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    adl73x Gold Member

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    Not in my limited experience, which so far is Northampton and York in England and Shannon in Ireland. UK and Ireland Park Inns are nicer than Park Plazas, but not as nice as Radisson Blu, and not as quirky as Hotel Missoni. None of these have rubber ducks, unless they've been left by careless Lufthansa passengers.

    Also, to the point from the OP, in changes introduced this year, you do now earn points on dining during award stays.
     
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  25. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    Ive never stayed at a Club Carlson hotel. I always thought they were comparible to the Wyndham chain hotels in terms of quality, but Ill have to check them out after reading this.
     
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