I have to say – I am actually tired of writing about devaluations! It is never a nice thing to hear news of a program devaluing after stocking up points for future trips. At least, we are given some warning with some!
This was one of the most predicted devaluations in award travel – the Club Carlson devaluation. With the way they were minting points through promos and credit card offers, they had to do something to balance out their books. Well, that day has come. Many of the program changes follow the changes made by Hyatt as well as a bit made by Hilton and SPG. The bad news is that they are adding a 7th category. More bad news is that there are a lot of hotels that are changing categories (180 hotels). Good news? They did not remove the last night as free on award stays (for credit card holders). To me, that would have been a huge, devastating change so at least they didn’t touch that.
Currently, Club Carlson has six categories of hotels for award reservations. For stays beginning or after May 15, 2014, there will be 9 hotels that will be moving to the new Category 7, which will require 70,000 points per night (as opposed to the current 50,000 points per night for the highest category. The hotels moving to Category 7 are:
- Radisson Royal Hotel – Dubai
- Radisson Blu Le Dokhan’s Hotel – Paris Trocadero
- Radisson Blu 1835 Hotel & Thalasso – Cannes
- Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan Hotel – Paris Eiffel
- Radisson Blu Hotel Champs Elysees – Paris
- The May Fair – London
- Plaza on the River – London
- art’otel – Amsterdam
- Radisson Royal Hotel – Moscow
Gold Points Can Be Used for Premium Rooms
This is something that is appreciated to some degree. It is always nice to be able to use points to get a nicer room. The problem is that Club Carlson already offers small cash upgrades to upgrade to premium rooms (if there is availability). Since that is only based on availability, it will be appreciated by some to be able to use points for better rooms.
Award Nights/Stays Will Count For Elite Nights/Stays
Again, this is something that can be appreciated, but only to a certain degree. For those customers who have one of the Premier Club Carlson cards, they already have Gold status (mid-tier). To get Concierge status (top-tier), you would need 75 nights or 30 stays. There are probably not going to be that many people who would be staying at Club Carlson hotels that much, especially on award stays.
Reduced Bonus Points for Elites
Club Carlson Gold members receive a 50% bonus on stays while Club Carlson Silver members earn 25%. After March 15th, those numbers will be cut down to 35% (for Gold) and 15% (for Silver).
Last night free on award stays two nights or more (for Club Carlson credit card holders). They have not removed that feature, fortunately. Other good news is that the current category point requirements are not changing (except for the hotels who are changing categories). For runners wanting to stay at Club Carlson hotels for races, Club Carlson is still an excellent option, especially in Europe. Since mid-tier hotels present the best value, Club Carlson presents great value.
If you still want to get some Club Carlson points, read this post about the various cards available.
HT: Hack My Trip