Suites Available With Club Carlson Points

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Club Carlson recently announced several changes to their program, which were implemented as of March 15, 2014.

I wrote a post a few weeks ago outlining the changes to the Club Carlson program, and one of the interesting notes was that Gold Points will be redeemable for premium rooms.

Club Carlson members will have a choice of room types when redeeming Gold Points for award nights. In addition to standard rooms, members will be able to redeem points for premium rooms at participating hotels. Ultimately we don’t know what the rates or availability look like, so it’s anyone’s guess if this is actually worthwhile.

Now that the changes have gone live, it looks like the rates are reasonable, with premium rooms requiring 50% more points than a standard room:

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That seems like a reasonable premium in my opinion. In comparison, Hyatt charges 60% more Gold Passport Points for suite awards, and has a three-night minimum stay requirement. Starwood prices suites at double the cost of standard rooms when redeeming SPG points. Hilton charges approximately a million HHonors points per night for standard rooms suites, so they’re not even remotely competitive.

For example, looking at random dates in October for the Plaza on the River in London, a Category 7 property, the following options are available for Club Carlson Gold Points redemptions:

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The Plaza on the River is a bit of a unique property, as all rooms have at least a kitchenette. The one-bedroom suite is nearly double the size of the standard room though, so in this case is potentially a good deal.

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Plaza on the River Studio Room

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Plaza on the River One Bedroom Suite Living Room

On the other hand, some premium room awards appear to be for rooms with a better view, rather than more space.

Looking at those same dates for the Park Plaza County Hall in London, a Category 6 property, the only premium redemption options are for rooms with a view of the London Eye.

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It’s certainly nice to have the option, but this probably isn’t as great a value, given that the rooms are effectively identical.

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Park Plaza County Hall Superior Room

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Park Plaza County Hall Superior Room

The real value of redeeming Club Carlson Gold Points for premium rooms comes from having the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card or Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa Card.

The most valuable benefit offered by the card has to be that the second night of every award redemption is free, so it’s basically like a “buy one get one free” award redemption for as long as you have the card. That’s really tough to beat, especially when you’re redeeming for suites in expensive cities.

The Club Carlson cards offer five points per dollar for everyday spend, and if you want to redeem for premium rooms at Club Carlson’s top hotels you’re looking at 75,000-105,000 points for every two nights. If you’re accruing those points at the rate of five points per dollar, and factoring in that every second night is free, that means you’re basically earning a free night for every $7,500-$10,500 of spend.

Of course there are lots of other ways to accrue Club Carlson Gold Points as well, like through hotel promotions, the annual bonus, and the occasional promotion on the purchase of points, but I can’t think of any other hotel credit cards that offer this type of redemption value on non-bonused spend.

(Tip of the hat to Mommy Points)

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Comments

  1. Let’s say I am staying 4 nights. It doesn’t appear possible to book 2 separate reservations and get a free night with each back to back?

  2. A lot of hotels already let you redeem premium rooms for 50% more points, including last night free.

  3. Lucky,FYI just booked Radison in Milan and the full buffet breakfast is included in the upgrades room.So at first,the 22,000 more for one night(the 2nd ngt free)seemed high but then when you add in the cost of breakfast for 3 people for two nights,the 22,000 pts additional is worth it.

  4. @danny — It IS possible, you just have to have two separate CC accounts, both can be in your name. This works if you have a biz and personal US Bank card. I’m always able to string together a stay of any mulitple of 2 nights.

  5. @Lucky,
    The suite upgrade is also applicable to 2-night reward stay? I mean, I need only to pay 50% reward points on the first night and still get the second night completely free?
    Thanks, Andy

  6. @atxtravel How do you avoid changing rooms every two nights? That is Reservation #1 ends Wednesday and Res #2 starts Wednesday. Do you approach the front desk on Wednesday morning and say “I’d like to stay in the same room for the next reservation”?

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