Rebook Club Carlson BOGO Awards For LATAM Now (25% Off)

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Club Carlson just announced a 25% discount on award bookings in Latin America. This award sale includes properties in Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. The sale is good for stays through the end of 2015, but must be booked by July 31.

Club Carlson 25% award sale for Latin America.
Club Carlson 25% award sale for Latin America.

From their email:

From ancient Mayan ruins to vibrant nightlife, explore the rich, colorful cultures awaiting you in Latin America. Come visit us in one of our locations throughout Latin America and save 25% on Award Night bookings. Book your Award Night by July 31, 2015 using Promotional Code LATAM25 and you’ll save 25% on the points needed for stays through the end of 2015.

Raise The Price! No lower it!

This award sale is certainly nice. But the timing of it is just bizarre, given that it was announced literally hours after the 2015 category updates took place. That means some of the properties both went up in price — and down — in the same day! 

Take the Radisson Hotel San Isidro Peru, for example. Yesterday it was a Category 3 property meaning it would cost 28,000 points for an award night.

Then this morning it moved from Category 3 to Category 4, increasing it’s cost to 38,000 points. That was an increase of 36%.

But with this award sale, it is back down to 28,500 points through the end of the year. Which begs the question — what was the point of raising the price? These category updates happen once per year, and they just put over 50% of the year on sale! 

San Isidro is  going up in price. Or not.
San Isidro is going up in price. Or not.

The Radisson Grenada Beach Resort actually went from 44,000 to 50,000. Yet during this sale it is back to 37,500. So despite the category update which says this property should cost more, for over half the year it’s actually going to cost less.

grenada

For properties that went down in category, they are now a lot cheaper. The Radisson Summit Hotel and Golf Club in Panama City went from 28,000 points to 15,000 points and is now 11,250 points through the end of 2015.

The Award Night BOGO Is Still Alive

The best part of this sale is that it overlaps by about 12 hours with the waning days of the BOGO award night for  those who have the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card. According to Ben’s post this morning, that benefit is going to go away at 11 PM CT tonight. So if you were planning to book an award in Latin America, you should probably go back and check.

I actually did book the Country Inn and Suite Panama Canal for a speculative booking in 2016. It didn’t make my top tips for booking last-minute Carlson BOGO award nights, but it could have. We stayed here a year ago and loved it. For those wanting to visit the canal and see some big ships, this is perhaps the best hotel available. The treatment I received as a Gold staying on points was fantastic, including an upgrade to a two room master suite overlooking the canal.

On the balcony of our master suite at the County Inn and Suites Panama Canal
On the balcony of our master suite at the County Inn and Suites Panama Canal

At this point, I have no idea what to expect from Club Carlson. I can’t tell if they are messing with us, or if this is really part of some master plan. But I do know that where there is chaos, there is opportunity, so I look forward to seeing what Carlson comes up with next!

Did any of your LATAM award nights get cheaper?

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Comments

  1. Did you know that some hotels did not qualify for the BOGO, like the Radisson in Faria Lima, Sao Paulo!

    The 25% off was there last night for it when I checked but it just did not do the BOGO – guess the 25% off cannot be combined with BOGO – unless there is another reason!

    Thoughts?

  2. You posts on CC and its credit card is becoming so ridiculous. Of course you keep talking about it cos you want referral commissions even though this card and its program is completely WORTHLESS.

  3. Put a sock in it Jim!
    I have done 7 redemptions with Club Carlson for 32 nights in total, all BOGO, in the last two years. My average redemption value is 1.36 cents per point. With the demise of the BOGO, that cuts the value to 0.68 cents per point, which makes the sign up bonus on the card worth $578, the annual bonus worth $272, and the regular triple points promotions that seem to happen most of the time worth 52 cents for every dollar you spend booking into a CC hotel. Even with no promotion, that makes the regular earn (20 points per dollar, plus 7 for being gold plus 10 for using the card) worth 25 cents per dollar spent. Even if I can’t continue to get the same values going forward, I have to be able to get more value out of their points than what the annual fee costs me. Plus you get status with CC, which gets you awesome stuff some places and next to nothing other places (I have stayed mostly in western Europe, so my experience tends toward the nothing end (welcome amenity and restaurant discounts and that is it), but everyone else says Latin America treats platinum members very well).
    If you want to crap on a program, try SPG. Giving them a generous 3 cents per point (which is what I have gotten from redemptions and is much higher than most value them), the sign up bonus is worth $750 (the only thing that is better than CC), you get nothing for your annual fee and for stays you get 12 cents back per dollar. Plus the card gets you squat for status. Now that is a worthless program, which seemingly every blogger loves to push for no reason I have been able to figure out. I signed up for cards for me, my wife and our business, got the bonuses and cancelled them all. I will sign up for the business card again to get the bonus again, but I won’t keep it very long.

  4. Jim —

    If you meant worth LESS, then yes, I’ll agree. Club Carlson is definitely worth less than it was, no doubt. In fact, the end of the BOGO makes it worth about 50% less to me.

    But worthless? Hardly. I thought the CC program was pretty good even before the BOGO benefit appeared, and it’s roughly back to that point today. I don’t like the category creep, but honestly, my family doesn’t frequent the top end properties anyway.

    Even if you don’t value the Gold Status, just paying the annual fee ($75) gets you 40,000 points per year. That’s like buying points at 0.2 cents each. I think they are worth more than that.

    Sure, it stinks to see a program lose half it’s value overnight. But when it was so over the top generous, this just puts it back in line with other programs. (And possibly still better.) But I’ll get into that in another post later.

    Thanks for the comment.

  5. Has anyone tried combining this with the BOGO? I tried earlier. I had 11,700 points left in my account and as soon as I saw the email, I tried to book two nights at the above-mentioned Panama hotel (on promo for 11,250). It wouldn’t let me book two nights – it kept saying I didn’t have enough points. I assumed that meant they couldn’t be combined.

  6. For the record, since it didn’t work, I booked two nights at the 9,000 per night Park Inn Puerto Varas for Kuchen Day 2018! Now that’s a speculative booking!

  7. The value of club carlson points will be around 0.2-0.3 cents a point after this deval.

    Poor value. Gold status is a joke, and you know it compared to the major chains.

    Might get you an upgrade to a higher floor.

  8. Nico:

    Actually, you’re right. Apparently the BOGO doesn’t stack with the award discount. So you can get one or the other, but not both.

    My apologies to everyone for the error. Just a bit too excited I guess, and was a a bit busy trying to book a few hundred thousand points in the waning hours….

  9. Gold status not worth it? Let’s see:

    Master Suite at the CIS Panama City
    Ambassador Suite at the Radisson Montevideo
    Executive Suite at the Radisson Brunei
    1-BR suite at every domestic CIS, despite booking a std room

    I could go on…..

    But sure, let’s talk about the value of the points. Let’s even say that your 0.2-0.3 cents valuation going forward is accurate for the sake of argument. Why in the world would you not want to buy them (via the annual fee) for 0.19 cents?

    Let’s put it this way — if I offer to sell you a dollar bill for 70 cents, are you going to buy it? Or are you going to get mad at me because last week I sold you the same dollar bill for 50 cents?

  10. Travis, you’re spot on with Club Carlson. Like everyone, I was disappointed at the recent changes, but at just about every CC hotel I’ve been to, they’ve given me a significant upgrade due to my gold status. Last week on a points stay, I was given a 2BR full apartment overlooking the ocean at the Radisson Blu Cape Town, which may have been the nicest room I’ve EVER had at any hotel. The web rate for that room was US$800/night, so yeah, I’m getting my money’s worth on the points.

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