Club Carlson

Which Hotel Programs Let You Earn Points & Elite Nights For Multiple Rooms?

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Different hotel loyalty programs have different policies as to how many points, elite qualifying stays, and elite qualifying nights you can earn if booking multiple rooms. In other words, if you often travel with family and book two rooms, can you receive elite credits and points for each of the rooms?

The rules vary by program, so in this post I figured I’d look at the policies of the major hotel loyalty programs, as they impact earning points and elite qualifying credit for multiple rooms (in the title of each section I’ve added a link to the terms & conditions):

Club Carlson lets you earn points for up to three rooms booked on the same reservation. However, you don’t earn elite qualifying nights for multiple rooms.

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Club Carlson’s New Promo Offers Up To 100,000 Bonus Points

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Club Carlson has just announced their first major promo of 2017, called Earn Bigger Rewards. The promotion is valid for stays between January 9 and March 31, 2017.

Club Carlson generally has pretty generous promotions for hotel stays, though this time around you’re having to make some difficult decisions before your first stay. Specifically, you can register to earn one of the following bonuses:

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All The Ways To Earn Hotel Elite Status With Credit Cards

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One of the trends we’re increasingly seeing is the ability to earn hotel elite status through credit cards. Rather than having to put in up to 75 nights per year worth of stays in order to earn top tier status, many hotel groups are now letting you earn status for spending certain amounts on credit cards

In this post I wanted to look at all the ways to earn elite status with credit cards for several of the major hotel chains, including Club Carlson, Fairmont, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Starwood. I’ll break down the option by loyalty program and then status level:

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Earn 5,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles For Your Next Club Carlson Stay

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A few days ago Club Carlson announced their latest global promotion, offering double points or double elite night credits through the end of the year.

Club Carlson members ordinarily earn 20 points per dollar spent, so through this promotion they can earn 40 points per dollar spent. If you have Gold status you earn a 35% bonus on base points, meaning many of us are earning 47 points per dollar spent, which is quite good.

There’s another promotion being offered by Club Carlson that could make your next stay especially rewarding. Through their “Take Off With More Miles” promotion, Club Carlson is offering 5,000 bonus Aeroplan miles for your next stay at an eligible property in the United States or Canada between November 1 and December 31, 2016.

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Earn Double Points Or Double Elite Nights With Club Carlson

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Club Carlson has just announced the details of their next global promotion, called Decisions, Decisions. The promotion is valid for stays between November 1 and December 31, 2016, and registration is required.

Through this promotion you can earn one of the following:

— Double base points on all eligible stays
— Double elite night credits on all eligible stays

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Should You Buy Club Carlson Points With A 75% Bonus?

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Through October 30, 2016, Club Carlson is offering a 75% bonus on purchased points.

Club Carlson limits you to purchasing 40,000 points per account per calendar year, and the 75% bonus applies even if you purchase just 1,000 points. Factoring in the 75% bonus, you can buy a maximum of 70,000 points through this promotion. The 70,000 points would cost you $280, meaning they’re charging~0.4 cents per point.

It has been a while since we’ve seen a bonus on purchased Gold Points. To frame this promotion in the context of past ones, this is one of the better promotions we’ve seen:

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4 Credit Cards That Give You A Free Hotel Night Every Year

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There are a variety of factors that can make a credit card appealing. In general, I look at the following three things when considering a credit card:

— The sign-up bonus (how much value does the card offer me just for completing a minimal amount of spend)
— The return on everyday spend (how many points will I earn on this card for the purchases I’d make anyway)
— The ongoing perks (does the card offer any anniversary perks or other benefits that make the card worth holding onto)

With that in mind, I figured I’d talk a bit about the four hotel credit cards that offer you an annual free night in a hotel just for holding onto a credit card and paying the annual fee. In my case, I have several cards I hold onto just for the perks, without actually putting a significant amount of spend on them. That’s because the perks more than justify the annual fee.

For the average consumer, I think one of the best ongoing perks offered by a card is an annual free hotel night. After all, who doesn’t want a free hotel night every year? With that in mind, below are the four credit cards that offer an annual hotel night every year upon the account anniversary, roughly in order of how I value them:

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Club Carlson’s Next Global Promotion: Earn Up To Triple Points

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Club Carlson has just announced the details of their next global promotion, called Work Hard, Play Hard. The promotion is valid for stays between August 1 and October 31, 2016, and registration is required.

Through this promotion you earn:

— Double base points when checking in Sunday through Thursday nights
— Triple base points when checking in Friday or Saturday nights
— 1,000 bonus points per eligible stay when booking through the Club Carlson mobile app

For stays in the Middle East, check-ins Saturday through Wednesday earn double points, while check-ins Thursdays and Fridays earn triple points.

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Review: Radisson Blu Longyearbyen Hotel

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The reason I heard about Longyearbyen in the first place was because of the Radisson Blu, given that it claims to be the world’s northernmost full service hotel. Based on the pictures it didn’t exactly look glam, but then again, Longyearbyen isn’t a destination you visit for a luxury vacation, but rather for the nature.

Given that we were visiting in early July, it was absolute peak season. While I have a sizable balance of Club Carlson points, we decided to book a paid rate instead. The paid rate was ~$250, while a redemption would have cost 70,000 points (that’s Club Carlson’s highest award cost for a standard room). I value Club Carlson points at ~0.4 cents each, so I thought paying cash represented a better value.

On top of that, as a Gold member I earn 23 points per dollar spent on hotel spend, so I have to consider the points I’m forgoing if I elect to redeem points. So while ~$250 per night is more than I usually like to spend on a rather dumpy hotel, in this case I was really paying for the destination rather than the hotel.

The Radisson Blu is about a 10 minute drive from Longyearbyen Airport. Our taxi driver was a lovely lady from the Philippines, who had been in Longyearbyen for about three months.

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Introduction: An Arctic Summer

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A lot of my travel is centered around trying new airline products, since that’s primarily what I write about. Planning for this trip started when I was able to combine a new business class product with a destination I’ve long wanted to visit.

For years I’ve wanted to visit Longyearbyen, the northernmost city in the world. It’s on the island of Svalbard, about 1,300 miles north of Oslo. Svalbard experiences 24 hours of sunlight for four months per year, while it experiences 24 hours of darkness for four months per year. I wasn’t sure what exactly there was to do, but it looked cool.

That’s where the planning for this trip started…

In late April I noticed that SAS had a good amount of business class award availability on their new flight between Los Angeles and Stockholm. I’ve long wanted to review SAS, so this seemed like a great opportunity to review a new airline while also finally making it to Longyearbyen, given that SAS is one of only two airlines that flies there. So we booked the following outbound flight using Air Canada Aeroplan miles:

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Redeem 65,000 Points For TSA Pre-Check Enrollment… Ouch!

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Airline loyalty programs have increasingly been adding opportunities for members to enroll in TSA Pre-Check. Some airlines have given TSA Pre-Check memberships away to elite members for free, while others have been allowing members to redeem points for them. On top of that, several credit cards offer Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check fee credits.

For example, a few months ago I wrote about how Alaska Airlines now lets you redeem 10,000 points for the $85 TSA Pre-Check enrollment fee. That’s a horrible value at 0.85 cents per mile, given that I value Alaska miles at ~1.8 cents each.

However, they have nothing on Club Carlson. I just received an email from Club Carlson saying how points can now be redeemed for the TSA Pre-Check enrollment fee. It’s sort of shameless and a bizarre marketing technique, in my opinion. Here’s how it’s described:

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3 Days Only: Buy Club Carlson Points With A 75% Bonus

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Through June 16, 2016, Club Carlson is offering up to a 75% bonus on purchased points.

Club Carlson limits you to purchasing 40,000 points per account per calendar year, and the 75% bonus applies even if you purchase just 1,000 points. Factoring in the 75% bonus, you can buy a maximum of 70,000 points through this promotion. The 70,000 points would cost you $280, meaning they’re charging~0.4 cents per point.

It has been a while since we’ve seen a bonus on purchased Gold Points. To frame this promotion in the context of past ones, this is one of the better promotions we’ve seen:

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Club Carlson Status Match Opportunities

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Formalized hotel status match programs seem to be increasingly common. I’m not sure if it’s due to the consolidation which is occurring in the hotel industry, or if it’s simply a case of “monkey see, monkey do,” given that Hilton launched a status match program last year.

While Club Carlson has informally been status matching for a long time, they’ve now formalized the program, and have a webpage dedicated to the opportunity.

In order to request a status match from Club Carlson you’ll have to send an email to statusmatch@carlsonrezidor.com with “Status Match” in the subject line (you’d think that wouldn’t be necessary, given the email address, but…), with the following information:

— Send us your full name
— Club Carlson membership number
— Name of other frequent guest program
— Membership number and tier level of the other frequent guest program
— Copy of your membership card from the other frequent guest program (PDF or JPG files only)

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Carlson Hotels Being Sold To Chinese Tourism Group

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Consolidation is rampant in the hotel industry at the moment. IHG is buying Kimpton, Marriott is buying Starwood, and Accor is buying Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel.

Now we have news of the next merger — Carlson hotels are being taken over by HNA Tourism Group, a Chinese company, which also owns a big stake in Hainan Airlines.

This is different than the Chinese insurance company Anbang, which was bidding for Starwood recently. Carlson hotels include Radisson, Park Plaza, Country Inn & Suites, and more.

They’re a brand which has historically done well in the limited service sector, but has struggled to expand beyond that. While Radisson Blu is an upscale brand, it hasn’t been expanding at an especially rapid pace.

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