Club Carlson Rebrands As Radisson Rewards

A few weeks ago I wrote about how Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is rebranding as Radisson Hotel Group. This seems like a logical move. I see how it got that name, since Curtis Carlson was one of the founders of the company. The problem is that while the hotel group and the loyalty program (Club Carlson) were named after him, they didn’t otherwise name any of the hotel brands after him, so it seems like there’s a disconnect.

The branding is intended to better leverage awareness of the Radisson brand name globally. As part of this, they’re also rebranding some of their individual hotel brands. For example, earlier in the year “Country Inn & Suites by Carlson” was rebranded as “Country Inn & Suites by Radisson,” and “Quorvus Collection” is in the process of being rebranded as “Radisson Collection.” They also plan on improving the quality of some Radisson properties in the Americas, to make them more upscale.

There were also rumors of the Club Carlson loyalty program being rebranded, and that new program is formally being introduced today.

The new Radisson Rewards program

Now that Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has been rebranded as Radisson Hotel Group, Club Carlson is being rebranded as Radisson Rewards. This will align with the group’s new corporate identity and make it easier for members to associate their benefits with the various brands. Members will maintain their current points balances, so you have nothing to worry about in that regard.

Here’s what Eric De Neef, Radisson’s EVP and Global Chief Commercial Officer had to say about this change:

“Embedding the Radisson name into the heart of our program, will help us instantly boost the global brand awareness of our loyalty program. Radisson is a name that’s instantly recognizable, respected and stands for award-winning, innovative hospitality. Our refreshed program will serve as a powerful driver of our commercial and brand awareness strategy, and build a stronger relationship with our members. The Radisson affiliation across the entire global brand portfolio and all markets, will ensure that our members worldwide can easily associate their rewards with the hotels where they earned their valuable points.”

What changes are being made to Radisson Rewards?

Radisson Rewards is changing the tier names to be more in line with typical loyalty program branding:

  • Club Carlson Red becomes Radisson Rewards Club
  • Club Carlson Silver becomes Radisson Rewards Silver
  • Club Carlson Gold becomes Radisson Rewards Gold
  • Club Carlson Concierge becomes Radisson Rewards Platinum

On top of that, Radisson Rewards will make it easier to earn status, which makes a lot of sense, in my opinion. It sure seems like their thresholds are unnecessarily high given the fairly limited elite benefits they offer. The number of elite qualifying nights required for status will be reduced by 15-40%, as follows:

These new thresholds will be applied in 2018 based on 2017 activity, so many people will find themselves with a higher elite tier than expected in the coming days.

Radisson Rewards is also adjusting the points earning rates for Silver and Gold members. Probably what I’m most offended about is how they intentionally present the chart in such a way that they assume most people won’t do the math. If you’re going to present a chart, wouldn’t it make sense to present the earnings rates either in absolute numbers or in percentages both before and after? Anyway, Silver members go from earning 23 points per dollar to earning 22 points per dollar, while Gold members go from earning 27 points per dollar to 25 points per dollar. That’s not a huge deal, though is certainly not a good thing.

Other than that, the points earning and redemption structure remains the same.

For more information on the new program, see this page.

What do you make of the new Radisson Rewards program?

Comments

  1. Remember how generous Club Carlson used to be? My goodness, they were my favorite program especially in Europe. Used to get great redemption in London. The massive devaluations over the last few years really sucked.

    I also saw a lack of a universal Q1 promo this year which was disappointing

  2. Radisson has such negative brand value that I’m surprised they decided to build the whole company around what is essentially garbage

  3. “It sure seems like they’re thresholds are unnecessarily high given the fairly limited elite benefits they offer.”

    *their

    In any case, I agree that it’s disingenuous to reduce the point earnings for Silvers and Golds. Also, it would’ve been nice if they added benefits like breakfast and/or *proper* upgrades (higher room category/Business Class) for Golds. Keep the suites for Concierge/Platinum, but “preferred location, a room with a preferred view, or a recently renovated room” upgrades for Golds is BS (fine for Silver).

  4. Fully agree with the other guys – a few years ago the brand was really great and famous in Europe, especially in Scandinavia and Germany, but they didn’t renovate a lot of locations – so you find old furniture and dirty walls in a lot of properties. I really enjoyed the brand a few years ago, but agree with @STVR that it got a negative touch.

    I am also missing – as Tennen said – the small individual upgrades you received at Hyatt, Marriott or SPG and when travelling around – Radisson is currently not a place where I stay – but will look for their properties and renovations in the near future and might come back (also if they add a bit more extra value to their reward program)

  5. Unfortunately, one almost has to stay at a hotel in the Radisson or Choice portfolio when visiting the Nordic countries. But the high cost of labor and doing business in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland and Denmark have kept Marriott, Hilton and Starwood largely out of this region.

    I don’t know a single Radisson in the United States that I’d stay at.

    Even the upscale Carlson brand Park Plaza, which seems to be mostly British, is pretty inferior to a good Marriott.

  6. Just received an email stating I was no longer a Gold Elite member and my points balance is 0 under new rebranding as Radisson Rewards. My Gold Elite was valid until 2019 and I had points unused, Some I purchased. I am sure they will lose business because of this trick their corporate scum pulling on loyal customers, very sad what they are doing…please pass this message up to the idiots in your company who thought this would be a smart business move, if your even reading posted messages on public boards. Last year I spent over 70 days in Radisson hotels, guess what 2018 it will be ZERO as will I forbid my employees to stay at your hotels. Really terrible what Radisson has done to it’s loyal customers.

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