Breaking Down The First Club Carlson Promo Of 2015

There were a handful of comments from readers of my recent hotel breakdown post that thought I needed to consider the Club Carlson hotel promotion.  I figured I would spend a few minutes analyzing it today to see what types of travelers would find value from it.

Registration Link.

Club Carlson


Club Carlson

The promotion rewards members one of two ways.  2-night stays earn a 15,000 point bonus and stays of 3 nights or more earn a 30,000 point bonus.  The promotion period runs until March 29, 2015.

For members who already planned to stay at a Club Carlson property during this time period (and planned to stay more than one night), this is a pretty solid value.

But, is it worth moving business to Club Carlson during the first quarter?  There are a couple different ways to look at it:

1.  I value Club Carlson points at about half a cent each.  Others might consider them worth a bit more or a bit less, but I think that’s a pretty good estimation.  So, 15,000 points are worth about $75 to me, 30,000 points worth $150.  That’s not generally enough value for me to consider moving a stay elsewhere.

2.  If you did have a 3+ night stay, you’d earn enough points for a Category 3 redemption (28,000) points.  Here’s a link to the full list of Category 3 hotels.  There are some Radisson Blu properties in Europe, though mostly in secondary markets like Cork and Sligo (you’ll find Lisbon and Warsaw on there, which may represent good values).  I see Beijing as well.  Short of that, there are a lot of Country Inn & Suites properties, and in some places not very high on my list of places I want to visit.


The post Breaking Down The First Club Carlson Promo Of 2015 was published first on Pizza In Motion.

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  1. I’m not sure if you realize, but the bonus is per 3-night stay. So, to compare it with your Hyatt example, 15 nights(5*3 nights) with Carlson will earn you 5*30,000 points or 150,000 points. At your valuation of 0.5cents, that’s $750 compared to the $480 Hyatt’s promotion gets you. A payback of $50 per night stayed should get a lot of people to move business. That’s especially true for people traveling in Asia or Europe, where you can find good Carlson properties for under $70/night!
    I think it’s the best promotion so far this year!

    1. DreamTraveler, I’m aware that the bonus is per stay, but in fairness I don’t think you’re painting a reasonable picture of the Club Carlson promo. The only way you’d earn 150,000 points in your example is with exactly 5 3-night stays. I have exactly 0 3-night stays in the promotion period, so the value is cut by more than half. Any stays of more than 3 nights are essentially “wasted nights” in that they don’t earn any more bonus points. And, with the scarcity of properties in some markets, hotel hopping to nail stays at exactly 3 nights for longer trips isn’t always possible.

      I wouldn’t argue that it’s a nice promotion for existing Club Carlson member, but to really get good value out of it you need a bunch of 3-night stays, something the majority of folks probably won’t have.

      1. Your math is not quite correct: if you have 8 2-night stays, you earn 120,000 points or $600 – still more than Hyatt. If you have 4 4-night stays you also earn 120,000 points. So, only if you have only 1-night stays or really long stays, you do loose out. And Hyatt is not exactly the biggest chain either – Carlson has twice as many hotels, even if many are in Europe.
        I’m not saying it’s the perfect promotion for everybody, but Carlson and their promotion are much better than they get credit for. If you travel a lot, It’s a great program to combine with IHG or Marriott, especially if you have their credit card!

        1. DreamTraveler, my math is correct. For example, I had two one-night stays this week, for which I would not have earned any bonus points with Club Carlson. As I said before, for folks who fit the criteria of the promotion in an exact manner, it can be rewarding. But, I don’t, and I don’t suspect I’m the only one.

          As to size of chain, Club Carlson’s coverage in the US is a negative attribute in two ways for me. First is just the overall lack of properties. Second is that when you consider some markets where they do have a property, they don’t have properties located where most people would want them. For example, they have properties in the Denver market, but nowhere near downtown. They have properties outside DC, but nothing in DC proper. That limits my desire to both earn and burn with them. I don’t want to drive 20 minutes out of my way for a business or personal stay if I don’t have to, and I certainly don’t want to do it for a property of lesser quality.

          There’s value here, but it’s for a very thin set of people.

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