How to maximize Club Carlson point earnings: 30,000 points plus 92 points per dollar

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Club Carlson is currently offering a couple of overlapping promotions which make it lucrative to book Club Carlson stays despite the fact that they have announced a huge devaluation to their credit card benefits.  For those just catching up, you can find all of the background info here:

If you’re thinking of capitalizing on these promotions, read this post to maximize your point earnings

ClubCarlson_StackPromos

Base Earnings 20X

By default, Club Carlson offers a very generous 20 points per dollar spent at their hotels.

Gold Status +7X

Club Carlson elite members earn bonus points for each stay: Silver members earn 15% more (3 extra points per dollar); Gold members earn 35% more (7 extra points per dollar); and top tier Concierge members earn 75% more (15 extra points per dollar).  Since two of the Club Carlson credit cards give Gold status automatically, I’ll assume that most readers have Gold status.

Credit Card +10X

The top two Club Carlson credit cards (Premier Rewards Visa Signature and Business Rewards Visa) offer 10 points per dollar when used at Club Carlson properties.

Club Carlson for Business +10X

Club Carlson has a program for businesses to earn even more. You can find details about the program (including how to sign up) here. If you qualify for this program, you can earn an additional 10 points per dollar for each stay (8X automatically + 2X for booking online). Even better, businesses are given a 5% to 15% discount off standard rates.  It’s important, though, to always compare the business discount rates to the best rates you may qualify for with other discounts such as AAA, Government Rate, or Senior Citizen Rate.

Discounts are as follows:

  • Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates: 15%
  • Asia Pacific, most of Europe and Africa: 10%
  • North, South and Central America: 5%

If you do not have a business, but would like to save 5% to 15%, feel free to put my business code (111924) in the Corporate ID box when searching for rooms at ClubCarlson.com (Click “More Search Options”, then enter the code in the box labeled “Corporate Account ID”).  That way, you’ll hopefully save a bit of money (and I’ll earn an extra 10 points per dollar for your stay – thanks!).

ClubCarlson_moresearchoptions

Booking Bonus +5X (sort of)

Club Carlson often has promotional offers of bonus points for booking online or, more often, for booking through their mobile app.  Usually, these are fixed point offers.  For example, the current offer is for 1000 bonus points for booking through their mobile app.  If you have an inexpensive stay, that bonus can translate to a large number of points per dollar. For example, with a $50 stay, 1000 bonus points equals an extra 20 points per dollar!  For more expensive stays, the bonus becomes less significant.  Another option is to find the best online portal rate and book that way.  Portal rates for Club Carlson hotels typically run around 5%.  For example, here are some of the current portal bonus rates available (as found on CashBackMonitor.com):

Radisson Hotels:

ClubCarlson_CBM_RadissonHotels

 

Radisson Blu:

ClubCarlson_CBM_RadissonBlu

A good way to decide whether to earn portal rewards or a booking bonus is to estimate the value of the booking bonus and compare to the estimated value of the portal rewards.  For example, with a $100 stay at a Radisson Blue, you could currently earn $6 cash back from TopCashBack.  Alternatively, you could currently get 1000 bonus points by registering for the current promo and booking through the mobile app.  The current Fair Trading Price for Club Carlson points is .28 cents per point, so 1000 bonus points are worth roughly $2.80.  In this example, cash back is the better bet.

52X before counting special deals

The options listed above for maximizing points per dollar from Club Carlson stays are available all of the time.  If we conservatively count portal rewards as 5X (even though cash back is worth much more than Club Carlson points), then we can always earn 52 points per dollar for Club Carlson stays.

Triple Points Promotion + 40X

The current Triple Points Promotion (through June 28th) offers an extra 40 points per dollar for each eligible stay (points + cash stays are ineligible).  Make sure to sign up first!  Details here.  By combining with the above listed techniques, were are now up to 92 points per dollar!

+30,000 Bonus Points for current card holders

Last week, Club Carlson devalued their credit card program by announcing the end of Bonus Award Nights (get the last night of a multi-night award stay for free).  Full coverage of this change can be found here.  And, tips for getting the most out of your Club Carlson cards before its too late, can be found here.  To slightly compensate for the change, Club Carlson is now offering 30,000 points to cardholders for their next eligible stay until August 31, 2015.  Here is the relevant part of the announcement:

And, to thank you for your continued loyalty, you can earn 30,000 bonus Gold Points® on your next Eligible Stay at a Carlson Rezidor hotel worldwide when you pay with your Club CarlsonSM Visa®. Offer ends August 31, 2015.

Unlike all of the other options presented here for increasing points, this 30K deal is for one stay only.  Still, 30,000 points is a huge bonus!

Even more points

Club Carlson runs bonus point promotions all of the time.  Some promos are specific to certain hotels or regions.  Some require booking certain room types.  For a rundown of current promotions like these, checkout the Frequent Flyer Bonuses Club Carlson page.

Also checkout Club Carlson’s ongoing Mega Points promo in which they offer an extra 10,000 points per night at select properties when using promo code MEGAPTS.  Room prices may be a bit more expensive than with other discount codes, but it could be well worth it for the extra 10,000 points.

How good is this?

Suppose you stay one night in a $100 per night hotel. If you combine all of the opportunities shown above (not counting any additional promos described under “Even more points”), you will earn the following rewards:

  • 2,000 base points
  • 700 Gold elite bonus points
  • 1,000 credit card points
  • 1,000 business points
  • $5 portal bonus
  • 4,000 bonus points from triple point promo
  • 30,000 bonus points from the “we’re sorry we massively devalued your credit card” promo.

Total: 38,700 points plus $5.  If you value points conservatively at .28 cents each (See: Fair Trading Prices), that’s a rebate worth $113.36.  And, of course, if you get those points before the end of May, you can get much more value from them by booking Bonus Award Nights before its too late.

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