Club Carlson announces 2013 category changes, and they’re positive (for the most part)

If there’s one common theme of hotel loyalty programs in 2013 it’s devaluations. We’ve seen them from Hilton, Marriott, Priority Club, and Starwood. So when I see a headline about hotel loyalty program changes I immediately assume the worst.

That was the case when I saw the Club Carlson headline of their 2013 hotel category changes. They’re not actually changing the number of points required for a stay at a given category, but rather are switching around the categories of many of their hotels.

Club Carlson’s award rates

Except this time around it’s not actually bad for most people. About 100 hotels are going up in cost, while about 150 hotels are going down in cost. Only two hotels remain in the same category.

The bad news is that the change kicks in on May 1, 2013, so you literally have less than 48 hours to lock in redemptions at the old rates. For some people this change will be negative. If a hotel you frequent is going up in category of course you won’t like this change. Also keep in mind that you can get the difference in points starting May 1 for any booking you make now that goes down in cost.

Filed Under: Club Carlson, Hotels
  1. “But does Club Carlson really think that 99% of their hotels are mispriced, be it too high or too low? Or is there something else at play here?”

    Well lucky it looks to me like the 2 hotels on the list are not supposed to be there. In actuality there are hundreds of Carlson hotels that are not changing categories and for some reason those two accidentally made the list of hotel changes!

  2. They have way more than 250 hotels in the US. They also have more than 250 hotels in Europe.

    If this chart is all the changes, then the change is pretty good for me, as most of the properties going up in point-price are ordinarily cheap one way or another.

  3. I think the ones that didn’t change in this were mistakes and either should change or shouldn’t be on the list – they’ve hundreds of hotels that aren’t on the list that presumably aren’t changing so can’t see any reason to single out a few. Also I think a couple have then wrong number of points for the category.

  4. Yes, this is just the hotels that are changing for Club Carlson. For instance, the Radisson Blu in Amsterdam, where I just stayed, is not on the list. Scanning over the list, the one that stands out as going up when it was a tremendous value as a category 2 hotel, is the Park Plaza Soi 18, which receives wonderful reviews. The one thing I don’t like here is the short time before the new rates kick in. Less than a week to make plans and book if you want the old rates is a little unrealistic.

  5. Yeah there doesn’t seem to be any way this is 99% of the hotels in the Club Carlson portfolio, so I’m less skeptical than you are about something sinister afoot.

  6. Interesting…I booked the PP Soi 18 over a week ago and was quoted the new rate (28k). Do you already have to call for the old rates?

  7. the rational for the changes would be very interesting do see. Forexample the Radisson Orlando, International Drive – goes from 1 to 3- But yet, you cannot even get a breakfeast at the hotel. (if you consider a dry over prised muffin to as breakfeast, yes then they do have breakfeast)

  8. What do you mean by the 99% comment?

    250 hotels is about 20% of hotels changing category.

  9. Same question as Jason: The Bangkok Soi 18 pops up at 28,000 already. Does one have to call for the old rate?

  10. If anyone likes to use points at some of the super cheap properties in Orlando, a few of those are on the rise with one going from a 1 to a 4 in roughly six months time…but not sure that is the target audience on this site. šŸ˜‰

  11. Sorry guys, clearly I’m an idiot. Not sure I get why they have two properties on the list that are staying the same, but that threw me off.

  12. Ben, thanks for great info/presentations this weekend! Anyway with regards to Club Carlson’s changes, they are good for me in the sense that the top category which is where most of my stays with them would be is unchanged. Having said that it’s pretty puzzling to see places in category 4 or 5 when the room rates from some quick searches are close to $100 a night! So 38,000 points gets you a night at a property where rates are typically around $105 when 50,000 points gets you a night where rates can be close to $350+ (ie most places in London, Paris, and other large cities). I think the 50K point level is appropriate but its weird how they have so few categories beneath it and how point requirements vary so much especially compared to rates.

  13. I’d probably only use my CC points at the 50K Radisson Blu hotels anyway, so no big loss.

  14. The chart is up to 50,000 points but why “Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London” need 75K per night?

  15. @ Shannon — I just did a search for that property and it priced out at 50,000 points per night.

  16. Got the Bangkok Soi 18 at 15,000. Book at 28,000 and then phoned Club Carlson for the difference.

  17. Ben, it costs 75k per night. Please search ā€œPark Plaza Westminster Bridge Londonā€

    75,000 Gold PointsĀ® (average) Per night Tax included For 1 night(s) per room

  18. @ Shannon — Perhaps it says it somewhere incorrectly, but have you actually tried pricing it out? Just did it again for another random date and it’s 50,000 points.

  19. @ Shannon: The rate at Westminster and some other hotels fluctuates based on the day (and presumably availability). I was looking at Westminster and it was 50K some nights and 75K for others. Radisson Blu Edinburgh was similar 44K/66K.


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