It’s pretty common for the major global hotel chains to adjust hotel categories annually. We’re not talking about them actually adjusting the number of points required for a stay at a particular category of hotel, but rather adjusting which hotels are in which categories.
Club Carlson has announced some category changes that kick in for bookings as of March 1, 2018. They’re providing a good amount of advance notice of these changes, so if you want to lock in a booking before the changes kick in, you should have enough time.
The good news is that these category changes aren’t too bad. Club Carlson has over 1,000 hotels around the world, and 124 are changing in award costs. That’s a significant percentage changing, but the good news is that 55 hotels are going up in cost, while 69 hotels are going down in cost. So we’re seeing a net decrease in award costs at hotels, though in and of itself that doesn’t necessarily make it good news. Often it’s the most popular properties that go up in price, while the less popular properties go down in price.
Loyalty Traveler notes that 75 of the hotels changing in price are in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, so that’s where a majority of the changes are happening.
The Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek is decreasing by two categories
As a point of comparison, with Club Carlson’s 2017 hotel category changes we saw just 20 hotels change price, though the cost at 13 hotels increased, while the cost at seven hotels decreased.
I don’t view these changes as a huge deal, though you certainly should take a look at the list if you have Club Carlson points to burn. There are a handful of hotels that are either going up or down in price by two or more categories, so the cost difference there has the potential to be really significant. While March 1 is the booking deadline, you can confirm a booking for a stay on a subsequent date.
The Club Carlson program offers strong points earning potential and often has pretty good promotions, though personally I haven’t been very engaged in the program since they eliminated the second night free perk on award stays with their co-branded credit card, combined with them raising the cost of redemptions at their top hotels. However, I still do get 40,000 points annually for holding onto their co-branded credit card, and I find those points to be worth more than the $75 annual fee.
Are there any hotel category changes here that will impact you?