I wish this were an April’s Fools post but I guarantee it is not. One of the best aspects of the Club Carlson reward program was that if you were a Club Carlson Visa cardholder, the last night of ALL awards stays was free. If planned properly and your significant other had the card as well, that meant every 2nd night were free. However, as of June 1st, Club Carlson is eliminating this Bonus Award Night and instead replacing that benefit with an annual free night at Club Carlson hotels if you spend $10,000 annually on the card. You can still make reservations using the Bonus Award Night until May 28th and it can be for stays after that date.
To me, this is a MASSIVE devaluation and basically kills any interest I had in the Club Carlson program. While the new benefit isn’t truly awful and you do get 40,000 points annually for renewing the card, I loved getting double the value of points since almost every other night was free for me. In my scenario, this cuts the value of points in half. Furthermore, the Carlson Rezidor chain, which includes Radisson, Radisson Blu, Park Inn and Country Inn, has a much stronger presence in Europe and aboard then the United States and my future travel plans don’t match the footprint of Club Carlson hotels.
This benefit was fantastic though – in fact, it must have been too good since they obviously felt a need to eliminate it. I’m sad to see it go and even more upset, I’m still sitting on ~200,000 points that would have been worth 8 nights at top end properties (which go for 50,000 points/night) with the Bonus Award night benefit. Now those 200,000 points will get me just 4 nights. You have until May 28th to book using these Bonus Award nights and they can be used for future stays after that. I will make sure I book by then and I HIGHLY suggest everyone does as well.
(H/T to Frequent Miler)