How many of you have ever heard of Club Carlson? Here’s a hint…it is a loyalty program of a hotel brand known as Hotel Rezidor. I know that I never heard of them till last year. In fact, it was May 2012 when I first heard of them via their amazing promotion to get their name and their loyalty program more well known. Give up yet? They are the loyalty program of the Radisson Hotels, Country Inn and Suites and the lesser known Park Inn. We’ve all heard of the first two.
Basically what they did last year is give you an amazing amount of points if you stayed just one night in their hotels within a two month period ending July 15th. You had to register by May 15th with them and if you stayed at a Radisson for that one night, they gave you 50,000 points as well as points for booking online and points for staying with them. They did the same thing with Country Inn and Suites and the Park Inn only for those two they gave you 44,000 points plus booking online points and staying with them points. Both Blogger Hubby and I separately registered and we wound up with almost 300,000 points which would come in handy for our trip to Australia. I was fortunate that during the summer we lived about 40 miles from a Park Inn and I had a coupon for 30% off. We paid $54 for our night and for that we got about almost 50,000 points.
As we were making plans for our trip to Sydney, we needed to find a hotel to spend four nights in. Up until I got involved with points and miles, we tended to stay at a little out of the way hotels that were clean and less expensive and we would take public transportation to get to the city sights.
With the points we earned we were had our choice of two Radisson Hotels in Sydney. The Radisson Bleu is in the Central Business District (CBD) and closer to the waterfront. The other was the Radisson Hotel and Suites still in the heart of Sydney but closer to Chinatown, stores and restaurants. We chose the later and each night cost 50,000 points or $375 AU which at that time was over $400 USD.
Additionally, before we went on our trip I signed up for the Club Carlson VISA card for one very important reason. If you stayed two consecutive nights using your points, they refunded you your last night’s points. That’s right, we got one of our nights free. In theory we could have booked two nights each; under my Club Carlson membership number and gotten the second night free and then also book the next two consecutive nights under Blogger Hubby’s membership number and gotten his second night free. I felt like we had done quite well with all the points the gave us and didn’t want to be too greedy even though it was legal under their T&C (terms and conditions).
Our room was great. We had a one bedroom suite with a small balcony that overlooked the busy street below, a full size kitchen and living room. We were within easy walking distance of Chinatown and all the food offerings they had. We were also close to a small grocery store, a wine store, easy walking distance to Darling Harbour, the free city tours that are offered in all major cities in the world, the Chinese Friendship Garden and almost around the corner from one of the main transportations streets – George Street that has a free tourist bus that takes you to Circular Quay. I was even happier when I heard how much friends of ours spent on meals and we got great meals in Chinatown for less than half of what they paid and ours was probably just as good. We just had more choices.
In addition to the free last night of a two night or more award stay, the Club Carlson VISA gives you 85,000 points after you spend $2500 in the first 90 days; 5 points per dollar on all purchases and 10 points per dollar for all purchases purchases at participating Club Rezidor Hotels (Radisson, Country Inn and Suites and Park Inn); 40,000 points each year at renewal time; and free Upgrade to Gold Elite with the credit car.
Although this hotel is not on par with a Hyatt it is, nevertheless, a very god hotel and we have certainly enjoyed our stays. Currently they are running a summer promotion that you have to register for. You need to stay two consecutive nights and they will give you 10,000 points in addition to those that you would earn for staying there.
I’ve become a Club Carlson convert. How about you?