On March 31, Radisson Goldpoints Plus is being replaced with a new program, Club Carlson.
I haven’t paid a great deal of attention to the Goldpoints program. Back in December 2001 I was hugely engrossed in their shopping portal, they were offering a holiday shopping promotion that allowed me to earn points that transferred into miles in any number of programs and purchased those points (through shopping transactions with Valumags) at less than a penny apiece. That was the high point.
It wasn’t long after that when the points-to-miles transfer ratio got cut in half. And the shopping portal itself is no more. In fact, Goldpoints itself was a shared loyalty program between Radisson hotels and of all things TGI Fridays. You could earn points from stays or by eating out, and redeem your points for things like free appetizers. Bizarre. And even more complicated, depending on whether you signed up for Goldpoints through TGI Fridays or through Radisson, the value of those points was different.
Then they got a little bit of clarity, the original Goldpoints program is no more and Radisson introduced its own “Goldpoints Plus” program which was distinct from casual dining. Now they have a new offering.
Details on Club Carlson remain limited. The thing that’s gotten a decent amount of play is that all loyalty program members receive free internet. Currently free internet is a Radisson brand standard, and the lower end chains will retain that, but full service Radisson properties will only offer internet to loyalty program members. That seems reasonable to me, an incentive to join.
There will be a small business program, this is much more common on the airline side where businesses can earn points from employee travels on top of the points earned by the travelers themselves. Starwood has an offering like this. Details on earn and redemption aren’t available yet.
The elite tier offering sounds like it may be more fleshed out than what Radisson currrently offers, though of course we don’t have all of the info yet to really know.
•The new Concierge elite tier provides members with complimentary room upgrades and continental breakfast, early check in and late check out, a 75 percent point bonus on stays, and starting by mid-year, access to a special Concierge Service line for theater and sports tickets, and reservations at top-rated restaurants anywhere in the world;
Taking a play from Marriott’s book, they’ll offer rollover nights towards qualification.
They’ll have Club Med and vacation ownership redemption options, and retail redemption options as well, including at – you guessed it — TGI Friday’s…
I just hope that they retain “Our World, Your Lounge” which to me was one of the most innovative benefits of any hotel program, anywhere. Elite members in Europe, Middle East, and Africa can drop into any participating hotel and use free internet and have a complimentary cofee, even when not staying as a guest. They are a loyal guest, important whenever they walk in the door, and that’s a huge statement to make. I’d like to see the concept expand.