Club Carlson Adjusting Hotel Redemption Category Assignments, and It Isn’t Bad

Club Carlson is adjusting hotel categories for 270 properties.

This begins May 31, and at first glance doesn’t represent any sort of devaluation.

First, at least there’s a couple weeks’ notice. I like more notice, but good to get this out there transparently and in one easy to read chart and in time for folks to make bookings at current rates if they’re interested in a hotel whose award cost is going up.

Second, kudos for making these changes before folks have made a whole bunch of stays in the monster bonuses which started running today.

Now, that Club Carlson was running huge bonuses was enough to tell me they weren’t going to undercut their own marketing investment by gutting the program just as that was getting underway. And the fact that they’re making this adjustment now also tells me that they won’t do it again right after the promotion ends, either! So we’re all good there, at least for awhile.

Looking at the spreadsheet it strikes me that not a whole lot is changing. Of the 270 hotels changing categories, 128 are going down and 142 are going up. Some go up or down more than one category, but on net adding together all the category drops and category increases generates a net +10 in category hikes. Overall that’s noise. Their award chart is staying constant, no stealth devaluation here.

Particular properties are going up of course, and so for people interested most in those it’s a personal devaluation for them (just as the program just got more valuable for others interested in hotels where categories have dropped, especially where they’ve dropped more than one notch.

Looking at the 142 properties going up in price,

  • 17 were category 1s
  • 59 were category 2s
  • 35 were category 3s
  • 22 category 4s
  • 9 category 5s

So we’re not even looking at top-heavy increases, properties being pushed into the upper end of the redemption chart. And I especially like seeing 5 Radisson Blu properties dropping out of category 6!

(HT: Mommy Points)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I looked at this last night, as I was thinking about the promotion.

    Too bad Park Inn Prague is going up to category 3. It’s a great place to stay, and I had planned to go back next year. The Club Carlson promotion would have made Prague a great deal, at 14,000 points a night.

    Wish I had the points in my account by May 31st so I could book, but the promotion points take 6-8 weeks to post.

  2. This will make the tier 1 list almost empty. Only a few were dropped to tier 1. I’m disappointed.

  3. bold move to change Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing from 2 to 5… Also sad to see Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Bergen to move from 5 to 6….

  4. CC is without a doubt one of the most generous loyality programs out there. If you have an eye for using promos then you’re going to accumulate points with CC at a rate faster than any other program, while their redemption levels are still comparable to other programs.

    The only thing they are missing is an Premium brand like St. Regis, Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott or similar.

  5. Commenter RJ said “promo points take six to eight weeks to post” Last year the promo points practically posted instantly or within a day or so. Is this true?

  6. Club Carlson getting respect?
    Say it ain’t so! 🙂
    Could they finally gain customer respect?

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