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7+ Bonus Nights for New Radisson Rewards Program?
6 Mar. 2018
7+ Bonus Nights for New Radisson Rewards Program?

Pig and Lipstick?

Over the past few years there hasn’t been much to get excited about concerning the Club Carlson rewards program.  I’m one of the few people that still values the program, because I travel to Europe fairly regularly and the Radisson Blu hotels there are usually centrally located, come with free breakfast, and the points are easy to manufacture (at 5x per dollar on general spend).  Club Carlson, or Radisson Rewards as it’s now called, looks to be making a big push to stay relevant in the hotel space and compete more readily with some of its heavy hitter competitors like Hilton.  Not sure Hyatt and SPG are fair comparisons, but Club Carlson, is definitely making changes.  Thankfully those changes are down a positive path for those of us in the points hobby.

Inside Intel

Nick @ FrequentMiler recently posted that a new “big spend bonus” of one free night with each $10K in net spend up to $30K net spend (3 free nights max) is coming soon to the Radisson Rewards program.  In the comments below his post, Nick said that the big spend intel comes from Radisson Reward’s PR team, but that it will be publicly communicated in the near future.  If the award night stay for renewing each year is still valid, the reward structure for a year could be:

$10k spend = 1 free night
$10k spend = 1 free night
$10k spend = 1 free night
Annual Renewal night = 1 award night
$30k in spend for big spend bonus = 150,000 points

The big spend offer alone is quite enticing, but add in 40,000 points for each annual renewal, and take the $30k spend at 5x (for general spend) and you’re at 150,000 additional points.  That’s at least 190,000 points (assuming you don’t stay at any of the Radisson hotels for extra bonus points in that $30k spend) in addition to the 3 nights for meeting that spend threshold.

Most of the Radisson Blu hotels that I stay at are around 50,000 points/night.  That means that 190,000 points should be enough for almost 4 additional free nights at some of the hotel’s best properties.  All told, that’s essentially 7 nights worth of benefits by paying the $60-$75 annual fee (on the Personal or Business Premier Rewards Visa Signature cards) and meeting the “big spend” requirement.

Certainly there are are a few Radisson properties that are more than 50,000 points a night such as the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa and Radisson Martinique in New York City (70,000/night for a standard room).  However if points were redeemed at category 1 properties at only 9k/night , that additional 150,000 points earned from the big spend bonus could stretch to at least 16 additional free nights.  Including the annual fee award night and the 3 free nights for the big spend bonus, that would make 20 total award nights.

Radisson-Rewards

Radisson Martinique on Broadway, New York City at 70k points a night

All in all for my usual stays though, I’d most likely be looking at 7 award nights for the price of my card’s $75 annual fee.  The downside is that 4 of the 7 award nights will probably be restricted to U.S. Radisson properties, while the 150,000 points from the big spend offer should be able to be used worldwide.

Summary

Club Carlson needs more than a name change to draw people back into its program, and to offer much more substantial value in a very competitive market.  I hope the news of a big spend bonus is true, and that an annual renewal free night stays in place.  Right now, my Club Carlson Visa gives an award night for annual renewal, a free night for meeting $10k in spend, and the $10k in spend is essentially another free night.  In total, I basically get at least 3 award nights for the $75 annual fee.  The new offer will more than double those award nights.

If the scenarios described here do end up coming to fruition, Club Carlson will probably take a big leap forward for people connected with the points hobby.

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