Club Carlson is the loyalty programme for the Carlson Rezidor hotel group, consisting of the following brands: Radisson Blu, Radisson, Park Plaza, Park Inn, etc. Not the most exciting list, but Club Carlson have been making a big push in the last couple of years to popularise the programme, which you can explore here.
Achieving Elite Status
Club Carlson has three levels of elite status: Silver, Gold and Concierge. To achieve Silver status, you need 10 stays or 15 nights. Gold status requires 20 stays or 35 nights. Concierge status requires 30 stays or 75 nights. Stays need to be paid (at an eligible rate) to qualify for elite status purposes.
Published Benefits of Elite Status
All members with elite status with Club Carlson benefit from the following:
- room upgrades – the higher your status, the higher you would be in the preference queue for an upgrade
- rollover nights – if you have unused qualifying nights, they can be carried forward (i.e. if you have 22 nights in 2013, you will get Silver status, which requires only 15 nights – the 7 unused are rolled forward into the next year)
- early check-in / late check-out, upon availability (maximum 2 hours, so usually a check-in no earlier than noon and a check-out no later than 2pm)
Silver members also receive:
- 2,000 bonus points when making a reservation online directly with Club Carlson
- 25% bonus points
Gold members also receive:
- 2,000 bonus points when booking online
- 50% bonus points
- in-room welcome gift
- guaranteed room with 72 hours notice
Concierge members also receive:
- 3,000 bonus points when booking online
- 75% bonus points
- in-room welcome gift
- free continental breakfast
- guaranteed room with 48 hours notice
Unpublished Benefits / The Inside Scoop
Status Matching – Club Carlson are discreetly offering status matches to their Silver and Gold elite levels from the other major hotel chains. Send a screenshot of your membership status with the competing chain, as well as your Club Carlson number to: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you were to request a status match today, you should receive status until 28 February, 2015.
Room Upgrades – Most reports I can find suggest that most people are disappointed. Upgrades often need to be specifically requested, hotel staff are unaware of the benefits, etc.
2-for-1 or 4-for-2 – This is one of the top benefits of elite status (Gold or Concierge I believe). For hotels in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), elite members can often book 2 nights for the price of 1, or 4 nights for the price of 2. The only catch is that one of the nights must be a Friday or Saturday (Friday AND Saturday for the 4-for-2), but it’s a nice way to get a cheap weekend away or to extend a business trip into the weekend. You can find details here.
Comparison with Other Chains – Club Carlson is trying hard, but its elite benefits are poor. Bonus points are fine, but you are unlikely to get the other perks you might come to expect at other chains.
When Paying Yourself – Is Aiming for Status Worth It?
Err… no… Go for a status match if you have some upcoming stays, but don’t make any special effort to reach status with Club Carlson.