This master thread provides information about the CC program, as well as links to the major CC-related threads on FT. It is organized as follows:
Information about CC Program Benefits, Status, Earning and Redemption Options (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/18611968-post2.html)
Information about CC Properties and Reviews on FT (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/18611973-post3.html)
Information about CC Promotions (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/18611973-post4.html)
The CC forum has pretty light traffic, even though the chain is roughly comparable in size to Hyatt. CC has had some amazingly generous promos in 2011 and 2012, and they are trying hard to grow their program. It is our hope that we can channel some of this increased interest in the brand to grow our forum. For this, we are dependent on your help!
This thread is a work in progress. Please add your comments and questions, and I will update the information in the first posts. If you have suggestions for improvements, please contact me via PM.
Again, welcome to the CC forum!
--jpdx, Club Carlson Moderator
May 20, 12, 7:14 pm
How do I sign up for CC?
You may join at a hotel or online. There are occasional promotions for signing up, sometimes offering 4.5k bonus points for your first stay. The only promotion available right now offers 2k bonus points for your first stay. (http://www.clubcarlson.com/privatePage.do?privateCode=NEXTSTAY2K)
What hotel chains are part of CC?
Radisson Blu, Radisson, Park Plaza, Park Inn, and Country Inn.
How many points can I earn?
Regular members earn 20 points per eligible dollar spent. Elite members receive a bonus ranging from 25% to 75% on top of this. CC also offers a bonus for online bookings, ranging from 1000 points per stay for regular members to 3000 for top elites.
How can I use my points?
You can redeem your points for hotel stays (starting at 9k points per night), Points+Cash (starting at 5k points + a cash supplement determined by the hotel), airline miles (100k points = 18k miles, 50k points = 8k miles, 2k points = 250 miles), in-hotel rewards, gift cards, or even a paypal credit. You can also transfer points to other Club Carlson members’ accounts.
Do Club Carlson Points expire?
No, but accounts with 24 months of inactivity may be closed.
What status levels does CC offer their members?
Sliver – 10 stays or 15 nights
Gold – 20 stays or 35 nights
Concierge – 30 stays or 75 nights
What status benefits are available?
Elite members qualify for upgrades (if available), 25-75% bonus on points earned for stays, an enhanced online booking bonus, rollover nights, early check-in and late check-out (as available), and a dedicated phone number. Gold and Concierge members also qualify for guaranteed room availability and stay-2, pay-1 or stay-4, pay-2 weekend rates. Concierge members receive free continental breakfast. Refer to the elite benefits section below for more details.
How do I get an upgrade?
Unlike some other programs, upgrade benefits for CC elite members are not guaranteed (based on availability), and poorly defined, so there is no standard upgrade procedure (such as guaranteed club lounge access with Hyatt or HHonors). Upgrades vary by hotel, and if they matter to you, make sure to ask at check-in. CC also offers an e-standby program ( http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/club-carlson/1293943-estandby-good-value.html), whereby some hotels offer paid upgrades. If applicable, you will be given an opportunity to pre-select from a menu of upgraded rooms that are sold at a discounted rate (e.g., $9 for a high floor room, $59 for a suite). If your selected room is available at check-in, you will be upgraded to it and charged the applicable fee.
Does CC match the status of other hotel programs?
Yes. Club Carlson offers status match to all major chains, including HHonors, Marriott, Hyatt, PriorityClub, Starwood, Accor, Melia, etc. Details can be found in the status match master thread. ( http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/club-carlson/1039798-status-match.html)
Earning Points (or Miles)
How many points can I earn?
You can earn 20 points per eligible dollar spent at CC properties. Eligible charges include your room rate along with food&beverage purchases charged to your room. If your stay is settled in a currency other than US Dollars, then that currency will be converted to dollars, and you will be awarded points based on the amount of converted dollars.
What rates qualify for earning points?
Points are awarded for most paid rates, including rack rate, sale rates, AAA, AARP, Points+Cash, 2-for-1 (applicable to Gold/Concierge members only), rates that include extras such as park-stay-fly, and most corporate rates. For the latter, make sure that your negotiated rate doesn’t specifically exclude points.
What are ineligible room rates?
Ineligible rates include employee rates, family and friend rates, airline crew rates, travel agent rates, hotel employee rates, room rates that are billed on a master bill, tour operator rates, wholesaler rates, or rates booked through online travel companies or other third parties in which you pay for that booking directly to such online travel company or third party.
Will I get points if I book on third party websites (such as Travelocity, Expedia, etc)?
No. You must book on a Club Carlson website. Rates booked on third party websites do not earn points or stay credit.
Do I receive points for award night bookings?
No. CC does not give points for stays booked as awards or using free night vouchers. However, Points+Cash rates do qualify, and you will receive points for the cash component.
Can I earn points for more than one room?
Yes. You may earn Points on up to three rooms booked under the same reservation, but credit for multiple rooms must be requested at or before the time of check-in.
Can I earn miles?
Yes. You can only earn either points or miles, but not both. There are two ways to earn miles: You can set your earnings preference to “miles” (all points will be converted to miles, at a less favorable ratio of 8:1), or you can set your earnings preference to points and then request a conversion to miles once you have reached a certain threshold (100k points = 18k miles, 50k points = 8k miles, or 2000 points = 250 miles).
How do I claim missing points?
You must contact CC customer service within 6 months of your stay to retro-claim points. Points are not awarded for stays that occurred prior to the date you joined the program.
Are there other ways to earn points (besides hotel stays)?
You can earn points for car rentals with Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, National, and Sixt. CC also offers points for meeting planners. See this (http://www.clubcarlson.com/fgp/earn/home.do) page for details. Airline miles can not be converted to CC points, CC does not offer an opportunity to earn points for online shopping, and there is no credit card.
Can I purchase or gift points?
You can purchase up to 40k points per account per calendar year, in increments of 1000 points. You can also receive up to 40k of gifted points per year. The price is $7 per 1000 points.
What can I do with my points?
You can redeem for hotel stays, Points+Cash, gift cards, vacation savings, a paypal credit, or airline miles. You can also transfer your points to another member’s account or donate them to charity.
Where do I find a list of properties and their redemption category?
CC has six redemption categories, ranging from 9k points to 50k points per night. You can find a list of properties and their respective categories on the CC site (http://www.clubcarlson.com/freenights). Note: Some hotels will change category (moving up or down) on 5/31/12; click here (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/club-carlson/1346382-list-hotels-changing-levels-may-31-2012-a.html) for details.
Does CC have “no capacity controls” on hotel awards?
No. Other chains market “no capacity controls – if there is a standard room available, it’s yours.” This is often a marketing gimmick, as hotels within those chains indeed find ways to limit award availability (for instance by loading no standard rooms or tinkering with what constitutes a standard room). CC has capacity controls on award rooms. There may be situations when standard rooms are unavailable, but Points+Cash or Premium Awards (see below) are available.
How does Points+Cash work?
P+C rates require you to redeem some points plus a cash supplement. The points schedule is fixed, ranging from 5k for a Category 1 to 15k for a Category 6, but there is no fixed cash component. It will depend on the property and other factors, and will be displayed on the CC website.
What are Premium Awards?
Some hotels offer an opportunity to redeem points for premium room awards. These awards are generally priced at 150% of the standard reward rate (e.g., 75k for a premium room at a Category 6 property). Premium awards can represent good value or be complete sucker bets. In some cases, you will receive a business class room or even suite, with other benefits like club access or breakfast thrown in. In other cases, you will get a marginally larger room equipped with a bathrobe and slippers. Whether premium awards are a good buy will depend not just on the respective hotel’s offer, but also on your valuation of points (see below). Make sure to read the room description before you decide. Check this thread (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/club-carlson/1284515-premium-awards.html) for more discussion on premium rooms.
Can I convert my points to airline miles?
Yes. You can transfer points in chunks of 100k, 50k, or 2k points, with the larger chunks yielding a better transfer ratio. 100k points convert to 18k miles (5.5:1), 50k points convert to 8k miles (6.25:1), and 2k points convert to 250 miles (8:1). Transfers are promised to take 4-6 weeks, and in some cases CC transfers actually take that long.
What airline miles can I redeem my points for?
CC points can be converted to miles with Aeromexico, Air Berlin, Air Canada, Air China, American Airlines, Asiana, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Czech, Delta, Ethiad, Emirates, Frontier, Gulf, Icelandair, JAL, Jet, KLM, Lan Chile, Lufthansa, SAS, United, and US Airways. Occasionally, some of these airlines will offer bonus miles for transfers; check the promo post for details.
How do I redeem for giftcards, vacation savings, paypal credit, or charitable donations?
Log into your account for these redemption options. Store giftcards are available from $10 (6.5k points) to $50 (29k points). Prepaid Visa cards are available in three amounts ranging from $25 (20k points) to $100 (67k points), and paypal deposits are available from $15 (11k points) to $100 (66k points). All these should only be considered as a last resort (as in: you will never stay at a CC property again, have no use for airline miles, and don’t know anybody you can transfer your CC points to). Vacation credits with Club Med or CWT Vacations offer marginally better values, but redemption is cumbersome and you have to comply with booking and minimum spend requirements.
What are Express Awards?
You can redeem your points for in-hotel awards like breakfast and upgrades. The availability and rates varies by property, so inquire upon arrival. Some examples given on the CC website include a pay TV movie (10k points), room upgrade (10k points), dinner for two (35k points).
What is the value of CC points?
There's debate about the value of CC points (see this thread (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/club-carlson/1287105-points-value.html) on valuation). If you redeem 50k points at a $500 property in Paris, your points can be worth 1cpp. More typical redemptions will yield values of perhaps .5-.8cpp, and exceptional values can be much higher (e.g., in cases of high occupancy).
CC has three status levels:
Sliver – 10 stays or 15 nights
Gold – 20 stays or 35 nights
Concierge – 30 stays or 75 nights
What status benefits are granted?
Silver: Upgrades, 25% bonus points, 2k points online booking bonus, early check-in/late check-out, rollover nights, dedicated phone number
Gold: Upgrades, 50% bonus points, 2k points online booking bonus, early check-in/late check-out, rollover nights, dedicated phone number, 2-for-1 or 4-for-2 weekend night rate, 72-hr availability guarantee
Concierge: Upgrades, 75% bonus points, 3k points online booking bonus, early check-in/late check-out, rollover nights, dedicated phone number, 2-for-1 or 4-for-2 weekend night rate, 48-hr availability guarantee, free continental breakfast, global concierge service.
What about upgrades?
It’s a weak spot of the CC program. Upgrades are based on availability, and may include rooms with a higher or lower floor, rooms with preferred view, or recently renovated rooms. No guarantee for club access or suites. Some hotels go above and beyond the minimum requirements, but many members find CC’s upgrade policy disappointing. See these threads for discussion of Gold (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/club-carlson/1235036-gold-member-room-upgrades.html) and Concierge (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/club-carlson/1300885-failed-concierge-upgrades.html) member upgrades.
What are the rules regarding breakfast for Concierge members?
Concierge members receive one continental breakfast per night, to be taken in the hotel’s restaurant (either by menu or buffet), not via room service. Offerings will vary by hotel but may include an assortment of cereals, breads, fresh fruit, juices, coffee, tea and milk. Some hotels will go above and beyond and provide full (hot) breakfast and/or allow breakfast for all room occupants.
How does the early check-in/late check-out benefit work?
Early check-in and late checkout are subject to availability upon request at the hotel and may be requested for up to 2 hours prior to or later than the hotel’s published check-in and check-out time.
What are rollover nights?
If you have any elite qualifying nights remaining in your account at the end of each calendar year in excess of those used to qualify for elite status, these nights will be rolled over to the next year. For instance, if you have 100 nights in a year, 75 will qualify you for Concierge status and 25 will roll over to the next year. Rollover nights only carry over for one year, and there are is rollover on stays.
How does the 48-hr/72-hr guarantee work?
You must call the elite line to invoke the guarantee. It is only available for an elite member’s personal guestroom. The 48-hour or 72-hour guarantee is calculated based on noon local hotel time on the intended arrival day. Guaranteed room availability is for a standard room only at standard rates, and is subject to the participating hotel’s standard guarantee and cancellation policy. Award nights or Points+Cash are not eligible for the room availability guarantee.
What are the details on the 2-for-1 or 4-for-2 weekend night rate for Gold/Concierge members?
Given the relative weakness of the in-property benefits (upgrades, late check-in/early check-out, breakfast) many members see the 2-for-1 weekend rate as one of the more tangible benefits of CC elite status. You may book online via the 2-for-1 (http://www.clubcarlson.com/2for1) or 4-for-2 (http://www.clubcarlson.com/offers/1843985) links. This offer is only available at participating hotels in Europe, Middle East and Africa, for a maximum of two rooms (one must be occupied by the elite member), and may include breakfast, as stipulated by the property. Two day advance booking required.
How do I (re-)qualify? What is an eligible stay?
Any stay on a rate that is eligible to earn points counts for elite qualification (see above for eligible and ineligible rates).
Can I earn extra stay credits by checking in and out each night?
No. CC defines a hotel "stay" as all consecutive nights spent at a participating qualifying hotel regardless of the number of check-in or check-outs that occur during that stay at a rate eligible to earn Points.
Are there any shortcuts to status?
Yes. You may apply for a match of your status with other major hotel chains. Details can be found in the status match master thread. ( http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/club-carlson/1039798-status-match.html). Generally, CC only matches to Silver or Gold status, but not it’s highest level, Concierge. CC also offers Gold elite status to shareholders of the Rezidor group ( http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/club-carlson/1334051-gold-shareholders.html ). Non-US based holders of the AMEX Platinum card can also receive free CC Gold status.
May 20, 12, 7:15 pm
CC Property Locations
To locate CC properties, you can either consult the CC property directory (PDF) (http://poweredby.10best.com/pdf/Carlson-LocationsDirectory.pdf) or check the property map (http://www.radisson.com/destinations/home.do?searchText=Los%20Angeles) (zoom in and out).
General Discussion Threads of Interest
The following threads contain general discussion of CC properties that may be of interest. This list will be expanded over the course of the next few months:
Best Radisson in the world? (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/club-carlson/1073084-best-radisson-hotel-world.html)
Future Radisson, Park Inn and Park Plaza Locations (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/club-carlson/1346930-future-radisson-blu-park-inn-location-lists.html)
Property Review Threads on FT
This list was originally compiled by former CC moderator Swiss Circle. I will be expanding it over the course of the next few months.
Country Inn Bensenville, IL (near ORD) (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/club-carlson/1349391-country-inn-bensenville-il-near-ord.html)
Country Inn & Suites - Elk Grove Village IL (NW burb of Chicago, somewhat near ORD) (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/club-carlson/1364320-country-inn-suites-elk-grove-village-il-nw-burb-chicago-somewhat-near-ord.html)
Radisson Blu Chicago (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/club-carlson/1307344-radisson-blu-chicago-quick-review.html)
Radisson Chicago ORD Des Plaines (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/club-carlson/1351959-radisson-hotel-chicago-ohare-ord-des-plaines.html)
Radisson Des Moines Airport (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/17706450-post30.html)
Radisson Kansas City (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/club-carlson/424225-doubletree-downtown-kansas-city-converting-radisson.html)
Radisson Chelmsford, MA (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/club-carlson/191094-radisson-chelmsford-ma.html)