Recently I’ve written a bunch of love posts. I love AmEx, I love Frequent Miler, I love Award Wallet. And now I love Club Carlson. I really do. I love them.
My affections began last year, when they ran their lucrative “Big Night Giveaway” (if you stayed a night at one of their properties, you earned a whopping 50,000 points). Josh did a mini-mattress run while on a business trip and raked in 150,000 points for our family. (Thanks, babe. I know it’s not fun to hotel hop while you are on a business trip!) Then they had the “Global Giveaway,” where you could earn 100 points a day for paging through an online look book featuring some of their most gorgeous properties. That was a fun one for my kids to help out with. We all ended up with 1,800 points for that one (7,200 total, since you can combine points within family accounts!). They quickly followed up this promotion with the “25 for 25” promo: 25,000 points when you spent 2 nights at a Country Inn and Suites. And the grand finale of last year was the “Buy One Get One” (just like it sounds, spend a night in a Radisson and get a free night to use later).
Along the way, we picked up even more points and cash by going through TopCashBack (up to 10% rebate), booking online (1000-2000 extra points), and using the Club Carlson Best Rate Guarantee (see this post for details). We also got status matched – Josh to Gold Elite, me to Silver Elite, which nets us additional points with each booking and stay.
All in all, we ended up with a gazillion points (well, maybe more like 220,000) and a free night. Out of pocket cost – $70! (Even though it might be a pain in the butt, combining a business trip with a mattress run is always a good idea.) We will use all these points at a high-end Club Carlson property like the Radisson Blu Champs Elysees in Paris, where rooms start at $485/night, cashing in our 200,000 points for 4 nights at this hotel (free night stays at Club Carlson’s highest level properties are 50,000 points/night). In other words, we will be “saving” $1,940 by using our points this way. This is why I am such a Points and Miles evangelist…our family would never be able to afford to stay at this hotel if it weren’t for Points and Miles!
Free nights at Club Carlson properties start at only 9,000 points/night, so if your travel plans include less fancy digs, you could squeeze many nights out of your points!
I must say that Club Carlson’s marketing team is doing an amazing job, because this brand was not on my radar until the flurry of promotions last year. Now I will go out of my way to stay at a Club Carlson hotel (or book one for Josh when he travels for business) because I know that they will treat me right, AND I will get a cascade of points for my stay.
If you would like to get in on the Club Carlson action, they have just released their First Quarter “Triple Points” promotion for 2013. Normally, Club Carlson members earn 20 points per dollar spent, but with this promo, you will earn 60 points per dollar. This promo runs from January 10-March 16, 2013.
Let’s take a look at how this would add up with a $300 stay:
If you do not have status with Club Carlson, you will earn 19,000 points with a $300 stay:
- 60 points/dollar (promo earnings) = 18,000 points
- an online booking bonus of 1,000 points
- total of 19,000 points
If you’ve got Silver Elite Status, you will earn 18,000 points with a $300 stay, plus:
- an online booking bonus of 2,000 points
- a 25% Elite bonus on your base points (25% of 6,000 = 1,500 points)
- total of 21,500 points
If you’ve got Gold Elite Status, you will earn 18,000 points with a $300 stay, plus:
- an online booking bonus of 2,000 points
- a 50% Elite bonus on your base points (50% of 6,000 = 3,000 points)
- total of 23,000 points
Here are the details on how to maximize this deal:
1) Sign up for the promotion. This will ensure that you earn triple points.
2) Consider browsing through the Club Carlson portfolio of properties when you are planning your next vacation or business trip. You can really build up you stash of Points and Miles quickly if you are willing to stay in a hotel opportunistically.
3) When you are ready to book a stay, decide which shopping portal you will use. You can usually earn a rebate of at least 5%. I’ve been going through CashBackHolics lately. You can try that site or use the site of your choice.
To sum up: this is an excellent promotion. If you’ve got travel plans that are a little flexible and you can find a Club Carlson property that works for you, it is definitely worth signing up for this and raking in some points. Personally I am excited to see what the new year will bring with Club Carlson. They have definitely caught my eye!
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