UPDATE: Club Carlson updated the devaluation with no notice, making the devaluation date 3/15/14. Click here for more information.
This one was definitely expected and is finally official: Club Carlson has announced a devaluation as part of several changes to the program. There are 2 dates to keep in mind: 3/15/14 is when most changes take effect, but the award category changes (i.e. the real devaluation part) don’t take affect until 5/1/14. [UPDATE: Category changes now take effect 3/15/14]
Here are the main changes of the program:
- Creation of a new Category 7 that will cost 70,000 points per night. Category 6 hotels cost 50,000 points per night, so this represents a 40% increase for top hotels.
- Bonus points awarded on paid stays for Gold members decreases from 50% to 35% and for Silver members from 25% to 15%.
Many hotels also changed categories, but these other changes are mostly pretty harmless. Hotel loyalty programs regularly change a particular hotel’s category based on demand, so some hotels go up a category and some go down. The creation of a new category, however, is a pretty big hit. The new categories apply to bookings made on or after May 1, 2014.
The new Category 7 Club Carlson Hotels:
- Radisson Blu Le Dokhan’s Hotel, Paris Trocadero
- Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan Hotel, Paris Eiffel
- Radisson Blu Hotel Champs Elysees, Paris
- Radisson Blu 1835 Hotel & Thalasso, Cannes
- Radisson Royal Hotel, Dubai
- The May Fair
- Plaza on the River, London
- art’otel, Amsterdam
- Radisson Royal Hotel, Moscow
As you can see, these are some of the pricier options in the Club Carlson portfolio…meaning they used to be a great value at 50K points per night. I’ve seen rooms at the above hotels (particularly the Paris ones) listed at up to $450 a night. Getting these rooms at 70K points per night will still be pretty good value if you received the points from the credit card bonus. It might even be worth manufacturing spend over.
Yes, there were a few, but nothing major.
- You can now book “premium” rooms using points.
- You can now earn points for food and beverage charged to your room on award stays.
- Award nights will now count towards elite status.
These are things that you’d almost come to expect from other programs. I’m glad to see that award nights count towards status, and really hope that Hyatt adds this as a feature to all award stays instead of just the new cash and points rates.
As a reminder, the Club Carlson Credit Card has a sign up bonus of 85,000 points, plus you get an additional 40,000 when you renew your card. The coolest feature of the card is that for every 2 night award stay you book, you get back half the points. That means you could book a 2 night stay in Paris for 100K points, then you’d get back 50K points. That’s a pretty stellar deal in my book, especially if you can find a hotel you like in their portfolio. The card also earns 5x on all spend. It’s not a sexy choice, but it’s worth looking in to.
Again…burn your points! I shouldn’t have to point to my devaluation post so many times, but they keep happening. Use your points early and often. Take that vacation you’ve been putting off!