One-Two-Punch: Club Carlson Devalues BOGO International Stays

Club Carlson Used to offer  "Stay 2 Nights, Get 2 Free.
Club Carlson used to offer two free nights after a two night stay.

Club Carlson has made a second drastic devaluation  to their hotel loyalty program, on the heels of the  announcement last week that Club Carlson will no longer offer two award nights for the price of one for credit card holders.

The new devaluation affects credit card holders who were hoping to book vacations at Club Carlson properties in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa taking advantage of the Stay 2 Nights, Get 2 Free offer that had been in effect for paid weekend stays for the last several years.  This was one of the best and most under-appreciated deals in the miles and points world.  It wasn’t universally available, but you could often find it for long weekend stays at Radisson hotels in smaller European capitals.

Stay 2 Get 1 Free Offer is a Significant Downgrade

The new offer is a significant downgrade from the prior offer:  now you get one, rather than two free nights added on to a paid stay of two nights in a standard room at participating Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  The offer is available for check-ins on Friday or Saturday (Thursday or Friday for hotels in Middle East).  You must register in advance here, and book and stay by June 28, 2015.  Use the promo code WBUY2F2 when booking your stay.

Unlike the previous offer, this offer expires prior to the peak summer travel season.  The Stay One Night, Get One free offer also has been eliminated.

Stay 5 Paid Nights, Get 6th Free

A much more limited number of Club Carlson properties are participating in a Stay 5 Nights, Get 6th Free promotion running now through June 28, 2015.  Like the Stay 2 Get 1 Free offer, you must register in advance.

 Questioning Club Carlson Loyalty

Now that Club Carlson has gutted the most valuable aspects of their credit card/loyalty program, customers must seriously reevaluate the utility of this program for their travel needs.

If you open a new Club Carlson credit card, you can earn 85,000 points after meeting a hefty minimum spend requirement, and paying the annual fee of $75 for a personal account, or $60 for a business account.  That used to be enough for four free nights at a Radisson hotel like the Radisson Martinique in New York City.  Now, it would be enough for just one free night.

The program awards 40,000 points upon payment of the next annual fee on your anniversary.  Club Carlson has indicated that with the program changes coming, they will offer a free night at a U.S. property for those that pay the annual fee on their anniversary.  That’s like paying $75 or $60 for two “free” nights, which may or may not be competitive depending on where you use the points.

What do you think?  Is there still value in the Club Carlson program for you after these two major devaluations?

Dulles Flyer: What is the #icelanDChase?

Icelandair Ticket Giveaway Washington DC to Europe
Icelandair Reps Will be Giving Away Freebies on the Streets of Washington, DC

Icelandair is celebrating its new year-round service from Washington D.C. by giving away round-trip tickets for two to any of Icelandair’s more than 20 destinations in Europe!

Icelandair representatives will be hitting the streets of the nation’s capital to give away one pair of tickets each day from Thursday, June 12, 2014 through Saturday, June 14, 2014.

Additional prizes include thirty $100 gift certificates for travel, tee shirts, Icelandic music CDs, and cool merchandise.

How can Washingtonians join the #icelanDChase?

You can search for the location of each day’s tickets, by finding clues and a password on Icelandair’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

  • Follow #icelanDChase on Twitter for clues
  • Clues will be given at various times of the day until the tickets are found
  • The first person to arrive at the location and reveal the password to the Icelandair representatives will win tickets for two to any one of more than 20 destinations in Europe
  • For further information, see the Terms and Conditions

    Where can you Fly on Icelandair?
    Where can you Fly on Icelandair?

You can find Icelandair on Facebook (facebook.com/Icelandair) or Twitter (@Icelandair).

Note the blackout dates, which exclude travel during the summer, or over the Christmas holiday:  May 21, 2014 through September 5, 2014; and December 15, 2014 through January 6, 2015.  

If You Don’t Live in Washington, Here are Two  Other Contests to Iceland

1.  Icelandic Fourmula is giving away a trip for two to Iceland!  This online giveaway includes:

  • Roundtrip coach class airfare for two
  • room accommodations for three nights/ four days at a luxury hotel in Reykjavik
  • City of Reykjavik Welcome Card
  • VIP room for 2 at the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa.
Icelandair Launches Year Round Service from IAD
Icelandair Launches Year Round Service from IAD

Fill out the entry form online to enter for a chance to win this Iceland getaway!  Enter by December 31, 2014.

Click here for sweepstakes rules and conditions.

2.  X-Men X-Treme Adventure

This contest is for a trip to Iceland, or weekly packs of Flipz, X-Men memorabilia, Schick razors and cash.  Enter before October 31, 2014.  

The Grand Prize Winner will receive a trip for two to Iceland and $2,274 in cash for personal expenses.  The trip must be taken between October 31, 2014 and March 31, 2015, but cannot be taken over Christmas, New Years or public holidays in the U.S. or Iceland.  The official rules are here.  

Europe on Less Than $5 a Day

European Embassies Open House 2014
Embassy of Finland Open House

One of the fun things about living in Washington, DC is access to the cultural offerings of the embassies:  concerts, art exhibits, films, and receptions.

On Saturday May 10, 2014, 28 embassies from European countries will open their doors to the public for the annual European Union (EU) Embassies’ Open House.

The free event, which runs from 10 am to 4 pm, is a day of family fun, food, and culture.  The open houses offer visitors a look inside the embassies and provide a unique opportunity to experience the cultural heritage and national traditions of the 28 member countries of the European Union.

2014 EU Embassy Open House
Embassy of the Netherlands Open House

A free shuttle bus runs between the embassies, allowing you to maximize your experience of traditional music, dance, food, film, and art.  

I’ve heard that you can tell which embassies are offering free food by how long the lines are!

This year, participating embassies include:  Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, United Kingdom, Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, France and the Federal Republic of Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Delegation of the European Union, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Republic of Poland, Slovakia, and Sweden.

Here are a few of the highlights that caught my eye:

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