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?