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Yesterday I mentioned the news that over 300 Club Carlson hotels are changing category, effective June 1st.  While I was the only blogger to present the information in a sortable table (that I saw), it was also covered by most other bloggers, including View from the Wing, One Mile at a Time, Mommy Points, The Gate, Loyalty Traveler, the Deal Mommy, and many others I’m sure.

kick-in-the-buttAnother kick in the pants for Club Carlson travelers

This latest news comes on top of last month’s news, the removal of the Bonus Award night, which was arguably the best deal out there in travel rewards.

It’s not surprising, as I tend to expect deals that are significantly better than average to go away eventually.  I know that we have had a great time using the Bonus Award night on Club Carlson stays to essentially get B1G1F deals on award stays, as long as you book them in 2 night increments.  I used this strategy on my very first trip paid for with miles and points, with great success.

Club Carlson category change map

Just like I did with the recent IHG category changes, I made a map

Again, I attempted to organize it by the category change – so reds and purples are BAD (the hotels going up in category) while greens are GOOD (the hotels going down in category).

One note on geolocation – I definitely wasn’t able to get the pins down to the exact hotel location in most cases, but I should have it in the city.  As always, these kinds of maps are good for giving you an idea from a macro-level.

A couple of things I noticed:

  • There is one hotel going up 3 categories – it’s the Radisson Blu Kuwait
  • All in all, there’s a whopping 67 hotels moving up to Category 7, with a new redemption cost of 70,000 points

Hotels going down in category

There are 117 hotels going down in category – here’s the breakdown

  • 16 hotels going down from Category 2 to Category 1, and 6 hotels going from Category 3 to Category 1 – the majority of which are in India
  • 39 hotels going down from Category 3 to Category 2, and 6 more from Category 4 to Category 2
  • 33 hotels going down from Category 4 to Category 3, and 2 more from Category 5 to Category 3 (Radisson Blu Hotel Chongqing Sha Ping Ba and Park Inn by Radisson Hotel and Residence Duqm in Oman)
  • 13 hotels going down from Category 5 to Category 4
  • 2 hotels going down from Category 6 to Category 5 (Radisson Blu at Disneyland Paris, and the Radisson Lazurnaya in Sochi, Russia)

Hotels going up in category

  • 9 hotels are going up from Category 1 to Category 2
  • 32 hotels are going up from Category 2 to Category 3 (that’s 15,000 points to 28,000 points per night)
  • 36 hotels are going up from Category 3 to Category 4
  • 35 hotels are going up from Category 4 to Category 5 and 2 more from Category 3 to Category 5 – one in Bozeman, Montana and one in Kazahkstan
  • 30 hotels are going from Category 5 to Category 6, and the Park Inn by Radisson Aberdeen Scotland is going from Category 4 to Category 6
  • 59 (!) hotels are going from Category 6 to the top category of Category 7, 7 more are going from Category 5 to Category 7 and the Radisson Blu in Kuwait is going from Category 4 to Category 7

All in all, it’s as we expected – most of the hotels going down in category were not the ones that most of us were staying at anyways, while some of the more aspirational stays are much more out of reach.

To give the worst-case example, the Radisson Blu Hotel Kuwait currently costs 38,000 for 2 nights on an award stay, and next month will cost 140,000.  That’s almost a 4 times increase!  Most of the nicer Radissons in London are also going up to Category 7.

We already knew this, but if you’ve got Club Carlson points, better use them by the end of the month!  Personally between Carolyn and I we only started out with about 200K, and we’re probably half-way through burning them.

Where are you using your Club Carlson points?

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