Thinking caps on – how can you maximise Carlson’s ‘free Fridays’ promo?

Club Carlson, the Radisson / Park Inn / Park Plaza / Quorvus chain, has launched a very interesting new promotion.

This could be very lucrative if you are prepared to ‘play the game’, although it will require some flexibility in both earning and redeeming.

Details of the offer, including the registration page, are here.

In simple terms, this is how it works:

For every two stays you make before 1st July and 30th September, you will receive a free Friday night at ANY Club Carlson hotel worldwide.

Alternatively, you can have 10,000 bonus points, but I only value those at £35 and the free night could be worth a lot more.

May Fair 350

The small print is quite small:

Your free Friday night stays must be taken between 6th October 2017 and 26 January 2018

You can earn up to three free Friday night vouchers or three x 10,000 bonus points

You must decide at the point of registration whether you want the free Friday vouchers or the 10,000 bonus points and this cannot be changed

Only cash stays – not points stays or ‘points and cash’ stays – count towards the free night

It is not clear what the availability rules are for booking your ‘free Friday’.  Does it require just basic cash rooms to be available, or must there be a reward night?

How to maximise this opportunity

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that there are ways of maximising this promotion to your advantage.

Club Carlson has some very cheap hotels, primarily Park Inn hotels in the UK regions.  I found Park Inn Nottingham at £43 for Friday and Sunday nights in August, for example.

For every two cheap stays you do, you would be earning a ‘free Friday’ voucher which you could use for an expensive Friday night stay at a high end Park Plaza, Radisson or Quorvus Collection hotel.   Many of the better London properties are over £200 on a Friday night.

Think it through though ….

You need to be practical about this offer, however.

Do you have a use for a free Friday night hotel stay, however luxurious the hotel?   After all, if you are going away for the weekend, you would still need to stay somewhere on the Saturday – either paying the same Club Carlson hotel or moving to a different property.

Whether the answer is ‘yes’ depends on your own personal travel plans between October and next January.

Club Carlson is also a lot stronger in some countries than others.  With only a few exceptions, Radisson in North America is not a premium brand.  In Europe, and especially Scandinavia, they have some excellent properties.  Similarly, whilst October to January is not the peak travel period in Europe, it would be useful in, say, the Middle East where Radisson is well represented.

If you can move some stays to Club Carlson anyway as business trips, then this is certainly one to consider closely.  As a ‘mattress run’ (booking nights, checking in and leaving immediately) it is not so clear cut, but it may well work out well for some.

You can learn more about the offer, and register, here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Bits: 35% SPG points discount extended, Heathrow to open a gym, Europcar flash sale
Bits: Concorde Room side door reopens, LATAM deals to Latin America, IHG 15-year bonus
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. I for one will be maximising this promotion where possible. Here’s to hoping that the terms on the reward are not too specific, and that other hotel chains follow with similar exciting promotions over the summer.

  2. *between* 1st July and 30th September?

    OT, but a friend is going to be racing against the clock, trying to make it from Heathrow to Dulwich / Peckham area for my sister’s wedding in a couple of Saturdays time. We’re both bridesmaids, so it’s kind of important she makes it! How bad is the wait for an uber these days? Would she be better off getting on the picaddily line for a couple of stops and getting an uber from there?

    I should add that she’s pregnant, and will have a fair bit of luggage, so if there’s a low stress option anyone can think of, it would be massively appreciated! And no, there’s absolutely no way of getting an earlier flight.

    • Add Lee?

      • Frenske says:

        To be honest the lowest stress level would be to arrange a friend/family to pick her up from the airport.
        Or pre-book a mini cab. We have been using BA Transfer for a long time and never failed.

      • Kilburnflyer says:

        Kabbee is probably your best bet, fixed price minicabs are more reliable than Uber and you won’t have to worry about surges or wait times as it’s pre-booked. Use code EB8DKH for £5 off

    • David P says:

      By car, the slowest part of the journey will almost certainly be getting into central London whichever route you take. So I’d recommend taking the HEx to Paddington to miss this out then there are more options:

      1) Cab from Paddington, although you’ll likely hit traffic around Victoria and over Vauxhall Bridge
      2) Circle line to Victoria then train to Denmark Hill/Peckham Rye then a bus/cab
      3) Bakerloo line to Elephant and Castle, then a bus/cab

      Lowest stress option would be 1. Quickest will probably be 3 even though it requires navigating the rabbit warren at Elephant, although there are lifts to help. I don’t recommend option 2 because there are no lifts at Victoria so definitely a high stress route, but if the final destination is very close to a mainline station then it might be quicker than option 3.

      • Big Al says:

        I live in Dulwich and nowadays only ever take Uber if I’m in a rush (if not then lug it out on the pic line). The few times I have tried HEx it has actually taken longer, as it’s a long slog round to Victoria and even then you’re dependent of train times. Uber will typically take you on the south circular which shouldn’t be too bad going eastbound on a Saturday morning. I’ve never tried Kabbee, but perhaps best bet is book one of those and you’ll always have Uber as a back up if for whatever reason there’s an issue (I don’t think I’ve ever waited longer than 10 mins). Hope the wedding goes well!

    • Try this…..
      Tube to Hatton Cross
      Cab (uber or local minicab or black cab from rank) or X26 express bus if one is close to Feltham station.
      Fast train to Clapham Junction, London Overground to Denmark Hill.

    • Thanks everyone, the help is massively appreciated! I’m passing this all on.

    • Tried uber out of heathrow once, never again-the order was taking by someone few miles away from the airport so I had to wait for him driving towards me through terrible traffic. All in all waste of time. My local mini cab every time from then on.

  3. I’ve got to head to oslo for a 4 night stay at the start of September. Just wondering if I could it into 3 single bookings. I could make them over 3 days.

    • Most chains define a “stay” as consecutive nights at the same property, regardless of frequency of check-in/check-out.

      You’d need to find another property nearby and swap between the two every day.

  4. Frenske says:

    To be honest the lowest stress level would be to arrange a friend/family to pick her up from the airport.
    Or pre-book a mini cab. We have been using BA Transfer for a long time and never failed.

  5. Frenske says:

    I’ve signed up for the 10.000 points. Not sure I will do more than 1 stay in Radisson. There is bound to be a expiration date on the free Friday voucher and I don’t use CC for personal stays (until I have enough points for a holiday at one of the resorts).

    • Ditto, I’ve gone for 10k too. Rarely stay at CC properties so thought on the chance that I do manage 2 stays it’s unlikely I’ll manage a 3rd in the time limits of the promo so prefer to have the more flexible points instead. If you can manage the stays though I agree the free night is potentially more lucrative.

  6. Jimmyjimmy says:

    Oslo there is 2 Carlson hotels at the airport (walking distance) if that works for you and several downtown hence hotel swapping is easy enough.
    J

  7. Jimmyjimmy says:

    I assume existing bookings count towards the Carlson Friday deal.
    ?
    J

  8. Not sure on the definition of eligible stay – does this include reward nights?

    • Looking at it further, I’m thinking probably not.

    • Frenske says:

      Cash stays only!

      And I imagine you will have to book it directly with the hotels and not via 3rd party hotel bookers e.g. hotels.com, etc. This means you won’t get collect free nights with hotels.com nor you get the like 6-12% discounts which could be worth £50. So your free night might NOT be that FREE at all.

  9. HayMow says:

    Under “How to maximise this opportunity”, should be corrected to “For every two cheap *stays*” (from “For every two cheap nights…”).

    More fine print for the Friday offer:
    * Good to see you can delay your registration choice until your first stay – “You only need to register once, but you must *register before checkout* of your first Eligible Stay for that stay to count for this promotion.”
    * Shame that you can’t tack on another night in one booking – “Separate reservations may be made for additional nights before and/or after the Friday night reservation. ”
    * Useful to note for planning purposes that Friday night e-certificates will be awarded in three tranches – “Friday E-Certs will be awarded three times throughout the Promotion, 1) by Aug. 15 for E-Certs earned in July, 2) by Sep. 15 for E-Certs earned in August and 3) by Oct 15 for E-Certs earned in September. You will be notified you have a Friday E-Cert via email and awarded Friday E-Certs will be visible under ‘My Account’ when you are logged in on clubcarlson.com.

    • Done, sorry

      • Charlotte says:

        Hi, I’m confused between stays and nights now. Does a 6 night consequative stay get you 3 free Friday nights or none unless you book another stay? Hopefully you know if anyone does!

  10. Looks like some more terms, two nights may not immediately result in e-cert being issued until the end of qualifying month, so may impact booking timing. Presumably, a stay in July will roll in counting to a stay in August to then get a very at end of august.

    Terms and Conditions
    By participating in the “Stay 2, Earn a Free Friday Night or 10K Points” offer, you may only select one of the following offers (either the “Free Friday Night” promotion or the “10K Points” promotion) during the Promotion Period in accordance with these terms and conditions.

    You must be a Club CarlsonSM member to participate in the “Free Fridays” Promotion (“Promotion”). Promotion is valid for Eligible Stays only. An “Eligible Stay(s)” is one or more consecutive nights reserved at an Eligible Rate booked through an eligible booking source, as defined in the Club Carlson Terms and Conditions, and consumed between July 1, 2017 and September 30, 2017 (“Promotion Period”). Both the check-in and checkout dates of the Eligible Stay must take place within the Promotion Period. To be eligible to earn the Free Friday Night E-Cert (“Friday E-Cert”) for every two Eligible Stays, you must: (i) register online for the Promotion and make your reward selection at clubcarlson.com/freefridays; and (ii) then provide your Club Carlson member number at the time of reservation or at check-in. Members are not able to switch their reward choice after registration and the selection is for the entirety of the Promotion. Once registered, you will earn a Friday E-Cert with two Eligible Stays at Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu®, Radisson RED, Radisson®, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM hotels worldwide during the Promotion Period.

    Friday E-Cert earnings for the entire Promotion (Free Fridays) will be capped at three awards per member – three Friday E-Certs. Stays or nights paid for by using Points or Points + Cash are not eligible for this Promotion. You only need to register once, but you must register before checkout of your first Eligible Stay for that stay to count for this promotion. Requests for free nights or bonus points for stays prior to Promotion registration will not be honored.

    Friday E-Certs are valid for reservations on a single Friday night at any Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu®, Radisson RED, Radisson®, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM hotels worldwide for stays between October 6, 2017 and January 26, 2018. Each Friday E-Cert is valid for a new reservation booked on a Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group website using the unique Friday E-Cert code provided. Separate reservations may be made for additional nights before and/or after the Friday night reservation. The Friday E-Certs will expire on January 26, 2018 and cannot be extended. Friday E-Certs used on a reservation that is cancelled within the hotel’s cancellation policy and before the expiration date may be re-used. All incidental charges, such as gratuities, parking, resort fees, room service and room entertainment are excluded. Friday E-Certs are not valid for existing reservations and may not be used in conjunction with packages, promotions, group, convention or discounted rates, or used in combination with other gift certificates, e-certificates or vouchers. Friday E-Certs must be reserved by the earning member, may only be used once, and may not be assigned, transferred, brokered, bartered, sold, posted online or altered in any way. Friday E-Certs have no cash value. Void where prohibited by law.

    Friday E-Certs will be awarded three times throughout the Promotion, 1) by Aug. 15 for E-Certs earned in July, 2) by Sep. 15 for E-Certs earned in August and 3) by Oct 15 for E-Certs earned in September. You will be notified you have a Friday E-Cert via email and awarded Friday E-Certs will be visible under ‘My Account’ when you are logged in on clubcarlson.com.

    The Promotion is subject to all Club Carlson Terms and Conditions. Club Carlson reserves the right to add, modify, or discontinue the Promotion without notice. Club Carlson is not responsible for any technical failures/interruptions, internet accessibility problems, incomplete or inaccurate registration information, or other errors of any kind that may affect your registration for this Promotion. Other exclusions may apply. Void where prohibited by law. By participating in this Promotion, you agree and consent to these terms and conditions.

  11. RussellH says:

    Registration confirmation page is VERY unclear.

    It says, in bold, “The offer you selected is: Stay 2 nights, earn 10,000 bonus points”

    We are booked for three nights at a Radisson 1 – 4 July, which is better than 2 nights, but only one stay, as defined in the Ts+Cs. Clear as mud.

    • Pangolin says:

      It’s badly worded on the selection tab but ALWAYS go by the T&Cs if there is any doubt or disparity in wording between different elements of the site.

      The T&Cs state that you earn an e-cert “for every two Eligible Stays” and Eligible Stay is defined as “one or more consecutive nights reserved at an Eligible Rate booked through an eligible booking source”.

      So consecutive nights (like your booking) will only count as 1 stay.

    • RussellH says:

      While the confirmatory e-mail says “10,000 Gold Points for every 2 Stays”. Maybe I should have kept a copy of the registration page and tried to make a fuss?

    • alternate single-night stays between yourself and your partner – then will count as 2 stays for you.

  12. Crafty says:

    Will this stack with the bonus 2,500 points per stay offer that also runs until 30 September?