Naughty, naughty, naughty. And very disappointing, too.
For the last couple of years, Club Carlson has been making a special effort to force itself into the top tier of hotel loyalty programmes. It started by merging together the separate US and non-US GoldPoints schemes, followed by a rebranding, followed by a series of VERY generous promotions. In 2011 and 2012, they were offering 40,000+ bonus points for ANY stay, anywhere – and those 40,000 points very nearly got you a night in their poshest hotels.
Club Carlson is still the best hotel partner that Amex Membership Rewards has, due to the generous 1:3 conversion rate and the 50,000 point cap on redemption levels.
And then, suddenly, Club Carlson goes and blows up the good reputation it has worked hard to generate.
Overnight, the conversion rate from Club Carlson points to airline miles has been decimated. And with no notice.
The old rates were:
- 2,000 points = 250 miles
- 50,000 points = 8,000 miles
- 100,000 points = 18,000 miles
The new rates are:
- 2,000 points = 200 miles
- 50,000 points = 5,000 miles
- 100,000 points = 10,000 miles
These new rates don’t even make sense! What is the point of having 5,000 point and 10,000 point tiers when the conversion rate is the same?!
If you had been stacking up your Club Carlson points to transfer them to miles, you’ve just been stuffed. Because of the tiered conversion system, it is far more likely that you would have been saving up your points as well. After all, if you thought you could reach 100,000 points in a few months, it would have been silly to convert at the 50,000 level and lose out.
This is really not a good move by Club Carlson. The lack of notice means that people will now be very, very cautious about hoarding their points – after all, given their record, a 50,000 point redemption could easily jump to 75,000 points tomorrow, with no notice.
The word “loyalty”, as in loyalty scheme, is meant to work both ways. Schemes that forget this are making a mistake.
(To see our complete list of all current hotel promotions for the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)