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

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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.

May Fair 350

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.

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.

How to earn Radisson Rewards points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Radisson Rewards points and status from UK credit cards (October 2022)

Radisson Rewards does not have a dedicated UK credit card. However, you can earn Radisson Rewards points by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.

These cards earn Membership Rewards points:

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:3 into Radisson Rewards points which is a very attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 3 Radisson Rewards points.

Even better, holders of The Platinum Card receive free Radisson Rewards Gold status for as long as they hold the card.  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Marriott Bonvoy Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail 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 Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (31)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Cat says:

    *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.

    • Dave says:

      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!

    • Mike says:

      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.

    • Cat says:

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

    • AVM says:

      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.

  • Graham Walsh says:

    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.

    • Dave says:

      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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

    • Alan says:

      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.

  • 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.

  • Jimmyjimmy says:

    I assume existing bookings count towards the Carlson Friday deal.

  • Andy says:

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

    • Andy says:

      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., etc. This means you won’t get collect free nights with nor you get the like 6-12% discounts which could be worth £50. So your free night might NOT be that FREE at all.

  • Rob says:

    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!

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