Club Carlson announces 120 hotel category changes for 2018 – book now to lock in cheap deals

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It is ‘hotel category changes’ week.  Marriott and Starwood announced their 2018 changes yesterday, but first I want to look at Club Carlson.

Club Carlson, the Radisson / Park Inn / Park Plaza scheme, has announced that 120 hotels will be changing their reward cost on 1st March.

Even if you never earn points from these chains, it is worth remembering that Club Carlson is arguably the most generous American Express Membership Rewards redemption as I wrote here.  1 Amex point is worth 3 Club Carlson points which should get you 1p of value.

The list of category changes is here.

Park Inn Southend

It is a genuine mixed bag and you can’t say that it is an overall devaluation because I don’t think it is.  I will not be changing my value of a Club Carlson point – around 0.33p – as a result of this.

What you CAN say is that some illogically cheap hotels are moving up.  The Park Inn Walsall and Park Inn Harlow, for example, were very cheap for 9000 points per night.  These will now be 15,000 points.

(The sign-up bonus on the free Amex Gold card – 20000 Amex points, so 60000 Club Carlson points – currently gets you a free week at the Park Inn Harlow.  I had a quick look for the first week of March and a seven night stay is £392.)

Here are a few other observations:

The Park Inn Palace, Southend on Sea (picture above and below) which I reviewed here drops to 28,000 points per night.  You are paying £141 per night over a weekend in August, which means 0.5p per Club Carlson point (1.5p per American Express point if you convert them).  That is good value.  The hotel home page is here.

Park Inn Southend

Turkey sees some large falls, presumably linked to large falls in cash rates. 

There are some interesting cuts in rates in Dubai and Oman ….

…. but in Abu Dhabi points rates are going up. 

Similarly, Dublin sees one Radisson drop a category whilst the other goes up a category! 

The Radisson Edwardian Grafton goes up to 70,000 points but that only aligns it with other top London properties.  70,000 for the Radisson Edwardian in Manchester does seem toppy – it is an impressive hotel, I was there recently myself, but Manchester is not that expensive.

You have until 1st March to lock in redemptions at the old rates.  This gives you plenty of time to transfer American Express Membership Rewards points if necessary.  The list of changes is 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.)

VERY interesting - lets you refund non-refundable flights
American Express loses its final appeal - it must cut its interchange fees to retailers who accept BA, SPG and Nectar cards

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  1. A decent looking CASSA hotel in New York (location is fine though not great) will drop to 50,000 points. I don’t value Carlson points high, so that I assume it’s a great option in NYC. I’ll be happy to burn my remaining points for 2-3 weekday nights there.

  2. On a related note do readers know how long it takes for Club Carlson accounts to be linked to AMEX Rewards? I requested it on the 3rd Feb and it is still pending. Hilton took 24 hours and BA Avios was instant.

    I was also told by AMEX, Club Carlson can take some time before transferring rewards points over. Fingers crossed I can transfer across ahead of some of the rates changing!

    • Transferred some over late last year and my account wouldn’t link – I had to ring the call centre (who linked them straight away). Transfer took a long time too so don’t leave it to the last minute.

      • Thanks Kiran, spoke to AMEX again and they have said Club Carlson can take 14 days to validate and then the process of transferring points can take 10 days too. Will just need to be quick on the buzzer once validation is done and request a points transfer pronto!

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