Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

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

How to earn Radisson Rewards points and status from UK credit cards (June 2023)

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points (worth 180,000 Radisson Rewards points) – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

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 Premium 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 (33)

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

  • Robert Sharp says:

    Having stayed at Walsall for a number of years they have upgraded the bar and restaurant there.

    Still not worth 15000 points though, unless you’re there for a soccer game.

  • Tariq says:

    Likewise Park Inn Harlow is a ####hole. I would struggle to justify it being worth 9k Points.

    • luke says:

      You are absolutely right, it is probably the worst CC property. I booked a room there for my friends (I live only 10 minutes walk from this hotel) and when I saw the state of the room, I offered them to move elsewhere.

    • Canuck says:

      Correct. Visited friends nearby once for a quick stop while transiting from Canada. 9k pts… surely couldn’t be that bad? Wow, how wrong was I. A total hole.

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    Unless things have changed in the last five years, the Grafton isn’t anywhere near the top London properties. Reasonable enough 4* hotel in a decent location and always got good upgrades as an elite, but that’s about it. Entry level room is a single, but I assume they’re not selling those for 70k surely.

    • JD says:

      Totally agree there Andrew. The Grafton is ok but not worth 70000. I used to stay there because it was the few central London properties that were not 70000 a night.

  • The_real_a says:

    This is bad news. I stayed at the Harlow park inn quite a lot last year. The staff told me it would be leaving the franchise quite soon as the owners were unwilling to invest in a refurb. It is very tired but perfectly good to lay your head.

  • The_real_a says:

    Is anyone else seeing ads on here for embrarer aircraft? I suppose someone might be in the market for one or two!!

    • Kris says:

      Not on here but I saw one on YouTube yesterday while watch flight reviews (there’s a rabbit hole to go down if one has a few days to kill).

    • Pangolin says:

      Genghis finally made it to the big time? 😉

    • BillyK says:

      Yeah I keep having them come up so I thought I might try to buy one but only to get the spending to trigger the sign up bonuses

  • TripRep says:

    Bit O/T

    Any recommendations for a kickback on booking with Hilton, 6 Avios per point is the best I can find?

    • TripRep says:

      Thanks, went with 6x Avios and set myself a reminder to chase it up, heard they aren’t exactly forthcoming either..

      Still £55 for a DoubleTree inc breakfast ain’t bad, should get 4k in HH pts + Iberia Avios whilst P&M still exists..

    • TripRep says:

      Shift it to Hilton? Or elsewhere?

  • Pangolin says:

    Rob needs to get the poison pen out when he writes up the Marriott Category changes – that’s one big horror show!

    • Dimitri says:

      True! I did not see a single one going down!

      • Rob says:

        A lot are going down – scroll to the bottom of the list. They are generally in countries which have also gone down, however!

    • Scallder says:

      One big advantage of SPG over Marriott in this instance is the booking window is longer for SPG (18 months) whereas with Marriott it looks like 355 days. So you could book through most of summer 2019 before these changes apply for SPG.

      Rather annoying personally as looking at Washington DC using a Marriott travel package for next Easter and the hotel was looking at is going up so won’t be able to lock in before the changes…

  • Gomigo says:

    OT: For those of you who aren’t aware, WB studios are opening up a massive theme park in Yas Islands, Abu Dhabi in April this year. The project worth $1bn and it is one of the digital revolutionary park to come. Hence property prices are going up and EY redemptions are going to be tight. Lot of interesting things coming up in Yas Islands this year including a sea world water theme park. It will soon be Orlando of East/ME.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.