Club Carlson Rebrands as Radisson Rewards, Here are the Changes

Seven years ago Club Carlson replaced Goldpoints Plus as the loyalty program for Carlson hotels. There were once two different parallel goldpoints programs, one for hotel customers and one for people who ate at TGI Fridays. (Seriously.) Club Carlson didn’t do much to tie with the branding of the hotels though.

Just over a year ago Carlson Hotels was purchased by Chinese travel conglomerate HNA. And the loyalty program has now rebranded as Radisson Rewards.

Radisson Blu Belgrade

The value of the program is really strong for folks whose travels match their 1100 hotel footprint and tastes match their hotel brands. I find I uncover the program relative to the value offered because even though Radissons are far nicer in Europe than in the U.S. they’re rarely the property I want to stay at in most cities at least outside of northern-most Europe.

Fewer Nights Required to Earn Status

Going forward fewer nights will be required to achieve each elite tier. And 2018 status will be recalculated based on these lower thresholds.

Reduced mid-tier elite points-earning

Here’s what earning looks like going forward:

  • Club: 20/$ (stays the same)
  • Silver: 22/$ (down from 23)
  • Gold: 25/$ (down from 27)
  • Platinum: 35/$ (stays the same)

It seems to me dirty pool to reduce points-earning for current Silvers and Golds. Announce it to go into effect a year in advance, sure. But guests stayed in 2017 on the expectation of their current benefits. I’d be pretty mad as a mid-tier elite losing out with fewer points per dollar on each stay.

Better-earning credit card

The co-brand credit card from US Bank will add a new benefit of up to 3 free nights each year (on top of points earned), one free night for each $10,000 in spend on the card up to $30,000.

I was concerned this might take the place of points earned each year upon renewal but it does not, this is an addition.

Radisson’s Business Programs are Being Rebranded, Too

They’re going to be called Radisson Rewards for Business but nothing about them will actually change besides that.

That’s it

I’m told there are no changes to points required for room redemptions or changes to elite benefits at this time.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Unfortunately, one almost has to stay at a hotel in the Radisson or Choice portfolio when visiting the Nordic countries. But the high cost of labor and doing business in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland and Denmark have kept Marriott, Hilton and Starwood largely out of this region.

    I don’t know a single Radisson in the United States that I’d stay at.

    Even the upscale Carlson brand Park Plaza, which seems to be mostly British, is pretty inferior to a good Marriott.

  2. The one outside Split was a good hotel, and the only real option – the Starwood was too far out of town.

    Many years ago, I stayed in Bergen and got an amazing upgrade. They had the very finest down pillows and blankets I ever saw, heated floors, and a dining room displaying a silver service used by the king. Not locked up, which was ironic since my camera was stolen at the tourist office, the only theft in 45 years of traveling.

    Did a Nordic trip and stayed st Radisdons in Copenhagen, Helsinki, Tallinn and St Petersburg back when elites got a free award night in every booking. Decent but would not choose any of them again. Using the last of my points in Riga in May.

  3. Any idea of the free night certs for spend on US Bank card are US only (like existing cert) or global? I assume the former but the latter would actually make this card useful to me again.

  4. @FNT Delta Diamond,
    “the high cost of labor and doing business” in the Nordic countries,” kept Hilton, SPG/Marriott largely out of this region………
    You could make similar arguments about most Western European countries. It is more likely that the low population density of the Nordic region makes it less attractive . The American brands have instead focused on the more populated capitals.

  5. I stayed at the Park Plaza Westminster last year and it was a nice stay. We got the breakfast buffet comped by having the Club Carlson card. Had a great view of the London Eye from the room as well.

    I would say the Radisson and Park Plaza’s are the only properties I would consider staying in. The Radisson Blus have been good stays for me in Europe when I had used the BOGO offer before that went bye bye.

  6. The tight wads in China seem to think they know how to run a hotel chain….not! I agree that Radissons in Europe are usually very nice. In the US, the Country Inns are ok for road trip hotels. But one would need to stay like 20 nights to earn one free night. Hilton, IHG and Marriott are a bit more generous. Especially using promotions. If they run the stay a night, get a night free, I might be enticed. Radisson is chain that needs to be bought by one of the bigger chains and rebranded.

  7. I have had some great stays. The Country Inn and Suites in Rock Island, IL is wonderful. The Radisson Blu in Chicago right off Grant Park is 4 1/2* without a doubt. When we stayed there they still (and maybe still do) gave the 15% restaurant bonus. The Radisson Blu in Rome is weird. I would never stay there again but their restaurant was really great. The Park Plaza in Bangkok is really wonderful with a rooftop pool. I loved the room.

  8. LoyaltyLobby states that the elite breakfast benefit has changed. Wonder if that’s true or not.

  9. The Radisson Blu at ZRH is nice, and very convenient for early morning flights.

    I’ve also stayed at a few different Radissons in London, all were acceptable and were in great locations.

    Hoping the new free night certs are global, I’ve never used the current ones that are US only.

  10. Any Radisson or Park Plaza in London is good. We have a couple of free nights coming up in Iceland. Meanwhile, Club Carlson visa annual fee comes up. Safe to cancel card and not affect upcoming stay?

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