Although interest in Club Carlson has waned considerably since a massive devaluation (it was once one of the most lucrative programs for free award nights), but the name probably never helped as far as brand recognition goes. None of the hotels include a “Carlson” hotel. Names have become even more awkward over the years with the introduction of brands like “Quorvus Collection” (whatever that means).
Fortunately the original Carlson Rezidor hotel group was sold to HNA — the same owner of Hainan Airlines — and rebranded as the Radisson Hotel Group. Now this morning I received a press release that the loyalty program is also changing to the Radisson Rewards program and Quorvus is being replaced with the Radisson Collection.
New loyalty tiers will follow a very standard naming convention with Club, Silver, Gold, and Platinum status.
|Club Carlson (Old)||Radisson Rewards (New)|
|Club Carlson Red||Radisson Rewards Club|
|Club Carlson Silver||Radisson Rewards Silver|
|Club Carlson Gold||Radisson Rewards Gold|
|Club Carlson Concierge||Radisson Rewards Platinum|
Aside from new tier names, the benefits of the program are not changing much. More of an adjustment to bring them into line with the competition. Remember the devaluation I talked about? One of the things that did was add a ridiculously high requirement of 75 nights for Club Carlson Concierge. I understand it’s the top tier, but the hotels were never that good, in the sense that there was no direct competitor to Waldorf-Astoria or St. Regis. I’m not sure what they were trying to protect by making status so unattainable.
The rates for earning points in each tier will also be adjusted downward. Not as much, though, and in my opinion to someone more understandable levels. Some people have trouble calculating bonus percentages in their head, and it resulted in weird numbers (e.g., a 35% bonus on 20 base points = 27 points total). Now each tier earns a specific number of points that includes the bonus baked in. No math required.
|Tier||Former Threshold||New Threshold||% fewer nights|
|Silver||15 Nights / 10 Stays||9 Nights / 6 Stays||40%|
|Gold||35 Nights / 20 Stays||30 Nights / 20 Stays||~15%|
|Platinum||75 nights / 30 Stays||60 Nights / 30 Stays||20%|
None of this will make me move my business back to Radisson Rewards. I was never very enthusiastic to begin with, and the previous devaluation pretty much killed it for me. But at the very least I might actually remember the loyalty program exists now. “Club Carlson” was never front of mind because of the absence of Carlson hotels. I do know the Radisson brand. I’m curious if any of you who used to max out the Club Carlson credit card perks will be motivated (however slightly) to reconnect with the chain.