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WebFlyer Home > Programs > Ratings & Reviews

Ratings & Reviews

(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)

Club Carlson

(31 ratings)


This program was reviewed and rated by our editors in July 2013. Changes in the program past this date are possible, especially program partner information. We recommend you subscribe to the #1 source of frequent flyer information, Inside Flyer Magazine, to get the most current information possible.

Gold Points

Curtis L. Carlson, founder of Carlson, was the first person to develop a loyalty program for grocery stores with the Gold Bond Stamp Company, which he began in 1938. The company continues to use the term Gold Points for the Club Carlson currency, a nod to the company’s history.

Carlson Hotels and The Rezidor Hotel Group combined in 2012 to form Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. Club Carlson members can earn and redeem points at more than 1,000 participating hotels in over 80 countries, including the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group brands include Radisson, Radisson Blu, Park Inn by Radisson, Park Plaza and Country Inns & Suites By Carlson.



Club Carlson members earn 20 points per U.S. dollar spent on eligible hotel nights, along with any meals and beverages charged to your room (excluding taxes and other charges) at these Carlson Rezidor hotel brands: Radisson, Radisson Blu, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, Park Inn by Radisson and Park Plaza. Members can double their point earnings by paying the Double Gold Points rate at participating Carlson Rezidor hotels in the Americas.

Members can also earn bonus points when booking a Carlson hotel stay online at clubcarlson.com or through any Carlson Rezidor brandhotel website. Red Club Carlson members earn 1,000 points for online reservations, Silver and Gold elite members earn 2,000 points and Concierge members earn 3,000 points for online bookings.

Other ways to earn points include car rentals, booking meetings and events, buying shipments of wine and credit card purchases with the Club Carlson Visa.



Members can redeem their points for free hotel stays, an array of gift and prepaid cards, vacation discounts, PayPal deposits, airline miles and charity donations.

Club Carlson breaks its award nights into six categories and the redemption rates are: 9,000 points for Category 1, 15,000 points for Category 2, 28,000 points for Category 3, 38,000 points for Category 4, 44,000 points for Category 5 and 50,000 points for Category 6. There are no blackout dates on award stays in standard rooms.

Taking an average cost of $150 per night for a paid stay, a member would earn 3,000 points per night, which could then be redeemed for a Category 1 hotel stay after just three nights. However, there are a limited number of hotels available at the lowest level. Only 42 hotels worldwide are listed in Category 1. For the highest Category 6, members would need to stay 17 nights at $150 per night. The bulk of Category 6 hotels are Radisson Blu properties in Europe. This is without taking into consideration the points bonus for online booking. If you take that into consideration, a non-elite member could earn a free night at a Category 6 hotel with 13 one-night stays.

Members also have the option to book a Points + Cash award where you can combine points, starting at 5,000 points, with cash. The cash requirement varies and will be offered when you make reservations. For example, a mid-June stay at the Radisson Hotel Baton Rouge (Category 3 hotel) listed $108.75 as the advance purchase rate and 5,000 points plus $87 for a Points + Cash option. In this scenario, members could save roughly $20 by redeeming 5,000 points.

Members can also spend their points on Express Awards, which are available at the front desk when you check in at a Carlson Rezidor hotel. Offers vary by property; however, as an example, you can redeem points for awards such as a beverage for 1,000 points, a room upgrade for 10,000 points or dinner for two for 35,000 points.

Retail gift cards are available to U.S. members starting at 6,500 points for a $10 gift card from amazon.com, AMC Theatres, Starbucks and more. Gift cards valued at $15 are available for 9,000 points for iTunes and Target and $25 gift cards are offered for several merchants for 16,000 points. Cards valued at $50 are 29,000 points and a $100 Saks Fifth Avenue card is available for 58,000 points. Club Carlson Visa Prepaid Cards are available starting at 20,000 points for a $25 prepaid card, which can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. Another cash-like option is a deposit to your PayPal account. PayPal deposits are offered starting at 11,000 points for a $15 deposit.

Points can be exchanged for miles with over 20 airline partners. Members in the U.S. can also use their points for vacation savings with CWT Vacations.



Airline partners include Air Canada, American, British Airways, Delta, Frontier, Lufthansa, Southwest, United, US Airways plus 15 more. Missing from the lineup is the U.S. carrier Alaska Airlines. When you select miles as your earning preference, points will automatically convert to miles.

Club Carlson introduced a co-branded credit card in December 2012 and U.S. members can earn up to 85,000 bonus points as a sign-up bonus. New cardholders who are approved for the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature card receive 50,000 bonus points with first purchase plus 35,000 points after spending $2,500 on your card within the first 90 days. Plus, when you renew your card, you’ll receive an annual bonus of 40,000 points. Cardholders receive Gold status within the Club Carlson program and when you redeem points for two or more consecutive award nights, your last night is free. Plus, you’ll receive 10 points per $1 spent at participating Carlson Rezidor hotels and five points per $1 spent on all other purchases where Visa is accepted. The Club Carlson Premier card has a $75 annual fee.

The Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature Card also offers a free night on award stays of two nights or longer but earns fewer points and has a lower annual fee of $50.

The Signature Card offers a sign-up bonus of up to 60,000 bonus points, a 25,000-point renewal bonus, six points per $1 spent at Carlson Rezidor and three points per $1 spent everywhere else and Silver elite status within Club Carlson

Members earn between 300 points and 1,500 points per qualifying car rental with Alamo, Avis, Budget, National or Sixt. Members in the U.S. may sign up for Vinesse American Cellars Wine Club and earn up to a total of 12,500 points for your first two shipments of wine and 10 points per $1 spent on future orders.

Members can opt to redeem their points in 1,000-point increments to the World Childhood Foundation or to Carbon Footprint to help offset their CO2 emissions.

There is also a Club Carlson for Business program aimed at small- to medium-sized companies offering points for the business. Participating companies that include your company ID when arranging hotel stays for employees, vendors and business partners will earn eight points per $1 spent on hotel nights and two additional points per $1 spent when booking stays online. Employees who earn points for the business will also earn points for the same stays with their individual Club Carlson accounts. Businesses can also receive a five percent discount on hotel stays.



Club Carlson has a three-tiered elite program: Silver, Gold and Concierge. Silver status is earned at 15 nights or 10 stays per calendar year. Silver members receive complimentary room upgrades (subject to availability), 25 percent point bonus on stays, 2,000-point online booking bonus at clubcarlson.com or any Carlson Rezidor hotel brand website, early check-in and late checkout (subject to availability upon request) and an elite customer service line.

Gold status is earned at 35 nights or 20 stays per year and offers all the benefits of Silver status plus additional benefits including a 50 percent point bonus, 2,000-point online booking bonus, an in-room welcome gift and a 72-hour room availability guarantee at participating hotels.

Concierge status is earned at 75 nights or 30 stays per year. Along with elite benefits awarded at the Silver and Gold levels, Concierge status offers complimentary continental breakfast in the hotel restaurant, 75 percent point bonus on stays, 3,000-point online booking bonus, Global Concierge and 48-hour room availability guarantee.

All elite levels feature Roll Over Nights and any elite-qualifying nights earned beyond those needed to requalify for elite count toward elite status the following year. Club Carlson does not offer lifetime elite status.



You must be at least 18 years of age or the age of majority in the place where you live in order to enroll in the Club Carlson program. Free night awards are transferable to anyone. Elite members may transfer points from their account to another program member. Red members may transfer points to another program member provided they have been a member for at least one year and live in the same household. Point transfers are free and are made by contacting member services.

According to the terms and conditions, your account may be closed if no points are earned or redeemed in a 24-month period. Members can keep their account active by purchasing points for $7 for 1,000 points. Members can purchase up to 40,000 points per year and you can also purchase points to gift other members.

You may earn points on up to three rooms booked under the same reservation, but credit for multiple rooms must be requested at or before the time of check-in. Missing point requests must be made in writing within six months of the accrual date, with supporting documentation.



When calling Club Carlson, press four to be quickly directed to a customer service agent. When we called, there was virtually no wait time and the representative was professional and helpful. When we asked about the expiration policy for points, she said points never expire and while the terms and conditions state that accounts without any activity in 24 months may be closed, the representative we talked to said that really never happens. Club Carlson customer service is good but the call center hours are limited. Members can call between 8:00am and 6:00pm CST, Monday through Friday and from 8:30am to 5:30pm CST on Saturday. The call center is closed on Sunday. Questions sent via email will generally be answered within two business days.



Members can book award stays online, including Points + Cash awards, and redeem for gift cards, in addition to converting points to airline miles. To transfer points into another member’s account, you will need to call the service center. Club Carlson also has a mobile app available where members can redeem their points for hotel stays, view or cancel an upcoming reservation, find local attractions and more.

Elite rollover nights are useful for frequent guests who qualify for elite status, especially if your stay pattern changes. Pooling points between members through the free points transfer is a definite plus and elite members can transfer points to anyone, not just family members. Non-elite members can transfer points to another member residing in the same household as long as they have been a member for at least a year, which is still a generous policy even after a recent change. Until June 1, 2013, any member could transfer points to any other member with no restrictions.

Credit cardholders receive a unique benefit of a free night with every award stay of two consecutive nights or longer. And Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa cardholders automatically receive Gold elite status.

The program also has a history of offering rich bonus promotions, such as 50,000 bonus points for a one-night stay.

Carlson Rezidor is one of the smaller worldwide hotel groups with fewer hotel rooms than Hilton and Marriott so you may not find a Club Carlson location at your destination. The program has a handful of earning partners but Vinesse is the only retail partner. Outside of points earned from hotel stays and credit card purchases, there are very few ways to accrue points. Members cannot earn lifetime elite status.

Carlson Hotels Worldwide
Member Service Center
11340 Blond Street
Omaha, NE. 68164


(888) 288-8889

  Earning Ability Award Choices Partnerships Elite-Level Rules & Conditions Service Support Online Services Overall Rating
7.50 7.00 7.50 7.00 7.50 8.00 7.50 7.43
7.54 7.45 6.87 6.61 7.19 7.12 6.80 7.08

(31 ratings)


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