Club Carlson’s 1Q Promotion Is Great – It May Even Be Mattress Run Worthy – I Break Down the Math!

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club carlson promotion extend your stay

Club Carlson’s New Promotion

Club Carlson has released the details of their 1st quarter promotion. Called “Extend Your Stay” this new promotion pays out bonus points for stays of two or more nights.

Club Carlson Promotion Extend Your Stay

club carlson promotion extend your stay

The bonus structure has two tiers.

  • Stay 2 nights and receive 15,000 bonus points.
  • Stay 3 nights and receive 30,000 bonus points.

Club Carlson members also receive 20 points per dollar spent on hotels, meaning that this bonus could generate some serious points.

Terms

You must be a Club Carlson member to participate in the “Extend Your Stay, Earn 30K” promotion (“Promotion”). Promotion is valid for Eligible Stays between January 12, 2015 and March 29, 2015 (“Promotion Period”). To be eligible to earn 30,000 bonus Gold Points for each stay of three or more nights, or 15,000 bonus Gold Points for each two-night stay, members must register online for the Promotion at clubcarlson.com/30k, provide their Club Carlson number at the time of reservation or at check-in, and complete an Eligible Stay at participating Quorvus CollectionSM, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Park Plaza®, Park Inn®by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM hotels worldwide during the Promotion Period. Stays or nights paid for by redeeming Gold Points or by using Points + Cash are not eligible for this Promotion. Members only need to register once, but registration must be received before checkout of the first Eligible Stay to qualify.

Promotion In the Real World

club carlson promotion extend your stay
Radisson Blu Prague.

This promotion is good at all of the Club Carlson properties including Country Inn & Suites. This means that there are going to be a number of properties around the $50-$75 per night range in many areas. Even at $100 a night this promotion is pretty lucrative.

For holders of the Club Carlson credit card (my review) this gets even better. With the credit card you get gold status and a 35% bonus on earned points plus 10 points per dollar if you charge your stay to the card. Additionally the card offers the bonus award night, meaning you get 2 nights for the price of one on two nights stays.

To see how lucrative this promotion is, lets dig a little deeper and do some math. I will calculate the points based on the person having gold status and a co-branded card. I will also leave tax out of the calculation since it varies by region.

People generally consider the points to be worth about .4 cents each since you earn 5x points on regular spend with the co-branded card, which equates to 2% back.

Math For 3 Nights at $50 per night

  • Room Cost: $150
  • Base Points Earned: 3,000
  • 35% Gold Bonus: 1050
  • Credit Card 10X: 1,500
  • Extend Your Stay Bonus: 30,000
  • Total Points Earned: 34,550
  • Points per dollar spent: 230.00

Math For 3 Nights at $75 per night

  • Room Cost: $225
  • Base Points Earned: 4,500
  • 35% Gold Bonus: 1,575
  • Credit Card 10X: 2,250
  • Extend Your Stay Bonus: 30,000
  • Total Points Earned: 38,325
  • Points per dollar spent: 170.33

Math For 3 Nights at $100 per night

  • Room Cost: $300
  • Base Points Earned: 6,000
  • 35% Gold Bonus: 2,100
  • Credit Card 10X: 3,000
  • Extend Your Stay Bonus: 30,000
  • Total Points Earned: 41,100
  • Points per dollar spent: 137

Analysis

club carlson promotion extend your stay

As you can see it is best to find cheaper properties to stay at. At $50 a night you are getting back about $138 worth of points. If you double the value of those points by using the bonus award night, this may be mattress run worthy.

Consider a scenario where you did 3 separate stays of 3 nights at $50 per night. Your out of pocket cost would be $450 and you will have earned 103,650 points. That is enough for 4 nights at a Category 6 property using the bonus award night if you break it into 2 two night stays.

Some of their category 6 properties in Europe & elsewhere go for $300 a night or more, meaning you could really get a great value from those points even if you simply did a mattress run and didn’t stay any of those 9 nights in the hotel. Of course if you could shift existing travel to a Carlson property, your value will increase even more.

Conclusion

This is a pretty amazing new promotion from Club Carlson. If you have the co-branded credit card then it really may be mattress run worthy if you can find a cheap enough property. Either way it is exciting to see such a good promotion after a few lackluster ones from other brands.

You can find the full terms and registration information here. What do you think? Will you be mattress running for points?

HT: One Mile At A Time


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20 COMMENTS

  1. Well the piece you are missing from your calculation is the value of your free time. How much is every hour of your free time worth if you are going to do a mattress run?

    The other point is that saying “Some of their category 6 properties in Europe & elsewhere go for $300 a night or more” doesn’t really mean very much as a hotel can set whatever price they want for a room. It doesn’t mean it’s *worth* that, never mind the fact that nobody actually pays the rack rate, and of course the irony being that most of time you are in that room you will be asleep!

    • I agree and everyone should calculate their time into this. A mattress run doesn’t take much. For me, a mattress run involves utilizing a cheap hotel nearby. If you start traveling just for the mattress run then the costs add up quick.

      Sometimes a deal like this can motivate you to plan a trip which is completely different. If I were to do something like this, it would involve a hotel that was nearby. Then the only time involved is checking in. You don’t need to check out or return after the initial check-in.

      As for hotels, I will give you an example of a recent Carlson hotel I stayed at in Europe. It is not even close to the most expensive. The Radisson Blu Royal Brussels was 150 Euro or around $180 for the nights I stayed there. (That is the actual rate not the rack rate. It was a competitive rate as compared to similar hotels in the area as well.) It is a category 5 hotel which means it costs 44,000 points.

      Under that scenario, I could stay four nights at that hotel and still have enough points for two nights at a category 2 hotel. The Radisson Blu Brussels value would be about $720 plus the value of the category 2.

      I often stay at a category 2 hotel in Los Angeles that runs around $100 per night. Even cheap places in L.A. run that price. So in that scenario I know I could get about double the cost of $450 back.

      You are right as to the value of hotels and each person must sit down, calculate their travel plans, see if any hotels fit into them and decide if they want to mattress run. They should also have an idea for where they would like to use the points. These calculations and figures will be different for everyone.

      In the end this is still a great deal for most people if they can find cheap Carlson properties nearby and if they have a good use for the points. Thanks for the comment!

      • Well you mentioned Brussels – you can easily get great hotels for under $100/night and have the flexibility of staying anywhere you want as opposed to being locked in to Club Carlson properties – so that should price really be your baseline, ie. 4 nights in a hotel is worth $400.

        But even with the $180/night at the Radisson, if you were to pay cash you would earn points on that spending, earn points for the stay, earn bonus points (they always have promotions), earn credit towards status, etc. You don’t factor in any of this which significantly reduces the “$180” you quote.

        Hotels are very happy to take your cash (which they then invest and earn a return on) in exchange for giving you points (which they inevitably depreciate). Factor all of this in and I can’t see how the math works out in your favor.

  2. It’s certainly a good promotion and probably worth steering your business to Club Carlson if you’ve got a trip planned. However, I think you should add cpp to your breakout opposed to points per dollar. Points per dollar is only as meaningful as that point is worth. Even at the $50/night, which probably very few people will find with room+tax, you’d be looking at 4.3 cpp. For those targeted with the 10K Promotion, it would drop to 3.4 cpp. It could be mattress run worthy if you have a pricey 2 night stay coming up and can leverage the 2nd award bonus night with the credit card or you need to top off – since you don’t earn enough to cover top tier properties.

    • Yeah I am in the same situation since there aren’t any Carlson properties in Vegas at all. Luckily I will be down in Southern California and should be able to shift a stay there.

  3. Any tips/tricks on how to find the cheapest night? If this is a Q1 promo, and I wanted to do a mattress run in Charlotte, NC, I’d like to find the cheapest 2 consecutive nights from Jan – March without clicking on all 90 days individually.

  4. thanks for the followup post on searching for the cheapest nights! before i pre-pay for my stay and pull the trigger on this, i want to play devils advocate here. last i checked, CC points were valued at $0.006 per point. cheapest I found in Charlotte was avg $75/night. by your math at that rate I’d earn 38,325 points. multiply that by $0.006 and it’s a value of $229.95….but I’m spending $225 to get it so I’m only netting a value of $4.95. is that correct? the alternative to a mattress run is to MS for 38k points w/ $3.95 GCs at a total cost of $60. math: 38k / 5x points earned w/ credit card = $7,665 in GCs (15 GCs @ $500 each). 15 GCs * $3.95 fee each = $60 plus time & effort to liquidate via BB. so the mattress run would cost $225 but MS would cost $60….did I screw that up?

    • No your math is correct. The idea of this being worthy is for those people who don’t MS or for people who would rather MS with another card.

      We all only have a limited amount of MS bandwidth available. By MSing on the CC card, then you are giving up MSing on another card.

      Your math is spot on and the only way I would say it is worth it to do the mattress run is if you have an upcoming use of the points that provides a better value than the cost of the mattress run.

      Also, if you have the ability to generate the points by MSing on the credit card, then by all means do that. This is a way to gain more points or use another card for MSing.

  5. Thanks Jeff for the calculator, it’s helpful! I had a question, as per the terms and conditions of the offer, Stays or nights paid for by redeeming Gold Points or by using Points + Cash are not eligible for this Promotion. This means I need to pay for all 3 nights (instead of 2 for 1). When I try to book, it’s asking to pay for all 3 nights (I have the credit card and am a gold member too). Do you have any ideas?

  6. I had a question, as per the terms and conditions of the offer, Stays or nights paid for by redeeming Gold Points or by using Points + Cash are not eligible for this Promotion. This means I need to pay for all 3 nights (instead of 2 for 1). When I try to book, it’s asking to pay for all 3 nights (I have the credit card and am a gold member too). Do you have any ideas?

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