Posted by Ric Garrido

Club Carlson announced last week that a major hotel reward category reassignment will occur May 31, 2012. The full list of 264 hotels changing reward category and organized by geographic location with state and country has been published.

137 hotels going up in reward category.

 

  • category 1 to 2 Americas = 8 hotels.
  • category 1 to 2 Europe, Middle East, Africa = 3 hotels.
  • category 1 to 3 Americas = 2 hotels.
  • category 1 to 2 Asia Pacific = 1 hotel.
  • category 1 to 3 Asia Pacific = 1 hotel at Park Plaza Beijing West.
  • category 2 to 3 Americas = 44 hotels.
  • category 2 to 4 Americas = 1 hotel at Radisson Hotel Antofagasta, Chile.
  • category 2 to 3 Europe, Middle East, Africa = 8 hotels.
  • category 2 to 3 Asia Pacific = 3 hotels.
  • category 2 to 5 Asia Pacific = 1 hotel at Park Plaza Beijing Wangfujing.
  • category 3 to 4 Americas = 17 hotels.
  • category 3 to 4 Europe, Middle East, Africa = 15 hotels.
  • category 3 to 4 Asia Pacific = 1 hotel.
  • category 3 to 5 Asia Pacific = 1 hotel  at Radisson Blu Hotel Greater Noida, India.
  • category 4 to 5 Americas = 5 hotels.
  • category 4 to 5 Europe, Middle East, Africa = 12 hotels.
  • category 4 to 5 Asia Pacific = 5 hotels.
  • category 5 to 6 Americas = 0 hotels.
  • category 5 to 6 Europe, Middle East, Africa = 8 hotels.
  • category 5 to 6 Asia Pacific  = 1 hotel at Radisson Hotel and Suites Sydney.

Categories 2 and 3 hotels in the USA going up to category 3 and 4 hotel rewards account for nearly half of all the global increases. The hotels rising to the category 5 and 6 levels are primarily in Europe (20 hotels) and Asia Pacific (6 hotels).

127 hotels going down in Club Carlson Reward category.

  • category 2 to 1 Americas = 11 hotels.
  • category 2 to 1 Europe, Middle East, Africa = 0 hotels.
  • category 2 to 1 Asia Pacific = 0 hotels.
  • category 3 to 1 Americas =  3 hotels.
  • category 3 to 1 Asia Pacific = 1 hotel.
  • category 3 to 2 Americas = 44 hotels.
  • category 3 to 2 Europe, Middle East, Africa = 4 hotels.
  • category 3 to 2 Asia Pacific = 2 hotels.
  • category 4 to 1 Americas = 1 hotel at Country Inn. Coon Rapids, MN.
  • category 4 to 2 Americas = 1 hotel at Radisson Hotel Ontario Airport, California.
  • category 4 to 2 Asia Pacific =  1 hotel at Park Plaza New Delhi Hari Nagar, India.
  • category 4 to 2 Europe, Middle East, Africa = 1 hotel at Park Inn by Radisson, Vilnius North, Lithuania.
  • category 4 to 3 Americas = 29 hotels.
  • category 4 to 3 Europe, Middle East, Africa = 5 hotels.
  • category 4 to 3 Asia Pacific = 2 hotels.
  • category 5 to 4 Americas = 5 hotels.
  • category 5 to 4 Europe, Middle East, Africa = 9 hotels.
  • category 5 to 4 Asia Pacific = 3 hotels.
  • category 6 to 4 Europe, Middle East, Africa = 2 hotels at Kuwait and Libya.
  • category 6 to 5 Americas = 0 hotels.
  • category 6 to 5 Europe, Middle East, Africa = 2 hotels in Dubai, UAE and Dusseldorf, Germany.
  • category 6 to 5 Asia Pacific = 1 hotel at Radisson Blu Hotel New Delhi Paschim Vihar, India.

Hotels in the Americas dropping from category 3 and 4 to category 2 and 3 account for more than half of the global changes in hotels dropping in reward cost.

Kudos to Club Carlson for posting a complete list of changes at 264 hotels with a two-week opportunity for members to book hotels at the old reward rates before they go up. This is a consumer friendly action by Club Carlson.

Priority Club did not publish its hotels going up prior to the changes taking effect earlier this year in what was one of the most significant rises in hotel category assignment in several/ years.

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Club Carlson Recent History

Club Carlson launched March 31, 2011 with one of the most radical hotel loyalty program adjustments in years. They actually lowered the cost of hotel reward nights in a revised hotel category reward system while increasing the rate points are earned for hotel stays to 20 points per $1 around the world.

Loyalty Traveler published a series of posts in April 2011 analyzing the Club Carlson changes for March 31, 2011 hotel reward assignments.

Club Carlson 3-31-11 category change

The changes made Club Carlson the hotel loyalty program with the fastest earning free nights based on the rate points are earned compared to the cost to redeem a free night.

Club Carlson reward category distribution-2-23-12

A person without any status can earn 9,000 points with $450 in hotel spend or 50,000 points with $2,000 in hotel spend. The hotel spend is lowered more by 1,000 points online booking bonus per reservation. Elite status and hotel loyalty promotions reduce this spend rate even more.

There were few hotel reward category changes in the past year until the announcement last week. The changes have a minor effect in shifting hotels upward in reward category.

Club Carlson 5-31-12 category numbers

 

Loyalty Traveler Analysis

These numbers create a classic bell curve weighted a little more to the lower half of the categories in the Club Carlson reward category distribution of 1,110 hotels.

This is a consumer friendly adjustment for Club Carlson hotels. What remains to be seen is 2013, by which time the Club Carlson credit card should have been out a few months. Hyatt Gold Passport made a significant adjustment upward to its hotel category reward assignment for hotels the year following the Hyatt credit card release. I am interested to see how a credit card impacts the distribution of hotels in reward categories for Club Carlson in 2013 and 2014.

But at least for 2012 the Club Carlson category changes are in line with what appears to me to be a very reasonable category adjustment with hotels being redistributed across the categories relative to each other.

The problem with only going up

For several years I have complained about the type of hotel category reassignment I think is the more typical adjustment for hotel loyalty programs to move hotels upward based on their annual revenue performance increases. That kind of adjustment tends to clear hotels from the bottom half of hotel categories within any single hotel loyalty program to the upper tiers of that loyalty program. Currency exchange fluctuations also play heavily into that kind of annual hotel reward category adjustment.

Starwood Preferred Guest and Hilton HHonors are examples of that kind of category redistribution where the trend has been to deplete the bottom half of the hotel reward categories with annual shifts towards the upper half of the hotel reward categories as far fewer hotels move down than up in category year after year. That type of hotel reward category reassignment creates a quicker devaluation of your hotel loyalty points.

Bottom line: These Club Carlson changes appear to be the most reasonable category reassignment among the hotel loyalty programs in 2012.

The hotel list below is organized by hotel category effective on May 31, 2012 after reassignment. The geographical list of changes is available on the Club Carlson website here.

4 Responses

  1. I was notified that the Park Inn Schaumburg, Illinois was recently rebranded as Best Western Plus Schaumberg. According to a TripAdvisor review the Park Inn hotel owners were foreclosed in December 2011 and the new owners rebranded the hotel to a Best Western.

    The hotel had poor reviews on TripAdvisor.com.

    Park Inn Schaumburg is listed in this table as dropping from category 2 to category 1. I guess not.

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