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Club Carlson has announced that it is undergoing a bit of a transformation and is rebranding effective immediately to Radisson Rewards. The rebrand comes with positive and negative changes and includes changes to tier names, tier earning bonuses and a reduction of the number of nights needed to qualify for Elite status.
New Names for Elite Levels
The first thing to change is the names of the different tiers in the program. Red and Concierge are gone to be replaced by Club and Platinum respectively. The new tier levels and their old equivalents are as follows:
- Club Carlson Red → Radisson Rewards Club
- Club Carlson Silver → Radisson Rewards Silver
- Club Carlson Gold → Radisson Rewards Gold
- Club Carlson Concierge → Radisson Rewards Platinum
Simplified Earning … BUT
Radisson Rewards has simplified its tier earning bonuses for Elites; instead of earning a percentage bonus, elites will earn a greater number of points per dollar spent. The new earnings compare to the old earning rates as follows:
While the system is simpler, after 10 seconds with a calculator, it becomes apparent that this is also a devaluation in earning for Silver and Gold members, while Club and Platinum level members see no change to their earnings with the new system.
Faster Path to Elite Status
Part of the move to Radisson Rewards is a reduction in the number of required nights to achieve elite status. The new qualification thresholds are as follows:
Reducing the number of required nights to achieve elite status is nice, although this change seems to be somewhat arbitrary and lacks a consistent logic. It is highly likely that after studying the number of stays from various members, the required nights were tweaked to keep the overall ratio of Silver to Gold to Platinum members the same as before. This may not have been possible if Radisson Rewards had followed a simple formula and cutting the number of required nights by a set percentage across the board.
There is also a slew of minor changes coming to the program:
- All members will receive two complimentary bottles of water per stay – Having a Radisson Rewards account for this reason alone makes sense.
- Holders of Radisson Rewards co-branded credit cards will now receive up to 3 free nights per year depending on their spend (one night per $10,000 in spend, up to 3 nights/$30,000 in spend). Keep in mind, the limitation of redeeming free night certificates at a property in the U.S. has not changed. The change affects the following cards:
- New card applicants will receive a Radisson Rewards branded card, while current cardholders will have theirs updated when it is due for renewal
- Platinum members will be able to access an exclusive members service line
Things That Have Not Changed
Apart from the above, there is little else that has changed with the new Radisson Rewards program. Award nights still start at 9,000 points per night, and the award chart has not changed. Membership benefits have largely remained unchanged, and Platinum members still receive free breakfast and 48-hour guaranteed room availability, along with other trivial benefits.
This really is an exercise in marketing. Yes, you can earn more free nights with Radisson Rewards and their co-branded credit cards and the point earning structure wasn’t decimated, but the core issue of a lack of high-end properties in the U.S. remains.
We’re happy to see a realization that the program needed a rebrand, and we agree that this makes sense. That said, we’ve love to see something happen with their credit cards and loyalty program that put it on par with what we get from Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Hyatt, and SPG.
Source: Radisson Rewards
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