Every year in January and February most hotel programs 'devalue' their award chart by changing categories or moving hotels up (or down) a category or 2. Club Carlson the loyalty program best known for its Radisson brand did not change anything last year.
This year they chose to do so together with a number of other small changes:
1) There is a new category 7
This new category requires 70,000 points per night.
Radisson Royal Hotel, Dubai
Radisson Blu Le Dokhan's Hotel, Paris Trocadero
Radisson Blu 1835 Hotel & Thalasso, Cannes
Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan Hotel, Paris Eiffel
Radisson Blu Hotel Champs Elysees, Paris
The May Fair (London)
Plaza on the River, London
Radisson Royal Hotel, Moscow
Most of my TOP 10 Club Carlson redemptions are not affected by the changes.
2) A number of hotels move up – some move down
Here are all the category changes. However most 'good' Club Carlson redemptions require 44,000 or 50,000 points anyways. To me it does not make a real difference what category these hotels are in.
3) Award stays now count toward elite qualification
This is a good change – however the elite qualifications to 'Concierge' are high and the benefits small – it's easier to get the Club Carlson Visa card and be a Gold member just by having the card.
What should you do now?
If you consider using points for Paris – try to make your booking before the deadline. Remember that the last night is free for Visa card holders (minimum of 2 nights).
For other destinations including the Radisson Royal Moscow there are good alternatives – however points reservations can be cancelled easily – so try to make the bookings now and cancel later.
Also Club Carlson is unique by providing a Friends & family rate for friends & family of Club Carlson employees. Using CARLSONF code gets you rates around $80 in most places in the world when available. It really pays to make friends with one of the 70,000 employees of the Club Carlson empire!