Ultimate Night Giveaway – Park Plaza – 50k Club Carlson Points for 1 night

Park Plaza is following in the other Radisson brands footsteps with it’s own big promo, structured just like the others.

The problem is that the only US Park Plaza location is in the Twin Cities! Good thing I make it up there often!

Here’s the low down

  • First 20,000 people to register will received 50k Club Carlson points after their first stay between June 28th 2012 and August 28th.
  • After 20,000 people have registered, the bonus drops to 15,000.
  • As before, you must have a stay that checks out by August 28th.
  • And it must be a points earning stay.
  • Best to register now if you’re at all likely to stay.  But these spots are limited so if there’s no chance given that there’s only 1 location, let someone else have your spot.
  • You should receive an email after registration confirming that you are eligible for 50,000 points. Double check that. Mine arrived within a minute after registration.

And here’s the value analysis

  • Club Carlson points may be used for stays that are as little as 9000 pts/night or as high as 50,000 pts/night.
  • It seems the consensus is that Club Carlson points are best used on very cheap stays (there’s one near Disney World I understand) or Radisson Blu stays internationally (or in Chicago). There’s also a Radisson Blu under construction in Minneapolis I understand which makes sense with it being the Carlson Companies and all. The Radisson Blu’s are all new and reports are excellent.
  • Consensus value on Club Carlson points tends to be around $.005-$.006 each (or $5-6/1000 pts) therefore the 50k bonus is worth $250 back.
  • My rule of thumb is not to “buy” points for more than 33%-40% of their value unless you have an immediate need.
  • Club Carlson is great in allowing you to transfer points between people. If you and a spouse each take part, you could combine balances to create a single 100k account.
  • There’s an underlying value of 50000 points = 8000 miles or 100000 points = 18000 miles.  If you value United miles or American Miles at $.016, these Club Carlson points are then worth a floor of $.00256 or $.00288 respectively. At $.00288, you shouldn’t pay more than $144 for a room you don’t need just to get the 50,000 point bonus. Based on the rates I’m seeing, this should be easy in Minneapolis.
  • Strategies for great rates here are: price guarantees and cash+points rates (which earn points and thus qualify, oddly).
  • Don’t forget to book the room through TopCashBack where you’ll get 10% back on Radisson bookings. If you aren’t a member, using my referral link is much appreciated. So far it’s worked for me and I’ve got rebates for  my wife and my stays at a Country Inn under a similar promo pending.

And an example

Play around with rates some. I picked a random night at the Park Plaza Bloomington, MN in August. It’s $109.25 before taxes. Alternatively, it’s 5000 points + $69 ($78.85 after taxes). Let’s break down the math to see if it makes sense to do a mattress run (as a silver)

Earnings

50,000 = Points earned from bonus (everyone).

1380 = 20 points per dollar base earnings (everyone)

2000 = Online booking bonus (1000 base members, 2000 for silver/golds, 3000 for Concierge)

345 = Elite member bonus of 25% for silver, 50% for gold, 75% for concierge.

=53,725 points earned.

$6.90 back from TopCashBack

Costs

5,000 points used

$78.85 cash cost

Net

48,725 points earned (53725-5000) at a cost of $71.85 ($78.85 – $6.90). Net cost per point: $.00147.

It’s worth noting that you’d also earn some credit card points but that’s pretty negligible.

Conclusion

As I said above, there’s a floor of club carlson point value of $.00288 if you just transfer them out to airlines. You’d be buying the points at $.00147 which is 51% of their value used that way. It’s not a compelling points purchase opportunity but good enough that I’d consider it. That said, I actually think that’s a poor use of them and would keep them as hotel points where I think they’re worth $.005-$.006 each which means you can buy them this way at 29% (or less) of their actual value. That’s worth going out of my way for!

Of course, I’ve ignored whether you actually get value out of the room. I typically make it to Minneapolis at least once every 2 months and a trip’s coming up so I’ll go out of my way to do a stay here… or perhaps even find a way for my wife to do one. Hopefully I can nail down those dates and get them to sync up with a trip up north. It’s pretty close to some of my in-laws but unfortunately not near the light rail line that reaches the airport. I’d LOVE this if I could hit it on the train.

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