Recently I received an email from a Club Carlson hotel which I booked three stays at using the 2-for-1 award night benefit. I made the reservations back in April before Club Carlson dumped it’s bonus award night benefit that was offered on their co-branded credit card holders.
If you’re not familiar with this no longer offered benefit, Club Carlson Visa cardholders were entitled to a last night free on stays of two nights or more booked with points. This meant 2-for-1 award stays. In the end the benefit was quite valuable and maybe a little too generous. After all, that’s probably why it got discontinued.
Now back to the story, the email from the hotel looked like this:
I don’t know how far in advance most hotel’s plan and inform hotel guests of an upcoming hotel closure period due to renovation, but two months seems like a rather tight time frame for anyone planning a trip, more so if it’s international travel.
Not that it would be impossible to find another adequate hotel to stay in, but in reality I really didn’t want to lose the value that I locked in with my Club Carlson points. After all, I made it a point to book far in advance and lock in the 2-for-1 award stay. To say the least I was a little bewildered that they hotel simply suggested to cancel my stay with costed 4,500 points per night and book the affiliated hotel next door for 28,000 points per night.
At the very least I thought the hotel would offer to move my reservation to their partner hotel. Just as a note I have also stayed at this hotel 3 times in the last year and have Gold status with Club Carlson.
What was my strategy?
I decided to at the very least call Club Carlson’s customer service and explain the situation of how the hotel which I have a reservation will be closed during the dates of my stays, etc. I also suggest if possible to move my reservation to the partner hotel two blocks away to make up for the inconvenience.
The representative was 1) unaware of the hotel being closed for renovation during the dates and 2) implied that it would not be possible to move me to the partner hotel. In any case, she asked her supervisor what to do and returned to tell me that she would email the hotel directly.
Within a few hours I received an email from the manager of the hotel offering to help me relocate my reservation. Again, I responded how I was unhappy about losing the value in my points if I simply cancel and re-book, not to mention the nightly points rate costs 3X more at the partner hotel!
The response I got was that it was impossible to move my reservation to their partner hotel, but they would credit me the difference in points for the stays!
I promptly agreed to the offer, forwarded my confirmation receipts and the calculated difference in points.
My bookings were for three 2-night stays at a category 1 hotel (9,000 points per night). This meant I spent 27,000 points for the 6 nights. I booked the stay with the old bonus award night benefit, bringing the nightly cost down to 4,500 points per night.
The Radisson Blu located down the street is a category 3 hotel and costs 28,000 per night. This meant I would get the 27,000 points back after I canceled my stay plus 141,000 additional points! 🙂
Within a day I received a response that the 141,000 points were credit to my account!
This response actually far surpassed my expectations of what Club Carlson would offer me. I would have considered it sufficient to simply move my reservation to another hotel, but outright crediting me the difference in points needed to book the stay was a surprise!
Have you every had discretionary points added to your account? For what reason?