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Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4 Update: Club Carlson 2015 Award Night Changes, Marriott eBreaks for 2 Canadian locations, 40% Bonus when buying Hyatt Gold Passport points

More hotel category award night changes in the news!

News, Tips & Tricks

The big news that came out over the weekend is yet another hotel program devaluation. Carlson Rezidor Hotels Club Carlson (better known as the program for Radisson Hotels, Country Inns, Park Plaza etc.) has released their list of hotel category changes for 2015. Almost every major hotel chain has put out category changes this year from the likes of IHG Rewards Club to Starwood Preferred Guest and others inbetween. The reason this could be considered a devaluation is that more hotels (over 200) are going up in price than are going down (over 100) but in general its not as major as it is in the U.S. as they had the beautiful perk of a free night with the U.S. based Club Carlson Visa where if you redeemed for one night with points you would get a second for free. That benefit for them ends on June 1st, the same day these category changes kick in. Since us Canadians never had that advantage the major hit for us are for those travelling to Europe who were looking to use Club Carlson points as that is where most of the hotels going up in categories are taking place. The dreaded category 7 hotels which were introduced with The last change from Club Carlson came in March 2014 goes from only 11 hotels to 78 hotels with this change and more than 40 of those are in Europe. Luckily, here in Canada the changes aren't that bad as we only see two hotels go up a category and two go down. You can find the entire list of hotel changes here.
Carlson Rezidor locations in Canada that are changing on June 1st

American AAdvantage members can now earn AAdvantage miles on all eligible fares for flights on Etihad. Prior to this change AA members could only earn miles on AA codeshare routes flown by EY.

Posts since our last update:

Travel Deals
latest set of eBreaks for stays this coming weekend include two Canadian locations.
Simply use promo code MEB when you book online at marriott.com These rates are valid for stays between May 7 and 10.

Bonus Offers

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
- Double Mileage Plan Miles when you fly Alaska Airlines between Los Angeles and Baltimore. More... Sep 9 - Oct 9, 15

Avianca LifeMiles
- Earn up to Triple LifeMiles when renting with Avis for 3 or more days in USA, Europe and Latin America. More... Until May 31, 15

Caribbean Airlines Caribbean Miles
- Earn up to 6x Caribbean Miles on Hertz rentals of 1 or more days in the U.S. and Canada. More... Until Jun 30, 15

Delta SkyMiles
- Earn up to 2,000 Bonus Skymiles when you stay at Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson, and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM hotel worldwide More... Until Jul 31, 15

Germanwings Boomerang Club (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Double Boomerang Miles when you fly between Köln-Bonn, Stuttgart, Hannover, Berlin Hamburg, or Düsseldorf and Rome. More...Book by May 31 for travel until Jun 30, 15

Hyatt Gold Passport
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Orbitz Rewards (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Quadruple Bonus Orbucks when you book select flights to Savannah. More... Book by May 28, 15
- $40 Bonus Orbucks when you book select Savannah flight + hotel packages. More... Book by May 28, 15

Virgin Australia Velocity Rewards (on FrequentFlyerBonuses.com only)
- Double Velocity Points when you fly in Economy and Business Class on eligible Virgin Australia and South African Airways flights. More... Register by May 9 for travel between May 16 - Jul 31, 15
- 15% Velocity Points Discount when you redeem for reward Seats on any flight marketed and operated by Virgin Australia. More... Until Jun 30, 15
- 2,000 Velocity Points for stays of 3 or more nights at participating One&Only Resorts Worldwide (Australia excluded) More... Book by Jun 30 for stays until Sep 30, 15

WestJet Rewards
- 20% Bonus WestJet Dollars when you convert RBC Rewards Points (RBC Avion Cardholders only) to WestJet Rewards Dollars More... Until Jun 15, 15

Today's Bonus Offer Highlight is brought to you by:


  1. As a Canadian resident without access to US credit card perks like the free award nights with the CC credit card in the States, I'm only slightly miffed at the devaluation. Yes, aspirational awards that most US bloggers seemed concerned with are going up and yeah that sucks. But for a non-US perspective: some of the changes are actually good if you live outside the US.

    Think of all those free nights cardholders were getting each year. They got a free night with each stay they booked on points, so that can sometimes be a 50% devaluation (or 2X benefit in their view). That's all built into the program, and the rest of us that don't enjoy those perks get less value using their program in comparison. So if you're outside the US, or even without the CC credit card, I would think the news in March was a net positive.

    The perks I use regularly with Club Carlson are the EMEA 2-for-1 and 4-for-2 paid nights, which insanely accrue points for your stay. Also the cash and points awards, which also accrue points during a stay, help make extra-pricey locales more affordable. And lastly, of course the status matches, which mean I am gold elite and qualify for the crazy 4-for-2 paid nights. If those aspects of the Club Carlson program go away, then I will be running to the exits with all the US bloggers. I would love to see someone outside the US take a good look at the Club Carlson program and give an updated opinion about the benefits, with maybe a broader look at program changes to make sure we can enjoy a lot of the other aspects of the program.

  2. Thanks for the comment Deb Dee! Couldn't agree more that the changes aren't as bad for Canadians and perhaps were brought about because of the free night on the Club Carlson Visa in the U.S. not to mention how generous Club Carlson has been in doling out points over the past years. Remember those 50,000 point offers a few years ago! I don't think we'll see many more changes from Club Carlson other than the annual hotel category changes. The program is working well for them and really they made it too easy with the credit card perks for their U.S. members.

    We'll try to provide a look on the program in the near future based!