Thoughts on Club Carlson and SPG Hotel Devaluations

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If you didn’t hear, Club Carlson and SPG hotel devaluations are soon to come.  Club Carlson is introducing Category 7 hotels to their loyalty program.  Starting March 15 ,2014, Category 7 hotels start at 70,000 Club Carlson points per night. These hotels include the following hotels:

  • 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
  • art’otel, Amsterdam
  • Radisson Royal Hotel, Moscow

My Thoughts on Club Carlson Devaluation

I think that a devaluation to Club Carlson was inevitable.  However, the changes are not that bad because only 9 hotels are going up for now.  This devaluation is nothing compare to the Hilton Devaluation last year. Most importantly, they did not take away the free night for stays 2 nights or more.  The most effective way to do this is to just book 2 nights and get the 2nd night free.  If you have a friend/spouse, you can have them book another 2 nights and have 4 nights effectively. I did want to eventually stay at the May Fair London, but looks like I might change that plan or speculatively book something.

I do think that the Club Carlson credit card is still worth getting if you can use the hotel points in the near future.  I’m sure that this is only the beginning of Club Carlson devaluations, and more will come in the future.  Bottom line: Club Carlson is still worth investing in if you can use the points in the near future and like short 2-night stays.

My Thoughts on SPG Hotel Devaluation

In addition, 140 SPG hotels are moving down and SPG 110 on March 4, 2014 up in number of points required for a free night awards.  The entire list can be found here. While this doesn’t sound like a devaluation, many properties I like or want to stay at are moving from Category 5 to 6.  That’s a rate from 12,000 SPG points to 20,000 SPG points.  I have never and probably never will stay at an SPG Category 6 hotel because I value SPG points at 2.2 cents a point. Therefore staying at a Catgory 6 hotel is equivalent to paying $440 for a hotel room, which I think is excessive.  These hotels that I wanted to stay at are moving up from Category 5 to 6 include:

  • Sheraton Waikiki 
  • Sheraton Maui
  • Westin Maui
  • W San Francisco
  • W Los Angeles
  • Le Meridian Taipei

Some positive changes caught my attention.  These hotels are dropping from Category 5 to 4:

  • The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali
  • Westin Miyako Kyoto
  • The Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua, Bali

    Laguna Nusa Dua in Bali for only 10,000 SPG Points!

    Laguna Nusa Dua in Bali for only 10,000 SPG Points!

Also, Westin Tokyo is dropping from Category 6 to 5.  My assumption is because of the abundance of hotels in Tokyo and also Hyatt is opening the Andaz Tokyo soon.

Most of the changes are for SPG hotels in America.  If you are a local traveler to big cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, then the changes are not good.  If you mostly care about international travel, some of the changes might be good for you.  Overall I think the changes are not great because most Hawaii properties are now out of reach for me and other budget travelers.  These changes in the SPG program further reinforce my desire to redeem SPG points only for airline miles and not hotels.  Also, since United devalued it’s program, many premium flights are best booked on SPG partners such as ANA, Aeroplan, and Singapore Air.  My plan is to build up AMEX SPG points so I can experiment with foreign carrier loyalty programs.

What do you think about the Club Carlson and SPG hotel devaluations?  Any changes in strategy?  

8 comments for “Thoughts on Club Carlson and SPG Hotel Devaluations

  1. TJ
    February 24, 2014 at 6:58 am

    SPG points required for Hawaii nights are getting ridiculous. I can get a flight to Hawaii for 20K SPG, and now a night at the mediocre Sheraton on Kauai is up to 25K. And $30+ in resort fees. Insanity.

    • February 24, 2014 at 8:01 am

      Yes… I agree. SPG in Hawaii is crazy stupid. I enjoyed my condo in Maui for $160 per night including car rental

  2. Maury
    February 24, 2014 at 8:05 am

    I am glad I have 2 nights booked at the Radisson Blu Champs de Elysees already booked at the old rates for April.

    • February 24, 2014 at 8:13 am

      Very nice. Hope the weather will be hoops then!

  3. choi
    February 24, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    funny, I have stay at westin nusa dua in bali a few years back when it was a cat 4, then it went up to 5 after remodeling and now back to the old 4 again.

    • February 24, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      Nice.. how did you enjoy the hotel?

  4. Tony
    February 24, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Yeah, I want to experiment with other FF miles as well, but damn these SPG points are hard to earn!
    Besides VR’s, how are you earning SPG points?
    $5k a month for a year only nets you 60k SPG points =*(

    • February 24, 2014 at 6:09 pm

      I’m earning slowly… I’m also churning AMEX personal and business. I rarely redeem for SPG hotels so it builds up eventually

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