Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.
Every major hotel loyalty program goes through annual category adjustments where some properties move up in category and some move down. Of course it seems in recent history we see more properties moving up than down, but in theory it is where they tweak category levels based on things like the average price of the hotel over the past year. While I was gone (and mostly offline) for the Frequent Traveler University it was Club Carlson’s turn to do their annual tweaks. The new categories apply to bookings made on or after May 1, 2013. Naturally this means you want to act very quickly to lock in a property that is going up in category. Here is a summary of what they did.
- The points required for each category did not change. This is huge and is something to not take for granted since 2013 has been the Year of the Devaluation as far as hotel points are concerned. The Category 1 hotels are still 9,000 points per night and the Category 6 hotels are 50,000 points per night.
- Radisson Resort Orlando Celebration jumps from a 2 to a 4. Up until at least late 2012 this was an amazing value as a Category 1 property. It then did a mid-year adjustment to a 2 and now is jumping to a four. That means that the number of points has gone from just 9,000 per night to 38,000 per night in roughly six months time which stinks. Though to keep this in perspective, it was a 3 roughly a year ago, so it has experienced fluctuation.
- Radisson Hotel International Drive in Orlando jumps from a 1 to a 3. This was the other amazing value in Orlando as the hotel was available for just 9,000 points per night. As of May 1st you will need 28,000 points per night to book this room. Some of the Country Inn and Suites properties in Orlando are still just 15,000 points per night.
- Many properties in Europe did go down a category, a few examples include Park Inn By Radisson Zurich Airport went from 5 to 4, Radisson Blu Edwardian Kenilworth Hotel went from 6 to 5, Park Inn Hotel & Conference Centre London Heathrow went from 4 to 3, Radisson Blu es. Hotel, Rome went from a 6 to a 5, and the Park Inn by Radisson Rosa Khutor went from a 4 to a 3 (this is the property near the downhill events for the Sochi 2014 Olympics).
You can view a full listing of the category adjustments here. They did not allow very much time before the new amounts go into effect, so act very quickly on this – especially if you want to lock in rooms at the much lower points rates in the Orlando area. You have today and tomorrow only to make your bookings at the current rates since the 1st is Wednesday!