What Club Carlson Gold Status Gets You

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I’ve had the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card since shortly after it came out over a year ago.  It’s biggest perks have to be the 85,000 points you get after hitting the spending requirement and the “last award night free” perk you get when redeeming points.  However, another benefit of having the card is that it comes with automatic Club Carlson Gold Elite Status.  A question I sometimes get is “What Does Club Carlson Gold Status Get You?”, and now that I have a fair number of stays under my belt as a Club Carlson Gold member, I think I have a decent idea of the answer.

Club Carlson Gold Status Normally Takes 35 Nights/20 Stays Per Calendar Year

If you were to earn Gold status with Club Carlson via the normal method of stays and/or nights per year, it would take quite a few before hitting that status.  It doesn’t take quite as many as Hyatt Diamond or SPG Platinum status, but it isn’t far off.  In other words, Gold status should be relatively rewarding based on how long it takes to achieve if you were doing it through hotel stays.  Of course, you get it with no effort for paying an annual credit card fee. 

Official Gold Status Perks:

  • Room upgrade which will be offered at check-in, upon availability.
  • 35% bonus on points earned on top of the 20 points per dollar
  • Free internet
  • 15% discount on food and beverage purchases at participating in-hotel restaurants in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.
  • Special early check-in or late checkout privileges will be given upon request, whenever possible. Simply inquire at the front desk.
  • In-Room Welcome Gift Available once you check-in.

There are some other perks as outlined here, but those are some of the bigger ones in my view.  The only perk that top tier Concierge Members (75 Nights/30 Stays) get each year get over what Gold’s get is free continental breakfast in participating hotel restaurants.

How Gold Status Works in Practice:

In my experience I have had no problem with things like free internet of getting the 35% bonus at check-in, but the room upgrade situation (likely as expected) varies wildly.  Most of the time I have not received any sort of upgrade, and other times I have been told I have an upgraded room of sort, but if they were an upgrade it was a pretty much imperceptible one.

However, there have been times when the upgrades have been pretty substantial.  My mom seems to have way better luck on the upgrade front as a Club Carlson Gold member and she was upgraded to a Business Class room at the Radisson Blu Hotel Champs Elysees (we got one with a balcony and view of Arc de Triomphe).  She also got suite at the Radisson Blu es. Hotel Rome.

Balcony and upgraded view in Paris

Balcony and upgraded view in Paris

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Gold upgrade at the Radisson Blu es. Hotel Rome

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Gold upgrade at Radisson Blu es. Hotel Rome

One thing that is pretty consistent is a food and/or beverage amenity has been delivered to our room on pretty much every stay.  This has ranged from fruit and water in Norway to macaroons in Paris.

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How Much is Gold Status Worth:

The snacks in the room vary in quality, but it is always nice to see them.  The room upgrades vary even more than the food amenities, but again it is a nice surprise when you are in a very nice room, and a good feeling knowing you likely won’t end up with the worst room.  I wish there was free breakfast of some sort with this status, but very hotel elite status benefits you can get simply by having a credit card come with free breakfast, so that may be an unreasonable wish of mine.

All in all I don’t find Gold status amazing, but it is absolutely useful, and worth having if you are going to visit Club Carlson hotels a few times a year.  Since it comes just by virtue of having the credit card, it is a no brainer.

I’m curious as to what your experiences have been with Club Carlson Gold Status?

 

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Comments

  1. At the Blu Metropolitan in Paris we got a room with a view of th Eiffel Tower and VERY tasty macaroons.

  2. At the RB Le Metropolitan, I got a pair of madeleines as well as some chocolate candies. I also got upgraded to a room with a Tour Eiffel view.

    At the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge in London, I got a plate of macarons (ironic, in London and not in Paris) as well as a room “upgrade” although in this case it wasn’t much of an upgrade – I was just located next to an internal atrium. And at the Radisson in Niagara Falls, my room got “upgraded” and although it was bigger than the average room, it was overlooking the second-story roof with all the glories of mechanical ducts and etc. You could just barely see the falls from a certain angle through the window. So room upgrades are a bit of hit and miss.

  3. In November at the Radisson Blue Bosphorus, we received a mild upgrade with a partial view of the Bosphorus, and the Bosphorus bridge. Also included was an excellent buffet breakfast(otherwise charged at 25 Euros). I do not remember the in room amenity if there was one. I was quite pleased with the hotel and service.
    http://farrago.eaph5.com/share/P1000858.jpg

  4. I’ve only had one stay at a Club Carlson property (a Country Inn in New York) since I have gold status thanks to my Amex Platinum card.
    I did not receive any room upgrade but I would have considered it pure luck if I had gotten one.
    While staying there I did not think about the welcome gift benefit. After my stay I reread the benefits page and wondered what the hotel considered to be my welcome gift. I have absolutely no idea.
    So while staying there my status did not bring me anything except for the boatload of points (back then it was 50% bonus and 2,000 points for online booking).

  5. 1st. I’m Canadian so different situation

    I got CC Gold with AMEX Plat since 2012, and I loved it
    Got upgraded almost every time. Amenity is a miss though

    Minor ones are local Radisson/Country Inn, so no need to mention
    Big ones below:
    Radisson Niagara Falls
    Radisson Martinique NYC, twice, awesome
    Radisson Blu Milan <- I redeemed 44K x 2 nights and still got upgraded (2 bathrooms in a hotel room!!), early check-in and 6pm check-out!!

    Upgrades, to bigger room, is especially key for me travelling as family of 4

  6. Obviously, it’s not worth paying for ClubCarlson gold status, but I assume the readers of this blog are just getting it thrown in as part of the ClubCarlson credit card benefits. As a freebie, it’s worthwhile. The most important benefit is the room upgrade. It often isn’t automatic, but you can use your status to cajole the desk clerk for an upgrade. And it can get you out of a bind: like on a recent, last-minute Country Inns stay, the only standard rooms left were smoking rooms. I convinced the desk clerk to give me a non-smoking suite because of my status.

    Similarly, in Cape Town, I convinced the clerk to give me an oceanfront business room because of the status. Give it a shot — you have nothing to lose!

    The in-room welcome gift is usually modest: fruit, snacks, a few macaroons (Paris). But getting things for nothing in hotels is always fun. At the new Amsterdam Art’otel (a very nice hotel) they gave me a bottle of wine.

  7. I have never stayed at a Club Carlson (do have points from some lucrative promos in the past) and currently do not have status with them but I am most curious about is food benefits. I see that free breakfast is not a published benefit but do they have lounges and does Gold get you lounge access. Also, from my experience with other hotel chains even if they don’t offer breakfast in the US their properties in the Asia / Pacific region do tend to offer fairly elaborate breakfasts just because of trend / culture in that region. What is your experience with Club carlson properties.

  8. Hi MP,
    I haven’t been able to figure this out…if I use points to book a Business Class room does that come with breakfast? (As opposed to being upgraded to a Business Class room which I assume would not come with breakfast)

  9. stayed in 2 rooms * 3 nights as a family @ Paris Radisson Champs-elysees got macarons/h20/little chocolates. I don’t get the macarons craze #whatever. Stayed in Radisson Blus in Ireland and booked the B&B and got awesome inclusive breakfast for good price. My husband and I have the card and we stayed on points and worked the recent/current promo points. I’m very happy I have this card. It worked perfectly for where we traveled.

  10. Wife and I went to Radisson Palm beach Aruba in March. Night before we left stayed at Country Inn at airport. Was upgraded to suite. Upon check in in Aruba, was upgraded from standard room to partial ocean view on higher floor. Although we didn’t spent much time in the room, the upgrade was nice! Gift was a airplane neck pillow and beach bag. Also had a late checkout.

  11. Was upgraded to partial ocean view room in Aruba and business class rooms in Zurich and Istanbul Pera which included full breakfast buffet.

  12. I am currently staying at the radisson blu st Martin , we booked before the sale to rui. We got upgrade to marina suite and a welcome bottle of champagne on arrival for gold status

  13. Same experience as Chris P above. For a family of 5, the marina suite was key! Plus for all guests, under age 5 years eat free. Excellent bfast buffet for all guests, free too. Overall very good experience.

  14. Husband and I both have CC Visa so booked 2 night stay in Radisson Blu Royal Brussels (2nd night free) and alternating 2 night stays (total of 6 nights – 3 nights free) in Radisson Blu Amsterdam. Emailed both hotels prior to arrival – in Brussels got room on top floor – not sure if it was any type of upgraded room, but was very nice. Got free bottled water. In Amsterdam, got canal view room, listed as Superior room. Got bottled water (which we only used 1 bottle) and 2x got little candy boxes. Breakfast in both hotels was VERY exp. so we did not partake. That’s the one downside to chain hotels over local independent ones – get free room on points, but overpay for breakfast or have to find local cafe outside hotel.

  15. I was surprised to be upgraded to a Business room at the Mayfair in London. Also have been upgraded to suites several times at Country Inns. (But by far the most compelling benefit is the value of the stays I get for a given amount of credit card spend – totally blows the other programs away. Varies from 2 nights in a nice London hotel for $10,000 in spend, down to 2 nights in a reasonable Fresno hotel for $1800 in spend. 🙂

    Now if they would just eliminate the foreign transaction fees on the card….

  16. UAphil, If your foreign spend is at a radisson, you may have success requesting a waiver of the FTF for those charges. I made request before going to st Martin and reminded them upon return. FTF waived.

  17. Francisco, you had better luck than I did. I have a $5,000+ travel purchase coming up in British pounds. US Bank was unwilling to waive the fee (I spoke with both a CSR and a supervisor), so the charge is going on my Chase Sapphire card.

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