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How to Book Club Carlson’s Free Bonus Award Nights Back to Back!

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 9.30.55 AMOne thing I was curious about when first hearing about the Club Carlson Visa is how the Free Bonus Award Night works. It’s what actually makes the card appealing to me and worth keeping. But do you have to book over the phone or can you book online? It’s actually quite simple and can be done online but I figured that I would go over booking the free Bonus Award night and the details of the free night.

Once you see how easy it is to book the free night, we’ll talk about ways to get multiple free nights on a longer stay. If you have the credit card, you should really consider reading about the different ways to book the free Bonus Award Night on back to back stays.

In The Best Use of Club Carlson Points I talk about how the credit card gives a free Bonus Award Night. This means that when you book an award stay you get a free night on the stay, which is a great perk. David commented asking/bringing to light the confusing language in the Terms and Conditions of this free night:

Bonus Award Night: When you redeem Gold Points for Award Nights of two or more consecutive nights at the same participating Carlson Rezidor hotel property, you will receive the last of the Award Nights of that stay free without deduction of any Gold Points from your Club Carlson account (“Bonus Award Night”).

Put simply, this means that when you book two or more nights you don’t have to pay for one of them. In other words, you could pay for one night and get one free. But it doesn’t actually work like that. You book two nights and if you have the credit card, you simply don’t have to pay for one of them.

Let me just go ahead and show both how to book it and that the free night can be applied to a two night stay – one paid night and one free night.

1) Have the credit card already.

2) Go to ClubCarlson.com and choose to redeem at least two nights in your desired location.

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3) Click though the pricing screens to the check out.

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I don’t know why it doesn’t tell you the actual price on the first pricing screen but instead chooses to tell you that you do get a free night. But fear not and click through.

4) On the last screen everything is adjusted and you’re good to go!

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Easy, right? I wanted to show that you can indeed get a buy one get one free and that it is indeed bookable online.

Bonus Award Nights Back to Back

The other thing I wanted to talk about is getting the free night stays back to back. Let’s say you had a 4 or 5 night stay coming up. Well if you book it all as one stay you will get only one free night. Here are some ways around that.

First, let me say that booking two separate stays back to back does not work. If I now go back and try to book a two night stay from August 7th to August 9th, it will not give a free night.

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Notice that the red box alerting you of the free bonus award night does not show up and the price is not adjusted. Club Carlson programed the computer properly and knows this is just a 4 night award stay and is only going to give one free night.

Ways around it?

1) Your spouse can book the second two nights. I could check out on the 7th and my wife check in and they might even give the same room. This way you pay for two of the four nights. This also assumes that you both have the credit card. But if so, simply log in to the different accounts and book your stays.

2) Book a paid stay in the middle.

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I successfully booked an award stay Aug 5-7 and then a paid stay 7-8 and then another award stay 8-10. This gives me 5 nights, of which I pay for two award stays (and get two free) and pay full cash price.

3) Book an award stay somewhere else.

There are three Club Carlson hotels in Budapest and the Park Inn is also only 9,000 points. I could spend Aug 5-7 at the Radisson Blu and then Aug 7-9 at the Park Inn. And if desired, we could return to the Radisson Aug 9-11. With this strategy, you could forever only pay half of your award nights and get half free.

4) Book an award night in the middle. I booked an award stay from Aug 5-7 and Aug 8-10 and then went back and booked an award stay on Aug 7-8. In that order it works. This means on a 5 night stay we pay for 3 award nights and get two Bonus Award Nights.

The concept is simple. If you have an award stay already with a Bonus Award Night, you will not then be able to book a stay touching that reservation (at the same hotel) and get another Bonus Award Night.

Only one Bonus Award Night is available for a stay of two or more consecutive nights at the same hotel and does not apply to additional reservations booked as contiguous stays at the same hotel.

So are there any other ideas to be tested for booking Bonus Award Nights back to back?

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18 Comments

  1. Do you find that this offer works all the time, everywhere, or does it depend on award availability?

    I was looking at some downtown Paris hotels and it seemed they had months at a time with now award space.

    Curious how this plays out in the real world.

    Reply
  2. You can also get both the personal and business Club Carlson cards and book two back-to-back stays of two nights at the same property to maximize the free nights. Basically you can book back-to-back reservations with any different Club Carlson accounts and get a free award night.

    Reply
  3. @ Fishing4Deals – Yea, this works anywhere there is award space. I noticed that the Radisson New York blocks award space but I imagine the problem with the Radisson’s in Paris is that one night isn’t available. But it should turn out fine 99% of the time. Plus, I bet you those Paris hotels open up at the last minute.

    @ Well Traveled Mile – That’s an interesting tip. So you get two Club Carlson accounts… and then get the business and personal card and that’s it? I assume two addresses… Very simple idea. I have a business account that I’m planning on looking into more.

    Reply
    • Not even two addresses. I accidentally got a separate Club Carlson account for my business card because that’s how US Bank likes to do it, and at first I tried to merge them. But it turns out that even though my two CC accounts are under the same name and address, I was able to book alternating 2-day stays on a recent trip.

      Reply
    • Thank you. This is great news. Although, I don’t think I’m going to try to draw attention to this. :-p

      Reply
    • where was this and did the hotel give a hard time for doing 2 nights separately to get 2nd nights free?

      Reply
    • You can do this anywhere. The hotels don’t care at all. Probably don’t know the difference on their end.

      Reply
    • Just as Well Traveled Mile said, I successfully stayed 4 Nights in Sep. in Prague and in AMS, and booked 4 Nights in Budapest ( but I changed my trip plan and later cancelled the booking in Budapest), back-to-back 2Nights (BOGO) with Personal card plus 2Nights (BOGO) with Biz card.
      Except a different email address for each account (so I can easily figure the confirmations), all other info of name, home address and phone are the same.

      Reply
  4. My question is whether you have to have enough award points in your account for both nights, even if they only deduct the points for one night. I am looking at hotels in London for next June, and they run 75,000 points per night. The bonus for signing up for the credit card is 85,000 points, enough for one night. Can I still get the bonus night?

    Thanks for the help!

    Reply
    • Kasia,

      I know you asked this question over 7 months ago…
      but, YES you can book a two-night stay even if you only have the points for one night. I just did it myself.

      Reply
  5. 2 points:

    Kasia – on a dry run, I can get all the way to the point before final confirmation of two night award with only enough points for one night in my account.

    Travel is Free – if you are going to pay for a night in Europe, you can use the Gold status (conferred by having the credit card) benefit of 2-for-1 on paid nights in Europe Africa or the Middle East (http://www.clubcarlson.com/2for1).

    Reply
  6. Has anyone tried to book 2 rooms, one with personal account and one with business account, to get free nights for 2 rooms at the same hotel and the same time?

    Reply
  7. Another way around this would be to just stay out all night and request late check out and early check in. The first group of two stays will end with the free night and request late check out. Take a shower just right before you leave in the afternoon of the hotel. Do something all night and then get back to the hotel the next day sometime after 7 am and sit at the business center and work online until the hotel lets you check in for the next round of buy one get one free award stays. Immediately on check in take a shower and then go to sleep.

    This method of saving a day in the middle break is hygienically correct because the maximum time between showers on the skipped day is still less than 24 hours.

    Reply
    • HAHA! I love this comment, Mike! Something my cheap self would do. Only difference for me, is showering < once per 24hr time frame is completely acceptable for me 😉

      Reply
    • lol no shirt no shoes no odor

      Reply
  8. Mary – Can you combine a paid 241 with an award 241 from the same account?

    Reply
  9. Did you mean to say that you booked a “paid” night on the 7-8. in the middle of your award bookings?

    Reply
  10. Does this method work for “Radisson Martinique on Broadway” in NYC? I try to score a 4 night stay there and only pay for 2 nights with points… I wonder which of these workarounds works for this hotel (or even work at all or not).
    Thanks

    Reply

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