Although many people are aware and can take advantage of business frequent flyer programs, you might not know that Club Carlson actually has a points program specifically designed for small and mid-size businesses as well. Earning points through planning meetings is nothing new, but this is the only hotel program that I know of that allows a small business to earn points in addition to the business traveler, which is pretty awesome in my opinion.
Like individuals with Club Carlson accounts, eligible companies can earn Gold Points towards free hotel nights and other rewards when their employees, contractors, vendors, and business associates stay on business at any of the 1,000+ participating Carlson Rezidor hotels worldwide. Plus, just like with business frequent flyer programs, the travelers themselves may also earn points for the same stays with their individual Club Carlson accounts. Not only that, but the company also gets an automatic 5% discount off standard nightly rates. Of course there are often cheaper AAA and other discounted rates, so the 5% benefit may not be very useful depending on what kind of rates you normally book.
Technically, you need to be a “duly organized company with a government-issued tax identification number from a participation-eligible country” that does not currently have an existing Preferred Corporate Rate (PCR) with the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. However, the registration page doesn’t require a tax ID number on it, but in case you do get audited, a social security number for your sole proprietorship may not suffice.
In addition to the US and Canada, only companies in the following countries with a government-issued ID in: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Republic of, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom are eligible to participate.
Any Gold Points earned through Club Carlson for Business belong to the company enrolled and cannot be issued to an individual account.
As long as hotel stays are paid for individually (not on a master bill), your company may earn Gold Points for room nights while attending or hosting meetings and other events. Meeting rooms are not eligible to earn Gold Points in Club Carlson for Business. If your company is organizing a meeting or event where guest and meeting rooms are paid for centrally (on one master bill).
Companies participating in the program will earn 8 points per dollar spent at Carlson properties plus an additional 2 points per dollar for booking online at clubcarlson.com, Radisson.com, CountryInns.com, ParkInn.com and ParkPlaza.com or booked using any of the mobile versions of their web sites for a potential of 10 points per dollar – the same as individual Club Carlson members earn. Just be sure to include your company ID when making the reservation to ensure you get those extra points. Reservations made through a travel agent or online self-booking applications (like Orbitz or Expedia) are not eligible to earn points in Club Carlson for Business.
Just like individual Club Carlson members, companies can then use their points for rewards including:
- Hotel nights, using either Gold Points or Points + Cash. Top tier Radisson Blu properties are 50,000 points a night.
- Prepaid Cards and Retail Gift Cards (Retail gift cards only available to US members)
- Vacation savings through CWT Vacations (U.S. members only) and Club Med (U.S./Canadian members only)
- Airline miles (when transferred to an individual)
- Charitable donations to the World Childhood Foundation
- CO2 Emissions offsets
Gold Points may be redeemed by the account administrator by logging onto clubcarlson.com using your company’s assigned Club Carlson number. Clubcarlson.com contains instructions for how to redeem the various awards available.
Club Carlson and US Bank also just introduced a line of three co-branded credit cards including a business Visa, which offers up to 85,000 points for signing up, which could be a great way to triple dip on earning Carlson points on your next stay.
This can be a great opportunity for small businesses to double-dip on points since not only can you earn the 10 points per dollar on individual accounts, but an additional 10 points per dollar on business accounts, plus online booking bonuses (for individual accounts), score the 5% business discount, and individual members can still earn all their booking and elite bonuses – meaning this can be a veritable points bonanza for companies and individuals alike.
Carlson has really been making a push to be competitive in the hotel points marketplace with promotions like its current triple points promo and a line of new credit cards, and their business program is just one more reason I’ll be giving it a closer look in 2013.