Carlson Double Points Rates a Pleasant Surprise

A recent promotional email from Carlson read as follows:

Earn Double Gold Points at participating Carlson Rezidor hotels in the U.S. and Canada when you book the Double Gold Points rate at Radisson, Park Plaza, and Park Inn by Radisson hotels, or a Business Package at Country Inns & Suites By Carlson hotels.

I was immediately skeptical, suspecting that the "special" rate would simply amount to overpaying to earn a few extra points. So I did the math.

A test booking at the Los Angeles Airport Radisson showed the Double Points rate as $196.90 for a standard room, and $207.90 for a room with a "Deluxe Sleep Number Bed."

Comparable best-available rates, but without the double points, were $179.00 and $189.00.

So the premium for the double points was $17.90 for the standard room, and $18.90 for the room with the Sleep Number bed.

Worth it?

Club Carlson members normally earn 20 points per $1 spent. So the normal earnings for the standard room would be 3,580 points. Upgrading to the Double Points rate would yield 3,938 base points, which would then be doubled. All in, you'd be paying $17.80 to earn 4,296 extra points.

For context, free nights in the Club Carlson program can be had for as few as 9,000 points. So for that $17.80 premium, you would be earning almost half the number of miles required for an entry-level award night.

At that rate, you'd be buying an extra 9,000 points for somewhat less than $40, redeemable for a room night that would probably cost twice that. And that's not half bad.

Bottom line: Depending on the premium for the Double Points rate, it might actually be worth paying.

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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