But as loyalty program members know from long and bitter experience, what goes up must come down. And last week Carlson reversed course, implementing—with no advance notice to Club Carlson members—a new points-to-miles conversion scheme that effectively devalues any points so used by as much as a jaw-dropping 44 percent.
The exchange rate in effect prior to July 1 was variable, depending on the number of points exchanged, as follows:
- 2,000 points = 250 miles (8 points = 1 mile)
- 50,000 points = 8,000 miles (6.25 points = 1 mile)
- 100,000 points = 18,000 miles (5.56 points = 1 mile)
The new exchange rate is fixed at 10 pointes per mile. So the above conversions would be as follows:
- 2,000 points = 200 miles
- 50,000 points = 5,000 miles
- 100,000 points = 10,000 miles
For Club Carlson members who favored miles over points, the changes represent an enormous devaluation. And the failure to at least give members a window of opportunity during which they could convert at the old rates compounds the move’s harshness.
The considerable good will equity Carlson had amassed prior to these changes? Squandered.
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.
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