Tag Archives: Points

Snagging a Luxury Hotel In Dublin For Free – Thanks To Club Carlson

By Lakshmi and Siddhi:

Travel a lot, but travel smart.  That’s been our adage forever.  On this trip across the UK and Ireland, a “deal” that we snagged was a four-day, three night stay at the Radisson Blu St. Helen’s for ZERO dollars!  How did we manage to get a property that currently retails for 300 Euros per night for free?  Not for just one night, but for  three nights – saving us 900 Euros or 1200 dollars.

Here’s how we did it.  Last year, my husband applied for the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa credit card.  The primary reason for applying for this card was to get  85,000 Bonus Gold Points – 50,000 Gold Points after our first purchase plus 35,000 points once we spent $2,500 on our card within the first 90 days (we simply put our routine expenses for 3 months on the card and for every dollar we spent outside of the Carlson branded properties, we gained 5 points).  We now had 97,500 points to spend on our hotel in Dublin.

The Radisson Blu St. Helen’s is a spectacular property located a short 15 minute bus ride from the city center.  The massive property is showcased with beautifully manicured gardens.  A room at the hotel for a party of three would cost us 300 Euros a night. We could also get the room for 44,000 points a night.

With our accumulated points, we got two nights for free.  An added benefit of the Club Carlson Visa Card is that each time you book a reward stay, your last night is free.  Since we were card holders booking three nights, the third night was free.

Ok, this is not all we got.  With our card, we were upgraded to a better room, got a beautiful basket of fruits upon arrival, and realized that our room service breakfast cost us nothing as well!

This gets better.  We got a lovely room overlooking the gardens where there were celebrations happening each night.  From a Brazilian Samba themed party to a family themed reception, we got people watching opportunities galore.

Last, but not the least, the staff was friendly and efficient, providing us just the right amount of support to make our stay memorable.

Take a look at these pictures and you’ll see why this was just an amazing part of our journey.

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To learn more about the beautiful Radisson Blu St. Helen’s, click here: http://www.radissonblu.ie/sthelenshotel-dublin

If you’d like to learn more about the Club Carlson Visa Card, click here:  http://www.clubcarlsonvisa.com/credit/visaPremierCard.do



Club Carlson Hotels – The Loyalty Program That Makes Us Fall In Love!

By Lakshmi and Siddhi:

We’re in love!  Yes, we fell in love about a year ago in Sweden and then the romance was rekindled recently in London.  We can safely declare that for us, this romance is here to stay.  We are officially in a long-term relationship, with Club Carlson playing cupid in our romance with its hotels.

Ok, if you think we are going crazy, you are right.  Now let’s tell you why we are in this state of mind.

Last May we discovered and wrote about the 50,000 points giveaway from Radisson.  If you stayed a night at any Radisson property, you would be awarded with 50,000 points in Club Carlson’s program.  Siddhi and I were in Sweden, needed a couple of hotels and the bonus points steered us towards our maiden Radisson Blu experience.   We LOVED the service and better yet, loved the 100,000 bonus points we got.

Fast forward ten months later and we had a chance to use our points at the Plaza on the River in London.  This Carlson brand appealed to us for its picturesque location on the water and promising views of Big Ben.  Plus, we’d be lying if we did not admit that it was awesome to redeem our points for a pricey, waterfront property.

Now to the details on how this property made us fall in love with Club Carlson all over again.  First, we were “quadruple upgraded” to a two bedroom, two bathroom, waterfront facing suite with a living room and kitchen.  Take a look at the pictures at the end of this post and you’ll realize what a big deal that is.  We were provided late check out.  The people at the desk were incredibly friendly.  The concierge, incredibly efficient.  When we said that we were hoping to do laundry and noticed the machine in the room was not working, guess what they did?  Yes, they tried to fix the machine, but when they could not, our laundry was done free of charge and delivered overnight.

Let me not forget to mention that we had views of the Parliament and Big Ben and were within a few minutes walk of the Vauxhall tube stop.

Now to the grand finale – when we checked out, we discovered that we had stayed for FREE in a hotel that was going for 460 pounds per night that week.  And we had stayed without spending a dime for two nights.

We absolutely love the rewards offered by the Club Carlson program.  And more importantly we love how their hotels enable us as travelers.  That’s why this relationship will be forged forward.  And the next step in this romance? We are getting the Club Carlson Visa Card which will reward us nicely for signing up and for our many upcoming stays in Europe in the not too distant future.

Thank you Club Carlson for wooing us over.  We’re here to stay!





My Gurus in Earning Miles and Points – Thank You For Enabling Us Everyday

By Lakshmi:

Our blog followers know by now that the way we fund our travels is mostly through accumulating miles and points by traveling and of course earning the same without flying via credit card purchases, promotions, etc.

For many years, we have done just fine with earning points and bonuses by flying with the same airline/staying with the same hotel chains, using credit cards/online portals for purchases, etc. and funded many trips to exotic locales around the world.  But these five “Gurus/Sites” have taken our awareness state to an “enlightened” level.

These experts are so passionate about traveling for free, that they leave no trick unturned to uncover ways to travel for little to no money.

So, without further elaboration, here are the five individuals/sites that I read each day to ensure that I am not missing out on any good deals out there.

www.frugaltravelguy.com:  Rick Ingersoll aka the frugaltravel guy features all the latest news on the way to earn points and miles.  As a former banker, Rick has loads of advice on credit card churning, optimizing returns on credit cards, stories on how people including him and his family have traveled for free and of course tips on making the most out of each opportunity.

www.millionmilesecrets.com: Daraius and his wife Emily have accumulated and redeemed millions of miles and his stories always make me feel a little bit stupider for not taking advantage of opportunities that could be staring at me in the face.  I mean that as a sincere compliment.

www.boardingarea.com:  This website is a compilation of frequent travelers who not only bring us deals, but also blog about their airline/hotel/car rental experiences.  Amusing reading and lots of tips.

– www.thepointsguy.com:  I read this site with a mix of awe, envy and respect.  Can anyone take points earning to a state of art and science at the same time?  Sure, if you are thepointsguy.  The posts are so detailed and so well articulated, that it is almost a primer come guidebook for both the novice and experienced mile collector.

travelbypoints.com:  I just recently started reading this site and I have to say that this site comes closest to a management consulting firm in terms of detailing how you can travel for less.  The writer has a ton of personal stories that span the gamut from how he traveled to Machu Picchu for a fraction of what it would cost (his notes are on my to do list!) to how routine gift card purchases can add rewards to your kitty.

Thanks to each of these individuals/sites, we have been educated to be even savvier to enable us to continue to do what we love to do – travel!