I do not pay full price for hotels. There are many methods to get discounts – using points, best rate guarantees, and more. One way to get huge savings is with Radisson Friends and Family rates.
Some of the greatest discounts are given to hotel employees. A subset of this discount may also extend to friends and family of the employee. The difficulty to book these rates vary. Most chains (Hyatt, SPG, Marriott, Four Seasons, etc.) require the hotel employee has to book the rate. However, this is not the case with Club Carlson.
I have Club Carlson Gold status, which you can get with the American Express Platinum or Business Platinum Card. If you already have the card, give customer service a call and they should be able to upgrade your account quickly. Please keep in mind that you should only book rates you are eligible for. Otherwise, you may be charged a significantly higher rack rate.
Radisson Friends and Family Rates
You can book Radisson Friends and Family rates by yourself, online. The way to do this is by entering CARLSONF in the promotion code box during your search.
Theoretically, you’re supposed to be friends or family of the employee, but there’s no verification. To be “eligible”, you only need to provide their name and work location at check-in. You could easily get this information by befriending an employee at another property you’ve stayed at.
The rate is excellent for Radisson Blu properties. It’s a flat rate of 80 Euros a night, and less for lower quality brands like Park Inn. Because it’s a flat rate, you get higher savings the more expensive the normal hotel rate. I’ve used this discounted rate multiple times in Scandinavia, especially where there aren’t great deals to use hotel points.
Inventory is a lot poorer than before since many more people know about this deal, but I find a lot of hotels have this rate available close-in (when they realize they can’t sell all their rooms).
Example: Booking the Radisson Blu Helsinki
Take the Radisson Blu Plaza in Helsinki. A normal rate in late September is 181 Euros.
For the same exact dates, the Radisson Friends and Family rate is available for only 80 Euros. That’s over a 50% discount.
While you don’t earn points from these rates, the discount is way more valuable than what you could earn. You can also charge the hotel to cards like the Scotiabank Gold American Express, and use your points to offset the charge. This Friends and Family rate would convert to $117 Canadian dollars.
When redeeming Scotia Rewards for the charge, the night will only cost 11,700 points. There’s a great promotion for this card where the first year fee is waived and you can earn up to 30,000 points for getting the card. You can also use those points for points ticket taxes, like Aeroplan and Avios.
Additional Reading: Scotiabank Gold American Express: 30,000 Points Signup Bonus ($300 Free!)
If you don’t know any Club Carlson employees and we’ve chatted before, send me an email 🙂
Book Radisson Hotels: Direct Link to Book the Friends and Family Rate