Thursday, December 15, 2011

MODERNHAUS pretends to be a travel blogger, part II

Furniture and hipster jokes are still my "wheel house" as the husband would say. I didn't plan to write more about travel today, but I think this deal is kind of super good and it's expiring soon AND it doesn't involve opening lines of credit, so everyone can do it! So I feel obligated, nay driven, to share. Civic duty is my middle name. And Eve. That's also my middle name. You wanna make something of it?

Gratuitous furniture link here.

Gratuitous hipster link here:

And now the fun stuff:

I never paid attention to hotel rewards, because I mostly hate chain hotels and they're the only ones running these programs. I like renting apartments. It makes me feel cosmopolitan, and also I have to keep coffee close to me at all times. Needing to put on mascara and go outside somewhere and speak a foreign language after an eleven hour flight just to get a thimble of coffee (WHY don't other countries make bigger coffees???) is NOT my wheel house.

"Hola, bonjour, si, I would like 24 of your tiny coffees, poured into your biggest soup bowl please." Spoken in my best loud English. (I don't REALLY do fact, before I go anywhere I learn how to order wine, beer, and coffee in the native language. "Kava, prosim." That's Czech!])

But for a short stay, renting an apartment is not very cost-effective (apartment rentals charge less per night for a week stay, and usually have a hefty cleaning fee that only makes sense amortized over a week...yes, amortized). And there are some places, I'm sure, where AirBnB has no apartments. Cuzco, where we're planning to go soon, for instance.

Also, free nights at some ritzy Paris hotel? Yeah, wheel house. Read on.

Bear with me, 'cuz you're gonna think I've lost my ever-lovin' mind for a moment.

-Use this link to join TGIFridays. OMG, I know. Just close your eyes and do it.

-Then use this link to join Club Carlson, and enter your TGIFridays account number to get 4,500 extra points.

-Then register your Club Carlson account in this promotion.

-Make your spouse/travel partner/trained monkey assistant do the same. Or just do it for them, b/c stealing the identity of one you love is legal.

-Then book ONE NIGHT EACH at the cheapest Radisson hotel you can find before December 30. Book it through the Radisson website, not a secondary booking site. Don't worry...the lowest prices are available on their site so you're not overpaying. It has to be a Radisson, too. Not one of their other properties.

*Oh my gosh you guys, UPDATE: Book using this link for 25% off lowest rate at Radisson, and it qualifies for the promotion!!

(Make sure you and your partner book one night each, using each of your Club Carlson numbers)

Ideally, you actually NEED a hotel room in the next two weeks, but if not, just call it a spontaneous getaway or pretend it's your gift to the love of your life instead of what it really is: greedy, brilliant points hoarding.

Some crazy hoarders actually book the rooms and check in, but don't even stay. It's called a mattress run. People do this.

Net points: 100,000 + 9,000 bonus points for that TGIFriday thing = 109,000

Seriously. 109,000 points that you can redeem to stay at any of their hotels (not just Radissons) anywhere in the world, and redemptions start at 9,000 per night. That's TWELVE FREE NIGHTS if you don't mind "slumming it" at a basic hotel. Most people use these mega bonuses for two nights at really fabulous hotels they could never otherwise afford. Your call.

We are staying at the Radisson Newport Beach in a few days to get our bonuses. It was something like $79 a night with tax. So, for around $160 we get a two-night getaway in a really upscale beach town, AND up to twelve future nights free. That's fourteen nights for $160. According my calculations that translates to $11.42 per night.

You can squeeze way more value out if by using your free nights to stay at some of their $500-700/night properties around the world. That would mean that a $1400 hotel stay would only cost you $160. Also not shabby.

The best part may be that you never actually have to eat at TGIFridays. Bonus!

So, what do you think? Are you going to do it?

*Note: I am NOT being sponsored by Chase, TGIFriday, Radisson, Club Carlson, or the words "wheel house."


  1. so, i just did this. and it seems awesome. i wasn't able to register the club carlson account number that was created through TGIF because it hasn't been assigned yet. I called club carlson and they said it takes a while when the account is created through TGIF. I went ahead and just created a separate club carlson account (not through TGIF) because i figure 100k points is nearly as good as 109k points. just to be clear, when we go for the hotel stay over the next two weeks, we have to check in then check out the next day and then check in again - correct? Just to make sure it hits both of our names/accounts.

  2. Yep, that's right! But I'm planning on asking at the front desk when we check in if we can just keep the same room to avoid having to move....but even if that doesn't happen I don't really care...I'm not planning on hanging around my swanky, corporate Radisson hotel room anyhoo....;)
    I love that you're doing gets my blood much fun to take advantage of the system!

  3. Thanks! We are staying in Providence, RI (at an airport hotel...) to get the deal but a get-away can't hurt.

    Please keep these tips coming.

  4. Hey Summer! I unfortunately took too long to read this post (this morning!) and missed out on the TGIF's special points. HOWEVER, I got 2000 extra points by using this promo code: NSB2K90
    And, you get 1000 extra points each time you book online.
    I signed up for one night in Chandler, AZ. Holla! We're going to go visit the in-laws.
    You can pay a little extra and earn double points each night. I have no idea how many points that will actually be.
    We're going to redeem our points (sadly, 38K a night) at the San Diego Rad this summer for Pete's b-day. That's one night free + one discount night (about $100). That makes it about $70 for 3 nights (incl. the night in Chandler), which is still an awesome deal.
    So exciting!
    Thanks again. I didn't think we were going to be able to visit San Diego for a looooong time, since we can't really take a screaming baby to our usual hostel in Point Loma.

  5. Sarah! I'm so excited you got in on it! $70/3 nights is unbelievable!
    Read my new travel hack can get instant gold status at Hilton which is awesome for people with babes b/c you can get a free suite upgrade, free breakfast, access to swanky Executive Lounge where I fully expect you to breastfeed openly while eating their free snacks.
    If you open a Hilton credit card you get 40k bonus, just FYI if you're looking for another free trip where you can use the gold status upgrades!
    PLEASE let's meet each other this time!

  6. Oops, typed that wrong. It's actually $70 per night, but that's still way better than we were expecting to pay. We're poor little school mice here, living off of one teacher's salary.
    I would love to hang out in the swanky lounge. And, if I get to eat then Amanda certainly gets to eat too!
    I will read the post on the Hilton. I'm all about the freebies now.
    It would be super awesomesauce to meet finally. I want to exchange digits. Send me an e-mail at:

    Thanks again for the great tip!

  7. Okaaaaaaaay. So, I went through the steps for the Hhonors program. It worked perfectly for me. I set up an account and got instant gold thru May 31st.

    The good thing about this program is that you don't have to actually stay at the Hilton right away. You can earn additional points through applying for the visa:

    Or the American Express:

    Then, making sure that you charge at least $1000 on the Visa and $750 on the American Express (within 90 days of each being opened) earns 40k points each. Seems like they could be staggered for the best benefit.

    So, I'm going to think it over. I'm keeping my Radisson reservation for next week to go see the in-laws.

    Then, as soon as Pete gets out of school on May 25th, we can head down to San Diego. We can spend 2 nights free at the Hampton Inn San Diego/Sea World (owned by Hilton) for 35k points a night: and still stay close to Ocean Beach. This seems like a really great deal!

    Then, if we want more time we can transfer over to the Radisson Hotel Rancho Bernardo (?where the heck is Rancho Bernardo?) for one free night at 38k points and one discount night at 10k points plus cash. The Rad has a San Diego Zoo package for only $50 extra (not sure if that can be stacked on top of a free stay or not) for one night, which would be super cool. I've always wanted to visit the San Diego Zoo, and that's a steal.

    If your eyes haven't glazed over at this point, 1 gazillion extra bonus points to you : )


  8. You actually have instant gold status for an entire year! The May 31st date refers to something else.

    Rancho Bernardo is way too far out of the way and in the middle of nowhere! Use your Club Carlson points to redeem on one of their other don't have to redeem them at a Radisson! And their other properties take fewer points to redeem.

    It looks like you already have, but try redeeming "cash and points" to maximize all your nights?

    This is fun, huh??

    The Zoo is awesome if you've never been.

  9. Oh, that's great! The Hubs' b-day is actually in June, so that would be better for us. I can't wait to rock our executive priviledges (sp?).

    I will have to look into the Club Carlson points redemption thingy better. I really don't want to be in the middle of nowhere. I want to be near the beach, and hot chocolate, and seafood benedict.

    We are going to be using cash and points for one night. It's only about 10k points that way, but maybe less at another property.

    I would have registered us both, but we're only squeezing in one stay before New Year's. It's just not worth paying $100 to earn another day (I crunched the numbers).

    The best deal is to go RIGHT NOW. I totally would, because that is completely our style, except for this whole baby thing. We gotta go visit the relatives and show her off. Sigh. Next year, maybe, when some of the shine has worn off?

    Happy holidays to you and your family, and a brilliant 2012!

    Sarah, Pete and Amanda (plus Sam, the cat)

  10. This is fun!

    My mom found another bonus of 9000 points when you book between now and January 31st. You can repeat it up to 45,000 points! You can sign up (only need to once) before or during your stay, so if anyone is in a Radisson right now, go ahead and sign up before you check out!

    Here's the link:

  11. Oh, and my mom found another deal where you can get free breakfast and 2000 points. You have to make your reservation through the link, though, and I don't want to cancel ours and rebook so close to when we're leaving.

    Here's the link:

  12. Call the hotel (or Club Carlson customer service) and ask them to "bump" you up to the new offer. Just have the code on hand, ask nicely, and tell them you're new to Club Carlson and excited to see what they offer....and of course report back, stat!

  13. Re:9000 point bonus, it's only when you've redeemed existing points for that stay ( no cash or cash + points)

  14. We just got back. It was a nice stay, overall. Sleeping in a king sized bed was a total dream for co-sleeping. They comp'ed us free breakfast since I mentioned the deal. We also had signed up for double gold points. The lady at the front estimated it would be about 4000 points for that room one night. Have fun at your stay!


  15. Hotels in India have their best offering in some of the best 5 star hotels in India. Metros like Delhi. Mumbai , Calcutta & Chennai have been main focus of India hospitality. And nowadays. tier 2 cities also boast of star rated hotels which is a great matter of achievement.


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