Carlson Rezidor occasionally has good promotional deals for guests that stay two nights at Country Inns & Suites, like this summer’s stay two, get 10,000 bonus points offer. For the holidays, Country Inns & Suites is offering a free Smartphone after you stay two consecutive nights at a participating Country Inn & Suites hotel in the US. The offer is good until supplies last, and eligible stays must be between November 9, 2015 and December 31, 2015.

Eligible stays must be booked through Country Inns & Suites’ website, over the phone or directly with one of the participating properties. Redemption reservations using points do not qualify for the promotion.

Free smartphone? Sounds like a great option for those that want to get a teenager or family member a phone as a present, or get a second one for themselves.

Looking into the promo a little, it says the phone is free but you’ll need to sign a two-year agreement for a wireless plan or upgrade an existing plan. Fair enough, but not as enticing.

I’ve heard that the devil is in the details though, and even after reading all the available information on the website’s promo page and the full T&C page I still had questions.

A big drawback to the promo is that in the T&C that says you’ll receive an email after completing the stay with more details on how to claim –

After completion of an Eligible Stay, you will receive an email to the email address provided with your Eligible Stay verifying your Eligible Stay information and inviting you to request your Device. To claim the Offer, complete online fulfillment process described in your email notification within thirty (30) days following receipt of your eligibility email, while supplies last, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete and submit the online registration form to request your Device.

It doesn’t say anywhere who the phone provider is, or what phone model is the free one. It sounded rather complicated too including “a fulfillment process” that included email and a 30-day deadline to claim.

I reached out to Country Inns & Suites to find out more. A representative said cheerily that all Country Inn & Suites properties in the United States are participating in the promotion. Great! She also said once you have completed the two-night consecutive stay you could choose between two service providers – Sprint or Verizon Wireless. I asked her what model of Android Smartphone was being offered, and she wasn’t sure but said the carriers were aware of the promotion so I could talk with them.

I phoned Sprint but the sales guy had no idea what I was talking about and I could tell he really didn’t want to find out more. He put me on hold to research and I “accidentally” got transferred back to their main automated menu. The sales guy I contacted at Verizon didn’t know anything either and after consulting his master promotion book and finding nothing, he recommended I call Country Inn & Suites back since he suspected that the 2-year contract would not be directly through Verizon. He said in the past, Verizon has had Black Friday 1-day sales where smartphones are offered for $100 or even free, but there are no promotions going on right now and they typically don’t do 2-year contracts any more as most people opt for month-to-month.

The next rep I got when speaking with Country Inns & Suites didn’t even know about the promotion, and said it was unlikely that they’d offer a free phone. I gently directed her to the promotion on their website, and asked if perhaps there was a supervisor I could speak with to get more details. After another “accidental” hang-up where I heard a click, then a fast beep-beep-beep, I dialed back and eventually got to a supervisor who was familiar with the promo and said NOT all US Country Inns & Suites were participating in the promotion. She was not able to find a list (not all promos provide participating hotel lists), but it is reasonably easy enough to just use the promotional code and when booking online.

Using a random date of December 3, 2015 at the Country Inns & Suites Sunnvale, CA the best available rate came to $159.

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Checking again using the promotional code, the rate remained the same at $159.

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Here’s a handy link to the promotion booking page.

Use promotion code when booking online: Android

The more I learned about the promotion, the less I liked it. Not all properties in the US participate, after you complete the stay you have to jump through a bunch of hoops to claim your free smartphone, and you don’t find out what exact model you get until you’ve completed the stay. This means that the free phone might be the most basic model and you’d end up paying to upgrade.
It is unknown if you’d be utilizing a third-party company for the account sign-up instead of going directly through Sprint or Verizon so there is no guarantee that the monthly line charges would be any lower than if you simply went directly to the carrier yourself.

Still, if you were to walk into a Verizon store or go online, according to Verizon you’d have to pay a minimum of $249 for the Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone before paying any monthly line charges.

This promotion is not for everyone but for some it may be a good way to save on a new smartphone if you’re staying at a Country Inns & Suites for a couple nights. I wouldn’t go out of my way to plan a stay though.

Do you think the free smartphone is worth all the steps and trouble?

Terms & Conditions:

ONLY VALID WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. The Country Inns & Suites by Carlson Free Android Phone promotional offer (“Offer”) is valid for one selected (1) Android smartphone device (dependent on Service Provider) (“Device”) when you make and complete a new reservation for at least two (2) consecutive nights at a participating U.S. Country Inns & Suites hotel (“Participating Hotel”) between November 9, 2015 and December 31, 2015 while supplies last. To book an eligible stay, visit and follow the on-screen instructions, call the toll free reservation line at 1-800-456-4000, or contact a Participating Hotel directly. Advanced booking is required. Offer expires December 31, 2015 or once all available devices have been exhausted, whichever occurs first. Open to legal residents of 50 US/DC, 18+. Participants will be required to sign an agreement with the selected Service Provider for a two (2) year wireless service plan and may be subject to a credit check. Service is subject to the terms and conditions set by the Service Provider. Service may require participants to pay an airtime carrier activation/upgrade fee, regulatory fees, applicable sales taxes, and additional fees associated with any selected data features or upgrades selected. Any other taxes, fees, or other related costs incurred in conjunction with use of device or wireless phone service are the sole responsibility of the participant. Offer is not redeemable for cash, is not valid for previous stays or existing reservations, and is subject to availability and blackout dates. Participating Hotels are subject to change without notice and the number of rooms available for this Offer at Participating Hotels may be limited. Void where prohibited by law. By participating in this Offer, you agree and consent to the full terms and conditions. For the full terms, visit