5 Things to Know About the Radisson Rewards Visa Card

Unlike higher-tier Radisson credit cards, this one doesn't come with an anniversary bonus, and ongoing rewards are meager. A general travel card would offer more value.

Funto OmojolaJanuary 21, 2021
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If you're a frugal traveler who stays with Radisson frequently, the Radisson Rewards™ Visa® Card may be of value to you. Issued by U.S. Bank, the $0-annual-fee hotel card comes with a decent welcome bonus and offers the chance to spend your way to free nights.

But beyond that, the card’s mediocre ongoing rewards and lack of anniversary bonus points make it less valuable than other co-branded Radisson rewards credit cards. (There are two others; more on that below.)

Plus, if Radisson is not typically your chain of choice, then other hotel credit cards — or general travel cards — can offer more value and flexibility.

Here are five things to know about the Radisson Rewards™ Visa® Card.

1. Ongoing rewards are mediocre ...

Cardholders earn rewards at the following rates:

  • 3 points per $1 at participating Radisson Family of Hotels worldwide.

  • 1 point per $1 on all other spending.

NerdWallet values Radisson points at about 0.3 cent. This value is considerably low compared with other co-branded hotel cards, and it means that even at the card’s highest rewards rate for Radisson purchases, you’ll get less than a penny back in value per $1 spent.

The two higher-tier credit cards in the Radisson portfolio, discussed below, earn significantly richer rewards, so while point values are still low, cardholders get more of them per $1 spent.

There are cash-back and no-annual-fee travel credit cards that offer more lucrative points values and greater spending flexibility. For example, the Discover it® Miles is a $0-annual-fee travel card that earns 1.5 miles on all purchases, which can be redeemed for cash back. Points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for travel purchases, including hotel stays.

2. ... But it does come with a sizable sign-up bonus

The Radisson Rewards™ Visa® Card offers the following welcome offer for new cardholders: Earn a bonus of 30,000 points when you spend at least $1,000 in net purchases on your card within 90 days of account opening.

Despite Radisson’s low points value, based on NerdWallet valuations, this bonus could potentially be enough for a few free stays — depending on what type of room you opt for. (Redemptions toward standard Radisson rooms start at 9,000 points, but a premium room can cost more than 100,000 points per night.)

3. You can earn free nights (if you spend enough) 

The Radisson Rewards™ Visa® Card offers the opportunity to earn free nights with Radisson, but not automatically. You'll have to spend a certain amount first.

The card lets you earn up to three free night "e-certificates" per year, one for every $10,000 you spend (up to $30,000) annually.

While this is a somewhat rare benefit for a card with no annual fee, those spending thresholds are steep. Other hotel cards that do charge annual fees — including those within the Radisson portfolio — offer automatic free nights annually, or ways to snag them more easily. And the value of those free nights can easily outweigh those cards' annual fees.

4. It doesn't travel as well as competitors

Although it has more than 1,100 properties worldwide, the Radisson chain is not as large and widespread as other hotel brands. If your travels take you to places where Radisson-owned hotels are not available, you won’t be able to put your earned rewards to use.

Additionally, the Radisson Rewards™ Visa® Card charges a foreign transaction fee — 2% of each transaction in U.S. dollars and 3% of each transaction in a foreign currency — which can make international travel costly.

If you’re not bound to Radisson, consider a hotel chain that is more far-reaching and ideal for traveling abroad. For example, the $95-annual-fee Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card earns 6 points per $1 at more than 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, and 2 points per $1 on all other spending. The card charges no foreign transaction fees, and it also offers a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) each year after your account anniversary.

5. It’s one of three Radisson credit cards

The Radisson Rewards™ Visa® Card is the most basic version of the three cards in the Radisson family. Radisson also offers the following cards:

Applicants who don’t qualify for the higher-tier Premier version are automatically considered for the Platinum card. Both cards offer anniversary bonus points but charge annual fees, unlike the lower-tier Radisson Rewards™ Visa® Card.

Here’s a glance at how the cards stack up:

Sign-up bonus: Up to 85,000 bonus points - receive 50,000 points after your first purchase plus 35,000 points once you spend $2,500 on your card within the first 90 days.

Rewards: 10 points per dollar spent at participating Radisson properties; 5 points per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Anniversary bonus: 40,000 points each year after paying the annual fee.

Sign-up bonus: Up to 60,000 Bonus Points - receive 50,000 points after your first purchase plus 10,000 points once you spend $1,500 on your card within the first 90 days.

Rewards: 6 points per dollar spent at participating Radisson properties; 3 points per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Anniversary bonus: 25,000 points each year after paying the annual fee.

Sign-up bonus: Earn a bonus of 30,000 points when you spend at least $1,000 in net purchases on your card within 90 days of account opening.

Rewards: 3 points per dollar spent at participating Radisson properties; 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Anniversary bonus: None.

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