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While certainly not the biggest hotel chain in America, Radisson's loyalty program, Radisson Rewards Americas, is the best. At least that’s according to NerdWallet’s annual rating of the best hotel loyalty programs.
When you stay at a Radisson hotel in the Americas — which includes properties in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean — expect relatively few add-on fees inflating the cost of your stay (we’re talking things like resort fees, parking fees or pet fees). Loyalty program members with Radisson elite status can expect generous benefits ranging from welcome gifts to free breakfast.
But perhaps best of all is the number of points you earn for your stay. Of the seven major hotel brands we reviewed in our quest to find the best hotel loyalty programs of 2022, only Radisson Rewards Americas scored a perfect 5-star rating in any category (in this case, Rewards Rate). That’s largely because Radisson is incredibly generous with how many points it gives you for your stays — as many as 35 points per dollar spent if you have the highest level of elite status.
And given that NerdWallet values Radisson points at 0.8 cent, that’s up to a roughly 21% return in the form of Radisson points on the cost of your stay.
Of course, staying at Radisson hotels in the Americas isn’t the only way to earn Radisson Rewards Americas points. If you want to boost your balance in the Radisson Rewards Americas loyalty program, keep reading to learn the 10 best ways to earn Radisson points.
How the Radisson Rewards program split affects earnings
In 2021, Radisson’s loyalty program split into two: Radisson Rewards Americas and Radisson Rewards. That means the process for earning and redeeming rewards is now separated, so that rewards earned in one program can only be redeemed in that same program.
Radisson Rewards Americas covers properties in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Radisson Rewards covers properties in Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa.
You have to transfer your points between programs in order to use them for trips that fall under the other program's geographic purview. So, that means frequent hotel stays at a Radisson in the U.S. won’t do much to help fund your European vacation (without the added transfer step).
While it is easy to transfer points between the two programs and usually takes less than 24 hours, the delay can still be slightly annoying for travelers in either direction who might not be able to use points as seamlessly as they anticipated being able to.
This guide encompasses earning Radisson Rewards Americas points. If you’re looking to earn and redeem points for hotel stays outside the Americas, check out our guide to earning Radisson Rewards points.
10 ways to earn Radisson Rewards Americas points
1. Get Radisson points through hotel stays
The points flow easily when you stay at one of the more than 600 hotels in the United States, Canada, Caribbean, and Latin America. You can find them all here.
All members who sign up for Radisson’s loyalty program — which is free to join as a Club member — earn at least 20 points per $1 spent on eligible stays.
Given NerdWallet’s value of a Radisson point at 0.8 cent, that’s roughly 12% back on the cost of your stay in the form of Radisson points.
Put another way, a Radisson Rewards Club member could earn 15,000 points (enough for a free standard night at a Category 1 hotel) after spending $750 with Radisson brands.
You can earn points on up to three rooms booked under the same reservation. So if you’re traveling with a group — you can earn points if you book for them, too (though only one member can earn points per stay, so you might have to fight your friends over who gets them if a couple of you are pining for points).
Points won’t be posted to your account until after the stay has been fully completed and paid for.
2. Dine at Radisson hotel restaurants
Points don’t come just by sleeping in a Radisson. Dine at one too, and you’ll also earn 20 points per $1 spent on your meal check.
And Radisson runs some restaurants that are destinations unto themselves. People flock to the 12th floor rooftop of the Radisson Blu Anaheim’s BluSky Restaurant & Bar, not just to enjoy Southern California’s sunny days, but also for the views of the Disneyland fireworks at night.
There are a few caveats: Points are not awarded for tax or tip, alcoholic beverages, room service, or in-room dining. And while group dinners are fun, hopefully it’s not too large a group. You also won’t earn points on catering or banquets, or groups or parties of six or more.
To earn points for your meal, you must charge the meal to your room.
3. Hold Radisson elite status
While everyone earns at least 20 points per dollar spent on eligible room charges and food and beverage purchases, loyalists earn even more points.
The program offers four status levels:
The higher the status, the more you earn.
Here’s the breakdown of earnings, depending on your Radisson elite status.
Points earned per $1 spent on hotel stays
Average value of points return on hotel spending
How to earn
9 nights or 6 stays per year.
30 nights or 20 stays per year.
60 nights or 30 stays per year.
So you know how Club members would have to spend $750 to earn a free night? Silver, Gold and Platinum members could have enough points for a free night after spending about $682, $600 and $429 respectively, based on their earn rates.
Depending on your elite status level, the aforementioned cash spending amounts will get you to the 15,000 point threshold — enough for a Standard Room at a Category 1 hotel.
4. Book a Radisson Rewards Americas offer
Before making a reservation, always check the Radisson Rewards Americas offers page for limited-time discounts or promotions that earn you bonus points. Recent offers have featured 5,000 bonus points per stay and a 10% off member rate.
Another offer awarded a one-time 3,000-point bonus for booking through the Radisson Rewards mobile app.
» Learn more: Your guide to hotel bonus point promotions
5. Plan a wedding, conference or group travel via Radisson Rewards for Business
If you’re a travel agent, conference organizer or simply a social butterfly seeking to host an event at a hotel, there are more point earning opportunities. Radisson Rewards for Business allows a traveler to earn points for not just their own stay, but the reservations and bookings they make for everyone else.
Travel agents: You can earn 10 points per $1 spent on bookings made for your clients. That’s on top of other benefits for travel agents, like discounted room rates.
Meeting and event planners: You can earn 5 points for every $1 you spend on booking meetings or events at an eligible property. This includes everything from group dinners to conventions to your own wedding.
6. Buy flowers, wine and more with Radisson shopping partners
Radisson Rewards Americas has partnerships with a few online retailers. Purchase flowers or a gift basket with floral industry company FTD, and you’ll earn 2,500 points per purchase. That’s worth about $15 in the form of Radisson points.
Wine drinkers may find themselves with an excellent deal. Place your first order from Vinesse's flagship American Cellars Wine Club (which costs about $42 and includes six wines) and earn 3,000 Radisson points (worth about $18). Stick around in the wine club to earn more: Your second shipment earns you 7,000 points (worth about $42).
7. Book through Radisson car rental partners
Rental cars are another opportunity to rack up points; the amount earned depends on the rental agency you choose. Currently, Radisson has partner offers with Avis, Budget, Europcar and Sixt.
Not only can you expect to earn bonus points, but some companies offer extra discounts and free upgrades simply for being a Radisson loyalist.
» Learn more: The cheapest rental car companies
8. Buy Radisson points
First off, we rarely recommend buying points from loyalty programs — Radisson or others. While Radisson allows you to purchase points, it’s rarely a good deal versus saving your money and booking a room for a cash rate.
Radisson Rewards sells points in increments of 1,000. You can buy as many as 80,000 within the calendar year, and they typically cost $7 per 1,000 points. Considering we value 1,000 points at closer to $6, you typically lose value by doing this.
That said, it can make sense if you’ve found a stellar points redemption opportunity but are a few points short of making it happen, or if Radisson offers a special deal on points purchases.
9. Transfer Radisson Rewards points to your Radisson Rewards Americas account
Remember how we said there was also a separate loyalty program called Radisson Rewards, which applies to Radisson hotels outside of the Americas? If you have points in that program, you can easily transfer them between your two accounts (as long as the name and email on the two accounts match) by visiting the Global Points Transfer page.
Points transfers are 1:1, and you can transfer any amount from one up to 1 million points per transaction (and you can perform up to 25 transactions per year). While transfers are painless, they're not instant. Plan for about 24 hours for transfers to go through.
10. Give your points to someone else (maybe)
There are some limited circumstances where you can transfer your points to someone else. People eligible to transfer points include:
Members with elite status.
Members within the same household: Both members must have been in the Radisson Rewards or Radisson Rewards Americas program for at least one year and must reside at the same address.
Members who have died: Points belonging to a Radisson Rewards Americas or Radisson Rewards for Business Americas member who is deceased may be transferred to a beneficiary’s account at Radisson’s discretion. Be prepared to show documentation such as a death certificate. And make the request within a year, otherwise those points will be forfeited.
Earning Radisson points is advantageous
Radisson Rewards Americas is one of the best hotel loyalty programs there is — and it helps that you can earn a lot of points fast by staying at participating properties, shopping, renting a car or taking advantage of special bonus offers.
Sure, the divide between Radisson Rewards Americas and Radisson Rewards is confusing and annoying, but if you’re willing to have accounts with both programs and put in the effort to transfer points between them, then you can find yourself traveling for free both domestically and abroad.
Photo courtesy of Radisson Hotels Americas.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card