Radisson Rewards is the loyalty program of the Radisson family of hotels, with 1,200-plus properties around the world that include the Radisson, Radisson Red, Radisson Blu, Country Inn & Suites, Park Plaza, Park Inn and Art’Otel brands.
Radisson points can be redeemed for hotel nights, hotel nights paid partly with cash, airline miles, gift cards and prepaid cards. But some redemptions get you more value than others. Here’s how to get the maximum value out of your Radisson Rewards points to make your next vacation even better.
Redeem points for hotel stays
When redeeming points for an award night, you have three options: standard redemptions, premium redemptions and points-and-cash redemptions.
Hotels in the Radisson Rewards program are divided into seven categories, with luxurious properties in high-demand locations at the higher end of the scale. For standard redemptions, rooms range between 9,000 points at a Category 1 property and 70,000 points for a night in Category 7.
When you’re ready to book, compare the points rate to the cash rate to see what value you’re getting. If you find a hotel that costs 70,000 points a night but the cash rate is $700 per night, you’re getting more value from your points than you would if you booked a 70,000-point room with a cash rate of $300 per night.
Premium rewards cost 50% more points but, depending on your needs, can deliver even greater value. For example, if you’re traveling with family, you could snag a large suite for 50% more points instead of paying for two rooms. For families traveling together with small children or even just a guys or girls weekend, one large room could mean savings and more comfort for everyone.
» Learn more: Why Radisson’s Rewards program is underrated
Combine points and cash to book hotel stays
If you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost of a room (or even if you do), you can use points to offset part of the cash room rate. The value you get for a points-and-cash redemption varies by hotel and time of year. With a little work, you can find some excellent sweet spots where your points get you even more value.
How to find “sweet spot” cash-and-points redemptions
For points-and-cash redemptions, Category 1 through 3 hotels all require the same number of points: 5,000. Category 4 and 5 hotels also require the same number of points: 10,000.
This means that a Category 3 hotel that would cost 28,000 points as a standard redemption instead costs 5,000 plus cash. A Category 1 hotel that would be 9,000 points as a standard redemption costs 5,000 plus cash. So 5,000 points go much further for a Category 3 room than they would for a Category 1 room.
A Category 5 hotel that costs 44,000 points as a standard room redemption can be booked for 10,000 points plus cash. Compare that to a Category 4 hotel that would cost 38,000 points or 10,000 points plus cash. In this case, your 10,000 points get you more value at a Category 5 than they would at a Category 4. So the best value for the points-plus-cash redemptions is at Category 5 hotels, where the points-plus-cash rate saves you 34,000 points per night.
And there’s another benefit to points-and-cash redemptions: You earn Radisson Rewards points on the cash portion of your stay, which is like getting some of your points rebated. The number of points you earn is based on your membership level:
General member: 20 points per dollar.
Silver elite: 22 points per dollar.
Gold elite: 25 points per dollar.
Platinum elite: 35 points per dollar.
Members with the Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature® Card get an additional 10 points per dollar when they use the card to pay for qualifying hotel stays. So a Platinum member using the card earns 45 Radisson Rewards points for every dollar spent on the stay.
Sweet spot example 1: Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Kalispell, Montana
At Country Inn and Suites in Kalispell, Montana, just outside of Glacier National Park, a room with a king bed cost $217 in August.
Booked at the points-and-cash rate, that same room was 10,000 points plus $130.
A general member booking that room at Country Inn & Suites near Kalispell for points and cash would earn 2,600 points on that $130. A general member with the credit card would earn 3,900 points. A Platinum member with the credit card would earn 5,850 points.
Subtract those points earnings from the 10,000 points paid at the points-and-cash rate and the net points cost for the general member is just 7,360 points, and for the Platinum member the net points cost is just 4,060 points. Plus you’re saving over $80 off the $217 cash rate.
Sweet spot example 2: Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Orlando, Florida
The Country Inn and Suites in Orlando is minutes away from Universal Studios. For our dates, the hotel cost $62 a night or the Category 3 points-and-cash rate of 5,000 points plus $37.79.
General members, who earn 20 points per dollar on stays, would earn back 756 points. A Platinum member using the credit card, earning 45 points per dollar, would get 1,700 points back on that $37.79. So it’s like paying just 3,300 points plus $37.79.
» Learn more: Which Radisson credit card do I choose?
Redeem points for airline miles
Radisson Rewards has partnerships with more than three dozen airlines, including United, Southwest, Delta, Emirates, Turkish Airways, Etihad, Cathay Pacific and Asiana. Radisson Rewards members can exchange 50,000 Radisson points for 5,000 miles in most airline programs. That’s a 10:1 ratio, so it’s not the greatest. But it can be beneficial to have the option of topping off an airline mileage balance when you’re close to having enough miles for a flight.
Plus, Radisson’s airline partners include some geographically specific carriers like AirAstana (Kazakhstan), Oman Air, Pegasus Airlines (Turkey), Philippine Airlines, and Saudia Arabian Airlines. If you fly one of these airlines regularly, your Radisson points give you an opportunity to trade points for miles that may not be offered by other loyalty programs.
Members of SAS airline’s EuroBonus loyalty program can convert Radisson points to the program at a 7:1 ratio, making this Scandinavian airline’s program a sort of sweet spot for points transfers.
For all points-to-miles conversions, it can take four to six weeks for the points to post, so be prepared to wait.
The bottom line
For travelers who stay frequently or even occasionally at Radisson family properties, the Radisson Rewards program can offer good value, but you have to know how to maximize your points. Points-and-cash redemptions at Category 3 and Category 5 hotels offer some of the best uses of Radisson Rewards points. And members with a Radisson credit card can get even more value out of the program.
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 2021, 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