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Radisson Rewards points can take you to some amazing hotels around the world, but there are other ways to use your points.
Radisson Rewards members rack up points quickly thanks to the program’s generous points payouts for hotel stays, not to mention how easy it is to earn points using a Radisson co-branded credit card like the Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature® Card. This card pays 10 bonus points per dollar spent on Radisson stays, and currently has a welcome bonus with nice earnings: 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.
When it’s time to redeem points, a stay at a participating Radisson Hotel may get you the best value. But your points are also redeemable for more than just hotel stays, including plane tickets, spa treatments and merchandise.
Here’s a guide to all the ways you can spend your Radisson Rewards points.
More ways to use Radisson Rewards points
Enhance your hotel stay with Express Awards
If you are booked at a participating hotel, you can redeem Radisson Rewards points for spa treatments, food and beverage credits and room upgrades during your stay. Your Express Awards options vary by hotel and can also include local experiences, parking, enhancements to meetings and events or even laundry services.
You have to inquire directly at the hotel to see which Express Awards are available to you; call ahead if you’d like to know your options in advance.
» Learn more: Reasons to rack up Radisson Rewards
Transfer points to airlines
Transferring 2,000 Radisson Rewards points gets you 200 airline miles in most programs. Points are transferred in increments of 2,000.
But, as with most hotel-to-airline points transfers, this isn’t a great value. Consider this: With 70,000 points, you could get 7,000 miles in an airline frequent flyer program or use those 70,000 points for a night in an overwater villa at the top-shelf Category 7 hotel Radisson Blu Resort Maldives.
The lowest-priced redemptions in the Radisson Rewards program, Category 1 properties, start at 9,000 points a night. So if you had 90,000 Radisson points, you’re giving up the value of up to 10 hotel nights for just 9,000 airline miles.
The takeaway: Only convert your Radisson points to airline miles if you really need the miles. It could take four to six weeks for the miles to show up in your frequent flyer account, meaning this isn’t a great option if you want to grab a hard-to-find airline reward before someone else does.
Purchase prepaid gift cards
You can exchange Radisson Rewards points for retail gift cards — either a physical card or the electronic type. Gift card options include AMC Theatres, Best Buy, iTunes, Kroger, Starbucks, Walgreens and many others. The redemption rate can vary, but in most cases expect to pay 7,000 points for a $10 gift card.
When compared with redeeming points for a Category 1 standard room for 9,000 points, it’s not a great value. But, if you prefer a retail gift card, it could be worthwhile for you.
If you’d rather not tie up your points with one specific brand, you can convert points to a prepaid gift card with Mastercard or Visa that can be used like cash wherever credit cards are accepted. With this flexibility, however, comes a higher price tag. It takes 20,000 points for a $25 gift card, 35,000 points for a $50 gift card or 67,000 points for a $100 gift card.
» Learn more: Why Radisson’s Rewards program is underrated
Get Priority Pass lounge access or TSA Precheck
Priority Pass lounges are located around the world. You can redeem 125,000 points for a Standard Plus membership, which gets you 10 lounge visits per year. The normal cost for the Standard Plus membership card is $299.
If you have 65,000 points to burn, redeem them for access to the TSA Precheck program. You'll enjoy five years of streamlined airport security experiences.
You can use your points to make donations to several charities, including SOS Children’s Villages, the American Red Cross and First Climate’s climate protection projects. The first two require a minimum donation of 3,000 points to the organization, which gets converted to $1.60 for the organization per 1,000 points redeemed. First Climate’s minimum donation is 4,000 points.
There is no maximum to the number of points you can donate.
This is a great way to use “orphan” points and is the perfect example of why travelers should always sign up for a loyalty program whenever they fly or stay with a hotel. Earn the points when you can, even if you have no immediate plans to use them.
The bottom line
Your Radisson Rewards points get you the most value when you redeem them for hotel stays, but that’s not your only option. You can use them for food and drinks during a Radisson stay, trade them for airline miles, swap them for gift cards or even give them to charity.
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