Radisson Rewards: The Complete Guide

Joe Cortez, Elina GellerJuly 14, 2020
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Radisson Rewards is the loyalty program of Radisson Hotel Group. With over 226,000 rooms in more than 1,400 hotels around the world, the Radisson Rewards program can help you unlock hotel awards primarily in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Despite a relatively low value per point, if Radisson is your hotel chain of choice or it offers properties in regions you’d like to visit, learning about this program can be advantageous since Radisson has some generous earning opportunities.

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How much Radisson Rewards points are worth

Based on our most recent analysis, NerdWallet values Radisson Rewards points at 0.3 cent apiece. To determine the value of reward points, we compared cash prices and reward redemptions for hotel stays across several destinations and dates. We divided the cost in cash by the cost in points to determine a “cent per point” value for each hotel night, then averaged this value across several searches. Read more about how we arrived at these figures.

This is therefore a baseline value for Radisson Rewards points, based on real-world data collected from hundreds of hotel stays, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award bookings that offer 0.3 cent or more in value from your Radisson Rewards points.

To determine the value of your points for specific bookings, divide the cash value (minus any fees associated with the reward booking) by the number of points required. So if a hotel room would cost either $100, or 15,000 points + $10 in resort fees, the math would be as follows:

($100 – $10) / 15,000 = 0.006, or 0.6 cent per point.

Radisson Rewards: The basics

The Radisson loyalty program offers rewards points to travelers staying at their seven brands:

  1. Country Inn & Suites by Radisson: An upper-midscale hotel brand featuring free Wi-Fi and complimentary hot breakfast.

  2. Park Inn by Radisson: A contemporary upper-midscale hotel with a colorful modern design.

  3. Park Plaza: An upper-upscale hotel that targets business and leisure travelers with designs that align with the locations.

  4. Radisson Red: An upscale brand focused on travelers searching for a different hotel experience — informal services and bold design are the hallmarks of this brand. Properties are in vibrant, urban locations.

  5. Radisson: The flagship brand of the collection, Radisson hotels provide an upscale stay that blends each destination’s authentic local influence with modern design.

  6. Radisson Blu: The upper-upscale brand of Radisson, Radisson Blu features inspirational spaces and personalized service.

  7. Radisson Collection: The premium brand of Radisson, the Radisson Collection, is a group of unique, luxury hotels.

Radisson Rewards elite levels

Radisson Rewards offers guests four different loyalty status levels, based on which credit card they hold or how often they stay every year:

Radisson Rewards Club

Radisson Rewards Club is the base level for new members. Benefits include:

  • 20 points per $1 spent on eligible hotel nights, along with meals and beverages charged to the room.

  • Members-only rates, which can mean savings up to 10% when booking on the Radisson website or mobile app.

  • A 5% discount on food and drink at participating hotel restaurants and two complimentary bottles of water in your room with every stay.

Radisson Rewards Silver

After accruing six stays or nine nights, members jump to Radisson Rewards Silver status, which includes all the benefits of Rewards Club plus the following additions and enhancements:

  • 22 points per $1 spent on eligible hotel nights plus meals and beverages charged to their room.

  • Ability to request an early check-in or late checkout on eligible stays.

  • Eligibility for complimentary room upgrades.

  • Ability to roll over eligible nights toward elite status in the next year.

  • 10% discount at participating hotel restaurants.

Radisson Rewards Gold

Members get Radisson Rewards Gold status after 20 stays, 30 nights or getting the Radisson Rewards™ Premier Visa Signature® Card. On top of the benefits of the lower tiers, Gold members also get these additions and enhancements:

  • 25 points per $1 spent on eligible stays and food and drink purchases charged to the room.

  • 15% discount at participating hotel restaurants.

  • In-room welcome gift during eligible stays.

  • 72-hour room guarantee when booking through the Elite Members Services line.

Radisson Rewards Platinum

At the highest end of Radisson's status levels is Radisson Rewards Platinum, earned after 30 stays or 60 nights. These members get all the previous listed perks plus:

  • Free breakfast at participating hotel restaurants.

  • Dedicated Platinum Member Services Line.

  • Room availability guaranteed up to 48 hours before booking.

  • 35 points per every $1 spent at hotels.

  • 20% discount on food and drinks at participating hotels.

Radisson Rewards lifetime status

Unlike other programs, Radisson Rewards doesn't offer lifetime status for continued elite status across multiple years. Instead, members must requalify for loyalty status every year. The only assured way to earn status every year is to hold the Radisson Rewards™ Premier Visa Signature® Card, which grants Gold status upon activating the card.

Earning Radisson Rewards points

While staying at Radisson hotels is the primary way to earn points, members can also do so through other offers. From holding a co-branded credit card to using partner offers, there is no shortage of ways to pick up more points.

Stay at Radisson Hotels

Members earn Radisson Rewards points based on their elite status for each dollar spent on eligible rates:

  • Rewards Club members earn 20 points per dollar.

  • Silver members earn 22 points per dollar.

  • Gold members earn 25 points per dollar.

  • Platinum members earn 35 points per dollar.

"Eligible rates" usually exclude bookings such as employee rates, friends and family rates, complimentary or barter rooms not booked on points, rates booked through an online travel agency, and those booked through group or tour operator accounts.

Use the right credit cards

Radisson Rewards offers two personal credit cards that earn points for every dollar spent. Both cards allow cardholders to earn one free night e-certificate after $10,000 in annual spending, up to three times, every year they renew their card.

  • Radisson Rewards™ Premier Visa Signature® Card: ($75 annual fee): Earn up to 85,000 bonus points: Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 points when you make your first purchase on your card within 90 days of account opening. Earn an additional 35,000 points if you spend at least $2,500 in Net Purchases on your card within 90 days of account opening.

Cardholders earn 10 points per $1 spent at participating Radisson Hotels and 5 points per $1 spent everywhere else. The card also comes with Radisson Rewards Gold status upon activation. When you renew the card, you will earn an anniversary bonus of 40,000 points.

  • Radisson Rewards™ Visa® Card: ($0 annual fee): 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.

This entry-level card earns 3 points per $1 spent at participating Radisson hotels and 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else.

Other ways to get more Radisson Rewards points

Like most hotel rewards programs, Radisson Rewards offers members different ways to earn extra points — most of which don’t involve staying at a hotel at all. You can earn bonus points through the following partner offers:

  • Car rental rewards: Radisson Rewards partners with the following seven car rental companies: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, National and Sixt, offering extra points with each rental. Bonuses range from 300 Radisson Rewards points per car rental day to a flat 1,800 points per rental, with extras ranging from discounts to car upgrades.

  • FTD flowers: When you order flowers with FTD online or over the phone using Radisson’s promo code, you can earn 1,500 Radisson Rewards points per purchase. Some exceptions apply.

  • Hotel promotions: Radisson Rewards also offers members the opportunity to earn extra points by booking promotional offers. Offers can vary including earning bonus points on the first stay through the Radisson Rewards smartphone app, to double points on eligible rates at participating hotels.

  • Vinesse Wines: You can even earn bonus Radisson Rewards points for joining a wine club. New Vinesse Wines subscribers can earn 5,000 points with the first wine club shipment, and 5 points for every $1 spent on wine or wine accessories on all future wine club shipments and orders.

  • Bicester Village Shopping: Earn 10 points for each euro or pound spent at 11 Bicester Village stores in Europe and 10 points for every 10 yuan spent in China. The points can be earned at more than 1,000 shops including Mulberry, Saint Laurent and Furla.

  • Hosting meetings: When you host a meeting or event at a Radisson property as a Radisson Rewards Business member, you can earn bonus points depending on the type of event. Travel agents and small/medium enterprises can earn 10 points per $1 for hotel room bookings. Event planners can earn 5 points per $1 for meetings.

Using Radisson Rewards points

Travelers can use their Radisson Rewards points in many ways. While redeeming points for a hotel stay is the easiest way to use points, they can also be converted to airline miles, a Priority Pass membership, gift cards, prepaid cards, instant in-hotel rewards or donated to charities.

Using Radisson Rewards for free hotel nights

Searching for award nights falls under two categories: award night stays and Points + Cash awards.

Standard award nights are available across seven categories, with Category 1 being the cheapest hotels and Category 7 being the most luxurious locations. Radisson’s award chart ranges from 9,000 points for a standard Category 1 room, up to 70,000 points for a standard Category 7 room. When using points for a hotel room, we estimate your return is about 0.3 cent per point. Radisson also offers Premium Room award nights at each level for an increased cost.

If you don’t have enough points for an award night, you can also reduce your overall cost for a night with a Points + Cash award. Using a Points + Cash award night, you pay a flat rate of points combined with a cash requirement determined at the time of reservation. How many points you pay is based on the category your hotel is in:

Other ways to use Radisson Rewards points

If you would rather use Radisson Rewards points for other travel benefits, the program has you covered. The other ways to use your points include:

  • Airline miles: Radisson Rewards points can be transferred to dozens of airline partners. Members have three transfer options: 2,000 Radisson Rewards points for 200 miles, 50,000 Radisson Rewards points for 5,000 miles, or 100,000 Radisson Rewards points for 10,000 miles.

  • In-Hotel Express Awards: Radisson Rewards can also be used like cash for hotel extras at check-in or during your stay. Points can be used to cover food and beverages at participating hotel restaurants, an in-room movie, parking charges or spa services.

  • Gift cards: Hotel rewards programs often offer gift cards as a redemption option, and Radisson Rewards is no exception. Select gift cards are available at the following denominations: $10 for 7,000 points, $25 for 18,000 points and $50 for 34,000 points. However, if you redeem 7,000 points for a $10 gift card, you’re only getting a value of 0.14 cent per point, which is significantly below NerdWallet’s valuation of 0.3 cent each.

  • Prepaid cards: Radisson Rewards also allows you to exchange points for prepaid Visa cards, redeemable anywhere Visa is accepted. A $25 prepaid Visa card costs 20,000 points, a $50 prepaid Visa costs 35,000 points and a $100 prepaid Visa costs 67,000 points. Each of these redemptions would result in a value of 0.13-0.15 cent per point, which is still a poor value given our 0.3 cent per point valuation.

  • Priority Pass membership: If you don’t have a premium travel credit card that offers lounge access, you could use your Radisson points to purchase a Priority Pass membership. It will cost 125,000 points to receive a unique invitation code that will cover the cost of a Priority Pass Standard Plus Membership ($299 value) for one applicant for one year. The membership grants 10 free visits, and each visit thereafter costs $27.

  • Donate points to charity: The American Red Cross, SOS Children’s Villages and First Climate accept donations of Radisson Rewards points, which are then converted to cash. Members can donate a minimum of 3,000 points, with no limit on the number of points that can be given.

Good Radisson Rewards redemption options

Hotel room awards: The best way to use Radisson Rewards points is toward hotel rooms at over 1,400 hotels located on nearly every continent. When using points toward hotels, our calculations show your points are worth an average of 0.3 cent each. The most valuable use of points is to stay in major cities during peak travel seasons. When it comes to redeeming points, you won’t find a more valuable use than toward hotel rooms.

Points + Cash awards: Because Radisson charges a flat rate in points for hotel rooms on Points + Cash awards, some hybrid awards can be a good use of Radisson Rewards. If you can get more than 0.3 cent per point of value from a Points + Cash award, then it’s a good deal.

Bad Radisson Rewards redemption options

  • Gift cards: Although you could redeem Radisson Rewards points for gift cards and cash cards, you won’t get a very good return. When exchanging points for gift cards, your effective exchange rate is about 0.14 cent per point, which is less than one third of the per point average on hotel rewards.

  • Priority Pass membership: If you hold a premium travel credit card, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or The Platinum Card® from American Express, then you already understand the benefits and value of Priority Pass. Terms apply. But paying for it with Radisson Rewards points is a really bad deal. First, the $299 membership costs 125,000 points, for a value of 0.23 cent per point — well under the average value of 0.3 cent per point. In addition, the points get you a Standard Plus membership, which only gives members 10 free visits. All guests and visits after the first 10 cost $27 each. If lounge access is important to you, consider getting a premium travel card instead.

The bottom line

If you are an infrequent traveler who wants to earn hotel stays for everyday spending or are planning a vacation for a family, Radisson Rewards is worth your consideration. With a good rate of return for staying at hotels and spending on the Radisson Rewards™ Premier Visa Signature® Card, travelers who are more concerned about budget than luxury can potentially find great deals through Radisson Rewards.

On the other hand, those who are primarily looking for luxury over convenience and discounts won't be best served by Radisson Rewards. Instead, the best returns for those travelers may be found at World of Hyatt, which focuses on luxury hotel experiences, or Marriott Rewards, which offers over 30 brands ranging from economical to high-end and luxury.

Photo courtesy of Radisson.

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