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The Radisson hotel chain has been undergoing some changes lately, with the Americas branch of the brand splitting off and selling to Choice Hotels.
Now that the sale is complete, a new proposition has opened up for those looking to use Radisson points for stays — one that could save you up to 75% on bookings if you hold the right credit cards.
Let’s take a look at how to save on Radisson stays with Citi points.
Citi ThankYou transfer partners
For those who are unfamiliar with Citi ThankYou points, they work like this: If you hold a Citi card that earns ThankYou points, when you use it for purchases, you acquire points.
These points can then be used for a variety of redemptions, including transfers to hotel and airline partners.
» Learn more: The complete guide to Citi ThankYou transfer partners
Citi is unique in that its partnership with Choice Privileges can be worth up to double that of any other card issuer.
Such a partnership unlocks great value for cardholders, but now that Choice has started integrating Radisson into its portfolio, it gets even more interesting.
» Learn more: The best hotel credit cards right now
Transferring to Radisson Hotels Americas
As it stands, Choice Privileges points can now be converted to Radisson Rewards Americas at a 1:2 ratio.
Once you’ve gone through all the steps, you’ll end up turning one Citi ThankYou point into four Radisson points!
Just by using this method, you’re turning that 1.5 cents' worth of points into 3.2 cents' worth of points — but wait, it gets better.
Booking your Radisson hotel
Now it’s time to use those points! If you’re not familiar with Radisson you may be wondering where you can find locations to use those points.
Radisson Hotels Americas has more than 1,500 locations spread across North America, including some high-end luxury options.
Let’s take a look at a two-night stay at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago, which is a member of Radisson’s luxury brand.
» Learn more: Citi ThankYou Points — how to earn and use them
A stay from Saturday to Monday in May, which is a good time to visit, will set you back $879.39 per night. That same trip would cost you just 50,000 points per night.
You’ll note that you’re still on the hook for taxes and an "urban fee," but overall you’re paying 100,000 Radisson points for that $1,758.78 stay.
If you’re an eligible cardholder converting your Citi points over to Radisson, you’ll end up paying just 12,500 Citi points per night for your stay and 25,000 points total.
25,000 Citi points are worth $375, which is a far cry from the $1,700 in value that you’re receiving.
This particular hotel room for $375 is, as we suggested in the title, more than 75% off what the cash price would be!
Put another way, you’re redeeming your Citi ThankYou points at a rate of 7.04 cents each — nearly five times their value!
If you hold elite status with certain other hotel loyalty programs, you can get matching Radisson elite status. This results in benefits such as room upgrades, early check-in, late check-out, welcome amenities and more.
To get perspective on the value of transferring your Citi ThankYou Points for a stay at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago, let's compare it to a stay at the Park Hyatt Chicago, another five-star option that will cost you $662 per night (without taxes and fees).
World of Hyatt is well-known for its generous pricing on reward redemptions, but even at this property, you’re paying 29,000 points per night for your stay.
You’ll need to use Chase Ultimate Rewards, which we value at up to 2.7 cents each.
So if you’re transferring points in, not only are you paying more than double in points per night, you’re redeeming points that are otherwise worth 2.7 cents apiece rather than Citi’s points, valued at 1.5 cents each.
I’m sure you’re starting to see why we’re so jazzed about this new partnership.
The Radisson Blu Punta Cana, an All-Inclusive Resort is also available for 75,000 Radisson points per night.
Here’s another option: The Park Inn by Radisson Mazatlan. It’s not super fancy, but it is an oceanfront hotel in Mexico. A three-night weekend stay here in April will run you $351.05.
But when using points, there are no taxes or fees associated with this booking, so you’ll pay just 30,000 points for three nights.
Transferring from Citi ThankYou will leave you paying 7,500 points per night, or $112.50 worth of Citi points. Pretty good!
» Learn more: The award chart guide for both Radisson Reward programs
Save money on your Radisson stays with Citi points
While Radisson Hotels Americas may not be the most well-known chain around, it has solid value and a decent portfolio of hotels from which to choose.
In the end, there’s really no other way to put this: Taking advantage of the exchange rate across Citi ThankYou, Choice and Radisson can result in some enormous value for your stays.
(Top 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 2023, 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