Why Radisson’s Rewards Program Is Underrated

Ariana Arghandewal
By Ariana Arghandewal 
Published
Edited by Mary M. Flory

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Editor's note: Radisson is now part of the Choice Privileges loyalty program. This content is being updated to reflect this change. In the meantime, read more about this news here.


When you think of the best hotel rewards programs, chances are the big four come to mind: Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Marriott. These programs are mainstream and get the most attention. However, there is another hotel rewards program that deserves attention. In fact, it’s one of the best rewards programs out there: Radisson Rewards.

Radisson’s extensive portfolio

We know what you’re thinking: You haven’t seen a Radisson hotel in years, and the only ones still around look run down and not someplace you’d want to stay. Fair enough. But what many people don’t realize is that Radisson has eight brands and over 1,200 hotels around the world. Some of its hotels in Europe, Asia and the Middle East rival the best Marriott and Hyatt hotels:

  • The May Fair London (70,000 points per night).

  • Radisson Blu Dubai Waterfront (50,000 points per night).

  • Radisson Hotel New York Midtown-Fifth Avenue (70,000 points per night).

  • Radisson Bosphorus Istanbul (70,000 points per night).

The ease of earning free nights via credit card spending

The Radisson Rewards™ Premier Visa Signature® Card earns 10 points per $1 at Radisson hotels and 5 points per $1 everywhere else. So if you’re not booking paid stays at Radisson hotels, you can still earn free nights fairly quickly. It takes just $1,800-$14,000 worth of non-bonus spending to earn a free night.

Meanwhile, you’d have to do $2,500-$50,000 worth of non-bonus spending on Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card to earn a free night.

As for Hyatt, you’d have to put $3,500-$45,000 in non-bonus spending on the World of Hyatt Credit Card to earn a free night.

As you can see, Radisson Rewards requires significantly less spending to earn a free night. Most people have limited expenses they can charge to their rewards credit card, and being able to get maximum return on that spending is important.

The ease and perks of earning elite status

Radisson Rewards has three different elite status levels: Silver, Gold and Platinum. Here's how you can earn them:

  • Silver: 9 nights/6 stays.

  • Gold: 30 nights/20 stays.

  • Platinum: 60 nights/30 stays.

The Radisson Rewards™ Premier Visa Signature® Card comes with instant Gold elite status. Cardholders who already have Gold status receive 15 elite qualifying nights instead. Additionally, award nights count toward status, making elite status much more attainable.

The ease of earning a free night

Earning free nights at Radisson hotels is fairly easy. Radisson Rewards has seven hotel categories, requiring 9,000 to 70,000 points per standard award night. And Radisson doesn’t have peak and off-peak pricing like Marriott and Hyatt, so the number of points required for a free night remains the same all year.

Non-elite members earn 20 points per $1 spent at Radisson hotels. Translation: It takes just $450 to $3,500 worth of spending to earn enough points for a free night just by staying at hotels. In comparison, non-elite Hyatt members earn 5 points per $1 spent, and free nights range from 3,500 to 45,000 points per night (if you factor in the peak/off-peak pricing structure going into effect in March). At that rate, it takes World of Hyatt members $700 to $9,000 worth of paid stays to earn enough points for a free night.

With Marriott Bonvoy, members earn 2.5 to 10 points per $1 spent and free nights range from 5,000 to 100,000 points per night. That means it takes $500 to $40,000 worth of spending to earn a free night. Clearly, Radisson Rewards is much more rewarding in this regard.

The bottom line

With a rewarding program that makes earning free nights via paid stays and credit card spending easier than other rewards programs, Radisson Rewards is low-key one of the best hotel loyalty programs out there. While its hotels stateside leave something to be desired, there are many high-end hotels and resorts abroad that get you lots of value for your points. The fact that it has not yet implemented peak and off-peak award pricing is a huge plus.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Hotel Cards from Our Partners
IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card

on Chase's website

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-26x

Earn up to 26 total points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts. Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, at gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

140,000

Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Points
World Of Hyatt Credit Card

on Chase's website

World of Hyatt Credit Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-9x

Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays – 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent on qualified purchases at Hyatt hotels & up to 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member. Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships.

Points

Intro offer

30,000

Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.

Points
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

on Chase's website

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
4.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

2x-17x

Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card. 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

150,000

Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!

Points
See more hotel cards
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