Radisson Rewards Guide

How to earn Radisson Rewards and use them for free nights

Radisson Rewards Guide: Full Info, Tips and Advice

 

Radisson Rewards is the loyalty program enjoyed by travelers at more than 1,100 Radisson Hotel Group properties worldwide. Formerly known as Club Carlson, Radisson’s rewards program was renamed in 2018 to coincide with a rebrand that also saw the luxury hotels, Quorvus Collection, transition to the Radisson Collection.

As a Radisson Rewards member, you’ll have the opportunity to earn and spend Radisson Rewards on bookings and more at all eight brands that fall under the RHG umbrella:

  1. Radisson Collection – premium luxury boutique hotels, currently only outside the US.
  2. Radisson Blu – upscale hotels located mostly throughout Europe, Asia and Africa; three properties are in the U.S.
  3. Radisson – upper mid-tier properties that cater to business and leisure travelers.
  4. Radisson RED – modern, eclectic properties in city centers.
  5. Park Plaza – upscale, contemporary hotels designed for business travelers worldwide.
  6. Park Inn – midscale chain with hundreds of locations worldwide.
  7. Country Inn & Suites – upper midscale properties that offer comfortable atmosphere.
  8. Prizeotel – ultra-modern economy properties currently only located in Germany.

Even if you’re new to the Radisson brand, it’s likely you’re already familiar with the product. You may know Carlson Hotels – the parent company to Radisson that was bought in 2016 by HNA Tourism Group. If you enjoyed Club Carlson perks in the past, you can count on similar, if not improved, service and benefits going forward.

Whether you’re already a loyal Radisson customer, you’re just now joining hotel loyalty programs or you’d like to shop around and compare, read on to learn how to collect Radisson Rewards and use them most effectively.

How to set up your Radisson Rewards account

Setting up a Radisson Rewards account is free and easy, so even if you’re just starting out in the travel rewards game, it’s a quick process. You can either:

  1. Sign up online. You’ll have to enter your email and a few other details to get started.
  2. Sign up in person. You can join the Radisson Rewards program in person at any Radisson location, but you’ll still need to activate your account online afterward.

As a whole, the Radisson loyalty program offers ample rewards on the products you’re most likely to use most: hotel room stays and credit cards. If you find yourself traveling to a region of the country or world with a Radisson hotel you particularly enjoy, absolutely sign up for the loyalty program.

The brand as a whole has undergone some changes over the past few years, but with a quality product that is continually being updated, you’ll certainly enjoy your stay – especially when you wake up in the morning with a stockpile of reward points.

What are Radisson Rewards points worth?

As is the case with other hotel loyalty program, Radisson Rewards points fluctuate in value in accordance with how you choose to redeem them. Also note that hotel rewards programs tend to be updated fairly regularly – and Radisson is no exception. If you’re considering Radisson Rewards as your default loyalty program, stay in the know with product updates.

The baseline value for rewards points is right around one cent per point, but Radisson Rewards come up short at roughly 0.4 cents per point, according to The Points Guy. That value is an estimate based on a number of factors:

  • Redemption options
  • Airline partner points conversion
  • Property category/location
  • Date of booking

To determine the value of your Radisson Rewards, consider how they’re most often redeemed – award nights. Take a look at the following real-world example to see how much value you can expect to glean from your Radisson Rewards:

Let’s say you’re interested in staying at the Radisson Hotel Minneapolis/St. Paul North location. Perhaps you’re checking in on a certain day and checking out the next day. While booking, you’ll have the option to pay with cash, points, or points + cash. This particular property is a Category-4 hotel, meaning it’ll cost you 38,000 points to book an award night. The cash price is $93. The same room booked nine days later has a cash price of $188.

In this particular scenario, the value of a Radisson Rewards point is 0.24 cents on the first date and 0.49 cents on the second.

The key takeaway here is that Radisson categorizes its properties into seven tiers – each with a predetermined point-price for award nights. View the complete list of tiers and point-prices and be sure to strategize your award schedule before redeeming anything. If you calculate your points to be worth less than 0.4 cents, you may be better off paying in cash and saving the points for a stay when they’ll be worth more.

How to earn Radisson Rewards points

There are many ways to earn Radisson Rewards points, many of which you might expect, but quite a few that are underutilized by most. As many points-experts will attest, finding as many ways as possible to earn points is a key to beefing up your rewards. Radisson offers the following ways to earn points:

  1. Booking rooms – earn points for every dollar spent on your booking. Your rewards rate will increase the more often you stay.
  2. Applying for a Radisson credit card – U.S. Bank issues three Radisson co-branded credit cards, each of which earns Radisson Rewards on every purchase made.
  3. Promotions – Radisson occasionally offers bonus points for things like booking rooms using the Radisson app, booking rooms at new hotels, etc. Check the current promotions for the latest.
  4. Renting a car – Radisson has a number of car rental partners that each have a unique bonus point value on rentals. Take a look at all of Radisson’s car rental partners.
  5. Purchasing points – If you’re just a little short on points, you can purchase them in 1,000-point increments for $7. Keep in mind that if you buy points, you’re paying 0.7 cents per point and will most likely have trouble getting that value back when you redeem them. If you need to buy points, purchase as few as possible.

Radisson has a few other miscellaneous ways for members to earn points, from booking corporate events to joining a partnering wine club. Visit the earning portal to check out all the other random ways you can snag bonus points.

Which credit cards earn Radisson Rewards points? Which are the best?

As is the case with most loyalty programs, there are hotel credit cards issued on behalf of Radisson. You have three options, all issued by U.S. Bank, with various perks and fees:

1. Radisson Rewards™ Premier Visa Signature® Card ($75 annual fee)

  • Earn 10 points per dollar spent on purchases at Radisson hotels.
  • Earn 5 points per dollar spent everywhere else.
  • 50,000 bonus points after your first purchase.
  • 35,000 bonus points after spending $2,500 within the first 90 days.

2. Radisson Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card ($50 annual fee)

  • Earn 6 points per dollar spent on purchases at Radisson hotels.
  • Earn 3 points per dollar spent everywhere else.
  • 50,000 bonus points after your first purchase.
  • 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,500 within the first 90 days.

3. Radisson Rewards™ Visa® Card (no annual fee)

  • Earn 3 points per dollar spent on purchases at Radisson hotels.
  • Earn 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else.
  • 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days.

It’s easy to see that you’ll rack up the most points by using the Premier card, but if you don’t use the card often enough to negate the annual fee, you may be better off opting for one of the other two options. Big sign-up bonuses are excellent perks that make it easy to get rewarded quickly, but keep in mind that rewards credit cards change in value over time. The lower-fee card may actually save you more money in the long run, depending on how you use it and how long you keep it in your wallet.

What’s the best way to earn the most Radisson Rewards?

You can maximize the rewards earned on your expenses by signing up for a free membership to Radisson’s loyalty program and pairing it with one of Radisson’s co-branded credit cards. Although the monetary value of Radisson Rewards is relatively low, by doubling down on your earning strategy, you can pump up that value.

First, take into account that Radisson categorizes members into four buckets, each with its own rewards rate and required number of stays:

Benefits / Membership Level Club Silver Gold Platinum
Requirement   9 nights, 6 stays 30 nights, 20 stays 60 nights, 30 stays
Points for hotel stays 20/$1 22/$1 25/$1 35/$1
Discount on food & drink 5% 10% 15% 20%
In-room welcome gift N/A N/A
Free breakfast N/A N/A N/A

If you travel enough to achieve Platinum status and you use a Radisson Rewards™ Premier Visa Signature® Card to book your stays, you’ll earn 45 Radisson Rewards points for every dollar spent on bookings (35 for membership, 10 for using the co-branded card). Tack on the 20 percent discount on food and drink and we’re talking seriously nice rewards.

If you take part in Radisson promotion deals, rent cars from Radisson partners, and explore other miscellaneous reward opportunities, you’ll get more points. The nice thing about Radisson Rewards, though, is you can expect a sizable return without jumping through hoops.

Sign up for the loyalty program, use one of the co-branded Radisson credit cards and let the rewards take care of themselves.

How to get Radisson Rewards elite status

It’s certainly possible to jump into Radisson Rewards and get some nice benefits off the bat. For those looking for a more premium hotel experience, the best way to get there is by achieving elite status. Radisson’s four tiers (Club, Silver, Gold, Platinum) present you with escalating rewards, mostly in the form of discounts and better reward rates.

The real perks roll out once you’ve stayed at Radisson properties six times for at least nine nights, achieving Silver status. At that point, you’ll get a complimentary room upgrade and early check-in plus late checkout. Radisson promises free breakfast for Platinum members (30 stays, 60 nights), as well as a in-room welcome gift.

Check out Radisson’s full benefit sheet for members, which details what you can expect from every tier.

If you’re joining the program, you’ll want to get Silver status at the very least, at which point your eligible nights will begin to roll over to the next year.

Radisson Rewards redemption options

Radisson offers a bunch of redemption options for their rewards points, including:

  1. Award night stays – Radisson’s use points to completely cover the cost of a stay
  2. Points + cash room bookings – pay for a stay with points and cash, usually at a preset price.
  3. Airline miles – Radisson has 20 airline partners you can transfer your points to. Converting points to airline miles is not a great value play, though. In fact, American Airlines will only give you one AAdvantage mile for every 10 Radisson Rewards points.
  4. In-hotel awards – redeem points for in-room movies, room upgrades and more.
  5. TSA Precheck – Radisson lets you cover the cost of TSA Precheck (an $85 value) for 65,000 Radisson Rewards points. You’re better off skipping this redemption – you can do better than 0.13 cents per point.

There are a variety of other redemption options, like Priority Pass membership, gift cards and donations to the American Red Cross. Values for those redemptions vary, but as is usually the case with hotel loyalty programs, your best bet is an award night.

Booking an award night gives you the best opportunity to shop dates and rooms until you find a big-value opportunity. Still, if you fly frequently and would like to boost your airline miles, it’s not a bad idea to convert some Radisson points, especially if you don’t plan on using them anytime soon.

How to redeem your rewards points

It’s easy to redeem your Radisson Rewards in a variety of ways:

  • How to book a room – when booking your stay online, you’ll have the option to pay with cash, points or a combination. Simply log in to your Radisson Rewards membership account before booking.
  • How to transfer points to an airline partner – before converting your points to airline miles, make sure you sign up for the airline’s free loyalty program. You’ll then be able to transfer your points via the Radisson Rewards site. Note that once you transfer your points, you won’t be able to get them back so make sure the flight you want has available seating.
  • How to redeem for in-hotel awards – if you want to redeem points for in-room movies, upgrades or snacks, inquire about eligible awards at the front desk when you arrive at your hotel.
  • How to donate to the American Red Cross – you can donate points in increments of 1,000 starting at a minimum of 3,000 points via Radisson’s American Red Cross portal. There’s no limit the the number of points you can donate, which is a nice touch that not every hotel loyalty program offers.

Radisson Rewards transfer partners

You have the ability to transfer your Radisson Rewards to 24 airline partners. This is especially useful at times when you’re just short of earning a bonus in your frequent flyer program. Keep in mind that you can convert Radisson points into airline miles, but not the other way around. Radisson’s airline partners are:

  • Aeroméxico
  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • American Airlines
  • Asiana
  • Avianca
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Delta Air Lines
  • EL AL
  • Frontier
  • Gulf Air
  • Icelandair
  • Japan Airlines
  • Jet Airways
  • KLM/Air France
  • Lan Chile Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Qantas Airlines
  • SAS Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United

Radisson’s partner network may change at some point, so take a look at the online list of airline partners before taking steps to transfer your points.

How do Radisson Rewards compare to other hotel rewards programs?

Radisson is in a unique space in the hospitality industry. Most Radisson brands are upscale, but the number of physical locations isn’t yet as great as most competing upscale hotel groups, like Marriott, Hilton and IHG. Taking that into consideration, we can assess the worth of those loyalty programs with the following valuations, courtesy of The Points Guy:

  • Marriott Rewards – 0.9 cents per point
  • Hilton Honors – 0.6 cents per point
  • IHG Rewards Club – 0.6 cents per point
  • Radisson Rewards – 0.4 cents per point

Marriott

What’s important to note here is that Marriott’s 2016 merger with Starwood in 2016 upped its number of locations worldwide – thus making its points much more flexible. Marriott’s premium co-branded credit card, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card, offers 6x points for on-brand purchases, which is less than Radisson’s card, but the points themselves are worth more.

Hilton

Hilton Honors points are a bit watered down (not quite as much as Radisson Rewards) at 0.6 cents per point, but the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card offers a 100,000 sign-up bonus points and 12x points on Hilton purchases. As a top-tier Diamond member, you’ll get an additional 20x points on stays, which adds up to pretty substantial savings fairly quickly.

IHG

IHG may be the closest comparison to Radisson in terms of number of locations, especially outside of the U.S. Most Americans will recognize IHG’s popular Holiday Inn brand, as well as ultra-upscale InterContinental and Crowne Plaza hotels. Loyalty program rewards are in-line with what Radisson offers, including the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, and the value propositions are eerily similar to that of the premium Radisson credit card.

Which hotel loyalty program is right for you? If you’re considering Radisson Rewards, it’s likely because you are already staying at Radisson properties fairly frequently. The value of the points is markedly lower than those of other hotel programs, but if you’d have to go out of your way to stay elsewhere, it doesn’t make sense to opt for anything else.

The bottom line is this – Radisson Rewards are not the most valuable points on the market, but with some patience, you can turn them into impressive savings and rewards.

See related: Best hotel credit cards, 5 tips for choosing the right hotel credit card


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Updated: 07-18-2018