Coming Soon: New Radisson Rewards Americas Loyalty Program

Filed Under: Hotels

A couple of weeks ago we learned about a strange change coming to the Radisson Rewards loyalty program. This week we learned that we can also expect changes to award redemptions, and we now have the details of that, as Radisson Rewards has published its new hotel categories. It’s bad news, as 64% of hotels will require more points than before, and in many cases hotels will require a lot more points.

Below is a full recap of the Radisson Rewards program changes, and you can find a section below dedicated to award chart changes.

Radisson Rewards program to be split into two

It has been revealed that the Radisson Rewards loyalty program will be split into two as of June 2021:

  • Radisson Rewards will remain the dedicated loyalty program for members in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific
  • Radisson Rewards Americas will become the new loyalty program for members in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean

Along similar lines, you’ll now find that all hotels in the Americas are bookable through RadissonHotelsAmericas.com, and not through the regular Radisson website anymore.

What are the implications of these changes?

Come June 2021, members with Radisson Rewards accounts registered in the Americas will automatically have their accounts transferred to the new program. What happens to your points, status, etc.?

  • You’ll be able to transfer points at a 1:1 ratio between programs for free using the new Global Points Transfer process, launching in June
  • If you have status in Radisson Rewards, you’ll be able to call member services to request a status match for Silver, Gold, or Platinum tiers (seriously, they want people to call?), so that you can receive reciprocal elite perks in the other region
  • You’ll only be able to earn points and elite nights with each program for stays within each of the two regions; in other words, Radisson Rewards Americas members won’t be able to earn points or elite nights for stays outside of the Americas, at least not directly in the Radisson Rewards Americas program

There are still some unanswered questions. For example, will promotions differ between the two programs, or will they align promotions?

I’m not sure this clears much up, but here’s a chart Radisson Rewards provided about determining which program you’ll belong to:

And here’s a chart about determining how you can earn and redeem points:

Radisson Rewards award chart changes

To coincide with the launch of the new Radisson Rewards loyalty program in the Americas, Radisson is promising “a simplified award night experience.”

As of mid-June 2021, Radisson Rewards will be adjusting its award chart. As these changes are described:

  • The number of hotel categories will be reduced from seven to five
  • All category point values will increase in increments of 15,000 points
  • The number of hotels available for 15,000 points per night will double
  • Over 40% of hotels will require fewer points (though that leaves a lot of hotels to require more points)
  • You can find all the hotel category changes here

Here’s the new Radisson Rewards award chart:

Then here’s the current Radisson Rewards award chart:

As you can see, this doesn’t look particularly customer friendly. The cheapest properties go from 9,000 points per night to 15,000 points per night (that’s a 67% increase), while the most expensive properties go from 70,000 points per night to 75,000 points per night (that’s only a 7% increase).

How do the price changes break down?

  • 64% of hotels will require more points
  • 29% of hotels will require fewer points
  • 7% of hotels will require the same number of points

These changes are absolutely brutal. A customer unfriendly change is being made to the program by it being split into two, and they’re adding a major points devaluation in just for good measure?

Never mind the fact that there aren’t many aspirational Radisson Rewards properties in the US for members to redeem at

Why is Radisson’s loyalty program being split?

Radisson isn’t being particularly honest about why this change is being made. According to the FAQs, here’s the reason given for why the programs are being split:

Why will there be two different loyalty programs?

Radisson Hotels and Radisson Hotels Americas are launching a second program, Radisson Rewards Americas program, to deliver a more localized experience. Ensuring that Radisson Rewards members will continue to enjoy great regional offers.

That’s quite an explanation. Radisson is creating unnecessary confusion and making the program less compelling and global to “deliver a more localized experience?”

The real reason the programs are being split is because Radisson is essentially owned by the Chinese government — it was first acquired by HNA Group a few years back, and was then sold off to Jin Jiang International, which is controlled by the Chinese government.

The US government is requiring that the Chinese government no longer have access to this type of data for US consumers, which is presumably why the programs are actually being split off.

Bottom line

This summer the new Radisson Rewards Americas program will launch, which will be a program for those who have Radisson Rewards accounts registered in the Americas. It seems that this is being done due to US regulations requiring the Chinese government not have access to so much data.

So while I get the motive, this sounds like a pretty negative change in terms of the value proposition of the program. At least points will be transferable between programs and there will be status matching, but the logistics still don’t exactly sound great. On top of that, we’re going to see award chart changes that are extremely negative.

I have status and Radisson Rewards points through a co-branded credit card, and ultimately I value this most for stays in Europe, where Radisson hotels are generally the nicest.

What do you make of these Radisson Rewards changes, including award chart changes?

Comments
  1. I too like using my points for Radisson hotels in Europe. My initial reaction when I saw the email?

    ARRRRRRRRGH!!

    “Confusion” definitely going forward, but that would be my least worry regarding this change.

  2. So I am an American citizen living in USA. Have tons of points due to CC. Stayed in Europe and Asia but never in USA.
    So am I not going to put in American program?

  3. Most likely to do with taxing arrangements, although politics and blaming the big rival a convenient cover.

    Americans will have to hope that airlines don’t do this with US customers, as with your credit card base points and earning bonuses you often get far better offers and comparative awards than European consumers where fees are capped.

    All the big corporations are doing this restructuring, as long as they don’t cut staff and service levels and then pretend that it is based on ‘customer feedback’ mid pandemic, then I am happy.

  4. They’re still working out the kinks with this new program. I have 2 e-certs earned via cc spend and expiring this summer (rolled over from last year). Tried to use them on the new site and it doesn’t work regardless of whether you’re logged in or not. Agents are unable to apply e-certs for me. My stay is over a month away and they’ve opened a ticket for me so I’m crossing my fingers it’ll get fixed in time. If not, the supervisor I spoke to indicated that they’d work with me to make my reservations.

  5. So if you previously hit an elite tier by staying in Asia/Europe sometime and in America the rest of time, you wouldn’t hit that tier anymore by replicating the process right?

    I don’t think i’ve ever stayed at one of these, but this seems like a big devaluation.

  6. So all points earned based on stays in Europe but address in USA? What program will I fall under.

  7. I have 3 e-certs from the credit card, and I can’t get them to work on the new site. Did they intentionally make them worthless or is this just a temporary glitch?

  8. So both me and my wife have an option of living either in us or the eu. I have 2.3m points and yes they are used anywhere but the us.

    Would you recommend changing our address to eu? Or splitting the points, I think they are free to move and then one person take the run address with half the points.

    Not sure how to best play this.

  9. The only reason I even bother with Radisson Rewards is to redeem my points at the expensive Scandinavian Radisson properties. Guess I’m going to burn my points ASAP and cancel my two Radisson cards. Now I just need to get to Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen

  10. Terrible shame, but somebody at Radisson figured out how to read a spreadsheet and realized Americans were clobbering their Euro properties with reward redemptions and rarely using them in the states – as well they shouldn’t. Only better place I ever discovered was the Chicago R-Blu.

    Other places in US are often grim grim grim – the kind where “breakfast” is a toaster, a loaf of white bread, and a squeeze jar of grape jelly (literally – the Tallahassee Country Inn and Suites).

    Germany, Ireland, Denmark, etc … all thumbs up.

    I’ll certainly be exploring the transfer to the “other” program (non-us).

  11. Radisson – the international hotel chain for frequent travellers who never cross an ocean.

  12. There are some very nice international Radisson properties, but domestically they are a joke. Radisson’s average Radisson (the flagship full-service brand) in the United States is somewhere between a Ramada and Holiday Inn. It’s never even a consideration. Ever.BTW. This reminds me of Choice. Choice properties in the Nordic countries are 100% times better than Choice properties in North America. Many of the Choice promos are exempted from Europe or vice versa.

  13. You can still use points anywhere, but you will need to transfer them to the other programme in order to use them in another region.

    This is a complete mess and will hurt the business. The obvious solutions would be to move all accounts outside of China (either into the US or EU) but apparantely the management is determined to keep as many accounts under Chinese jurisdiction as possible – which says a lot.

    That being said, despite being Platinum with RR, I don’t care too much as I wouldn’t considered staying with them in (Northern) America anyway. European Radissons are great but US/Canadian properties are usually dumps.

  14. I guess its time to do an address change to an address outside of what will be Radisson America

  15. So confusing. Most loyalty programs it is based on where you reside and then you can earn and redeem around the world.

  16. Beyond ridiculous. Surely there’s a way to “separate” the programs that makes it seamless for the loyal traveler.

  17. In 2019, I redeem points for Radisson in Phu Quoc, Vietnam. It was very wonderful and only 38K points per night, the hotel is right at the beach. Free buffet breakfast including Vietnamese food and Western food. I booked 5 rooms and since I am Gold member through credit card, my room got upgrade and it was a huge room with patio and Oceanview. I tried to save more points for next trip now I can’t use it !!! They also offer free pickup at the airport and at night they took us to downtown. I may need to consolidate all credit US Bank credit to one and transfer to one account. I don’t it is worth it if only redeem in US.

  18. Any chance you can do an investigation into the e-cert issue? I’ve tried to use mine (with intervention from their customer care center) multiple times at multiple locations over the last six weeks. And they expire this summer. One very nice overseas representative tried hard to help but evidently the IT solution provided to their staff is to try different browsers. It’s a known problem for them. I felt bad for the person trying to help me. And no email response from the company. It’s actually sad – Kmart level service. I’m ready to walk away although I do like their overseas hotels

  19. I echo the multiple comments on e-certs. The have not extended the expiration date as well as Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton, and now we cannot use them.

    Now that Greece is opening up to Americans, I wish their announced Radisson Blu Santorini would open. Presumably that would be at the new 75K level, but it would still be a nice addition.

  20. So they went from being a weak program to being a even weaker program I need to use up my points fast

  21. So I cannot use my points for a stay outside of the US in the future? Was planning to use them for Greece and the UK next fall in 2022.

  22. @Blair – You can but you will have to create an account in the global program. Then you can transfer points from your Americas account to your global account and use them to book hotels in Europe.

  23. Tried to use my points currently to go to Greece, now United has a direct flights with saver awards in biz and the Blu in Athens has direct views of the Acropolis and yes…the Radisson website barfs..
    I am starting to feel, post COVID, points and miles are sheer liabilities…anyone else feeling the points game is over especially since swanky travel is no more? Time to cancel some credit cards me thinks..

  24. I stayed there 2 years ago. It’s a nice hotel but far from things. Athens is cheap and especially now. There are great options much closer to the attractions.

    The area nearby is also sketchy, watch your stuff at the closest two subway stations.

    View is from the deck on top. I not assume you will get a room with one.

  25. Also max reservation period is 279 days so forget next summer at current prices. Also even now website is not friendly and easy to book awards (need to search for cash for city in order for it to show up on redeem points) minor league website

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reminder: OMAAT comments are changing soon. Register here to save your space.