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.
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?