Why Radisson Rewards points are suddenly a decent option for New York hotel redemptions

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On Friday we wrote about the insanely generous (if it fits your stay patterns) promotion that Radisson Rewards is running this Spring.  Our article is here.  You can register here.

By coincidence, I got an email on Friday announcing the opening of the brand new Radisson Hotel New York Times Square.

Historically, if you had a pot of Radisson Rewards points from your Radisson, Park Inn and Park Plaza stays, New York was a poor place to use them.

The main option was the Radisson Martinique on Broadway.  Unfortunately (for Radisson members) it joined Hilton’s Curio Collection.  Sinead stayed at what is now the Martinique New York on Broadway, Curio Collection by Hilton a couple of weeks ago and we will be reviewing it soon.

If I’d written this article a year ago, your only Radisson option in New York would have been the hotel at JFK Airport!

New Radisson hotel opening in New York

Radisson has now three options in New York

The newest hotel, which officially opened last week, is Radisson Hotel New York Times Square.  This is on 8th Avenue.

The hotel website is here.

It is a new build, not a conversion, which is generally a good sign in terms of build quality.  It is two blocks from both Penn Station and Madison Square Garden, in what is known as Midtown West.  It has 320 rooms, of which 70 have Empire State Building views.  There is also a seasonal rooftop cocktail bar which takes in the Empire State Building, the Hudson Yards development including The Edge observation deck and the Hudson River.

Radisson New York Times Square

Radisson has opened two other New York hotels in the last 12 months:

Radisson Hotel New York Wall Street 

Radisson Hotel New York Midtown – 5th Avenue

Both of these were previously operating under the ‘Club Quarters’ brand.

What does it cost to redeem at these hotels?

All three of these hotels cost 70,000 Radisson Rewards points per night.  This is the maximum that Radisson Rewards will charge for a standard room.

The Radisson Rewards website is here if you want to learn more about how the scheme works.

As you can convert American Express Membership Rewards points at 1:3 into Radisson Rewards, you are looking at 23,333 Amex points per night.  This is not a bad deal at peak times, with the new Times Square property selling for over $400 in June.  That said, at off peak times you are better paying cash.

Remember that Radisson Rewards has one great feature – ‘premium room redemptions’.  Hotels are encouraged to make larger rooms available for a slightly higher reward price.

(The most extreme example of this is the Radisson Blu Waterfront Cape Town hotel, which – for 87,500 points per night – will give you a two bedroom suite!)

Your options for ‘premium room redemptions’ in NYC are:

Times Square offers a ‘Business Class room’ for 105,000 points per night, but it is simply a standard room with additional benefits included

Wall Street offers a ‘Studio Suite’ for 105,000 points per night

Midtown offers a ‘Studio Suite’ for 105,000 points per night – which looks huge looking at the website picture!

Radisson Rewards has never been a key programme for me, to be honest, even though I get Radisson Rewards Gold status via my American Express Platinum card.  These new hotels do offer good options for anyone with a lot of American Express points, or indeed planning 15 stays for the current Radisson promotion to bag 150,000 bonus points!

Radisson Rewards New York redemption choices

Earning Radisson Rewards points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, you can earn Radisson Rewards points by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.  These include:

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold – 10,000 Membership Rewards points (= 30,000 Radisson Rewards points) sign-up bonus

The Platinum Card from American Express – 30,000 Membership Rewards points (= 90,000 Radisson Rewards points) sign-up bonus

American Express Rewards credit card – 5,000 Membership Rewards points (= 15,000 Radisson Rewards points) sign-up bonus

It is worth noting that holders of The Platinum Card receive free Radisson Rewards Gold status for as long as they hold the card.  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and Melia Rewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:3 into Radisson Rewards points which is a very attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Amex point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 3 Radisson Rewards points.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. Riccatti says:

    Radisson Gold value severely diminished when hotels stopped providing Breakfast together with the Business Room upgrade.

    At 60 staying nights, Radisson Platinum is unattainable unless you live in Scandinavia and use Radisson for business stays. By comparison, Marriott Platinum would be 50-15 credit card nights = 35 staying nights.

    • It was the loss of the 241 rate for stratus members that stopped my very regular stays with them. And diminished the value of the Amex plat status perk for me

      • Riccatti says:

        Ooh, 2-for-1 rate, I even forgot but yes it was very much used by myself too.

        A year or so before 241 rate cancellation, availability dried up — as hotel industry graduated from recession and rev managers realised they can sell those rooms for cash.

        • Didn’t have availability problems myself – as it usually always appeared in my typical booking horizon. But like you I did notice the drop of in availability when searching more broadly in the last year.

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        Bingo. Didn’t care for how they communicated that change either.

      • the_real_a says:

        It was very much like Accor Happy Mondays – it allowed us to try out hotels we wouldn’t have otherwise considered, and have for the past few years booked follow up stays. I cannot imagine these types of hotel were booked solid on a sunday night… I put plenty of these hotels on our “approved” hotel list as a result of a cheap personal stay.

    • Pangolin says:

      When I signed up for the Amex Plat, the Radisson (then Carlson) status change to Gold took much longer than any of the others – over 2 months – and I had to chase it up repeatedly.

      I was mainly interested in the excellent 241 and 442 deals.

      Once I finally got the Gold status activated, Radisson junked the 241/442 deals within about 48 hours of that happening.

      I’ve never stayed in a Radisson since.

    • I don’t have any problems maintaining platinum just on UK stays, so certainly not unobtainable, recognition isn’t great in the UK but I always get an upgrade if I’ve booked the cheapest room and a bottle of wine every few stays.

      While I do travel to Scandinavia a lot I always prefer Nordic Choice over Radisson, better hotels and recognition

  2. Does anyone know if the current sale promo rates (non-flex) are being charged at time of booking?

    – Having the current Amex offer on one of my cards, considering some advance bookings.

    • I’ve found it to be patchy dependent on the hotel. Generally if I have a promo or similar I leave it a week and email hotel asking if they’d charge my card ASAP. They’re always happy to take my money (strange, that…).

  3. On a touristy note Hudson Yards is also home to The Vessel which you can get free, timed, tickets for up to two weeks in advance and more suited to the budget and vertiginously cautious than The Edge

    It’s also a good start / end point for The High Line.

    • Nice tip. The High Line is excellent too, looks like it has extended quite a bit since I first walked it!

      • Agreed, but best avoided at weekends unless you like being part of a giant human centipede

    • + 1 The high line is a fantastic way of seeing New York from a different perspective.

  4. Radisson Blu Waterfront suite was just amazing last year, such good value 👍🎉

  5. The F&F code is sadly missed.

  6. The newest hotel, which officially opened last week, is Radisson Hotel New York Times Square. This is on 8th Avenue. The hotel is on 8th Avenue, unlike Times Square 🙂

    • So? There are a gazillion hotels which are one avenue or several streets off Times Square which still feature “Times Square” in their name.

      • Peter K says:

        I think the OP point is fair and provides info for those not knowledgeable about Manhatten geography.

      • Indeed, it’s a common misinformation. But just because it’s done doesn’t make it right.

  7. Silly question – I booked 3 stays at cheap Park Inns, but the cheapest rate was the January sale rate, which came with 2,500 bonus points. Will those rates be eligible for the 15,000 points bonus on top of the sale bonus points?

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