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Why is Radisson Rewards splitting in two? What does it mean for you?

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If you have a Radisson Rewards account, you should have received an email this week about a strange restructuring of the programme.

Radisson Rewards is the loyalty scheme for the Radisson Hotels group. In Europe, this primarily consists of Radisson Blu, Radisson RED, Park Plaza and Park Inn.

This is a complex tale but the bottom line is you won’t be any worse off, although you will have more paperwork to deal with.

This page of the Radisson Hotels website has the official line, but it is not the whole story.

Radisson Rewards to split in two

Why is Radisson Rewards splitting?

Radisson was historically two separate businesses – as was Hilton not too long ago – with the North American arm run by Carlson and the rest of the world run by Rezidor.

The two businesses merged in 2012. Radisson was subsequently taken over by Chinese insurance group HNA which hit severe financial difficulties. The company was subsequently picked up by Chinese hotel group Jin Jiang International.

Jin Jiang International is state run, which means that it is impacted by US Government restrictions on the transfer of data on US citizens to Chinese Government entities.

This means that the business is being split into two. Jin Jiang promises, honest guv, not to look at any of the guest or account data for the Americas.

The Chinese Government will have full access to your UK passport and credit card details, however …..

Radisson Rewards to split in two

What is happening?

This is how it will work for a UK resident.

The current Radisson Rewards scheme will continue to cover Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

You remain a member of the original Radisson Rewards. Your membership number and points balance remain unchanged. As long as you are not staying in a hotel in the Americas, you won’t notice any difference.

If you find yourself with a Radisson hotel stay in the Americas, you cannot earn points from it and your status benefits will not be recognised.

However, you can open an account with Radisson Rewards Americas and receive a status match. You need to book your stay via the Radisson Rewards Americas website and your points will drop into your new Radisson Rewards Americas account.

There will be a ‘Combine My Avios’-style mechanism to allow you to move your points between Radisson Rewards Americas and Radisson Rewards.

If you want to redeem your points for a hotel in the Americas, you need to follow the same process. You must open a Radisson Rewards Americas account and transfer your points across.

Radisson Rewards to split in two

It’s a mess but you don’t lose anything

Because you can transfer your points and status between the two programmes, you won’t lose out much.

The only issues I can think of will be:

  • stays in the Americas won’t count towards status with Radisson Rewards, even though you will get the points
  • each region will presumably run its own promotions, and you won’t be able to combine your stays between the Americas and the Rest of the World to benefit

All of this kicks in from June.

You can find out more on this page of the Radisson website.

Comments (31)

  • Chrisasaurus says:

    Sort of amused to kn the article but a big deal for some – if you normally have a split of stays between US and rest of world then status will be twice as hard a you’ll have to earn enough in one of the regions alone.

    Status match is only useful once you have status to match…

  • Tom says:

    So how was Hilton split?

    • Rob says:

      Ladbrokes, the betting company, used to own Hilton outside the Americas. Absolutely no idea how this came about. IHG used to be owned by one of big British brewers – hotels weren’t really seen as ‘proper’ standalone businesses 30 years ago.

      • tony says:

        Didn’t Ladbrokes run a number of hotels in the UK under their own flag back in the day? I’m thinking it’s the cohort that then became THFs and now tend to be Holiday Inns near A roads – those two storey properties with incredibly narrow doors into the guest rooms and a randomly placed set of stairs in every corridor?

        • Rob says:

          THF was part of the Forte empire which Granada TV bought (as you do – strange times then ….) – the Posthouse hotels mainly became HI’s as you say, Granada sold the Forte name back to Rocco Forte and he launched his own luxury hotel chain.

        • Chrisasaurus says:

          And sliding wooden shutters in the exec rooms instead of curtains

  • Sue Loder says:

    I have very few Rad pts so not affected but it made me wonder how many other major chains are owned by Chinese companies and/or State? Is this the only one? Not that I’m asking you to do my research! (Yes I am…..).

  • jil says:

    People know the reason, but Radisson couldn’t mention it, instead saying the reason of split is to provide a more localised experience for American customers.

  • Dominic says:

    Personally doesn’t bother me, although I have both status and stacks of points. I note in an article yesterday that you mentioned US hotel programmes cannot make a profit; does that mean that they could technically change the non-US programme now to make profit?

    Choice of Radisson’s in the UK is limited in any case – I’d have thought the UK market is current a limited one for them?

    • Rob says:

      I would imagine that other countries have similar franchise rules to the US.

    • Michael Jennings says:

      They are a decent player in London – there are plenty of Radisson Blue Edwardian and Park Plaza hotels here – but I can’t think if very much anywhere else in the UK

  • whiskerxx says:

    “The Chinese Government will have full access to your UK passport and credit card details, however …..”

    It seems likely they (and others) would have access to this data for everyone anyway….

    • kitten says:

      Quite. My Chinese-made phone is far too talkative for my liking

    • Roy says:

      Officially, they will have to obey the GDPR in UK and the EU, so presumably wouldn’t be permitted to give the data to the Chinese government for that reason.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Well Starwood gave most of them away a few years back…

  • Neal says:

    HNA is not an insurance group. Fact check please.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      It started as an insurance group that used the money from customers to buy up properties and other assets worldwide

  • Doug says:

    I book Radisson hotels via an app, I’m sure many others do too. I am UK based and only used Radisson in the UK. However, my app is now the Radisson America app. Am I now enrolled in the America program?

    • meta says:

      Need to download a separate app for Radisson Hotels.

    • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

      Yes – you are enrolled in both automatically. It seems your user profile is just copied across. Download the new Radisson Hotels app, which can be done via a link in your existing app (incidentally now re-branded as the Radisson Hotels Americas app). You can use the same user name / password to access your account in both and the points balance seems to copy over too. Given this is the case, I am not too sure how any ‘Chinese walls’ work between the two!

      • Rob says:

        You can now …. not sure it will work after June.

        • meta says:

          I have both Radisson Hotels app and Radisson America app (Iphone). They are separate. Initially I did an update and it was Radisson America. It was all messy and wouldn’t load any stays let alone correct account details. I then deleted and downloaded them separately and it now both work fine.

          • Roy says:

            I thought not showing any stays was normal for Radisson IT. If you manage to log in at all you’re doing well IME.

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