Radisson Rewards has announced some major changes to its programme, which will come into effect in mid June.
You can see full details on the Radisson website here.
As we covered recently, Radisson Rewards is being forced to split into two due to pressure from the US Government. The Chinese government, which indirectly now controls Radisson, will no longer have access to member data from the Americas scheme. Our article above explains in detail how this will impact you.
What is changing with Radisson Rewards?
At first glance, it doesn’t look great.
Radisson has chosen to open with a blatant misrepresentation – that “The number of hotels available at 15,000 points will double—more options, more value“.
This is true – but only because it is removing the cheaper 9,000 points category. Taking credit for doubling the number of 15,000 points hotels by increasing the price of all 9,000 points hotels is, well …..
What is the new Radisson Rewards redemption chart?
Here is the new reward chart:
Here is the existing reward chart:
As you will see, the existing seven categories, from 9,000 to 70,000 points, have been shrunk down to five.
The new range runs from 15,000 points to 75,000 points. This means that the most expensive rooms are rising by 5,000 points.
Is it a big Radisson Rewards devaluation?
Not across the board, but it isn’t pretty.
What isn’t clear is whether hotel rates are going to surge or collapse vs 2019 in 2021 and 2022. Should we have expected redemption costs to drop across the board or not?
In the Americas, Radisson is introducing ‘RewardSaver’, which will allow you to book rooms at top hotels for 50,000 points at quiet times vs the current 70,000 points and upcoming 75,000 points. This does not seem to be happening with the EMEA programme.
Let’s look at Radisson Rewards hotels in London
Looking at Central London:
- Park Plaza Park Royal – 44,000 points to 45,000 points
- Park Plaza Riverbank – 50,000 points to 60,000 points
- Park Plaza Waterloo – 50,000 points to 60,000 points
- Holmes Hotel – 70,000 points to 75,000 points
- Park Plaza Victoria – 70,000 points to 75,000 points
- Park Plaza County Hall – 70,000 points to 75,000 points
- Park Plaza Westminster – 70,000 points to 75,000 points
- Radisson Heathrow – 38,000 points to 45,000 points
- Radisson RED Heathrow – 38,000 points to 45,000 points
- Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow – 44,000 points to 45,000 points
- Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt – 50,000 points to 60,000 points
- Radisson Blu Edwardian New Providence Wharf – 70,000 points to 60,000 points
- Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton – 70,000 points to 60,000 points
- Radisson Blu Edwardian Berkshire – 70,000 points to 75,000 points
- Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire – 70,000 points to 75,000 points
- Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury – 70,000 points to 75,000 points
- Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer – 70,000 points to 75,000 points
- Radisson Blu Edwardian Sussex – 70,000 points to 75,000 points
- The May Fair – 70,000 points to 75,000 points
Out of 19 hotels:
- 2 are falling
- 2 are staying virtually the same
- 10 are increasing by under 10%
- 5 are increasing by, give or take, 20%
What these numbers hide is that there are no longer any bargains. Stripping out Park Royal and Heathrow, which are not exactly central, the cheapest Radisson Rewards options in Central London jump by 20%.
All of the Radisson Rewards options in the centre are within a very tight range of 60,000 points to 75,000 points from mid June. Frankly, I wouldn’t be bothering with the 60,000 points options when the top hotels are only 75,000.
Whilst some properties have reduced in price – and, looking globally, there are a lot more drops than the sample above would suggest – this is clearly a devaluation.
Our current valuation of Radisson Rewards points is 0.33p. This was always driven by the value of top end hotels. With the change being modest at the very top (70,000 points to 75,000 points), any move to drop our 0.33p valuation will depend more on how hotel prices settle down. You would still be getting 0.33p at any 75,000 point London hotel selling for £250+, which is not uncommon.
I think, if you tend to stay in smaller hotels in smaller cities, you may find your preferred hotel is cheaper in some cases. Radisson Blu Cardiff is down from 38,000 points to 30,000 points for example, as are many of the UK Park Inn hotels.
With all of the additional faff expected from members due to the split between Radisson Rewards and Radisson Rewards Americas, this seems like a bad time to give members a kick in the teeth.
Take a look at the Radisson website here if you want to learn more.
PS. Don’t forget one positive thing about Radisson Rewards. It has a 1:3 transfer ratio from American Express Membership Rewards, which is still a decent deal even after these changes.
How to earn Radisson Rewards points from UK credit cards (May 2021)
Radisson Rewards does not have a dedicated UK credit card. However, 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 (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 60,000 Radisson Rewards points. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with two free airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 90,000 Radisson Rewards points
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 5,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 15,000 Radisson Rewards points. This card is FREE for life.
Membership Rewards points convert at 1:3 into Radisson Rewards points which is a very attractive rate. The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 3 Radisson Rewards points.
Even better, 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 and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)