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Is Radisson Rewards the best American Express Membership Rewards hotel partner?

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American Express Membership Rewards has three hotel partners in the UK, assuming you want to redeem for points instead of a voucher for a free room:

Despite the modest devaluation last week, when top properties increased from 70,000 to 75,000 points, I want to show you why Radisson Rewards is still the top choice in many cases.

Radisson Rewards American Express membership rewards points

Everyone forgets about Radisson ….

Radisson Rewards, the loyalty scheme for Radisson, Park Inn and Park Plaza, is often forgotten about.  This is probably because the core brands are relatively low profile.

You ignore Radisson Rewards at your peril though.  The chain is bigger and broader than most people imagine, especially in London and Scandinavia. Radisson also has a lot of ‘connected to terminal’ airport hotels in Europe, such as the Radisson Blu Hamburg Airport pictured above.

The Park Plaza hotel on Westminster Bridge (reviewed here) has become my default London property for visiting friends and family.  It is relatively new, it has a pool and it is in a fantastic location for the Westminster and South Bank tourist attractions. Don’t underestimate the impact, if you get the right room, of overlooking Big Ben. Park Plaza County Hall is literally opposite.

How do Radisson Rewards redemptions compare?

The 1:3 ratio of American Express Membership Rewards points to Radisson Rewards points is very attractive

Let’s look at how many Amex points you would need for a good quality hotel in London, which I am defining as a modern 4 star property in a central location:

  • Marriott Bonvoy requires, on a peak day, 60,000 Bonvoy points for the newly refurbished Marriott Kensington which is 40,000 Amex points

As you can see, Radisson Rewards doesn’t just win, it wins big. You need 28% fewer Membership Rewards points than Hilton Honors and 38% fewer than Marriott Bonvoy to book an equivalent hotel.

Radisson Rewards does not have the largest footprint of the hotel chains – although they are particularly strong in Scandinavia and have some good European properties – so there is no reason to do a speculative transfer of Amex points. If they have a good property in a place you need to go, though, it is worth a look. At the bottom end of the market, some Park Inn hotels are only 15,000 Radisson points, ie just 5,000 Amex points.

The other thing you can see from the analysis above is that Radisson Rewards actually offers better value than pretty much any other Membership Rewards redemption, whether you look at hotel points, airline miles or gift vouchers.

You will be getting around 1p per Membership Rewards point in the Park Plaza example above. 

I don’t value an Avios – or any airline currency – at more than 1p although you can often acheive better.  Redeeming Membership Rewards points for gift cards tends to get you just 0.5p, although the best non-cash option is Avios and then on to Nectar, getting you 0.8p per Amex point.

This HfP article looks at the best value American Express Membership Rewards redemptions, and Radisson Rewards is up there, just below airline miles. It is definitely a redemption option to keep in mind.


How to earn Radisson Rewards points from UK credit cards (August 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:

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.)

Comments (5)

  • RussellH says:

    Just checked prices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Durham, manchester + Birmingham for next week.

    Cash is better value than points every time.
    At least they have dropped the Park Inns in Manchester, Aberdeen and Walsall back from 28000 to 15000, so that the premium for points is only a few quid.

  • David says:

    Combine My Iberia with BA Avios
    A lot of info on this, but managed to transfer this morning. Both BA & Iberia must have same info ie DOB & Passport No. Plus Exact name & home address etc. Log on to BA. Do NOT use Safari and use Chrome. Safari comes up with “sorry you are not eligible” and “session has timed out” This is assuming you meet the other t&c s

  • Stuart Evans says:

    Interesting to read this, especially as a channel to transfer Amex Membership Rewards (MR) points to other than Avios. I’ve used various Radisson in-airport hotels over the years – nothing special, but a good solution for late arrivals/early departures.

    We have around 100,000 MR spread across 3 accounts, thanks to posts from Rob about PRG referral/sign-up/supplementary bonuses!! A big advantage of transferring MR to Avios is pooling via a Household account. And a bigger balance generally lets you get better value (eg 5th night free at Marriott; using Avios for premium class redemptions etc).

    Are there other MR transfer partners that offer comparable pooling arrangements?

    TIA

    • Rob says:

      Marriott lets you transfer 100k per calendar year from one person to another (must call). Radisson lets you do it if you share an address. Hilton lets you transfer 500k (?) per year to anyone you want.

      Not sure what other airline partners let you pool.

  • Kieran says:

    I’ve had a lot of problems recently trying to convert from Amex -> Radisson, which used to work in the past. The points have transferred in a 1:1 ratio instead of the correct 1:3. Both sides blame each other. I am not impressed.

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