Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Does Radisson Rewards (Amex partner) offer the best Maldives overwater bungalow redemption?

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An overwater bungalow at a luxury Maldives resort is, for many people, the dream getaway.

(Not mine, to be honest – five days at One & Only Reethi Rah 15 years ago was enough for me – but I know many others feel differently.)

Redeeming hotel points in The Maldives can be, proportionately, good value. You will need a huge number of points, but the cash rates are so high that you are getting a decent ‘pence per point’ ratio. What happens if you don’t have 500,000 – 1m hotel points in your account though?

Radisson Blu Maldives resort

Radisson Blu Resort Maldives opened a couple of years ago, during the pandemic.  It’s probably not in the same league as Reethi Rah or Cheval Blanc, but it certainly looks like a solid five star resort.

The resort website is here.

All villas, either beach or overwater, have a private swimming pool.  They range in size from 215 sq m to 410 sq m for a three bedroom.

Food and drink comes courtesy of seven restaurants (plus room service) which seems a little overkill for a 128 villa resort.  Breakfast is included in all bookings which will keep your incidental costs down.

Radisson Blu Resort Maldives on points

Transfers will not be cheap, unfortunately.  Whilst some resorts in the Maldives can be reached by speedboat from the airport – Reethi Rah is one of those – the Radisson is amongst those requiring a seaplane transfer.  The seaplane costs $510 per adult and $300 per child (2-11 years) for a return trip. 

There is an alternative option of taking a domestic flight to Villa Airport Maamigili and then connecting by speedboat, but the cost is the same and sounds less fun.

There is plenty of additional information on the resort website.  I don’t intend to go into all that the Radisson Blu Resort Maldives offers here.

Radisson Blu Resort Maldives on points

What does Radisson Blu Resort Maldives cost on points?

Radisson Rewards has a maximum points rate of 75,000 points per night.  Impressively, Radisson Rewards has decided not to create an additional higher category for this resort.  75,000 points per night is all you pay.

Here is an example for a week in November for an overwater bungalow with a private pool:

On points, it is 75,000 + £8 taxes per night:

Radisson Blu Resort Maldives points

For cash, it starts at £717 for a B&B rate, which matches what you get on a reward:

points stay at radisson blu resort maldives

How can I get my hands on Radisson Rewards points?

I accept that it is unlikely that you are sitting on a huge pot of Radisson Rewards points.  However, Radisson Rewards is an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner (see here) at the generous rate of 1:3.

This means that a 7 night stay at Radisson Blu Resort Maldives, costing 525,000 Radisson Rewards points, can be yours for (525/3) 175,000 American Express Membership Rewards points.  A lot of readers DO have that sitting around.

This isn’t a risk free transfer from Amex, of course.

If you had to cancel your booking later on, you’ll find that there are very few alternative high end uses for those Radisson Rewards points.

It is also very tricky to get Avios redemption flights to the Maldives, which at any rate only operate during the Winter season (November to March).  You CAN get availability year-round on Qatar Airways using Avios, but you wouldn’t be able to use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 companion voucher.

The resort website is here if you want to dig into this idea a bit deeper.  I should also mention that these are, by Maldives standards, attractive rates for cash stays too given you get an overwater bungalow. The resort is presumably still struggling to build a following after its badly timed opening.


How to earn Radisson Rewards points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Radisson Rewards points and status from UK credit cards (June 2022)

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 cards earn Membership Rewards points:

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

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 (51)

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  • pauldb says:

    So which beach destinations do you like? I agree to some extent on the Maldives: not in a hurry to return. With kids we haven’t really seen much point going longhaul recently.
    We liked the Seychelles: oddly not many seem to island-hop like we did, and as a result conclude it’s a poor alternative to a Maldives resort. Barbados was ok; Dubai not really. Should we try Mauritius (can but hope!), Oman, Mexico; is Bali worth the travel….?

    • Rob says:

      We’re trying Mauritius in May so will let you know – spookily got 4 x CW over half term. Truth is that my family have a low tolerance for beaches after a couple of hours, so Dubai etc actually work better than, say, Maldives. Barbados also has a lot to offer away from the beaches. I cannot see any scenario under which we would fly all the way to Bali to sit on a beach and do nothing.

    • Sarah says:

      We are in Mauritius at the moment. It is wonderful here and everyone is incredibly friendly and helpful. It is quite quiet at the hotel, but that is better from my point of view as we have no problem getting sun beds, restaurant bookings etc.
      We stayed for 2 nights at Bubble Lodge on Ile aux Cerfs before coming to an all inclusive resort. That was wonderful as theee are only 3 of these on a private island. I would definitely recommend a couple of nights there. The car hire has cost us approx £100 for 4 days from a reputable car hire company.
      To top it off, we had CW out with Avios and PE back, but 2 CW seats came up a few days ago on Seatspy so we nabbed those!

  • Prins Polo says:

    Another option worth mentioning is the Colombo – Addu City (GAN) flight that UL operates a couple of times a week (and, at least as of a month ago, had excellent Avios availability). This allows you to book LHR-CMB-GAN on Sri Lankan and by pass Male altogether when arriving in the Maldives. Useful if you’re planning to spend time in the south – the Deep South has some of the best diving in the Maldives. There’s also a speedboat from Addu to Fuvahmulah twice a week (2h) – Fuvahmulah is a beautiful island on the equator famous for tiger shark diving. Very little by way of resorts in the Deep South (other than Shangri La Villingili), but staying at local islands is so much more fun.

    Also, instead of the Radisson Blue, I’d recommend Dhigurah (local island) in the same atoll – beautiful and much more fun than staying at a resort. Reachable from Male by flight to Maamigli which Rob mentions above or speedboat from MLE airport which leaves a couple of times a day and takes around 2h45. The atoll where the Raddison and Dhigurah are is famous for pretty much guaranteed whale shark sightings.

  • Rh says:

    I stayed at the Radisson Blue Maldives at end of Nov/early December for 9 nights. The island was superb, it was c.£8k all in bit I managed to book as follows:
    Flash sale for the 9 night bed and breakfast for $238 plus tax’s per night (opening rate offer).
    Prem Econ direct out, business back using airmiles via BA
    $2750 to upgrade to full board plus (3 meals per day plus free drinks with meals including alcohol). We only did a La carte for 1 night.
    We also did 1 swimming with whales and one jetski tour
    Seaplane was $315 per person return as part of the flash sale offer.

    My friend went last month for 7 nights on a the same deal but was prem economy reward flights and he spent c.£6k.

    We both stayed in overwater villas and they were superb. I preferred it to the 4 Seasons in the Seychelles in terms of feeling that I was in paradise. I would go back, but to a different island for variety.

    We both felt the island was superb, only the food let it down a bit. Very repetitive in the buffet, lunches were quite good in the other restaurants. Staff were great. Gym is tiny.

    If anyone has any questions I am happy to answer.

    • Rob says:

      Thanks!

    • SB says:

      Thanks for taking the time to write this mini review. Reassuring, as I will have to cancel a more upmarket hotel but comfort myself in a significant saving.

      I have requested a first time Amex transfer to Rad Rewards as my dates are available for redemption at 75k per night instead of £1k. Fingers crossed they do the transfer quickly….

    • Sam says:

      I feel that four seasons Seychelles is another thing…that’s 10 times more than what you paid on the flash sale of Rad Blu Maldives.

  • Russell says:

    Who is C F Frost?

  • patrick says:

    Rangali overwater villa for 380,000 points + QR to MLE from FCO at around £1,450 is about as good as it gets in terms of value in my opinion.

  • Flyerwoof says:

    Thanks for flagging this rob! Currently at the le Meridien Maldives and this must be close to the best deal for HfP readers given many people have bonvoy points… overwater bungalow 35-40k per night + 5th night free + can use free night cert here (can’t at any other Bonvoy Maldives properties eg StR, W etc as they are all higher redemption rates). So 8 nights for 240k. Ret flights in BA club suite on 2-4-1 thanks to the article you shared back in June 2021 when the floodgates opened on avios bookings to the Maldives. Love your work!

    • SB says:

      I thought free night was only in UK?

    • Sam says:

      35/40k seems to be the rate for beach bungalow only. Will need to top up another 10k per night for overwater villa.

  • SB says:

    Sorry – am email only so don’t really know the form or if anyone will already know this. Suffice to say, transferred 200k points to Radisson Rewards, but never made it. Woeful trying to deal with them.

    Something about USA and Europe accounts but RR remote call centre staff (complete with cockerel – kid you not) and Amex Brighton still couldn’t link the accounts so after 3 weeks have given up.

    Shambles. Upgraded and off to a senior Marriott property instead. Points posted instantly from Amex.

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