This article is our attempt to decide what Radisson Rewards points are worth. How should you value them?
Valuing miles and points is a thankless job. We have always published articles on what Avios points are worth, but that Avios article is so complex that it simply proves my point.
In the face of constant reader requests, however, I wrote this series of articles on how we value each of the major hotel points currencies. I am updating all of the articles this month.
Here are links to the full series:
- What are Accor Live Limitless points worth?
- What are Hilton Honors points worth?
- What are IHG One Rewards points worth?
- What are Marriott Bonvoy points worth?
- What are World of Hyatt points worth?
The reason I have changed my mind after all these years is that I have found a methodology that works for me. It takes a subjective valuation and then explains the boundaries around it. Or, in plain English:
- I will tell you (without justifying it) what I think a Radisson Rewards point is worth
- I will tell you, on the upside, how far wrong I can be (which is good news)
- I will tell you, on the downside, how far wrong I can be (which is bad news)
- I will tell you what Radisson Rewards points are worth if you turn them into something else – usually airline miles – which effectively locks in a floor value
Why I think ‘range’ is important when valuing hotel points
When we look at using Avios for business or First Class flights, the ‘cash alternative’ is often a poor comparison. Most HfP readers don’t want to, or simply can’t afford to, pay cash for business or First Class flights. Their choice is Avios or nothing. Even if you can afford to pay, what are you comparing with? A cheap non-refundable sale flight? A pricier flexible ticket? The cost of an indirect flight, not on BA?
Hotels redemptions are different:
- you stay in far more hotels each year compared to the number of premium cabin flights you take, so you can be selective about when you use points
- you can usually afford to pay for a hotel if you choose not to use points
- there are far more options in the hotel market than in the flight market – most people only have a lot of miles in one airline programme, whereas you are likely to hold hotel points in multiple schemes
It is easy to sit on hotel points until you get a good deal
The net result of the three facts above is that it is easy to turn down a hotel redemption when it doesn’t seem like good value. You can pay cash or redeem via another hotel scheme instead.
Here is the crux of what I am trying to say. If you compare two hotel schemes:
- scheme A usually gets you 0.3p per point but if you are lucky you can get 1p
- scheme B usually gets you 0.4p per point but if you are lucky you can get 0.6p
…. scheme A may actually be the best.
Most people who try to ‘value’ hotel points don’t take this into account.
If you redeemed points for every stay you did, regardless of the cash price, scheme B would be the best. No-one does this though. In reality you can pay cash for your stays in scheme A until the day when a bumper redemption arrives and you can get 1p.
Here’s a real example. I value Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.5p as our article last week showed. If you do 20 Marriott hotel stays and use Bonvoy points for all of them, I think you will average 0.5p, give or take.
However, last month I spent five nights at the JW Marriott Resort & Spa in Venice, reviewed here. We booked two Junior Suites for 594,000 points in total. I got 1.0p per point, and this was a ‘real’ saving – I have stayed in these rooms before at this hotel and would have paid cash if needed.
Last October, I booked three nights at the Al Maha desert resort in Dubai. This got me 1.5p per Bonvoy point vs my 0.5p valuation.
These redemptions justified all of the Marriott stays where I paid cash rather than redeemed for 0.5p per point.
What are Radisson Rewards points worth?
With our methodology out of the way, let’s take a look at what Radisson Rewards points are worth.
To keep things simple, we do not adjust for the fact that you would earn points back if you paid cash instead. This can have a noticeable impact when generous bonuses are running.
Remember that Radisson hotels in the Americas are no longer part of Radisson Rewards. The hotels were sold to Choice Hotels and merged into the Choice Privileges programme, although they remain Radisson-branded.
Radisson Rewards is different to other hotel programmes
Radisson Rewards is different to other hotel schemes and this article is structured differently to the rest of the series.
For all of the other programmes we cover, our valuation is an educated estimate based on years of redeeming points. For Radisson Rewards it is NOT a guess. Your points have a fixed cash value.
This is both good and bad. The real problem it causes is psychological. It is difficult to get excited about Radisson Rewards because you can never ‘beat the system’.
Redeem at a budget or luxury hotel and you get the same value per point – around 0.15p per point, depending on the currency of the booking. There is no logical reason to save your points for a high value redemption, and as you can never be sure that Radisson won’t devalue it could even be risky to delay.
‘Earn and burn’ is the logical option now with Radisson, and indeed is what I do. The small number of points I earn on each stay are spent for a small discount on the next one.
‘Earn and burn’ is bad for Radisson Rewards. Members do not build up huge balances – there is no reason to do so – and so the programme sees cash going out more quickly than it otherwise would. Members are not incentivised to spend at Radisson because there is no reason to target ‘aspirational’ redemptions.
The HfP average valuation of a Radisson Rewards point:
This is not an estimate. It is what you currently get when you redeem Radisson Rewards points for part-payment towards a hotel room.
Radisson Rewards no longer has ‘reward nights’. You simply search for a hotel for cash via the normal booking process. At the payment stage you will be given the chance to reduce the cost, in part or in full, by using your points.
How high can value go on the upside?
Because your reward is fixed, you can’t do better than 0.15p per point if you redeem today. Don’t hoard your points.
I should caveat this. Unlike Accor Live Limitless, which openly states that points are fixed at 2 Eurocents, Radisson Rewards does not publicly say what value you get per point.
It can, and does, move. When Radisson moved to this model last year it was giving nearer 0.2p per point. Now it is 0.15p. It could well move again, up or down. You can’t really base your redemption strategy on this though.
How low can value go on the downside?
There is never a bad day (or, arguably, never a good day) to redeem Radisson Rewards points. You will receive 0.15p everywhere, on every day.
Some people may appreciate this level of certainty. If you are reading this website, however, I imagine that you are the sort of person who wants to maximise their returns via a higher than usual ‘pence per point’ redemption. Radisson Rewards is not the programme for you.
If Radisson Rewards devalues tomorrow, what is your escape route?
This is our floor price. What can you do with your points if Radisson Rewards devalues massively overnight? It could, with very little IT trouble, change the rate from 0.15p to 0.1p or worse. It has already come down from 0.2p in the last year.
Use Radisson Rewards points for frequent flyer miles
The only airline transfer partners open to you are British Airways, Flying Blue (Air France KLM) and SAS.
The transfer rate is 10:1. If you assume an airline mile is worth 1p, as we do, then you are getting just 0.1p per Radisson point by transferring them to Avios.
(The rate to SAS is an improved 7:1 but this is unlikely to interest HfP readers.)
This used to be terrible but, given how low the value of Radisson Rewards points has dropped in the last two years, it suddenly looks acceptable.
There are no other realistic options
Radisson used to offer redemptions for gift cards, albeit at a poor rate. This was discontinued when Radisson Rewards and its Americas arm separated in Summer 2021.
Radisson also used to offer ‘Express Rewards’, giving you cash off food, drink and spa treatments. This has now disappeared from the website.
In summary …. what do we think Radisson Rewards points are worth?
- on average: 0.15p per point – this isn’t an estimate, it is a fact
- on a very good day: 0.15p per point
- on a bad day: 0.15p per point
- if you transfer out in a worse case scenario: 0.1p per point if you transfer to one of the three frequent flyer partners
The bottom line with Radisson Rewards is that there is no point saving up for a bumper redemption at a luxury resort because revenue-based pricing makes those rewards no better value than your local Park Inn.
Do what I do, and redeem the points you earned from your last stay for a discount off your next stay unless it is your employer that is paying for them. If your employer is paying, and you don’t want to use your points for a personal stay, converting to Avios or other airline miles is no longer as bad an option as it was.
How to earn Radisson Rewards points and status from UK credit cards (September 2023)
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:
- 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 four 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 10,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 30,000 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 Premium 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.)