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It's tricky, but you can still use Radisson points for international travel — Here's how

Sept. 29, 2021
6 min read
Radisson Blu Hotel in Kyiv
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You don’t have to be in the travel or travel writing world for long to know that big-name hotel loyalty programs such as Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors and the World of Hyatt are much more popular (and get far more clicks) than some of the smaller properties such as Radisson Rewards.

And while I probably wouldn’t recommend a U.S.-based points traveler start with (or primarily focus on) Radisson, at a certain point, you’re probably making an error if you totally ignore it. While I rarely have redeemed Radisson points for travel within the U.S. – I’ve gotten huge value on trips to Europe in places like Norway, France, Spain and London.

With my fingers tightly crossed and vaccines for kids hopefully on the near-term horizon, I’m once again booking a trip that includes time in London and it’s Radisson Rewards points that are again showing up for the win.

However, the process of redeeming Radisson points for international travel has recently changed as the Radisson Americas and global programs have split. Here’s how – and why – you can still redeem your Radisson points for international travel.

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(Image courtesy of Radisson)

Radisson Rewards Americas vs. Radisson Rewards

I’ll spare you the nuanced details, but the important part to know is that as of June 2021, those who live in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean were placed into the Radisson Rewards Americas program. If you live in those countries, your points and account number are safe and sound in that program.

You can log in and book your Radisson Rewards award trips to those same regions more or less as you always did (albeit with a new award chart) via the Americas program.

However, if you want to travel to somewhere else – like Europe – you’ll have to create an all-new Radisson Rewards account in the global program. You’ll then have two different Radisson Rewards accounts: one for travel within U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and one for everywhere else.

Related: Here’s why Radisson Rewards is the best loyalty program for earning free nights

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Transferring points to your Radisson Rewards global account

While that arrangement is a bit annoying and awkward you can still transfer points between your two Radisson accounts and redeem them at wherever Radisson property you want with a few keyboard strokes.

Once you have both accounts set up using the same name and email address you can transfer points from the Americas program to the global at a 1:1 ratio by heading here.

Though the terms said it may take up to 24 hours to process, both of my test transfers have been instant. I’m also not sure how or why it happened but my Radisson Rewards global account had 3,000 free points to start with when I opened it.

(Screenshot courtesy of Radisson Rewards)

How to status match to your Radisson global account

If you have Radisson status in your Americas account, which comes simply by having the co-branded Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature, that status doesn’t automatically transfer to your global account.

However, you can request a status match from the Americas account to the global account. I haven't done this step yet, but my understanding is you can do this by emailing radissonrewards@radissonhotels.com or statusmatch@radissonhotels.com and providing a screenshot of your Radisson Rewards Americas account with the status and account number to match to the global program.

The Gold status that comes by having the Radisson Rewards Visa Signature isn’t the most valuable status in the world but it’s worth sending an email to match it to your global account before your stay so that you can get better treatment such as early check-in/late check-out, an in-room welcome gift, free bottles of water and free breakfast at participating brands.

Like with many other elements of the program, I've had this status level be pretty valuable at times in Europe beyond what I would have expected within the U.S.

The information for the Radisson Rewards card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: Hotel elite status match and challenge offers for 2021

Why it’s worth using Radisson globally

While there are some Radisson programs in the U.S. that I wouldn’t hesitate to redeem points at – such as the new Radisson Blu Anaheim – internationally the points can be worth a lot more.

Radisson Blu Anaheim (Photo by Ariana Arghandewal / The Points Guy)

Cash rates during my hopeful travel dates are high in London, making points a good bet. At a hotel such as The May Fair in London, I can redeem 75,000 Radisson points per night instead of paying the approx. $450 USD per night room rate on the dates I’m considering. That's a lot of Radisson points but it is still a return of .6 cents per point, which is 50% more than the TPG valuation of Radisson points of .4 cents each.

I know from prior experience that the property is in a great location and should be a good budget-friendly solution for this part of the trip.

A few other examples of international Radisson properties that may be worth the effort to move your points include:

  • Radisson Blu Resort Maldives
  • Radisson Blu Resort, Trysil
  • Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Bergen
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre
  • Radisson Blu Hotel Paris, Marne-La-Vallee
(Photo courtesy of the Radisson Blu Maldives)

Bottom line

Opening a second loyalty account and going through the steps to redeem points at an international Radisson property wasn’t the highlight of my week, but it also wasn’t all that bad. Within 10 minutes or so of starting to figure out the process, it was done.

And instead of spending hundreds of dollars per night in London, or using points from programs such as Hyatt or Marriott that I have an easier time maximizing closer to home, I’ll spend 75,000 points that have been sitting in my Radisson account just waiting for such an occasion.

Featured image by (Photo by Gelia/Shutterstock)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
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    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.