3 things to know Radisson Rewards Americas' upcoming new award chart
This week we learned significantly more details of Radisson Rewards' upcoming program split that will create one program for the Americas region and another for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.
TPG's Andrew Kunesh reported on the major changes members can expect when the Radisson Rewards Americas program goes live in June. But one of the most important aspects we didn't have at that time was the new award chart for properties in the Americas region, which includes North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Let's get into how the award chart will look different on June 17, 2021.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Before we dive into some of the biggest changes, here are some basics about the new Radisson award chart:
- Whereas the existing chart has seven categories, the new one will have five
- Existing Category 1 redemptions require 9,000 points, while future Category 1 redemptions will require 15,000
- Even though there will only be five categories come June, top-tier Category 5 properties will require 75,000 points, while current Category 7 properties require 70,000
- There are a few desirable properties that will require fewer points come June, but most will require more, even if they move down a category (or a few) as the program transitions from 7 to 5 tiers
- The new chart will feature RewardSaver nights, a form of dynamic pricing. Luckily, rates will only go lower, not higher, than their published category levels
Related: The Radisson Blu Maldives finally opens after a 7-year delay
Properties move down in category, but it's not all positive
Upon first glance of the new chart, you immediately notice that many properties are moving down in category -- and sometimes significantly.
For example, some Country Inn and Suites properties will move from Category 4 to Category 1 or Category 5 to Category 2, representing a decrease of 14,000 and 23,000 points per night, respectively.
However, because there are fewer categories and rates are rising from the low end to the top end, not every category decrease corresponds with a decrease in points.
Numerous properties are moving from Category 2 in the existing program to Category 1 in the new one, but they'll still require 6,000 more points per night for award stays.
Some properties, like the Country Inn and Suites Athens, Georgia, are slated to slide down from Category 3 to Category 2. However, they will actually require more points for a free night (30,000 in the new program versus 28,000 in the current). Similarly, any property that will move from Category 4 under the old program to Category 3 in the new will require 7,000 additional points per night to book.
Any property that remains a Category 1 in the new program will require 6,000 additional points per night for a free stay. Basically, don't just glance at the new chart and take solace in a property remaining in the same category or even moving down, as that doesn't necessarily mean it will cost fewer points to book.
Related: Your complete guide to earning Radisson Rewards points
The most desirable hotels will require more points
Radisson Blu hotels are generally the chain's most desirable -- and most expensive -- properties. Unfortunately, all of the Radisson Blu properties in the Americas region will cost you more points with the new chart, even if they technically are moving down in category.
Related: Travel is back, now devaluations are coming
A few bright spots
On the whole, it seems like the new Radisson Rewards America chart is a devaluation. Many properties will become more expensive when the new chart takes effect on June 17, even though many of these will be in a lower category.
However, there are at least a couple of instances where desirable properties will actually cost a little less for travelers. Take, for example, the Radisson Aquatica Resort Barbados, a Caribbean resort property. In the current chart, it's a Category 6 property, meaning free nights cost 50,000 points per night. It's moving to the new Category 3, meaning free nights will cost just 45,000 points.
Meanwhile, the Radisson Red Miraflores, a funky hotel with a lively rooftop bar just minutes from the ocean, will go from requiring 38,000 points to 30,000 per night. Radisson told TPG that over 30% of its properties would cost fewer points, which means there are some properties that you'll be able to book for fewer points than before.
It's also worth noting that Radisson will be offering RewardSaver awards, which is a form of dynamic pricing that could see nightly rates reduced by 30% points per night when demand is low. Luckily, award redemption rates will not go above what's stated on the award chart.
Radisson's new forthcoming split loyalty program will undoubtedly cause some confusion among its members once it's implemented in June.
Unfortunately, there's not a ton of good news to report when it comes to its award chart for its Americas region program. While many properties are technically moving down in category, it's a bit of an illusion since the chart itself is condensed from seven to five categories and redemption rates are going up across the board.
We now know for sure where each property across the Americas will stand come June 17, 2021, so if there's a property you've had your eye on and it's going to cost you more points when the changes are enacted, lock in your stay now to take advantage of current pricing.