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Radisson Is Getting Rid of This for Hotel Guests, Effective Immediately

The beloved hospitality chain just made a major unexpected change.

Part of what makes staying at a hotel memorable is feeling as though you're being treated like a valued guest. That's why chains like Radisson perform well for travelers who are seeking a slice of comfort when they're on the road. The company currently runs more than 1,700 hotels and over 260,000 hotel rooms worldwide, making it relatively easy to find one no matter where you're headed. But long-time Radisson loyalists may be disappointed to hear that the company is getting rid of one thing for guests. Read on to see what the hospitality chain decided to suddenly due away with, effective immediately.

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Radisson recently split its loyalty rewards program between two entities.

hotel front desk with woman in background

The hotel world is no stranger to mergers and acquisitions, and as a prominent player in the industry, Radisson is no different. Over several decades, the company has grown significantly to include several brands under its umbrella. But in 2021, the Radisson Group decided to effectively split its operations in two, creating the Radisson Hotel Group—which includes properties in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East—and the Radisson Hotel Group Americas, covering the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, and Latin America, according to Forbes.

Confusingly, the split in regional properties also led to a fork in the company's loyalty program, which is managed separately for each entity as Radisson Rewards and Radisson Rewards Americas. However, members have been able to transfer their points between the programs to use for free nights or upgrades at properties whenever traveling to different parts of the world. Even after the division was announced last summer, both programs functioned essentially the same as they did previously, according to Forbes.

Radisson just made a major change that could affect its most loyal guests.

Rear view of tourist in the hotel room pulling the curtains to see the view

But now, the company has significantly changed one of the programs that could affect your next stay. Weeks after hinting that it would be changing its international loyalty program, Radisson Rewards suddenly announced a fundamental overhaul this week, The Points Guy reports.

Membership tiers for customers have been entirely revamped, dropping the previous levels of Club, Silver, Gold, and Platinum and shifting to a three-tier system. Now, customers will fall into the entry-level Club tier—assigned to all Radisson Rewards members—before they can reach elite status with the Premium and VIP tiers. Notably, Radisson Club members will see a major reduction in how many points they earn with their stay, dropping from 20 in the previous system to nine in the revamped program, according to The Points Guy.

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The hotel chain also completely changed how guests can use points for stays.

A young woman traveler sitting with her suitcase and looking angrily at her laptop

Besides the status tier changes, guests will also notice a difference in how they cash in on free nights with the hotel chain. As part of the new program, the company has dropped its previous fixed award chart for its properties and adopted a dynamic pricing model which changes how much a stay can cost depending on demand and availability. In the case of Radisson, reward spends are now pegged to the cost of the night, meaning that it will take more points to cash in on a room with a higher rate, The Points Guy reports.

While the move may seem like it creates a logical system, some experts point out that the new program significantly devalues reward points. For example, while testing rates across different properties, it was found that they fluctuated between 15 and 28 cents per point—with one property even coming in as low as .015 cents per point, according to The Points Guy.

Guests can still easily transfer their points to the other Radisson program.

A person entering a hotel room

Despite the major changes to the Radisson Rewards system, experts say there is a way that guests can salvage their hard-earned points. The program still allows members to transfer their earnings to Radisson Rewards Americas at a one-to-one ratio, which has not yet adopted a dynamic pricing model.

"With Radisson Rewards' massive devaluation, it could make a lot of sense to transfer points to Radisson Rewards Americas, even without a specific use in mind for points," Ben Schlappig, founder of travel rewards news site One Mile at a Time, writes in a post discussing the changes. "We know that Radisson Rewards points are now worth very little, while we don't know what the future holds with Radisson Rewards Americas."

But while the transfer will salvage the value of any points earned, it will affect where you can use them: Thanks to the previous division of the companies, the rewards program only covers hotels in North America and the Caribbean.

Radisson is also not the only major hotel chain to significantly shake up its points system recently. Earlier this year, Marriott announced it was switching its points pricing system for its Bonvoy loyalty program away from its previously held fixed award chart to a dynamic pricing system. Like Radisson, critics argued at the time that the change significantly devalued the points by making it harder to use them at some of the chain's higher-end properties, travel rewards site Loyalty Lobby reported.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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