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It has been a long, long time since I last considered myself to be a fan of Radisson Rewards and outside of the occasional good points sale/promotion, I had stopped engaging with the program in any meaningful way some time before it split in two and became ever more cumbersome to use than ever before.
Now, Radisson Rewards is changing again and while the changes are only relevant to the program that operates outside the Americas (the program for the Americas is mostly redundant), it’s still interesting to see the direction in which the program is being taken.
Changes coming to Radisson Rewards
Apparently, Radisson Rewards is being completely overhauled “with a completely new approach to loyalty in mind” (that’s a big claim and I already have my doubts!)
The new program will have:
- 3 elite status tiers instead of the current 4
- Dynamic award redemptions instead of the current award chart
- Points & cash bookings
- Points that can be used to pay for hotel services at check-out
Radisson is really talking this up:
“Radisson Rewards aspires to be the most generous and rewarding program in the industry, providing its members with benefits such as our Member Only Rate, room upgrades, and discounts on food and beverages in hotel bars and restaurants making each stay even more rewarding.”
The most generous and rewarding program?! Radisson Rewards?! This I have to see!
To be fair to the program, I guess I should give it a chance to live up to the high standards that it appears to be setting itself and the truth is that this may actually be one program that is improved by the introduction of dynamic pricing.
As things stand, the better Radisson properties are to be found in Europe and if you take a look at how many points each one of those properties charges for an award night, you’ll find that a lot of them are charging at least 60,000 points per night and that in some cities, it’s hard to find any properties charging under 75,000 points per night (regardless of the cash rate).
Take London as an example.
London has 15 Radisson Rewards properties in and around the center of the city and out of those 15 properties, 9 are top-tier properties costing 75,000 points/night, and 6 cost 60,000 points/night. That’s not exactly an even spread across the current award chart.
During less busy times, some of the top-tier properties can cost as little as £150/$165 per night, and yet they will still charge a Radisson Rewards member 75,000 points…which is a little ridiculous.
Sure, at busier times of the year it can be nice to book one of the better properties for 75,000 points when the room rate is upwards of $500, but the fact remains that since Radisson bundled all of its central London properties into the top two tiers of its award chart and increased the number of points needed for an award night, Radisson Rewards points have been a considerably less useful in London than they were a few years ago.
That’s especially true when you consider the fact that Radisson points are among the hardest points to earn.
Dynamic pricing may change that and as long as Radisson doesn’t overvalue its currency, it may actually open up some redemption options that we haven’t seen available for a number of years.
Radisson has told us that its Rewards program that covers the world outside of the Americas will be getting a makeover. The makeover will see the introduction of dynamic pricing, fewer elite status tiers, and a more flexible currency, and we’re told to expect a program that’s “the most generous and rewarding in the industry”.
I’ll believe that when I see it but I have to confess that I’m more interested in seeing what Radisson comes out with than I thought that I would be…and that’s a start!
Featured image: Radisson Blu Azuri Resort Mauritius courtesy of Radisson