Radisson Rewards Releases Award Category Changes For 2019

The Radisson program isn’t one I spend a ton of time talking about but it does have some very useful properties.  As a general rule, the program is one where US-based loyalty members will spend a lot of time at limited service properties like Park Inn and Country Inn & Suites.  The reward is when you can use the points at brands like their Radisson Blu collection, especially some of the beautiful overseas properties.

Radisson Rewards Category Changes

Radisson Rewards category changes are effective for any reservations made on or after March 1, 2019.  So, you have a bit of time to do some planning before the switch.  Overall, the changes are somewhat gentle.  I wouldn’t say I’d call them a home run, but I think they’re reasonable given the current high occupancy and daily rate hotel chains enjoy.  Here are a few highlights:

  • Both the full-service Radisson Blu Minneapolis and the full-service-ish Radisson Red in Minneapolis drop down a category.
  • Both Sao Paulo properties drop down a category to category 5.
  • All of their Dubai properties drop down a category.
  • Radisson Aquatica Resort in Barbados moves up a category to category 6.
  • Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin moves up to a category 7.
  • Properties in Fiji and Shanghai also move up a category.

In all, if my math is correct 84 hotels moved up a category and 56 moved down.  You can see the full list of category changes on the Radisson Rewards website.

The Final Two Pennies

A month is probably the minimum amount of notice I’d like to see hotel chains give for such changes.  Members save up points for months, sometimes years for their dream vacations.  It can be disappointing to be so close to a goal only to have the finish line moved a few weeks from getting there.  In the case of these changes, almost every single one is only a single category up or down.  That seems consistent with a fairly steady market.

There are some US limited service properties moving up that are in some second-tier cities where I’m not sure if that value makes sense.  That being said, while the occasional redemption for visiting family or dropping a kid off to college can be worth it in markets like these, most folks like to save points for more aspirational redemptions.  You’ve got just about a month to lock in new reservations before prices go up, or a month to go until you can save a bit on an award reservation.  Happy hunting!

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