Radisson to launch a separate loyalty programme for travellers in the Americas

Apr 7, 2021

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On Tuesday, Radisson announced that it will split its Radisson Rewards loyalty programme into two programmes: Radisson Rewards and Radisson Rewards Americas. This change will take place sometime in June 2021.

The existing Radisson Rewards will cater to customers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific. These members can earn and redeem points at properties in these regions.

On the other hand, stays in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean will be routed through the new Radisson Rewards Americas. You’ll have to create an account with this new programme and use it to earn and redeem points in these regions.

According to Radisson, you will be able to transfer your points for free between Radisson Rewards and Radisson Rewards Americas. Points will transfer 1:1 between the programmes using the “Global Points Transfer process” launching in June.

Likewise, Radisson Rewards elite status will be honoured in both programmes, but you’ll have to call Radisson member services to request a status match.

All current Radisson Rewards members will have to create Radisson Rewards Americas accounts in June if they wish to participate in the programme. Radisson will not automatically generate Radisson Rewards Americas accounts.

What’s the reason for this change?

Radisson Blu Hotel Marseille Vieux Port Hotel Exterior
(Image courtesy of Radisson)

Radisson stated that it’s splitting its programme to “deliver a more localized experience” to ensure “Radisson Rewards members will continue to enjoy great regional offers.”

That said, I don’t see why splitting the programme in two is necessary for this. If you have a phone number or address attached to your Radisson Rewards account, it should be easy to localise offers based on existing information.

Plus, the Americas are a big place. The hotel market in the U.S. is much different than in Chile or even Mexico. I’m not sure how much localisation can occur among so many North, Central and South American countries that warrant a separate loyalty programme.

As noted by One Mile at a Time, the real reason for this split could be changing data regulations in the U.S.

Radisson was acquired by HNA Group and later sold to Jin Jiang International — the latter controlled by the Chinese government. The U.S. now requires that the Chinese government no longer have access to certain types of information for U.S. customers. So, splitting the loyalty programme in two could be Radisson’s way to become compliant with these new data laws.

Regardless of the reason, in my eyes, this will lead to mass confusion among Radisson Rewards members — especially once travel resumes. Being forced to manage two points balances and accounts isn’t ideal, especially given no other major hotel chains do this.

It’s unclear if members will earn elite status in Radisson Rewards and Radisson Rewards Americas separately in the future. If separate, this is a huge blow to customers who split their travel between the Americas and the rest of the world.

Related: How to pick the right hotel chain for you

Bottom line

Radisson Rewards is starting a new loyalty programme called Radisson Rewards Americas this June. This new programme will handle loyalty for all hotel stays in North, South and Central America, while all other regions will continue to use Radisson Rewards.

It will be interesting to see how this rollout happens and how it affects existing Radisson Rewards members. We’ll keep you updated when we get more information from Radisson.

Photo by Tupungato/Shutterstock

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