How to cancel your Radisson international award and get your points back

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In June, Radisson split into two separate loyalty programs: Radisson Americas and Radisson Hotels (which covers the rest of the world). Greg and I had each made reservations at international hotels before the programs split and ultimately had to cancel those reservations. The process for just cancelling is harder than you might expect; getting your points back is not at all intuitive and may not be simple, but the good news is that we each got our points back thanks to knowing the right process.

The trouble with cancelling a reservation: finding it

In 2021, cancelling any kind of reservation is usually a pretty simple process. Cancelling a Radisson Hotels reservation for a property outside of the Americas that you made before the program split is a notable exception. A number of factors combine to make it more of a challenge than you may expect.

For starters, my reservation didn’t show up in my online account. That wasn’t altogether shocking. I made the reservation with my Radisson points before the programs split. Since I live in the US, my Radisson account became a “Radisson Americas” account and the hotel I’d reserved is now a “Radisson Hotels” (i.e. international) property. My account history did show a debit for the points used to make my reservation, but no record of the reservation otherwise.

Also not totally surprising is the fact that you can’t look up an international reservation on the Radisson Americas website using the confirmation number. More surprising was the fact that I couldn’t look it up on the Radisson international site by confirmation number either.

When the programs first split, I had reached out to Radisson on Twitter about what I needed to do to see my foreign reservation and they had advised me to create a Radisson Hotels (international) account with the same name and email address as my Radisson Americas account. I hadn’t done that right away, so I went ahead and did that now thinking that maybe the reservation would automatically populate under my “international” account based on my name and email address. No dice there.

You might think all that inconvenient but not a big deal since the original Radisson email confirmation for the reservation has an easy link to view your reservation online. You should easily be able to hit a “cancel” button from there if you wanted to cancel. Unfortunately, clicking that link just brings up a 404 “website not found” error.

Besides, what would happen if I just clicked a link somewhere to cancel? Where would my points go? Naturally they should go back in my Radisson Americas account since that’s where the points came from in the first place. However, since the reservation wasn’t associated with that account anymore I wasn’t sure that’s what would happen. Neither was it associated with my (new) international account. Would the points just disappear into the ether?

I went to Flyertalk figuring that others must have dealt with this problem before and figured out the best way to handle it. Unfortunately, news there wasn’t terribly encouraging. Here’s an example story from Flyertalk user toltecs:

I am unfortunately caught up in this mess created by the split as well. I live in the US and made two reservations in Greece with points before the split. Once they split into two businesses, I couldn’t cancel the reservation online. Then, my reservations disappeared from my “upcoming reservations.” I created a non-Americas account with Radisson hoping that my reservations would show up there, but they didn’t. Each time I have called and had issues I have asked to speak to a manager, but they are never available.

I have spent hours on the phone on hold waiting to speak to someone that can help me. Anyone with the Americas organization says they can’t help me. I tried calling both the Greece customer service (CS) number and the hotel without any luck. I ended up speaking with someone by calling the Great Britain customer service number on 30 Jun after a long hold. They were able to cancel the reservations and told me that the points would be deposited to my original, “Americas” account.

However, nearly a month later, I still have not received my points. I spent 2 hours on hold with the GB number again only for them to tell me that I need to speak with “member services” and that they are currently closed. After complaining about all of this, my information is supposed to be sent by the CS rep to Member Services, and they should call me if they have any questions. I have also submitted this request online without any resolution thus far.

Overall, this transition has been terribly managed, and I will not be focused on using Radisson in the future.

Yuck. Another member had a reservation at the Radisson Blu Maldives and reported a similarly-frustrating experience trying to get their points back:

I just spent 1:30 on the phone with both Americas and International and both are telling me that it’s the others’ problem. I made a Maldives booking before the split using points from my USA account and now I need to cancel. International says they cannot do it, and Americas says they cannot do it and nobody knows what would happen to the points even if I could get it done. Both assure me that I can cancel ‘without penalty,” but neither understands or seemingly can be made to understand that I also want the points back. But even if I could make them understand that it doesn’t matter because both want to tell me it’s not their problem. International finally said call the hotel, which I guess I will try. Of course, they are only open on Maldives time.

That member did eventually get their points back via the Radisson international Twitter team, but not without the above frustration to get warmed up. None of that sounded encouraging. Thankfully, there is a way to get this done that should result in a little bit less time on hold if you have some faith.

The process to cancel a Radisson (international) reservation and get your points back

Radisson Blu Maputo

Not sure what to do about our own reservations and wanting to be able to address this for readers, Greg and I reached out to a contact in Radisson’s corporate office to inquire about how to properly cancel a non-Americas Radisson reservation made before the split and get your points back. We discussed this on a recent Frequent Miler on the Air episode before we had each completed the process. We have since each cancelled reservations and gotten our points back using this process as the blueprint (though with slightly different results) and are thankful to have a process to share with readers.

Here is exactly what we were told is the process for cancelling and getting your points back:

  1. First you will need to cancel your reservation directly with the hotel or via Radisson Rewards Member Services (note; this is Member Services for the program outside of the Americas, not for the Radisson Rewards Americas program)
  2. You will need to secure a cancelation number from either the hotel / Member Services, whichever you called to cancel your reservation
  3. Next you will need to call Radisson Rewards Americas Member Services and provide them with the reservation cancelation number
  4. Member Services will confirm the cancelation, then re-issue your points into your Radisson Rewards Americas account

That process does work, though not quite as easily as it sounds (and I am aware that it doesn’t sound easy compared to the typical click-the-cancel-button-and-get-your-points-back experience in cancelling a hotel reservation in 2021. In fairness, at least there now is a road map to getting your points back.

Our (slightly different) experiences cancelling

For the first step — actually cancelling the reservation — the first instinct for both of us was to reach out to the hotel via email. That seemed like the easy part. It wasn’t. I’m not sure whether Greg ever heard back on his email, but my hotel wrote me back and said that the hotel could not cancel reservations, only Member Services could do that.

Fair enough, on to Member Services. Except there isn’t a clear way to reach Radisson international “member services”. On the Radisson international website, you can choose a country from a drop-down and it will give you an international phone number. There seem to be a couple of numbers that are used regionally (i.e. many countries within one region dial to the same regional phone number), but then I found a few countries where there didn’t appear to be a country code for Radisson.

The first day I got around to calling I did it around 4:30pm Eastern. Every number I tried (and I tried the numbers listed under many countries including the UK, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Norway) ended up with a similar-sounding recording (what sounded like a British voice) telling me that the offices were “now closed”. The recording didn’t say when the offices were open, just that they were closed. The number in a couple of countries just rang without answer (maybe an error in dialing, though I made a few such errors then).

Luckily, I hadn’t left this right up until the cancellation deadline as I don’t think there is a way to cancel if you are outside of business hours. I tried sending a message to the Radisson (international) Twitter team and I got no response. I sent a message to the US Twitter team and they told me to contact the non-Americas team at their Twitter handle (which as I just noted was a fruitless endeavor).

Again, I’m not sure what the business hours are but they do not start particularly early as I also called after midnight one night figuring that it was morning hours in the UK and I didn’t get anyone at that time either. Eventually I did get through to someone on one of the international lines in morning hours (Eastern time). I can’t recall whether I had called the UK number (+44 28 30640900) or the “Europe, Middle East, and Africa” number (+353 1 513 8383) the time that I got through to someone, but it seems like both numbers ring to the same line.

The person with whom I spoke at the Radisson international number wasn’t familiar with the process, though she was able to look up my reservation by the confirmation number and she could see the hotel and dates. She couldn’t see any payment information at all (so she couldn’t see on her end that I had used points, neither could she see any charge for the reservation). It sounded like she couldn’t see the hotel’s cancellation policy, either – though I had the original email confirmation and knew that I was ahead of the cancellation deadline.

I explained that I needed to cancel the reservation and I emphasized the importance of needing the cancellation number so that I could contact Radisson Americas to get my points back. The agent told me that the original confirmation number should serve as the cancellation number. Past experience has always been that cancelling a Radisson reservation (and reservations in other chains) results in a new cancellation number, but she said the original confirmation number should work.

However, when she got to the end of the process, she asked for my email address to send me the cancellation confirmation “because sometimes the numbers are different” (after telling me it wouldn’t be). Interestingly, she said that there was no email address on file with the reservation – it seems like none of my information other than name transferred over when the programs split. I gave her my email and she said that she sent the cancellation over twice. She moved forward to end the call, but I held her on the phone while I refreshed my email a couple of times to make sure that she had typed it correctly since I didn’t know if someone else would find my reservation again if she cancelled it and I didn’t have that cancellation number.

Sure enough, the emails came though and sure enough the cancellation number was different from the original confirmation number.

Armed with the cancellation number, I called Radisson Americas to speak with an agent. I explained the situation: I had made a reservation using my Radisson points for a foreign hotel before the programs split and have now cancelled the reservation and need to get my points back and that I was told the way to do so is to call Radisson Americas with my cancellation number. The agent had no idea what I was talking about; she told me that normally you cancel a non-Americas reservation and the points go into your non-Americas account (which would surely be the case if you made a reservation after the programs split). She asked if I had previously spoken to someone about this and I explained that a contact at Radisson corporate had assured me that this was the correct process.

Much to the credit of the agent, she took me at my word that I had spoken to someone who knew what was up about this process because rather than argue with me, she put me on hold to call her supervisor. Her supervisor similarly had not yet heard about this process for getting points back. Again, much to the credit of Radisson customer service, they took me seriously that this was the way it should be done and asked for my cancellation number so that they could submit it to some member services team for investigation. I give credit there because I would ordinarily expect pushback from an agent or supervisor if I’m asking them to do something that they haven’t heard of before. I wouldn’t have been surprised if the agent had insisted that they couldn’t do anything about it and I had to hang up and call again, but I was thankful I didn’t have to. She told me that I should hear back in a couple of days.

Sure enough, the next day I received an email from Member Services indicating that they had redeposited the points.

Dear Nicholas Reyes,

I hope this email finds you well. Thank you for being a Radisson Reward Americas member.

I am writing from Radisson Americas Member Services department to give you an update regarding your cancelled reservation supposedly for hotel in [Destination] since I have received today an email from our research team authorizing me to proceed with the points reimbursement to your Radisson Reward Americas account.

I am pleased to informed you that the points have been added back to your account.

I sincerely appreciate your understanding in this matter. Please feel free to reach us if you have any further questions.

Regards,

I laughed at the use of “supposedly” but was glad to see that the points were in fact redeposited back into my Radisson Americas account. In total, I had spent about 45 minutes on the phone with Radisson Americas (mostly on hold waiting for an agent) and about 15 minutes with Radisson international, so even this abbreviated process took an hour but YMMV depending on your luck in terms of waiting on hold and getting an agent who is more or less familiar with the process.

In slightly brighter news, the process could potentially be even easier: when Greg called the international Member Services line, he got his points reinstated to his Radisson international account in a single call. He was perhaps smarter than me; he first contacted created a Radisson international account and then contacted Radisson international to connect his foreign reservation to his Radisson international account. That might have made the process easier. The agent with whom he spoke helped him cancel the reservation and then put him on hold and connected him to another team who was able to reinstate the points on the same phone call. Again, in Greg’s case, the points went back to his international (non-Americas) account. In theory, the points can be moved easily (and online) between Radisson Americas and Radisson non-Americas, so it shouldn’t really matter where they end up — though I have seen some reports of difficulty in moving the points, so YMMV.

Bottom line

Got a Radisson Hotels (non-Americas) reservation made with points that you created before Radisson Americas and Radisson non-Americas split? Need to cancel that reservation and get your points back? There is a process for that. It’s a bit more complicated than you would ordinarily expect, though in fairness Radisson was probably in a tough spot when the programs split since privacy rules likely limited how much information could be shared and also prevented them from automatically creating a non-Americas account for everyone. The good news is that it really wasn’t that hard to get agents to do what they needed to do in order to get my points back, it just required a couple of phone calls (including international) and some patience. I used Google Voice to call the foreign numbers and they were each only one or two cents a minute via Google Voice. It isn’t as convenient as one would prefer, but it worked out and I got my points back. If you have a non-Americas reservation, I do not recommend waiting until the last minute: if plans change, be sure to start the cancellation process well ahead of your cancellation deadline.

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