Andy Shuman at Lazy Traveler’s Handbook has put together a phenomenal post about the foreign Radisson properties changing category when the newly-split Radisson Hotels programs begins in June 2021. Whether you agreed with my initial assertion that the Radisson category changes were pretty rough or you were on the side of readers who convinced me that there were some bright sides in the Radisson Americas changes, Andy makes a strong case for why you should be excited about the category changes happening in the rest of the world.
When Radisson splits in June, there will be two entirely separate programs: Radisson Americas (covering North/South America and the Caribbean) and Radisson Hotels (covering rest of the world). If the big wigs had asked for my opinion in advance, I’d have probably convinced them that there would be some wisdom in a slightly more creative / descriptive / not-almost-the-same name. The fact that the programs are going to be separate is important because all we know about moving points between them right now is that you’ll be able to move points between the two programs at a 1:1 ratio. We don’t yet know whether points transfers will be instant nor do we know what will happen in June if you are a US resident with an existing booking in Europe. I assume that your reservation will be honored as made. But what happens if you cancel the reservation? Will your points end up in Radisson Hotels (rest of the world)? Will they automatically return to Radisson Americas? Does it matter whether you’ve set up and connected your separate Radisson Hotels (rest of the world) account? I could see some potential for messiness.
However, contrary to the plan I thought might be wise, which was to tie up my points in a European reservation to keep them on that “side” of the split, Andy shows why it might just be a fine strategy to wait: there are a lot of properties in great foreign destinations (some of which look quite nice) that are dropping in price. Further, he makes a point that was echoed by some in looking at the US chart: many properties increasing in price are only increasing by 1K or 2K points while some dropping in price are decreasing by 10K to 13K points. Since the Radisson Premier Visa earns 5x everywhere, an increase of 1K or 2K points just isn’t very significant.
If you enjoy getting a bit off the beaten path, Andy points to tons of destinations where deals will get significantly better and he provides plenty of travel advice along the way. I don’t agree with all of his advice: he says that he enjoyed Kaunas, Lithuania more than Vilnius and I’d say the exact opposite (Andy, did you miss the KGB Museum in Vilnius?? Fascinating history, cool alleyways, cheap sidewalk café dining – what was there not to love in Vilnius?). However, in seriousness, I learned a heck of a lot reading his post and it made me excited for travel again — and dare I say excited about my Radisson points.
From the color coding to the color commentary, it is worth checking out the post at Lazy Traveler’s Handbook for more on why the Radisson changes might not be bad after all.