Apr032019

Radisson Rewards flexible rate discount with Points+Cash reward nights

Radisson Rewards Points+Cash rewards offer an opportunity to get marginally increased value from points redemption for reward nights. The sweet spot looks to be Radisson Rewards category 3 hotels normally priced at 28,000 points for a standard reward where Points+Cash reward nights are 5,000 points + 60% of the Flexible Rate.

Generally speaking, these room nights will likely be similar to the cost for an advance purchase rate for the same room, however, Points+Cash reward stays offer the advantage of flexible cancellation. Basically, Points+Cash rates for a category 1 to category 3 hotel will offer savings of about $30 to $40 per night on the Best Flexible Rate for hotels priced around $100 per night.

Given periodic promotions for buying Radisson Rewards points with 50% to 100% bonus points, there are opportunities to buy points which can be used for Points+Cash reward stays to reduce the cost of a room compared to the Best Flexible rate.

Here is an example of a good value Points+Cash hotel rate discount:

Park Inn Prague, Czechia

July 18-21, 2019

  • Prepaid member rate = 129 EUR/night = $145.05 USD/night
  • Flexible member rate = 152 EUR/night = $170.91 USD/night
  • Standard flexible rate = 160 EUR/night = $179.91 USD/night
  • Standard reward rate = 28,000 points
  • Points+Cash reward rate = 5,000 points + 96 EUR/$107.94

My current Mystery Bonus Deal for 50% bonus points on points purchases allows me to buy up to 120,000 Radisson Rewards points at the rate of $4.67 per 1,000 points.

This sets a fixed value for Radisson Rewards points at $23.35 for 5,000 points.

One of my primary strategies for hotel rate discounts is buying points when they are on sale, but only if I can hotels in places I would like to stay available at a good rate discount through hotel points purchases.

Basically, I can save money on any Radisson Rewards category 1 to 3 hotel if the Points+Cash copay rate + $23.35 is less than the prevailing room rate. Most hotels I checked show this works out to be about the same price as a prepaid, nonrefundable room rate, however the valuable added benefit of the Points+Cash stay is flexible cancellation rate terms equivalent to the cancellation terms of the hotel flexible rate.

Park Inn Prague Points + Cash for these dates has a better than average redemption value for Radisson Rewards points compared to what I found for most hotels I checked doing a similar analysis.

Park Inn Prague Points + Cash rate = 5,000 points ($23.35) + $107.94 = $131.29 USD per night.

This Points+Cash rate saves nearly $14 per night on the prepaid, nonrefundable rate and nearly $40 per night on the comparable flexible member rate.

Another consideration is a Points+Cash reward stay will earn fewer points since the cash portion paid earning 20 points/$1 is less than the amount paid on a regular room booking.

Advance purchase rate $145 x 20 points/$1 = 2,900 points. Plus I would earn 25% bonus points as a Gold elite member = 3,625 points.

Points + Cash rate = $108 x 20 points/$1 = 2,160 points + 25% = 2,700 points earned.

To provide an equivalent comparison, I would earn 925 more points on a prepaid rate for Park Inn Prague. Based on the fixed rate I assigned Radisson Rewards points at $4.67 per 1,000 points purchase rate during the current 50% bonus points promotion, then my $14 savings from the Points+Cash booking is more like $9.60 in savings if I give equivalent $4.67/1,000 points value to the extra points I do not earn.

Still, the important consideration for me favoring Points+Cash bookings is the flexible cancellation policy for a reward stay. I rarely book prepaid rooms unless I am really confident my plans are fixed for a hotel deal on certain dates.

The fallacy of thinking in terms of average points value

As I looked at The Points Guy website Value of Points table this morning, I am reminded of an axiom I hold regarding the value of loyalty points, which is, “Points have no value at all until you redeem them.”

And the corollary principle I apply to my loyalty points is “Redeem for better than average value (based on the values several prominent bloggers like to place on loyalty points).”

I don’t think of loyalty points in terms of average value. I don’t care what an arbitrary average value for a point is in the different programs. That might be helpful as a starting point for a points currency you have little or no experience using, but the average value of a point is irrelevant to me. The only value that matters to me is what is potentially a high value for points.

The Points Guy – Value of Radisson Rewards points = $4.00 per 1,000 points.

My Park Inn Prague example redemption value for Radisson Rewards points. 5,000 points + $107.91 saves $37.11 on the prepaid rate for a points value of $7.42 per 1,000 points.

Comparing the Points+Cash rate savings to the comparable cancellation policy of the flexible member rate means 5,000 points reduces the room rate from $170.91 per night to $107.94 per night for a savings of $62.97 by redeeming 5,000 points. That increases the actual redemption value of Radisson Rewards points to $12.59 per 1,000 points, or more than 3x the Radisson Rewards point value estimated by The Points Guy.

My general assessment is Radisson Rewards is comparatively a low value hotel loyalty program on the basis of the potential for significant room rate savings using points. I find the program that was one of my most used programs for great hotel deals from 2012 to 2018 has basically been gutted over the past two years as most of the best value Category 1, 2 and 3 hotels have increased in reward category.

I still have 100,000 points that I could probably use to get $500 to $600 in rooms if I used them for two Category 6 reward nights at 50,000 points hotels. However, I would prefer to strategically conserve my points and burn them on 20 Points + Cash reward nights where I might be able to realize $742 to $1,259 in hotel rate discounts as evidenced by this Park Inn Prague example.

While there may not be dozens of hotels where I can find great value for Radisson Rewards points, that is not a major concern for me. I have points available for reward stays in most hotel loyalty programs. All that matters to me is finding a good redemption value for one hotel in a place I plan to visit.

On a related side note, Prague in summer can get very hot and I know from past stays that Park Inn Prague has great air conditioning in their rooms. Plus, every time I have stayed at Park Inn Prague I received a junior suite upgrade with patio.

Park Inn Prague New Year’s Eve 2017 reward stay

Park Inn Prague hotel review July 2017.

 

 

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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