Best Alternatives to a Radisson Credit Card UK
With a good selection of 4 & 5 Star hotels within London and the UK, it’s no surprise that we regularly receive questions from readers who are looking for a Radisson Rewards credit card to help accumulate points on their everyday spending.
Previously known as Club Carlson and rebranded in March 2018, Radisson Rewards covers 1,100 hotels throughout the world. Brands within the portfolio include Park Plaza, Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson Red, Park Inn and Country Inn & Suites.
Something I find slightly peculiar is that even though EMEA makes up the lion’s share of Radisson Hotel Group’s bedroom inventory (116,362 bedrooms versus 76,163 bedrooms in the US and a further 33,948 bedrooms in Asia Pacific) a Radisson credit card is only offered in the US. This is in the form of the Radisson Rewards Visa Signature card (formerly the Club Carlson Credit).
US residents benefit from a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points, an ongoing earnings rate of 3 points per $1 spent, Silver Radisson Rewards status and up to 6 free nights depending on how much you spend on the card in a membership year. The Radisson Rewards card comes with an annual fee of $50.
Fear not, within this review we’ll be looking at Radisson Credit Card UK alternatives. This is helped by the Radisson Amex partnership whereby American Express Membership Rewards points can be transferred to your Radisson Rewards account at a rate of 3:1. Read on to find out more.
Why collect Radisson Rewards points?
Before we jump fully into this Radisson Rewards Credit Card UK review, I believe it’s important to highlight just why you may want to earn Radisson Rewards points from both hotel stays and everyday spending on a credit card.
To do this, we’ll start off by calculating the value of a Radisson Rewards point by making three dummy bookings and taking an average of the points value achieved. Clearly if you’d only ever redeem for budget redemptions or alternatively luxury stays, the value of a point is likely to vary so we’d recommend running this exercise based on your personal redemption habits.
The Radisson Rewards programme has 7 different categories of hotels, with the number of points required for a redemption ranging from 9,000 points for a category-1 hotel to 70,000 points for a category-7 hotel.
Example 1 Budget Hotel Redemption – A midweek rate for a stay in 3 months’ times at the Park Inn by Radisson London Heathrow would cost either £110 or 28,000 points equating to a points value of 0.4p per point.
Example 2 Mid-Market Hotel Redemption – A similar midweek rate at the Park Plaza Riverbank hotel would cost either £160 or 50,000 points. This would equate to 0.3p per point.
Example 3 Luxury Hotel Redemption – A midweek rate in 3 months’ time at the May Fair in London would cost either £479 per night or alternatively 70,000 points as a category-7 redemption. This would equate to a points value in the region of 0.7p per point.
Taking an average of the above provides a value per point in the region of 0.4p – 0.5p. With the ability to earn a minimum of 20 points per $1 on qualifying Radisson stays (which is increased by up to 75% for Platinum Elite members) this could equate to a nearly £0.10 of points for every $1 spent (points earned are based on US dollars) or a ‘cashback’ rate of nearly 12%!
Similarly with the possibility to earn 3 points for every £1 spent on the Radisson Rewards Credit Card UK, this could provide a theoretical rewards rate somewhere in the region of 1.5%, which is extremely good when compared with other hotel loyalty scheme credit cards.
Alternative Radisson Rewards Credit Cards UK?
Whilst it’s not a Radisson branded credit card, there is one card in the market which offers elite status in the Radisson Rewards programme. The card does however come with a whopping annual fee so within this section we’ll be looking at both the free and premium options for an alternative to the Radisson Rewards Credit Card UK.
Free Options for a Radisson Rewards Card
With the ability to transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Radisson Rewards, the best option would likely be the American Express Gold Card – reviewed in full here.
Cost – The card is free for the first 12 months. After the first year a fee of £140 pa is charged – we’d recommend cancelling before the first year is up to avoid this fee…
Sign-Up Bonus – The card offers an good sign-up bonus of 10,000 reward points when you spend £3,000 on the card in the first 3 months. These points can be transferred to Radisson Rewards at a rate of 1:3 and as such provides the potential to earn 30,000 points. With a points value of up to 0.5p, this could be worth as much as £150 in redemptions! You can also increase the sign-up bonus from 10,000 to 12,000 points (36,000 Radisson Rewards points) using this link.
Additional Benefits – You’ll earn 1 Membership Rewards point (3 Radisson points) for every £1 spent on the card as well as receiving two free airport lounge passes.
Premium Option for a Radisson Credit Card UK
With the huge annual fee of £575 pa it’s hard to believe that for some people, the huge number of benefits offered by the American Express Platinum Card – reviewed in full here – can more than offset the cost of the card. Let’s take a look at these benefits:
Cost – £575 pa!
Sign-Up Bonus – 30,000 points when you spend £2,000 in the first 3 months. This could be converted to 90,000 Radisson points. Similar to the Gold version, the sign-up bonus can be boosted to 35,000 points or 105,000 Radisson Rewards points using this link. So if you’re thinking of booking the May Fair at £469 per night, by signing up to the Platinum card, paying the £575 fee, and spending £2,000 on the card to unlock the bonus would save you £19. It would also leave you with 35,000 Radisson points left over and more importantly you’d benefit from all the additional perks of the card free of charge!
Additional Benefits – The perks of the card are extensive and can be found here. We summarise the most important below:
- Elite Gold Status with Radisson Rewards. This provides a complimentary room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, in room gift and 25% bonus points on every stay.
- You’ll also earn elite status with Hilton, Shangri-La, Marriott Bonvoy & Melia.
- Free international travel insurance.
- Free hire-car insurance.
- Priority Pass for unlimited airport lounge access.
- Free Eurostar lounge access.
- Lounge access when flying with Delta.
- 1 Membership Rewards point for every £1 spent.
How to transfer points from American Express to Radisson
As both alternative Radisson credit cards suggested above require the transferring of points from American Express to Radisson, we thought it would be useful to provide a step-by-step guide to transferring points between the two programmes. This will hopefully also highlight just how easy it is to use Membership Rewards points.
Step One – Log in to your American Express Membership Rewards account and select Hotel Partners.
Step Two – Next select to transfer points.
Final Step – The last thing you’ll need to do is add your account information, select the number of points you’d like to transfer and finally click transfer my points. One minor point to note is that the name on both your American Express and Radisson Rewards account have to be the same.
Summary – Radisson Rewards Credit Card UK
As we’ve seen, whilst there isn’t a branded Radisson credit card available to UK residents, it’s more than possible to earn Radisson points on your everyday spend.
For most we’d recommend the American Express Gold card which is free for the first year and offers a sign-up bonus of up to 12,000 points (36,000 Radisson points) if you kindly use our referral link. For a small handful of people, the Platinum card may be the best option, however with an annual fee of £575 pa we’d strongly recommend you do the maths before signing up.
As always we hope you’ve enjoyed this Radisson Rewards Credit Card UK review and we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.