How does ValuePenguin get paid?
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more. Citi is an advertising partner.
Hotel mergers seem to be all the rage these days, and Choice Hotels is the latest program to fall in with this trend. In August 2022, Choice Hotels International followed in the footsteps of Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy by completing its acquisition of Radisson Hotels Americas.
Thanks to the merger, Choice Hotels now boasts 7,500 hotels in 46 different countries. This means consumers can now use Choice Privileges hotel rewards to book stays at a broader number of hotels around the world than ever before.
Choice Hotels also recently made an announcement that will impact members who still have Radisson Rewards points. As of Jan. 31, 2023, travelers with points in either program can actively move them back and forth between their Choice Privileges and Radisson Rewards accounts as they see fit.
New benefits for Choice Privileges and Radisson Rewards members
Since hotel loyalists who have points with either program can now move them between each one seamlessly, this opens the door to better redemption options for everyone involved.
Examples of how to use hotel points in this post-merger environment include the following:
- Find the best redemption in either program, then move points. With more than 7,500 properties worldwide, members will have more options for travel, and may get a better deal by transferring points between programs. Plus, Radisson members now can redeem a smaller number of points for a stay, since Choice Privileges properties start at 6,000 points, whereas Radisson Rewards redemptions start at 12,000 points.
- Redeem at alternate properties. Members of both programs can now redeem points for stays at Bluegreen Vacations, PENN Entertainment casino resorts and Circus Circus Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
- Qualify for lower paid rates with both brands. Members of both programs can now access lower paid rates with either brand, as well as reciprocal elite member benefits like room upgrades, late check-out and more.
- Radisson Rewards members can now access Choice Privileges Experiences. With the option to transfer points between both programs, members can now use their rewards (starting at 40,000 points) to book sporting event experiences, meet-n-greets with college sports players and more.
In order to qualify for point transfers between Choice and Radisson, individuals will need to become a member of each program. Once members have accounts with both programs, they can simply log in and move points back and forth between their accounts.
Best ways to earn Choice Privileges and Radisson Rewards points
Frequent travelers can begin racking up points in either program through paid hotel stays, or through other qualifying activities. For example, travelers can earn Choice Privileges points by renting a car through Avis or Budget, referring friends or answering survey questions or giving their opinions. Radisson Rewards also has its own share of partners with point earning opportunities, including rental car partners, shopping partners and more.
Members can also use credit cards to earn points with either program. While the Radisson Rewards program currently has its co-branded hotel credit cards on hold, Choice Hotels will launch a new hotel credit card on May 1, 2023.
Consumers can also use a flexible travel credit card to transfer points to the Choice Privileges program. For example, points in the American Express Membership Rewards program transfer to the Choice Hotels program on a 1:1 basis, meaning 1,000 Amex points become 1,000 Choice Hotels points.
Choice Privileges is also a Capital One transfer partner, meaning you can earn miles with an eligible Capital One travel credit card and transfer them to Choice Privileges at a 1:1 ratio.
Finally, Citi ThankYou points are also transferable to Choice Privileges at a 1:2 or 1:1.5 ratio, depending on the Citi credit card you have. This means 1,000 Citi ThankYou points could be turned into 1,500 to 2,000 Choice Privileges points.
Will these programs merge completely?
While Choice Privileges and Radisson Rewards are separate programs at the moment, there's a good chance these programs will merge completely in the future. We have no idea what a complete merger will look like; however, it's possible that Choice Privileges will absorb Radisson Rewards, or that a new program will emerge.
In the meantime, point transfers between these programs are now a possibility, so make sure to compare award costs and availability with both programs before you book.