In August 2022, Choice Hotels acquired Radisson Hotels Americas from Radisson Hotel Group. Since this acquisition, the Choice Hotels website has displayed the following message:
Stay tuned for news on when you’ll be able to use Choice Privileges points to book rooms at Radisson properties and earn points for your stays. Choice Privileges and Radisson Rewards Americas loyalty programs will remain separate for the time being.
On Tuesday, Choice Hotels is sharing some good news: You can now exchange points between Choice Privileges and Radisson Rewards Americas. The exchange ratio is 2 Radisson Rewards Americas points per 1 Choice Privileges point.
The ability to exchange rewards between Choice Privileges and Radisson Rewards Americas joins the existing ability to status match between the programs. Here’s what you need to know about exchanging points and a sneak peek at what we know about how the programs will combine later this year.
Exchanging points between Choice and Radisson Americas
Now you can transfer points between Choice Privileges and Radisson Rewards Americas. To do so, you’ll need to have a Choice Privileges account and a Radisson Rewards Americas account. If you don’t have one or the other, you can create a free account on the respective loyalty program’s website.
Once you’re ready to exchange points, you can log in to your Choice Privileges account or your Radisson Rewards Americas account. You’ll find prompts for exchanging points if you log in to either site.
For simplicity, I’ll focus on how the exchange works from your Choice Privileges account. Once you log in, you’ll find Radisson Rewards Americas listed alongside airline partners in the Rewards Exchange. You’ll need to enter your Radisson Rewards Americas credentials to link your accounts.
Once you’ve linked your accounts, you can exchange between 500 and 250,000 Choice points or between 1,000 and 500,000 Radisson points per transaction. According to Choice, the exchange will usually move points from one account to the other in a few minutes, but could occasionally take up to 24 hours. Note that you can only do 12 exchanges (in either direction) each calendar year.
The ability to exchange points between Choice Privileges and Radisson Rewards Americas adds many more redemption options for members with Radisson points, including access to Choice’s extended-stay properties. For example, now Radisson Rewards Americas members can exchange 120,000 Radisson points for 60,000 Choice points and then redeem them for two nights in New York City at the Cambria Hotel New York — Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Choice Privileges members gain access to more full-service hotels and additional West Coast properties. For example, Choice members could exchange 45,000 Choice points for 90,000 Radisson points and redeem them for two nights at the Radisson Aquatica Resort in Barbados.
TPG’s valuations peg the value of Choice points at 0.6 cents each and Radisson points at 0.4 cents each. So on paper, Radisson Rewards Americas members may lose some value when exchanging Radisson points for Choice points. But overall, I believe the exchange ratio of 2 Radisson points to 1 Choice point is reasonable given it opens up a slew of new redemption opportunities for members of both loyalty programs.
Related: Register for Choice Hotels Your Extras to earn gift cards and other perks on weekday stays
Use transferable currencies to book Radisson stays
The new ability to transfer Choice Privileges points to Radisson Rewards Americas means you can now indirectly use the following transferable currencies to book Radisson Rewards Americas stays:
- American Express Membership Rewards points: 1:1 transfer ratio to Choice Privileges.
- Capital One miles: 1:1 transfer ratio to Choice Privileges.
- Citi ThankYou Rewards points: 1:2 transfer ratio to Choice Privileges.
As a reminder, Radisson Rewards Americas is the loyalty program used by residents and hotels in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. Meanwhile, Radisson Rewards is for residents and hotels in other parts of the world.
So, if you live in the U.S. and want to book a Radisson Rewards property in Europe, you must transfer Radisson Rewards Americas points to Radisson Rewards and then book your stay. It’s much less desirable to book with Radisson Rewards after the program’s massive devaluation in October 2022 — but now you could theoretically indirectly transfer Amex Membership Rewards points, Capital One miles and Citi ThankYou points to Radisson Rewards via Choice Privileges and Radisson Rewards Americas. However, run the numbers for your desired redemption before doing so.
Related: How (and why) you should earn transferable points
Choice Privileges will soon integrate Radisson Rewards Americas
I spoke with Matt Rubin, senior director of loyalty at Choice Hotels, and Matt Vaccarella, senior director of loyalty strategy at Radisson Hotel Group Americas, about the new ability to exchange points and the upcoming integration of the two loyalty programs.
The Radisson Rewards Americas loyalty program will fold into the Choice Privileges program in the coming months. However, the loyalty directors quickly noted that point balances and elite status levels would be safe. I confirmed that when the programs come together, Radisson Rewards Americas point balances will convert to Choice Privileges points at the same 2:1 ratio members can enjoy today.
Choice and Radisson Americas are still fine-tuning how the programs will combine. One complexity is that the Choice Privileges and Radisson Rewards Americas elite tiers have some differences. For example, the top Radisson Rewards Americas elite members currently get complimentary breakfast during eligible stays, while breakfast isn’t an elite benefit for any Choice Privileges members. And the top Radisson Rewards Americas elite status requires 60 nights or 30 stays per calendar year to obtain while the top Choice Privileges elite status requires 40 nights per calendar year.
The loyalty directors said members should enroll in both programs now if they haven’t already. Choice will consider members’ status and nights in each program when the programs combine. The loyalty directors confirmed that you could potentially get a higher status in the combined program than you held in either program since nights from both programs will count.
Choice and Radisson Americas confirmed that no changes are happening to award charts in either program right now. Even better, the loyalty directors told me that Choice will still use award charts once it integrates Radisson Rewards Americas. One loyalty director noted that he doesn’t believe in fully dynamic award pricing for any loyalty program.
It’s yet to be seen whether Choice’s current award bounds for most properties will remain once it integrates Radisson Rewards Americas. That said, I hope you’ll soon be able to book Choice Privileges award stays more than 100 days before your stay, unlike with the current program.
Choice is still evaluating how award charts will function in the combined program. However, we can expect Choice Hotels’ Sweet Spot Rewards to stick around, since these redemptions launched recently and are similar to Radisson Rewards Americas’ last-minute RewardSaver rates.
Related: What I’d like to see in an updated Choice Privileges program
It’s great news that you can now exchange points between Choice Privileges and Radisson Rewards Americas. This new transfer ability unlocks more redemption opportunities for members of both programs. And I believe the exchange ratio of 2 Radisson points to 1 Choice point is fair, especially considering both programs’ earning and redemption rates.
It was also encouraging to hear about the upcoming integration of Radisson Rewards Americas into Choice Privileges. As a Choice Privileges member who gets solid value from Choice points but doesn’t see value in earning elite status with the current program, I’m hopeful that the upcoming integration will bring positive change across the board.