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The merger of Radisson Rewards Americas into Choice Privileges is complete, but there were a few outstanding questions. Given that the programs had different points expiration policies and different thresholds for earning status tiers, how would the integration work for these elements? What would happen to your points and to your former elite status from Radisson Rewards Americas?
The merger was finalized on July 18, 2023. Here are the final updates to clarify outstanding questions.
What We Know About the Program Merger
Effective July 18, 2023, your points, tier status, and any Elite Night Credits were transferred from your Radisson Rewards Americas account to your Choice Privileges account. You're still able to access your Raddison Rewards Americas account, albeit it will now have limited functionality.
According to the latest announcement from Radisson Rewards Americas, you can still log in and view your account, including points balance, tier status, Elite Night Credits, and reservations.
However, from July 18, 2023, you will CAN'T do any of the following:
- Earn Radisson Rewards Americas points on stays.
- Book award nights. Nights already booked will be honored without the need for reconfirmation.
- Change dates on award night reservations. You can only cancel your reservations and receive a refund in points before making a fresh booking.
- Redeem points for gift cards or airline miles.
- Exchange points with Choice Privileges.
- Transfer points to Radisson Rewards using Global Points Transfer.
- Cancel booked award nights online; you'll have to contact Choice Privileges for this.
Additional Questions for Choice Privileges
A couple of detailed yet important questions were unclear about what happens with the merger. We contacted Choice Privileges, and a spokesperson provided the following updates.
Will members receive status according to the Radisson program or the Choice program?
Consider a Radisson Rewards member who has 42 nights this year. According to the Radisson program, they would be a mid-tier Gold member (top-tier Platinum requires 60 nights). However, top-tier Platinum at Choice Privileges requires only 40 nights. We wondered how this status crossover would play out after the merger.
According to the communication form Choice Privileges, all your Elite Night Credits will be transferred and added to any existing Choice Elite Night Credits. After that, those numbers will determine your status according to the Choice Privileges rules. Therefore, from the above example, if you had 42 Radisson Elite Night Credits, you would receive Choice Privileges Platinum status. This is excellent news for the lucky few who fall into this category since they will now have a higher status than before.
When will migrated points expire?
Points expiration policies at Choice Privileges and Radisson Rewards were not the same. Choice Privileges points expire after 18 months of inactivity. Now that points have been migrated from Radisson to Choice, what date will that 18 months count from? Is it from the date of the transfer, the date of the last activity with Radisson Hotels Americas, or something else?
Choice has a two-tier answer to this question and is trying to smooth things out for migrated members. Points transferred during the migration from Radisson Rewards Americas are valid for 24 months from the date of transfer. However, any new Choice Privileges points earned post-transfer are only valid for 18 months per the typical Choice points expiration policy.
Points Transfer Overview
Through July 18, 2023, it was possible to transfer points between Choice Privileges and Radisson Rewards, but this has ended.
- Points were transferred at a ratio of 1 Choice:2 Radisson or 2 Radisson:1 Choice.
- The minimum transfer from Choice Privileges was 500 points.
- The minimum transfer from Radisson Rewards Americas was 1,000 points.
- All exchanges had to be in multiples of the minimum transfer amounts.
- The maximum was 12 exchanges in any rolling 365-day period.
- You could transfer a maximum of 250,000 Choice points in a single transaction.
- You could transfer a maximum of 500,000 Radisson Rewards Americas points in a single transaction.
- Points.com operated the program.
Most transfers between Choice and Radisson take less than 25 minutes, per AwardWallet user data points.
Potential Use of Citi ThankYou Points
There was short-term potential to maximize Citi ThankYou points through July 18, 2023. There was a de facto 1:4 transfer ratio from Citi ThankYou to Radisson Rewards Americas/Radisson Rewards international. In short, this meant you got four Radisson Rewards points for each Citi ThankYou Point.
That's because you could transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Choice Privileges at a ratio of 1:2. And you could transfer these points onwards to Radisson Rewards Americas — again at a 1:2 ratio. Therefore, for every Citi point you transfer, you received four Radisson Rewards Americas points. The redemption chart in our guide to Radisson Rewards Americas applied at the time, but this program no longer exists after the merger.
However, the value proposition for moving points from Radisson Rewards Americas to Radisson Rewards worldwide (at a 1:1 ratio) was a bit of a mystery, due to a massive devaluation of Radisson points in 2022. Points are worth 0.15¢–0.28¢ apiece, and it's hard to know what you'll get until you start paying. In contrast, AwardWallet users tend to redeem their Choice points at 0.60¢ apiece and their Citi points at 2.2¢ apiece. Four Radisson (international program) points are worth considerably less than a single Citi point in this math.
Transferring Points Between Radisson Rewards Programs
This functionality ended on July 18, 2023.
Radisson Rewards Americas members could transfer points to and from the worldwide Radisson Rewards program at a 1:1 ratio. However, after a recent devaluation of the Radisson Rewards worldwide program, the program offers much less value than before. Keep in mind that you also can match your status between the two Radisson Rewards programs.
Other Transfer Options
The points transfer news does not end with Citi ThankYou Points. You can transfer the following flexible points to Choice Privileges:
You also can take advantage of two Choice Privileges credit cards available in the U.S. if you're looking for automatic elite status and bonus points from welcome offers.
The last time we saw two programs merge was when Marriott bought Starwood and absorbed the Starwood Preferred guest program a few years ago. At the time of the merger, the SPG program was better, with more lucrative perks and benefits.
You won't be surprised to learn that most of the SPG program's star features were dismantled one step at a time over the years. Sadly, the merger did not elevate the Marriot program to the SPG level, instead devaluing the SPG features down the Marriott Level.
Will the same happen here? It is hard to tell since the Radisson Rewards Americas program was not the most lucrative/most popular in the first place. Arguably, Choice Privileges is the better program, offering more lucrative features, benefits, and redemption rates. This may be good news for Radisson Americas members, who will now be members of a more lucrative program. However, Choice Privileges remains a bit of a dark horse, as many tend to associate it with its budget-focused hotels and ignore its premium offerings.
Prior to the final merger on July 18, 2023, you had more options for using your points. Now, Radisson Rewards Americas has fully integrated into Choice Privileges, and Choice representatives have provided clarity for our remaining questions.
Are you happy with the new change, and will you stay a member? Or will you switch your loyalty? Let us know in the comments below.
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