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Radisson Rewards Business Visa® Card Review

At a Glance
radisson rewards business visa card
4.1 / 5
Rating

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Radisson Rewards™ Business Visa® Card

  • Sign-up Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points when you make a purchase within 3 months of opening your account; earn 35,000 additional points when you spend at least $2,500 within 3 months
  • Rewards: With combined Radisson Rewards Gold status and base point earnings for all Radisson Rewards members, earn unlimited 37 points per $1 spent at Radisson hotels on stays, meals, and beverages; earn 10 points per $1 spent on all other Radisson hotel purchases; earn unlimited 5 points per $1 spent everywhere else
  • Loyalty Status: Achieve automatic Gold status with card membership; if already a Gold member, earn 15 nights toward Platinum status; receive 40,000 bonus points with annual account renewal; plus receive 1 free night with $10,000 in annual spending
  • Fees: Foreign transaction fee 2% to 3%; balance transfers 3% of transferred amount ($5 minimum); cash advance 4% of advanced amount ($5 minimum)
  • Annual Fee: $60 (no fee for additional authorized users)
  • Credit Needed: Excellent

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

The Radisson Rewards™ Business Visa® Card is a hotel rewards credit card for small business owners. It has a $60 annual fee and a generous rewards program that favors business travelers who frequently stay at the more than 1,000 hotel and resort properties in the Radisson family. Popular Radisson brands include Radisson, Radisson Blu, Radisson Red, Park Plaza, Park Inn, and Country Inn & Suites.

Radisson Rewards Business Visa cardholders earn 10 Radisson Rewards points for every $1 spent at Radisson properties, no matter what it’s spent on – room nights, food, beverages, rentals, incidentals, and other onsite expenses are all included. All other card purchases earn 5 points per $1 spent. The 10 points earned per $1 of room night spending accrue in addition to the 20 base points that all Radisson Rewards members (including those without Radisson credit cards) earn for every $1 spent on paid hotel stays.

As a new cardholder, you’re automatically enrolled at no charge in the Radisson Rewards loyalty program. You also automatically earn Radisson Rewards Gold status, whose generous benefits include complimentary room upgrades where available and discounts on onsite food and beverage purchases. Gold status holders’ base point earnings on paid stays, hotel food, and hotel beverages accrue at 35% faster than the regular rate, boosting total base points earned per $1 spent on such things to 27 points per $1.

In the final accounting, every $1 spent with this card on paid stays, food, and beverages earns you 37 points. That’s 27 points to which you’re entitled as a Radisson Rewards Gold member plus 10 points to which you’re entitled as a credit card holder. However, remember that you’d earn 27 points per $1 spent on paid stays even without the Radisson Rewards Business Visa. Furthermore, the 35% bonus applies only to base points points, not points earned with the credit card.

Key Features

Sign-up Bonus

You earn 50,000 bonus points when you make your first purchase within 3 months of opening your account. If you spend at least $2,500 within that same 3-month period, you receive an additional 35,000 points. That equates to a total possible sign-up bonus of 85,000 points. Radisson requires at least 9,000 points to earn a fully free night at the lowest-tier hotels, so this bonus can be worth 9 free nights (with 4,000 points left over).

Earning Radisson Rewards Points

In addition to the 27 base points that you’ll earn on paid stays, food, and beverages as a Radisson Rewards Gold member, this card earns you an unlimited 10 points per $1 spent on virtually all Radisson purchases, including room nights, meals, drinks, incidental purchases, rentals, and more. All other card purchases earn unlimited 5 points per $1 spent.

All told, total credit card and non-credit card point earnings per $1 spent amount to 37 points on paid stays, food, and beverages; 10 points per $1 spent on all other hotel purchases; and 5 points per $1 spent on everything else.

Redeeming Radisson Rewards Points

The best way to redeem is for your points is for free nights at Radisson hotels. The minimum redemption for totally free stays is 9,000 points per night. That gets you a standard room at Category 1 properties, which typically go for less than $100 per night.

To earn free nights at higher-tier properties, you need more points. For example, Category 2 properties require 15,000 points, while luxe Category 7 properties (where rooms often go for more than $400 per night) require 70,000 points. Points are generally worth $0.01 or less when redeemed for Radisson stays, but do not have fixed values.

You can also combine points with cash at redemption. You need 5,000 points for Category 1 properties, 20,000 points for Category 7 properties, and intermediate amounts for properties in between. Confusingly, the cash component is highly variable and is only revealed when you make your reservation. It’s usually roughly equivalent to the dollar value of your redeemed points (at an average of $0.01 per point) minus the posted room rate for your chosen property.

If you don’t want to redeem for hotel nights, you can transfer your points to approximately 20 participating airline partners, including Southwest Airlines. These transfers typically occur at a sub-optimal ratio of 10 points to 1 airline mile. You can also redeem 65,000 points to cover TSA PreCheck application costs, though this option undervalues points to an even greater degree. Finally, you can redeem for various merchant partners’ gift cards, usually at a per-point value of less than $0.01.

Annual Loyalty Bonus

When you renew your account each year, you receive 40,000 bonus points. That’s good for more than 4 free nights at the lowest-tier Radisson properties. You get this bonus every year, as long as you pay the annual fee.

Annual Spending Bonus

When you spend at least $10,000 during any 12-month period ending with your account anniversary, you get an electronic certificate (“E-Cert”) good for 1 free night at any Radisson property. That includes higher-tier hotels and resorts for which the annual loyalty bonus may not be sufficient to earn a free night. You can earn up to 3 E-Certs during any 12-month anniversary period for achieving additional $10,000 spending increments and renewing your card (maximum $30,000 in eligible spending).

Automatic Radisson Rewards Gold Status

As long as you remain a cardholder in good standing, you automatically earn and keep Radisson Rewards Gold status.

These benefits include:

  • Complimentary room upgrades where available
  • 15% discounts on food and beverage purchases at Radisson properties
  • 35% bonuses on base points earned on Radisson hotel stays, meals, and beverages

The 35% bonus boosts cardholders’ total point earnings (base points plus the 10 points to which they’re entitled with the card) to 37 points per $1 spent on stays, food, and beverages.

Bonus Nights Toward Radisson Rewards Platinum Status

If you already held Gold membership when you applied for your Radisson Rewards Business Visa, you instead get 15 bonus nights toward Radisson Rewards Platinum status. Radisson Rewards Platinum, which normally requires 60 paid stay nights within a calendar year to earn, includes such benefits as:

  • Complimentary continental breakfast
  • 20% discounts on food and beverage purchases at Radisson properties
  • Guaranteed room availability up to 48 hours from the start of your stay
  • 75% faster point earnings on Radisson stays, food, and beverages

The 75% point-earning boost increases your base point earning rate on these items from 20 points per $1 spent to 35 points per $1 spent, and total point earnings from 37 points to 45 points. Keep in mind that these bonus nights do not automatically confer Platinum status, nor do they accrue to your account were you not already a Gold member at sign-up.

Important Fees

This card has a $60 annual fee that is not waived in the first year, but additional authorized user cards (employee cards) carry no annual cost. The foreign transaction fee is 2% for U.S. dollar-denominated transactions and 3% for foreign-denominated transactions. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3%, while cash advances cost the greater of $5 or 4%. Late and returned payments cost up to $39.

Additional Travel Benefits

Radisson Rewards Business Visa’s non-Radisson travel benefits include:

  • Roadside dispatch assistance
  • Complimentary rental car insurance when you pay for the rental in full with your card
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • $1 million in travel accident coverage, a bare-bones form of travel insurance for catastrophic eventualities

ScoreBoard

This card comes with complimentary access to U.S. Bank’s ScoreBoard reporting feature, which categorizes and quantifies your spending (and your employees’) for accounting and tax preparation purposes.

Credit Required

This card requires excellent credit, and any notable issues in your credit history are likely to disqualify your application.

Advantages

  1. Great Sign-up Bonus. Radisson Rewards Business Visa has a 2-part sign-up bonus that’s worth up to 85,000 points, or more than 9 free nights at Category 1 properties. It requires you to spend just $2,500 within 3 months of opening your account. That’s definitely doable for many small business owners, particularly those who travel often. It’s also far better than than many competing business travel cards, whose bonuses can be worth as little as 1 or 2 nights and often require spending north of $3,000.
  2. Non-Radisson Purchases Earn at an Accelerated Clip. Every $1 spent on non-Radisson purchases earns 5 points – not an incredible earning rate when you consider the points’ relatively low redemption values, but still better than the standard 1-point-per-$1 rate. It’s definitely a perk for business owners who use this as their primary credit card and spend heavily on non-travel purchases.
  3. Generous Annual Loyalty Bonus. This card dumps 40,000 bonus points into your account each year you renew your account, regardless of how much you spend. That’s 4 free nights (and then some) at Category 1 Radisson properties. Few hotel cards with comparable annual fees offer such large annual loyalty bonuses.
  4. Attainable Spending Bonus for Moderate Spenders. If you use Radisson Rewards Business Visa as your primary business credit card, particularly if you travel frequently, you’ll have little trouble spending $10,000 in a year. When you hit that mark, you’ll earn an additional free night at any Radisson property, including those in the highest tier. This perk is worth up to 70,000 points, so its potential value can be higher than the 40,000-point annual loyalty bonus.
  5. Automatic Gold Status. Provided your account remains open and in good standing, you’ll always enjoy Radisson Rewards Gold status with this card. Among other generous perks, that entitles you to 35% faster base point earnings on paid stays and other purchases at Radisson properties, complimentary room upgrades where available, and 15% discounts on hotel food and beverage purchases. Simply put, Gold status is invaluable for business owners looking to get the most out of their travels.

Disadvantages

  1. Has an Annual Fee. This card’s $60 annual fee is not waived during the first year, immediately putting new cardholders in the hole. Moreover, it’s a recurring problem for occasional Radisson guests who can’t squeeze value out of this card quickly enough to offset it – not to mention frugal travelers who take issue with the idea of an annual fee altogether.
  2. Non-hotel Redemptions Don’t Offer Great Value. When redeemed for non-hotel purchases, such as gift cards, Radisson Rewards points are almost always worth $0.01 or less apiece. Sometimes, they’re worth much less, as is the case with TSA PreCheck redemptions. Many competing loyalty programs have far better redemption values on non-hotel items.
  3. Poor Airline Transfer Ratios. Radisson’s poor point-to-mile transfer ratios, typically 10 points per 1 airline mile, are tough for frequent air travelers to swallow. The most well-regarded travel rewards credit cards, such as Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, offer 1-to-1 transfer ratios with popular airline partners.
  4. Has a Foreign Transaction Fee. Unusually for a travel credit card, Radisson Rewards Business Visa has a 2% to 3% foreign transaction fee. If business regularly takes you overseas, this charge is likely to reduce or even negate your out-of-country point earnings. You’d be much better served by one of the many fee-free business travel cards.
  5. Relatively Few Hotel Choices. As international hotel groups go, Radisson is pretty small – it has about 1,000 hotels and resorts in its portfolio, far fewer than such competitors as Marriott and Wyndham. If business takes you to out-of-the-way places, you’re less likely to find a suitable property to earn or redeem points.

Final Word

Most seasoned credit card users would jump on the chance to earn 37 points per $1 spent on hotel food, beverages, and rooms. If you’re a frequent Radisson guest, you absolutely should. However, if you’re not familiar with the ins and outs of travel loyalty programs, some more context is in order.

The most important question to ask is, “What do I actually get for those 37 points?” Compared to points offered by competing loyalty programs, Radisson Rewards points are pretty low-value. They’re usually worth less than $0.01 apiece at redemption. For comparison, Marriott Bonvoy’s loyalty currency can be worth $0.02 or more at redemption, and their value is further boosted by 1-to-1 transfer ratios with partner loyalty programs.

On the bright side, every $1 spent on non-hotel purchases accrues 5 points to your Radisson account. That’s better than most hotel rewards cards. That could be music to your ears as a business owner with diverse spending needs.

Verdict
radisson rewards business visa card
4.1 / 5
Rating

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Radisson Rewards™ Business Visa® Card

The Radisson Rewards™ Business Visa® Card is ideal for moderate- to heavy-spending business travelers who regularly stay at Radisson properties when they’re out on the road. Its sign-up bonus alone is enough to offset several years of annual fees. As long as you stay at Radisson properties often enough to redeem them, the annual spending and loyalty bonuses further make up for the annual fee, and Radisson Rewards Gold status further boosts point earnings.

On the other hand, this card has limited value for infrequent Radisson guests, international travelers, and people seeking more versatile rewards programs.

The Radisson Rewards Business Card’s benefits include an exceedingly generous sign-up bonus, good non-hotel point earnings, great annual spending and loyalty bonuses, and automatic Radisson Rewards Gold status at sign-up or bonus nights toward Radisson Rewards Platinum status for existing Gold status-holders.

Its biggest drawbacks include the $60 annual fee, sub-par airline transfer values, poor redemption values overall, foreign transaction fees of 2% to 3%, and a relatively small hotel network.

Bottom line, this is a great card for Radisson -loving road warriors, but there are better options for business travelers with divided loyalties.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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