Personal Finance

Radisson Rewards Award Optimization for Beginners

Although opportunities to earn Radisson Rewards points may be more limited than other hotel loyalty programs, you’ll still find plenty of great uses for your Radisson points once you’ve racked them up. With over 1,200 hotels all over the world, Radisson Rewards points can be especially useful for travelers in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India.

If you are new to Radisson Rewards, this guide will help you get started redeeming your points for maximum value.

Where can you stay with your points?

Seven brands in the Radisson Hotel Group participate in Radisson Rewards. You’ll find budget brands like Country Inn & Suites, as well as more refined luxury brands including Radisson Collection and Radisson Blu.

Radisson Rewards hotel brands are:

  • Country Inn & Suites by Radisson.

  • Park Inn by Radisson.

  • Park Plaza.

  • Radisson Red.

  • Radisson Blu.

  • Radisson Collection.

How to get started using your points

Using your points to book free nights is easy by using the Radisson Hotels website. You may also find it handy to download the Radisson Rewards mobile app for booking free nights on the go.

Booking award nights online

To redeem your Radisson points for a free night, you’ll first need to log in to your account. This can be done from the upper right corner of Radisson Hotels’ homepage.

Next, you can start your award night search by entering your destination, as well as check-in and checkout dates. Unlike some other hotel websites, you don’t need to select anything additional to search for award nights as award night prices are shown in all search results.

You will then see a list of available hotels. You can filter properties by brand, price and amenities. You won’t be able to view award night prices until you select a specific hotel.

Award night prices will then be automatically shown alongside nightly cash rates. If you are interested in paying only with points, you can select the “Points and points + cash” filtering option at the top of the results page. When booking free nights you have the option to book both standard and premium room awards.

What to consider when redeeming points

When you’re using your Radisson Rewards points to book free nights, consider the value you are getting from your points. It’s simple to calculate the value per point on points redemption by comparing the nightly cash rate to the nightly cost in points.

Here’s a quick example:

The nightly cash rate at the Radisson Blu Resort and Spa, Malta Golden Sands is about $225 including tax and fees, based on recent exchange rates. That same room goes for 44,000 Radisson Rewards points per night.

By dividing the nightly cash rate by the nightly points rate you will get the value per point on the redemption. In this example, it works out to be 0.51 cents per point ($225 divided by 44,000).

With NerdWallet’s most recent valuation of 0.5 cent each for Radisson Rewards points, this redemption is a fair value for your points.

Note: You will always want to use the nightly cash rate including taxes and fees in this calculation. When you book a reward night, taxes and fees are almost always already included in the nightly points rate, so you won’t pay these extra.

A few program sweet spots

Here are a few standout properties that we think deserve to be on the sweet spots list.

Park Inn Prague

Steps away from the Vltava river and Vyšehrad Castle, Park Inn Prague puts guests in easy reach of the city center using Prague’s excellent public transit. The neighborhood around the hotel is interesting to explore and you can enjoy off-the-beaten-path restaurants, bars and more.

This hotel typically runs $100 to $200 per night, but at 28,000 points, booking a free night at this property is a great way to use your points when visiting Prague.

Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Sands

At 44,000 points per night, the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Sands is the perfect escape while visiting the sun-soaked Mediterranean island of Malta. Located right on the water, the hotel has direct access to beaches and walking trails along the coastline. This resort features all the amenities you’d expect, including a full spa, four on-property restaurants, a fitness center and a massive outdoor pool.

Art’otel Amsterdam

Located just across the street from Amsterdam’s central train station, this property is easy to reach when arriving from Schiphol Airport via train. With its ultra-chic design, it feels more like a boutique hotel than a Radisson property. All of Amsterdam’s main sights are reachable by foot from the hotel, and when you are worn out from sightseeing you can enjoy drinks with excellent ambiance at 5&33 Bar. At 70,000 points per night, this upper-end property is a good choice when staying in Amsterdam.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:

This article originally appeared on NerdWallet