Nice new 100K offer on Radisson Rewards Premier

The US Bank Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature card is now offering an increased welcome offer of up to 100,000 Radisson Rewards points — that’s 50K after first purchase and another 50K after making $2,500 in purchases in the first 3 months. That’s not a huge increase as it’s only 15K more than the standard offer, though I personally think this is one of the more underrated cards on the market, particularly for family travel.

The Offer

Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card
100K points
100K: 50K after first purchase + 50K after $2.5K spend in 3 months

$75 Annual Fee

Key Card Details

Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card

FM Mini Review: With the elimination of Bonus Award Nights, this card is still good, but it is no longer an amazing "must have".


Annual Fee: $75

Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 10X at CC hotels ⚬ 5X elsewhere.

Big spend bonus: Free night at any US property after each $10K annual spend up to $30K.

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ Automatic Gold status ⚬ 40K bonus per year.

See also: Club Carlson rocks our world... Again

Quick Thoughts

Previously known as Club Carlson, the rewards program rebranded last year as Radisson Rewards and renamed this card accordingly. Many of us miss the days when this card offered an unsustainable benefit of the last night free on all award stays, making it essentially a BOGO on all awards. Since that benefit died, the card fell out of favor and doesn’t get much press.

However, I have this card in my wallet and have been spending lately at the big spend bonus — for every $10K spent during your cardmember year (up to $30K), you get a free night certificate (after renewal). Those certificates are only valid in the US, which doesn’t do Radisson any favors in terms of PR for the card.

Still, I think the returns on this card justify its place in my wallet. According to our Reasonable Redemption Values, Radisson Rewards points are worth about 0.38 cents each. That makes the 5x return on everyday spend worth the equivalent of approximately 1.9% back. That’s not bad for unbonused spend on a hotel card. It’s clearly lower than you can earn with a simple 2% cash back card. However, when you also consider the fact that each 10K spend earns a free night (up to $30K), the return becomes pretty good — if you like staying at Radisson Rewards properties, anyway. After 10K of unbonused spend, you’d have 50K points, which is worth about $190 (though it certainly could be more if you work to maximize). If you value the free night certificate at just $100, that brings the total return on $10K spend to about $290 in value — or the equivalent of 2.9% back if you spend in exact increments of $10K and don’t spend more than $30K. That is perhaps a slightly over-generous valuation due to the restrictions on the free night certificate and the somewhat limited footprint of Radisson Rewards, but it’s strong compared to other hotel cards.

Furthermore, unlike other hotel cards, the Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature offers points each anniversary rather than a free night certificate. I much prefer points over an annual free night cert as the points won’t expire as long as you maintain activity and points are more flexible — use them for a couple of nights at a low-category hotel or combine them with points you earn from spend for a stay at a higher-end place. The 40,000 points awarded at anniversary are worth well more than the $75 fee in my opinion.

Of course, all of that hinges on whether or not you’d like to stay at Radisson Rewards properties. Radisson doesn’t have the footprint of a Hilton or Marriott nor the more “aspirational” properties of Hyatt. However, for families who mostly travel domestically, there are some decent values. I’ve previously noted that the Country Inn & Suites Virginia beach is right on the beach for instance.

This photo from Google Maps shows just how close the hotel is to the beach.

That hotel costs 44,000 points per night. Thus, spending $10K on the card in year 1 and paying the annual fee to renew for year 2 will yield you enough points (40K at anniversary + 50K from spend) to cover 2 free nights in addition to your free night certificate for spending $10K. You could certainly do worse. And that’s not considering the welcome bonus of 100K, which would cover a couple more nights.

Most Radisson Rewards properties in the US aren’t quite that well located, though I find there are gems here and there for family travelers. The Country Inn & Suites in Queensbury, NY is literally next door to The Great Escape amusement park. While that’s not a park that will draw in tourists from far and wide, it’s a relative value if you live within a few hours’ drive. While I often find the best use of Radisson Rewards points to be for rural hotels where competition is low and cash prices are high, Radisson also has properties that can be decent in larger cities like New York, Chicago, or Minneapolis. Radisson isn’t necessarily known for being glamorous, but some of the properties are pretty nice. And every now and then, you’ll find a hotel somewhere you may not expect it. When I spent a night in Maputo, Mozambique a couple of years ago, the Radisson Blu was the only chain property in town. Super expensive whether on cash or points, I was glad I booked it when I got held up with an issue at immigration and the Radisson shuttle bus driver smoothed things over and got us through after hours of our own efforts were falling through.

To be clear, we do not earn a commission on this card. Furthermore, I would not recommend spending $10K on this card if it means sacrificing spend that could earn you a more valuable return. But for those who can easily meet the spending requirements, I think this card isn’t bad. Getting an additional 15K points added to the welcome bonus bumps this one up a hair, and that may be enough for those who were already considering it. It wouldn’t be #1 on my list, but it’s not the Korean SkyPass Select.

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Drew
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Drew

Thanks for continuing to add value with every article. HOWEVER, the font that you’ve switched to (unless my eyes/monitor have gone on the fritz)…is giving me a headache. I feel like my eyes have to travel hills and valleys with every word and it’s seriously distracting. Please go back. Thanks!

Michael
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Michael

If you still have the old version of this card, can you apply for this one and get the bonus on this one too? Do you know if is it looked at as a different product for those purposes?

jeff
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jeff

I have had Radisson points for years and years. They never are my chain of choice as their product is so hit and miss. But, I have found the points very handy at times. For the U.S. and Canada they are great at the Country Inn products. Have used them in Orlando, Niagara Falls Canada and many other places. Overseas they are great. I used them a couple of times for the Raddisson Blu in Cebu Philippines…..a nice property. Last year I used them for Saltzburg Austria. You can get the cards in the business format as well as personal. My wife and I have churned them a number of times over the years. And, you can combine the points with a simple phone call to Radisson Program.