Radisson Hotel Group is overhauling its loyalty program this month as part of a larger initiative to refresh its entire brand.

The former Club Carlson is now simply called Radisson Rewards. That move is in line with the company’s global strategy to move away from its Carlson Rezidor branding – the former name of the hotel group – and more toward the Radisson branding, which is the primary hotel within the group and easier for consumers to understand.

Now, Radisson Hotel Group, including the Radisson Hotels and Radisson Rewards, are all better-aligned.

In addition to the brand overhaul, which includes a new website, mobile app and credit card, Radisson Rewards is also making it easier for travelers to earn elite status and associated perks.

The group has cut the number of qualifying nights or stays needed to earn status by up to 40 percent; to earn Silver status, which is the lowest elite threshold, qualification now only requires nine nights or six stays instead of 15 nights or 10 stays before. Top-tier Platinum status can now be earned at 60 nights or 30 stays, a reduction of 20 percent.

Silver status with Radisson Rewards comes with a 5 percent discount on in-house food and beverage, complimentary water and the ability to start using points for free rooms or cash-plus-points bookings.

By comparison, the lowest level of status (Gold Elite) at IHG Rewards, a competing program, is earned after 10 nights while the same status (Gold Elite) at Wyndham Rewards is earned after five. Each program offers a similar spectrum of perks at the lowest elite level.

As Radisson Rewards makes it easier to earn elite status with the program, it’s also making it slightly harder to earn points for free or discounted rooms. Silver members of the program will earn 22 points per dollar spent at the hotel (down from 23) and Gold members will earn 25 instead of 27. That reduction is only 4 percent and 7 percent respectively – and the entry-level base member and highest tier, which is Platinum, earnings will remain the same – but some mid-level Radisson Rewards members may be disappointed.

Regardless of the tweaks, Radisson Rewards now appears to be better accessible in terms of both name and qualification. With this simplification in hand, it should better compete with Wyndham, Best Western and the full spectrum of mid-tier properties around the world.

Photo Credit: As Radisson Rewards makes it easier to earn elite status with the program, it's also making it slightly harder to earn points for free or discounted rooms. Radisson Hotel Group