How Does the Ritz-Carlton Card's $300 Annual Travel Credit Work? How Does the Ritz-Carlton Card's $300 Annual Travel Credit Work?

How Does the Ritz-Carlton Card's $300 Annual Travel Credit Work?

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The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card is no longer available to new cardholders. But, the premium travel card is still available to existing cardholders of a Marriott-branded Chase credit card via a product change. One of the marquis benefits of the Ritz-Carlton Card: a $300 annual travel credit.

While the definitions of which travel purchases will credit are not as generous as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Citi Prestige® Card, it’s still the highest travel or airline credit offered on any co-branded credit card.

The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card Benefits

  • Annual Free Night Award up to a maximum value of 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. This certificate can now be topped off with up to 15,000 additional points.
  • A $300 annual travel credit to use for baggage fees, seat upgrades, access to your preferred airport lounge, and more.
  • A $100 hotel credit toward dining, spa, or other hotel recreational activities on paid stays of two nights or longer at Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis properties.
  • Three club-level upgrades. Upgrade to The Ritz-Carlton Club level three times annually on paid stays of up to 7 nights.
  • A complimentary annual Priority Pass Select membership with access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide.
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and 15 Elite Night Credits per year to help you progress to higher levels of Marriott Bonvoy status. Plus, you can spend your way to Platinum Elite status if you spend $75,000 annually on your card.
  • A $100 statement credit when you use your card to pay a Global Entry application fee. You'll also be eligible to receive TSA PreCheck privileges if you are approved.
  • Primary auto rental insurance, trip delay/cancellation/interruption insurance, and many other travel protection benefits.
  • $450 annual fee

What Will Chase Credit as a Travel Purchase?

The travel credit on the Ritz-Carlton Card is one of the more restrictive travel credits of the cards we have reviewed, applying only to non-ticket airline purchases and lounge passes and memberships.

Chase classes qualifying purchases as:

  • Airline lounge passes
  • Baggage fees
  • In-flight entertainment & Wi-Fi
  • In-flight meals
  • Seat upgrades
  • Airline lounge day pass
  • Yearly lounge membership of your choice
  • Global Entry fees

Unlike the Sapphire Reserve, airfare will not qualify for the travel credit, nor will other travel purchases, such as Uber or hotels.

The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card Travel Credit Terms & Conditions

Two paragraphs stand out when reading the terms and conditions.

Only the following types of non-ticket purchases qualify for this offer: airline lounge day pass, or towards a yearly lounge membership of your choice; airline seat upgrades; airline baggage fees; in-flight Internet/entertainment; in-flight meals. Purchases are when you, or an authorized user, use a Ritz-Carlton Card to make purchases of products and services, minus returns or refunds.

This is pretty straightforward, clarifying what cardholders can claim as credits on the Ritz-Carlton Card. However, the following is more interesting, noting that there will be someone assessing each claim to determine whether it falls within the prescribed categories:

We do not determine whether merchants correctly identify and bill transactions as being of a certain type. However, we do reserve the right to determine which purchases qualify for statement credits.

This could go either way. It may leave wiggle room for cardmembers to argue their case when requesting the credit. However, also makes it harder to claim borderline purchases that may slip through in an automated system.

With data points stretching back to the card's reissue in August 2016, we've seen plenty of variance in what has been allowed through and received a credit. Even airfare on an international airline has been approved as an eligible expense. The general rule appears to be that smaller transactions are more likely to be approved.

Will Travel Purchases Credit Automatically?

No, travel purchases on your Ritz-Carlton Card do not credit automatically. Cardmembers must contact the number on the back of your card. Inform the representative that you want to use your travel credit. It pays to have your card statement handy, either printed or on an available device, so you can easily discuss the charges.

To request a statement credit to apply towards qualifying airline incidental purchase(s) made with your Ritz-Carlton Card, you must contact J.P. Morgan Priority Services at the number on the back of your Ritz-Carlton Card within 4 billing cycles of the purchase date.

Qualifying purchases made by authorized users on your account are eligible for statement credits; however, only the obligor on the account, not authorized users, may request statement credits.

You can also request a credit through the secure messaging system on Chase’s website.

The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card Travel Credit is Based on Calendar Year, Not Cardmember Year

The Ritz-Carlton Card’s $300 travel credit resets every calendar year. Cardholders can reimburse expenses between January 1 – December 31. That means the travel credit is not attached to the date when you opened the card. Here's how Chase clarified this when the card was overhauled:

Maximum statement credit accumulation for this offer is $300 per calendar year. Annual credit will be issued for the calendar year in which the transaction posts to your account. For example, if you pay baggage fees at the end of 2015, and the airline does not post the transaction until 2016, the cost of the baggage fees will be allocated towards your 2016 calendar year maximum of $300

Final Thoughts

In our recent post covering the best credit cards with travel and airline credits, The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card was one of our feature cards. Among its many benefits is the $300 travel credit, which can be used to pay for airline incidentals, lounge passes, fees, meals, and even lounge access.

While it has some restrictions, it is also one of the highest travel credits offered on any rewards-earning credit card. When used to its fullest potential, it can add hundreds of dollars in value to the Ritz-Carlton Card.

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Comments

  • TeslaCowboy says:

    The Visa Discount Air Benefit of $100 on 2+ tickets is no longer available as of 12/31/2019.

    see https://usa.visa.com/pay-with-visa/cards/visa-credit-cards/discount-air.html which will give you this message.

    “Effective 12/31/2019, your Visa card no longer offers the Visa Discount Air Benefit. Air itineraries booked via the Visa Discount Air Benefit prior to 12/31/2019 will still be honored and valid for travel.”

  • Brian Crawford says:

    Anyone have luck with credit for inflight duty free purchases?

  • Are airport hotel covered with the 300 travel credit? Thanks

  • Can i use the $300 travel credit for rental car charges or does it has to be only charges regarding air travel?

  • I was looking to apply for this card and saw it’s only two complimentary nights now. Any idea that they going to brings the sign up bonus points instead of the free 2 nights? How often does Chase changes those sign up bonus? Thanks!

  • Was looking at this card because someone else mentioned that Chase was cutting the bonus to two nights from three nights.

    Anyway, two questions.

    What’s the best RC you can realistically use the bonus at (that is, there is award space)?

    does airfare count towards the $300 travel credit? the existing language makes the travel credit appear very restrictive and not worth the hassle (?)

  • I am well aware that CC-Deals are mostly for us-based Members – but…Is there any Word about these Cards going to Europe too?

    • The likelihood of this happening is extremely low. The financial / credit markets are so vastly different everywhere outside of the US that I doubt we’d see anything like this in another country.

  • Last year my father in law went to Cuba back when charter flights were still prevalent and bags used to be ridiculously expensive. I went to the airport with him, paid $251 in baggage fees and proactively got a paper received from the charter. It was just a handwritten invoice. Sent the PDF via SM to Chase along with a request for refund and it posted a couple of days later. In this case being proactive and having the backup did the trick, even when the bag fees were outrageous.

  • Elvin Wagenblast says:

    I have had great experience with the $300 credit. I was able to get reimbursed almost any airline related charge. You just need to send a secure message to Chase.

  • The travel credit might be quite restrictive but the other benefits look really worthwhile if you stay with that chain much. Priority Pass is also worth having.

  • DaWoodMan1 says:

    If Chase brings back the points sign-up bonus instead of the complimentary nights, I’ll probably get the card, but otherwise I’ll wait. If they do bring it back, I’ll apply, probably get 2 $300 credits and then axe the card because it’s not really worth keeping for 2 years imo.

  • Good info. Thanks for putting it in one place.

  • Hadn’t realized the travel credit was so restrictive. Since I spend very few dollar on seat upgrade or lounge access, it definitely limits this card’s ongoing value.