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UPDATE: The The Ritz–Carlton Rewards® Credit Card is no longer open to applications, you can find all the cards earning Marriott Rewards points in this post.
The Ritz–Carlton Rewards® Credit Card is an ultra-premium hotel rewards card packed with perks and benefits. While the Ritz-Carlton card itself isn't new, Chase has made some very significant enhancements including the card now being issued as a Visa Infinite card, where previously it was a Visa Signature card.
Ritz-Carlton Card Signup Bonus
(Two Complimentary Nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton® hotel after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.)
While the Tier 5 properties, 13 in all, are excluded from the complimentary night redemptions, keep in mind that this is Ritz-Carlton — you're staying at one of the finer properties in the world.
$300 Annual Travel Credit
(Good for lounge access, airline seat upgrades, airline baggage fees, in-flight Internet/entertainment, and in-flight meals.)
This is a direct carryover from the previous benefit structure of the card and provides a huge impact to help offset the cost of the annual fee ($450). We've used every different way to leverage the credit and have had no problem receiving the benefit. Everything from a sandwich on board, to an overweight bag fee, to a preferred Economy Plus seat on a long-haul flight.
The $300 travel credit is based on a calendar year. Come January 1st each year, the travel credit resets and you've got another $300 at your disposal.
$100 Hotel Credit
(For each 2+ night paid stay at a Ritz-Carlton property you'll receive a $100 credit that you can use for dining, spa treatments or more)
While this benefit requires you be on a paid stay, $100 towards a nice meal or a spa treatment is a great perk to receive just for being a cardmember. Certain rates, including AAA, and booking types are ineligible for this benefit, so make sure the rate you book is qualifying.
6x Points, 3x Points & 2x Point – Bonus Categories
(Earn 6x points per $1 spent at participating SPG & Marriott Rewards hotels, 3x points per $1 spent at restaurants; airline tickets when purchased directly with the airline; car rental agencies, and 2x points per $1 spent on all other purchases)
This is the most rewarding Marriott Rewards-earning credit card available when it comes purely to earning.
10% Annual Points Premium
(An extra 10% towards your earning)
You’ll earn a 10% bonus annually on all new Rewards points earned with your card purchases. Bonuses are calculated on calendar year spend, and you should expect to see your bonus posted on your January or February statement the following year. This effectively increases your earning to 5.5, 2.2 and 1.1 points per dollar spend — a nice bump for stays at Ritz/Marriott family properties.
Complimentary Global Entry Membership
(Apply for Global Entry, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program, using your Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card to pay your application fee (currently $100) and receive a $100 statement credit. If approved, you will also be granted TSA Pre ✓® privileges at no additional cost.)
Having your Global Entry application fee reimbursed isn't a new benefit on many credit cards, but it is a new specific perk of this card. Additionally, most cards that offer a Global Entry application fee reimbursements provide the benefit once every five years; you'll only have to wait four years to take advantage of this benefit again — share it with your significant other if you already have Global Entry.
Complimentary Gold Elite Status
(You receive complimentary Gold Elite status for the first year of your card membership. After that, spend $10,000 on your card each calendar year to maintain Gold Elite Status or spend $75,000 per calendar year to earn Platinum Elite status.)
Gold Elite status with Ritz-Carlton Rewards provides benefits across Ritz-Carlton and Marriott Rewards earning properties, and if you link your SPG account, you'll also status match to SPG Gold Elite. If you're a big spender and hit the $75,000 threshold in a calendar year, you'll receive Platinum Elite status! Sure, it isn't guaranteed suite upgrades, but you'll earn additional points for every dollar you spend, you'll have access to top-tier customer service and you can expect some upgrades along with perks including complimentary breakfast at many properties.
Priority Pass™ Select Membership
(Receive a complimentary annual Priority Pass™ Select membership with access to over 900 VIP airport lounges in over 400 cities worldwide (~$399 retail value))
Priority Pass isn't specifically affiliated with any specific airline. Instead, they have a network of lounges across the world that you may already have visited. There are very few requirements to access a Priority Pass lounge as long as you have a membership (review the full guide when you receive your membership card). Did you know that the Alaska Airlines' lounges in Seattle are members of Priority Pass? Or perhaps, the Air France lounge in Terminal 1 at JFK in New York — also a Priority Pass lounge.
$100 Discount for flights
(Save $100 on when you book roundtrip U.S. domestic coach airline tickets for 2 – 5 people (no limit to how many times you can use this benefit)
This benefit is valid for the purchase of between 2 and 5 U.S. domestic roundtrip coach tickets per reservation when purchased through www.VisaDiscountAir.com/ritzcarltoncard. The primary account holder must be one of the ticketed passengers. This benefit has the opportunity to be a significant benefit, especially if most of your travel is within the domestic U.S.
(Visa cards have various levels of product types including Platinum, Signature, and Infinite. Infinite is the highest of these three which offers some of the best perks for any Visa card available.)
Most mid-tier travel rewards cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card, are Visa Signature cards. These cards are a certain class of product within the Visa family and come with benefits simply for being Visa Signature cards. While there are additional perks, specifically in the case the of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, such as the Primary Auto Rental CDW, simply by being a Visa card there are benefits.
Visa Infinite is a tier above Visa Signature, and while we don't have a link for the full guides to benefits for the Ritz-Carlton Card, here are the guide to benefits of the Visa Signature version of the Ritz-Carlton card. We can assume the benefits should at a minimum match and in some cases get better.
Yes, this card comes with a big annual fee, $450 to be exact. The key is to make sure you're utilizing the card and its benefits to get the most from it. The benefits on the card alone make it a worthwhile investment if you use them. Remember, the points and miles you earn are only part of what you should consider when finding the right travel rewards card. You may find the perks offered with the Ritz-Carlton Card far exceed what you'd expect.
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