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The new Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card is a Visa Infinite card, only the second in the U.S. that I’m aware of (the other is offered to wealthy private clients of City National Bank).
In addition to Gold Elite status (which is honored at Marriott hotels, comes complimentary the first year and that you retain each year you spend $10,000 on the card); a $300 Airline Fee credit, $100 Global Entry credit, and unlimited use $100 Airline Ticket discounts when buying for 2 or more passengers; 3 complimentary upgrades to The Ritz-Carlton Club® Level each year valid on paid stays of up to seven nights; plus airport lounge access and a premium concierge, the card gives you:
- A great signup bonus of 3 complimentary nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel after $5,000 spend on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
What I want to explore here is Visa Infinite which, before this month, was only being issued by City National Bank intended for their wealthy private clients.
Visa Infinite is intended to be an exclusive product. The interesting thing is that even when they were issuing it as a Visa Signature it was already a heavy metal card. It’s nothing like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card which is itself praised for its look and feel. The Ritz-Carlton credit card is heavier than a normal credit card, but also heavier than Sapphire Preferred. Its card construction just blows everything else that’s available to apply for away from a weight and feel perspective.
The biggest benefit that’s bundled with the card as a Visa Infinite is the $100 airfare credit when buying tickets through their portal (which limited you to United, Delta, and American) for two to five passengers.
As with any card product, there’s a suite of benefits offered by the card issuer and also benefits available through the payment network (Visa) that can be negotiated into a card’s suite of offerings.
As a Visa Infinite the Ritz-Carlton card offers car rental discounts, and premium benefits on hotels booked through Visa. You get access to the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection which provides automatic room upgrade on arrival (subject to availability) and complimentary continental breakfast. There’s also Visa Infinite Preferred Hotel Benefits at Relais & Châteaux properties.
The protections bundled with the card are really strong. You get primary car rental collision damage coverage — so instead of secondary coverage where the card covers what your insurance doesn’t, this comes first so in many cases your own insurance doesn’t even need to know if you’ve played adult bumper cars.
There’s also trip accident coverage, trip cancellation coverage, trip delay coverage, and a lost luggage benefit as well. Pay for your airfare with the card and if there’s a long enough delay you can send over receipts for hotels and meals and get those reimbursed. If your luggage doesn’t arrive you’ll get coverage for incidental items you need to purchase while the bags are gone.
Visa Infinite also provides extended warranty, purchase protection and return protection for when you’re unhappy with a product and the retailer won’t accept a return.