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This is a really big deal, and the most exciting new card offer I’ve seen in awhile. Chase has a brand new offer for the Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card.
First of all, a good signup bonus for a hotel credit card is two free nights. This card is offering 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.
Second of all, the new Ritz-Carlton credit card is being issued as a Visa Infinite. This is only the second Visa Infinite card issued in the United States (City National Bank has one for their wealthy private bank customers). Worldwide Visa issues Infinite cards as a high end product beyond Visa Signature. They’ve so rarely been available in the US before that the Visa Infinite website doesn’t even list the U.S. as a country. The Ritz-Carlton credit card makes Visa Infinite’s higher-end benefits available, and lets you be one of the first people in the U.S. to have one.
3 Complimentary Ritz-Carlton Nights Signup Bonus
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card‘s new special offer is 3 nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel after $5,000 spend on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
Ritz-Carlton has five reward tiers. So only the 5th tier is excluded, you can use these nights at most Ritz-Carlton hotels. The tier charts are here.
You can stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel or Half Moon Bay in California. It’s hard for me to imagine anything more pleasant than sitting out with a glass of wine or a martini at the Laguna Niguel property watching the sun set over the Pacific.
Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Credit: Ritz-Carlton
You can stay at the The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua on Maui, the Ritz-Carlton Aruba, or the Hotel Arts in Barcelona. Use it in Sanya, Macau, or the other China properties. Use it in Bali. To name just a few.
Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Credit: Ritz-Carlton
Note that 3 nights at a category 4 Ritz-Carlton is like a 180,000 point bonus.
You also get 10,000 bonus points when you add the first authorized user to your new account and make a purchase within the same first 3 months from account opening.
It earns 5 points per dollar on Ritz-Carlton and Marriott spend, and double points on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, and at car rental agencies and restaurants. You also earn a 10% annual bonus on points earned through card purchases made during the year.
Extend your stay to four nights. A PointSaver reward at a category 1 Ritz-Carlton costs 20,000 points. After spending the $5000 required to earn the bonus, and adding an authorized user to your Ritz-Carlton credit card, you’ve got a minimum of 15,000 points. If your initial spend is on airline tickets or restaurants you’ve got the points for a complimentary night. And you can transfer points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to Ritz-Carlton to top off as well.
Ritz-Carlton Credit Card Gives You Ritz-Carlton and Marriott Gold Elite Status
The card comes with automatic Gold Elite status for your first account year. And Ritz-Carlton Rewards Gold is honored as Marriott Rewards Gold at Marriott hotel properties.
You can keep Gold status in subsequent years with $10,000 in purchases on the card each year. And $75,000 in purchases in an account year on the Ritz-Carlton credit card earns top tier Platinum status.
Gold gets you complimentary room upgrades and late checkout. At Marriott hotels you get club lounge access. And at most brands and hotels you get breakfast when there’s no lounge available. (There’s no breakfast benefit at Marriott Courtyard properties.)
Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Marriott Rewards are substantially similar. The main difference is the promotions offered, I see more free night and double elite qualifying promotions from Ritz-Carlton Rewards. And if you open a Ritz-Carlton credit card they open a Ritz-Carlton Rewards account for you if you don’t have one already, you can combine your Marriott Rewards account with points into your new account.
This is a fantastic benefit, even for someone like me who is primarily loyal to smaller chains. That’s because there aren’t Hyatt’s everywhere, but certainly in the US there are seemingly Marriotts everywhere, there are about 7 times as many Marriotts as there are Hyatts. My strategy has been Hilton Gold (which you get with the Citi Hilton Reserve Card) but Marriott or Ritz-Carlton Gold works just as well to ensure you can walk into a hotel just about anywhere with status.
$300 Airline Fee Credit, $100 Global Entry Credit, and Unlimited Use $100 Airline Ticket Discounts
This is a $450 annual fee card, which at the very least you can think of as being a really deep discounted Groupon for 3 Ritz-Carlton nights. The older version of the Ritz-Carlton credit card, the Visa Signature, has a $395 fee and a lower signup bonus and didn’t have as many benefits. The extra $55 compared to the older card is worth it many times over.
It’s much better than just an easy way to a long weekend or vacation at a top-end Ritz-Carlton.
- You get a $300 annual airline fee credit to use on this like seat upgrades, baggage fees and lounge memberships or club passes. Since it’s an annual benefit, you should be able to get the Ritz-Carlton credit card now and use the credit in 2016, and then again at the beginning of 2017 — for a total of $600 all in your first annual fee year.
- You get a $100 statement credit for Global Entry so get expedited immigration, which comes with TSA PreCheck, and the application fee is rebated to you when you pay with the card.
- Save $100 when buying domestic coach airfare for 2 or more people and you can use this benefit an unlimited number of times.
Best of all, there’s no limit on the number of times you can use this benefit. Choose from most major airlines and make reservations up to 11 months prior to departure. The primary cardholder must be the primary passenger on the itinerary. Visit visadiscountair.com/ritzcarltoncard for complete terms and conditions and to book travel today.
Club Upgrades When You Stay at Ritz-Carltons and $100 Folio Credits Too
Ritz-Carlton clubs aren’t like the club lounges you may be used with at major chain hotels. They’ll frequently have up to 5 food presentations daily, and adult beverages throughout the day along with great service to take care of any needs you have during your stay.
Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge Chengdu, credit: Ritz-Carlton
You’ll find delicious, substantive food from breakfast to light snacks, afternoon tee, evening Hors d’Oeuvres and desserts.
The Ritz-Carlton credit card comes with 3 complimentary upgrades to The Ritz-Carlton Club® Level each year valid on paid stays of up to seven nights. It also comes with a $100 hotel credit toward dining, spa or other hotel recreational activities on paid stays of two nights or longer.
For both of those benefits you need to call to book the stay at an eligible rate. Some dates at some properties with these benefits will be more expensive, so make sure to shop around, since you can’t use the benefits with corporate rates and non-refundable rates. You’ll use these benefits when it doesn’t cost you more or a few dollars more, and then they’ll provide tremendous value.
Lounge Access, Premium Concierge, and a Sexy Card Feel
This is 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 generally available away from a weight and feel perspective.
I’m not saying you should choose a credit card based on the way it looks (choose this one because of its features and benefits) but it’s very very cool.
The card comes with a Concierge program, useful for travel arrangements and restaurant reservations, finding things and arranging gifts. Many cards come with Concierge benefits, but I’ve been told that the Ritz-Carlton card comes with the same concierge service as Chase’s Palladium card for high net worth banking customers (which is the card President Obama has).
It also comes with a Priority Pass Select card for lounge access. This gets you into the 900 clubs that are part of the Priority Pass network. In the US that means Alaska Airlines clubs, and many lounges operated by foreign airlines. It means independent lounge networks like The Club. And it means lounges all over the world, most places you’ll travel.
You’ll see the Priority Pass Select sign beside the entrance to the KLM Lounge in Houston
This is a premium version of Priority Pass that comes with free visits, and I believe that authorized users on a Ritz-Carlton credit card account can request a Priority Pass Select as well.
Who Can Get This Card?
You’re eligible for the signup bonus if you are not a current cardholder, and you haven’t received a bonus from this card in the past 24 months.
The latest information I’ve seen from Doctor of Credit is that Chase doesn’t seem to be imposing restrictions on getting this card like they are many of their other cards. Customers haven’t been reporting being denied for too many new cards in the last 24 months.
It’s fantastic that they’ve increased the bonus to let you earn 3 nights at most Ritz-Carlton hotels, and made it possible to get a Visa Infinite card in the United States. This is a brand new offer, and one I’m really excited for.
With 3 nights, and a $300 airline fee credit based on calendar year there’s no reason not to get the card now and see how much you’ll use the benefits over the next year.