HOT: New Ritz-Carlton Visa Infinite Comes with 3 Complimentary Nights and Benefits That Are Blowing Me Away

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Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card

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.

Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

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Comments

  1. Sounds good, Gary. Any sense of whether:

    1. Like the Hyatt credit card, the free nights must be used within one year of their being credited to your account?
    2. The general availability of RC award nights if you book at least several months in advance?
    3. The $300 credit applies to flight change/cancellation fees?
    4. Whether the $300 credit can be applied to airline purchases in other ways, such as gift cards?

    Thanks.

  2. Beware of any free nights with Ritz Carlton. First they eliminate cat 5s which are their best properties. See what happens when you try to book the free nights at the participating hotels. I have plenty of experience with RItz Carlton in the past. They give bait and switch a bad name. I used Ritz as part of of a special program with Merrill Lynch and with Chase earlier. Merrill had so many complaints they pulled them out completely. So this is the sort of thing you should expect when you call them to redeem. How does Cleveland Ohio sound in the winter? Plenty of space there. What about Atlanta Buckhead. we have wed night In feb for one night, for the promotion. When in the next day free? How does January 2 for one night sound? Would you like to spend the weekend in Cleveland in January? Let me book that for you. Oops sorry we only have 2 nights available and you want 3. Can I book you that two nights? Expect to check on Hawaii for every signle night across an entire year. Dont be surprised to find not one single room night across the 365. That is why any program like this sucks. In fact to me based on my past history with them it really appears to me as a misrepresentation of the reality fo the benefit.

  3. Having been denied for a TV card before, any info on what credit score etc is needed to get approved?

  4. Only confusing thing- you have to choose either Marriott or Ritz, right? You can’t be members in both. I haven’t done enough research ahead of the Starwood merger to know which I prefer. (I already have a Marriott membership) The card asks for your Ritz membership number or says it will assign one. Does this card require that you have a Ritz number?

  5. I noticed that the $100 airfare credit must be booked through visadiscountair.com. Do you have any sense of the fares on that site and if they’re comparable to direct airline bookings?

    Thanks!

  6. Wendy, you would just enter your Marriott number. I am not sure if applying for this card would cause your Marriott membership to convert to RC or not (I think probably not), but the only difference between the two is which promotions you’re eligible for.

  7. robertw – a quick look at RC Kapalua in November shows every single night available for points booking. Most other months show much greater than 50% of nights available. Am I missing a booking restriction on these free nights??

  8. @ George — I use this website to book tickets with my CNB Infinite VISA. Prices are identical to those offered directly at airline websites.

    @ Tim — LOL. Blows me away!

  9. I’d like to echo some questions and concerns as well as pose a question:

    1) Can someone clarify the Marriott/Ritz-Carlton situation? I’m deeply invested in Marriott and would be crushed if I lost progress towards lifetime status. If I can get a separate account, or if I can keep Marriott but essentially just have it serve as a proxy for a “Ritz-Carlton” account (and still get these free Ritz-Carlton nights) this sounds great. But that’s a big distinction.

    2) On the screenshot posted above, I saw a “book 4 nights, get the 5th free”. Does that mean a person could potentially book 3 “free” nights, pay for the 4th night, and get the 5th free? I don’t have the Citi card with the 4th night reimbursement but would imagine that would be a tantalizing scenario for those who do…

    3) Would love some additional insights into the strongly-stated objection over RC availability

  10. I do not believe this is a separate product from the pre-existing Ritz-Carlton card (for signup bonus eligibility). I don’t have any detail on what credit scores would be needed for approval on this new Visa Infinite, the first one being offered by Chase.

    I believe these free night certificates book into award night inventory, these aren’t like the old ritz carlton stay certificates that other vendors would give out.

    If you do not have a Ritz-Carlton Rewards number when opening the account, they will assign one to you. You can always have a pre-existing Marriott Rewards account combined into your new Ritz-Carlton account (points transfer in 1:1). The biggest difference in my experience is the promotions offered.

    I’ll do a followup post on the airfare savings but fares look to be the same as you’d get elsewhere. Just note that you’re limited to United, Delta, and American.

  11. A good offer but not something to get quite this excited about. I got the card last year with 140,000 point sign up offer, no restrictions on when or where you can use them (I still have mine). Most of the benefits are still the same, possibly losing the club level upgrades to get $50/person off airfare in pairs. Otherwise, not much difference.
    For those asking about the airlines incidentals credit, I have gotten United gift registry contributions reimbursed. I contributed amounts based on upgrade amounts for flights I was taking and would have, if necessary, used them for the upgrade that I told them it was for, but never had to.

  12. 3 nights @ Tier 4 property can easily be worth $1500+ at resort locations, so this is indeed a great signup bonus. Check the peak season rates @ Kapalua, Tahoe, SF & Washington DC. I have never had a problem finding peak season RC inventory with points (well in advance of travel) but YMMV.

    The only hesitation for me is that the rumored CSP Reserve card (which is far more suitable for everyday spend) is scheduled for release soon, and Chase is likely to reject apps that violate the 5/24 rule (as is currently the case for CSP). So if you want both cards and are close to 5 apps, you may want to hold off on the Chase RC card…

  13. Does not appear to be 5/24 restricted since I just got approved after a couple days and I am probably 35/24.

  14. Are travel protection benefits for the card listed somewhere? With the $100 discount, this would be my go-to card for 2+ person airfare booking, so my hope is the travel protection is at least comparable to Citi Executive, Aviator Silver, etc.

  15. Jeff’s Question 2: Nope, the 5th night free applies only on stays with 4 free=POINTS nights.

  16. Ok this is a no brainer. But I can say the the Ritz in Hong Kong (Tallest Hotel) is a cat 5. But when I found out the the Ritz in Barcelona is Cat 4 I was just amazed ! You can not get a room there for less than 1K. I am using my 2 free night there in 2 weeks. Stayed there several years ago and should be a Cat5. If you need a review let me know.

    Thanks Jason

  17. Some of the “tier 2-3” catergories are a joke and should not have the “Ritz Carlton” name on them, outdated, ugly and not in good locations.

  18. So much “pumping” of a credit card like it is the holy grail
    Those 3 free nights will not be useful. Hotels starting to restrict these severely. The other “touted” benefits are not much to write home about..
    This will be a “bait and switch” program to say the least!

  19. If anyone can answer this it would be very helpful. If I get the card, can I book free nights for someone else or do I have to use them myself?

    I am wondering if I can gift these to someone…

  20. Hi, I just received the “old” version of this card about 10 days ago.. Looks like I just missed the “new” card. Will I receive all of the new benefits associated with the Ritz card? Specifically the $100 credit for airfare? That $100 was not a benefit when I signed up 2 weeks ago. I did however receive the Priority Pass Select card, instead of the Lounge Club card as originally promised.

    Thanks!

  21. @Doug I have seen trouble with every single program/redemption with Ritz. God only knows what they will say when you try to redeem. They always have some sort of out. They might say sir those nights are available for point redemptions but not this promotion. Or they will say all rooms using that “Special” promotion are allocated. Allocated every day for a year straight. Expect a battle to use them. I used to get emails for great deals on rooms. I check within 5 mins of getting the email and find the same usual stuff. No rooms available at any of the rates they show in the promotion except maybe some oddball night in the wInter in Buckhead or Cleveland. No such issue ever with St Regis/Starwood. However Marriott will destroy that program once they take full control of things.

  22. @JR wide open in the least desirable property in Battery Park-NY, not the flagship hotel in Central Park. You are assuming that these free nights redeem the same way as points nights. I would not assume that. Not with Ritz in my poor experiences. And I had several bad experiences.

    @ff lover I agree 100% with you. They have a terrible track record.

  23. @Jason I found rooms at the Ritz in Barcelona for 290 Euros a night next April. That is far off 1K a night. RItz is not that generous. Club level rooms I see at 450 a night across many nights

  24. where can you find out about availability of using certificates? I had a very hard time using my hyatt certificates for the hyatt chase card at andaz maui even when they showed availability using points so I believe the person who posted that certificate redemption is not the same as point redemption. I’m sure rtiz is the same. I want to use these certs from two card to book 6 straight nights in maui but I have serious doubts this can be done

  25. Can you use the free nights at a Marriott, or is it strictly Ritz properties? Is it possible to convert free night certs into points?

  26. @Mark – I’ve been a RC Visa cardholder for a couple of years and, for the heck of it, checked out the https://www.visadiscountair.com/ritzcarltoncard link and it worked with my card. Did a trial itinerary and it would save me $100 off the advertised delta.com price. Note that as far as Delta is concerned, (mqds/skymiles rev. based, etc.) you paid the $100 that was discounted, i.e, you get credit for the total ticket price.

  27. was planning to apply for this cc thru your link of course.

    however when researching shows the ritz in Honolulu is * not * part of this rewards stay.
    what gives ??

    prices out of site so having the comp stay would help justify the annual fee.
    your thoughts ? thx you.

  28. Hi,
    Does anyone know how long it takes for the chase free nights to post?

    Its been atleast a month since i have met the 5000 spend.

  29. Priority Pass Select is like a Holiday Inn Select…it’s a lesser value and requires a fee every time you enter an eligible airport lounge. The fee I pay is $27 with my AMEX HHonors Surpass. You want cards that offer Priority Pass entry.

  30. @Terry K — No, Priority Pass Select is simply the name of the product that gets bundled with several premium credit cards. There are multiple levels of Priority Pass Select. You have the basic level. The Priority Pass Select that comes with the Amex Platinum gives you unlimited free entry but no guests ($27 per guest). The Priority Pass Select that comes with Citi Prestige includes 2 guests. The Priority Pass Select that comes with Sapphire Reserve comes with unlimited guests.

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