New Ritz-Carlton Signup Offer of 2 Free Nights

The Ritz-Carlton credit card has a new offer of two free nights at your choice of most Ritz properties after $3000 spend in 3 months. The card has a $395 annual fee but some real benefits that offset that fee.

Personally I liked the older special offers of 70,000 points and a $0 fee the first year, and 140,000 points (no fee waiver) better. But this will certainly be useful to some.

Earning on the card is:

  • 5 points per dollar at Ritz-Carlton and Marriott hotels
  • 2 points per dollar on flights purchased directly from airlines, on rental cars, and at restaurants
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases

I would only put Marriott/Ritz-Carlton spend on the card, other than for hitting minimum spend to earn the bonuses. Marriott points are worth less than a penny apiece, so double points (let alone one point per dollar!) wouldn’t be worth my spend.

Since the free nights are valid on tier 1-4 hotels, that means the following tier 5 properties are excluded:

In my opinion you don’t want to stay at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman anyway.

In My View the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman is an Archetypal “Resort Factory”

I think of Ritz-Carltons as ‘the nice Marriotts’ although they’re hugely variable in quality. The Northern Virginia Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City, for instance, is truly a mediocre property. But it would be absolutely lovely to drink a glass of wine at sunset overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the tier 4 Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel. And if you’re going to Barcelona, the tier 4 Hotel Arts is certainly a lovely choice. The tier 3 Marina del Rey Ritz-Carlton is probably the very best LAX airport hotel…

Put another way, I don’t entirely ‘get’ the Ritz-Carlton brand. There are several outstanding hotels, but the chain lacks the peaks or the consistency of Four Seasons. They do, however, participate in quite a few broader Marriott corporate discounts. And they’ve adopted the parallel Ritz-Carlton Rewards program that is essentially Marriott Rewards with different promotions (and you’re supposed to choose one or the other).

  • The card comes with Ritz-Carlton Gold status (which is Marriott Rewards Gold) the first year, and then you keep it by spending $10,000 on the card each year.
  • $75,000 spend in a year gets you Platinum status.
  • There’s a $300 airline fee credit as well that helps take the sting out of the annual fee.
  • There are also some fairly restrictive club lounge upgrade and $100 folio credits with Ritz-Carlton stays as well.
  • You get an airport Lounge Club membership.
  • There’s concierge service that I’ve heard is now handled by the same company which takes care of Palladium card customers (which the President has). Unfortunately that’s a downgrade to the Palladium concierge, rather than an improvement for the Ritz-Carlton card.
  • It’s a heavy card, more impressive-looking than Sapphire Preferred

(HT: Million Mile Secrets)

For avoidance of doubt I do not receive any referral credit for this card product.

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, 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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  1. Did the card stop offering 2 nights at some point? It has been having this offer for a while unless that one had expired.

  2. This is really just a much cheaper version of the JPM Palladium card (AF=$595) but with a better signup bonus and MR Gold status for a year. Those free nights could easily be worth $1000 in peak season. But not too useful after the first year unless you stay at RC & value those room upgrades.

  3. @Boraxo of course Palladium has a hidden trade line so your spend doesn’t reduce your credit score, and also United Club membership (not just access)

  4. I did the 140K offer back in February. I was already Marriott Gold but decided to do the spend in order to get an infusion of Marriott points and continue Gold status by spending $10K.
    So update to the present and I just received my new Marriott Gold Elite card with status until February 2017 and I’m asking myself why I want to keep the Ritz card without some sort of retention bonus.
    I’ll probably cancel the card real soon rather then pay another $395.00 so I position myself for a reapplication in 2017 should the card change it’s bonus offering. I just don’t see the benefit of keeping it anymore and I just received the 70K no fee Marriott card last month which keeps me earning points at a more realistic price.

  5. @Gary – I think it has been at least 7 months since it was points. It has offered the nights since then. I just didn’t know if that offer had disappeared and just was renewed and that was why it was brought up again.

  6. i got $150 through in the UA slush fund, gift registry, but was knocked back on the second $150, any suggestions appreciated

  7. i’m not sure if it is the same, i did the 140K point offer, but it was 1K spend in three months, v 3K spend for this offer

  8. I would avoid this card for sure. Ritz is very restrictive and very slippery. Many years ago I fought tooth and nail and ended up getting my free nights in Central Park and Miami. Back then it was through a Merrill Lynch program. I called them to book my NY dates and by magic almost every date for 365 days straight was “unavailable” I did end uo getting them. They try to back out of every single perk or promo with various fine print etc. I used to get emails from them about discounted room rates nationwide. I found ZERO availability for any nights at the rates in the email, and I confirmed this with others. So basically the only night Ritz would discount were places like Cleveland in the winter or something like that. I could not find a single room night on properties shown. Later Merrill dumped Ritz and some other programs might have as well.

  9. Gary, just FYI, the minimum has been increased to $4000 now on the Chase website. I got this card last month and it was still at the $3000 requirement but when I saw your post, I went directly to the Chase website and the minimum spend has been increased although your link is definitely better cause it’s a $1,000 less spend.

  10. @Gary — I thought the Ritz card was a Visa Infinite card . . . the photo above shows it’s a Visa Signature card.

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