Ritz-Carlton has introduced some benefits for their co-branded credit card that really have me taking notice, and you probably should too. The Ritz-Carlton Visa isn’t a card I hear people talk about often, nor do I discuss it much myself. But, Chase and Ritz-Carlton have definitely put together a set of benefits that will e very appealing to some customers.
I don’t earn any referral credit from this card, I just think it has some unique benefits that certain travelers will get a lot of value out of. Here’s what the folks from Marriott (who owns Ritz-Carlton and runs their program as a semi-separate entity) have told me about the new offer:
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card offers the following benefits, all for a $450 annual fee:
- New: Unlimited $100 discounts on two or more domestic airline tickets
- New: Worldwide access to more than 900 airport lounges through Priority Pass
- New: Global Entry application fee reimbursement credit
- New: Car rental discount and upgrades
- $300 annual travel credit
- No foreign transaction fees
- Cardmember events, including exclusive sports, entertainment and culinary experiences
- Three The Ritz-Carlton Club Level upgrades annually on paid stays of up to seven nights, subject to availability
- Automatic Gold Elite status in Ritz-Carlton Rewards for the first year and maintain after spending $10,000 each year
- Platinum Elite status in Ritz-Carlton Rewards after spending $75,000 each year
- $100 hotel credit on each paid stay of two nights or longer
The sign-up bonus right now is 3 free nights in a category 1-4 property, which covers most Ritz-Carlton hotels.
Now, it’s worth noting again the card carries a $450 annual fee. But, for the right person, they can conquer the fee pretty quickly.
If you travel domestically with a companion, the $100 discount with no limit is a really nice benefit. I’m honestly not sure how that’s sustainable, unless they assume they’ll get a bunch of spend from those same traveling customers. Still, it strikes me there will be plenty of folks who use the $300 annual travel credit and take advantage of the airline ticket discount.
The card also comes with a Priority Pass membership. According to Gary Leff, it’s a Select membership, which is sort of its own separate category, but reasonably valuable to most travelers.
You also get a $100 folio credit anytime you stay 2 nights or longer. That means someone with just one trip (where they save $100 on airline tickets and get a $100 folio credit) are almost halfway to paying the annual fee.
And, while I wouldn’t put a specific value on them, the upgrades to club access are really worth it. The owner of our company used to stay at the Ritz-Carlton Denver when he and I had joint business in town. I was amazed at the spread of food on the club level when he stayed there. No question it’s a great benefit.
Should The Ritz-Carlton Credit Card Be In Your Wallet Long-Term?
With 3 free nights in any Ritz other than Category 5 as the sign-up bonus, it’s not hard to justify the $450 in the first year of the card. It’s once you get past the first year that the set of folks who will see high value from this card narrows.
I still think it covers a wide variety of folks, though. I don’t personally look to Marriott for my hotel stays, though I will be in some form when they complete their merger with Starwood in the near future. Hyatt remains my primary chain but there are some beautiful Ritz-Carlton hotels around the world.
Benefits like the elite status are harder to put a value on, especially since we’re not sure what the program will look like after the merger. And, things like the car rental discounts don’t appear to be fully spelled out. Concierge service is completely a YMMV sort of thing to me.
In the end, I see lots of potential value for folks who hold this card. Leveraging the airline discount along with the folio credit and the club upgrades can turn an okay vacation into a pretty nice one. The bonus categories for airline tickets and restaurants could also make it worth it to do some spending on, though I think I’d lean more towards Chase Sapphire Preferred to have more flexibility with the points.
Are you thinking about getting the Ritz-Carlton credit card?
The post New Offer For The Ritz-Carlton Visa Is Pretty Darn Good was published first on Pizza in Motion