I’ve written in the past about the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa Card, which is one of the “higher end” hotel co-branded credit cards in terms of the benefits and annual fee.
While the annual fee on the card is $395, it comes with lots of great benefits, like a $200 airline fee credit, Gold Elite status in the Ritz-Carlton Rewards program for your first year of membership, three upgrades to the Ritz-Carlton club level annually, and $100 hotel credit for stays of two or more nights.
Anyway, Chase announced some major improvements to the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa, which kick in today, May 1, 2014.
These changes are as follows:
$200 annual travel credit being increased to $300
Previously the annual travel credit was just $200, though it’s now being increased to $300:
$300 ANNUAL TRAVEL CREDIT
You’ll have the opportunity to make the most of your trip with a $300 annual travel credit to use for baggage fees, Global Entry fees, seat upgrades, access to your preferred airport lounge and more.
Now you can earn Platinum status through credit card spend
It’s pretty easy to rack up status in the Ritz-Carlton Rewards program using this card:
- You receive Gold Elite status for the first year of membership
- You receive Gold Elite status for any subsequent year in which you spend at least $10,000 on the card
- You receive Platinum Elite status for any year in which you spend $75,000 on the card (this is a new benefit)
Admittedly the difference between Gold and Platinum status in the Ritz-Carlton Rewards program isn’t huge, so it’s probably not worth putting an extra $65,000 of spend on the card for that. It’s still nice to have the option to earn it exclusively through credit card spend, though.
PLATINUM ELITE STATUS
Attain and keep Platinum Elite Status in the Ritz-Carlton Rewards®when you spend $75,000 on your card per account year, and you can enjoy arrival gifts, room guarantees, 50 percent added value on Ritz-Carlton Rewards points and more.
Visit ritzcarltonrewards.com/platinum for details.
10% annual points premium
Now, aside from putting spend on the card to try and qualify for Gold or Platinum status I don’t actually think this is a great credit card for everyday spend. That being said, the points you earn for spend on the card just increased by 10%. You now receive a 10% annual points premium each calendar year. So in the beginning of 2015 you’ll receive a points premium based on your spend in 2014.
10% ANNUAL POINTS PREMIUM
Each calendar year, you will receive a 10% annual points premium on Ritz-Carlton Rewards® points earned through card purchases made during the previous year. Your first premium, awarded at the beginning of 2015, will be based on all points earned in 2014.
It’s rare to see this many positive changes without a “catch.” The fact that the card has a $395 annual fee and comes with a $300 airline fee credit is awesome, and when you add in all the other benefits this is a pretty compelling card, especially for the first year.
Kudos to Chase and Ritz-Carlton! I don’t have the card but will certainly consider it in the future. And not that it should matter, but for what it’s worth this card isn’t part of my affiliate network.
(Tip of the hat to Erik)