I’ve always found the Ritz-Carlton Rewards program to be rather interesting, given that it has virtually identical qualification requirements and benefits to the Marriott Rewards program. You’re not technically allowed to be a member of both programs, though you can credit all your Marriott stays to Ritz-Carlton, and can credit all your Ritz-Carlton stays to Marriott.
So really it simply comes down to which program’s promotions you prefer, as they are quite different.
Today Ritz-Carlton Rewards announced a double elite qualifying nights promotion for the rest of the year. It even applies retroactively for all stays during the 2014 calendar year, as long as you were a Ritz-Carlton Rewards member at the time of the stay.
The basic details of the promotion are as follows:
Receive credit for twice the nights when you stay at The Ritz-Carlton
There is now a faster way to experience the benefits of Elite status. Members of The Ritz-Carlton Rewards now earn two Elite night credits for each night stay at participating Ritz-Carlton hotels.
This new benefit applies to each stay during 2014, including those that you have already made, allowing you to easily maintain your present status, or achieve a higher level of membership. Reserve your next stay to get started.
Then here are the terms & conditions:
Guests must be a member of The Ritz-Carlton Rewards at the time of their stay. Stays must be at a participating Ritz-Carlton property, and for each eligible night, members will receive two Elite night credits. Nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for Elite night credit. Double Elite night credits are retroactively granted to members for all stays at Ritz-Carlton properties starting on January 1, 2014, and are automatically applied to members’ accounts. To be eligible for retroactive double Elite night credit, guests must have been a Ritz-Carlton Rewards member during that stay in 2014. Nights stayed at a Ritz-Carlton property as a member of the Marriott Rewards program are not eligible for double Elite night credit. Members can review their current status by logging into their account.
- You do earn double elite qualifying nights for Ritz-Carlton stays credited to Ritz-Carlton Rewards
- You don’t earn double elite qualifying nights for Marriott stays credited to Ritz-Carlton Rewards
- You don’t earn double elite qualifying nights for Ritz-Carlton stays credited to Marriott Rewards
As a reminder, the normal Ritz-Carlton Rewards thresholds are as follows:
- Ritz-Carlton Rewards Silver — 10 nights (5 during promotion)
- Ritz-Carlton Rewards Gold — 50 nights (25 during promotion)
- Ritz-Carlton Rewards Platinum — 75 nights (38 during promotion)
This is most useful if you stay at Ritz-Carlton properties a lot
I know this sounds extremely obvious, but this isn’t a promotion whereby it makes sense to mattress run to achieve status. It’s not like staying at a Courtyard off an interstate a few times and then earning top tier status. You have to actually stay at Ritz-Carlton properties, and elite recognition at Ritz-Carlton properties isn’t as good as at Marriott properties (for example, you don’t get lounge access, which I can’t blame them for given how much nicer their club lounges are).
Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Club Lounge
Ritz-Carlton’s credit card gives you Platinum status with $75,000 of spend
Back in May, Ritz-Carlton improved their co-branded credit card by adding Platinum status for spending $75,000 on the card in a year. So while I wouldn’t go out of my way to spend $75,000 on the card in order to earn Platinum status, if you really do want to earn it this is going to be the best way to do so.
The card also gives you Gold status for the first year as a card member, which comes with very similar benefits (you just don’t get an arrival gift and guaranteed availability within 48 hours of arrival).
It’s a promotion that’s good to know about, though it’s not worth “scheming” in order to take advantage of this promotion, as there’s not enough upside, in my opinion.
(Tip of the hat to Magic of Miles)