8 Reasons To Apply For Ritz-Carlton’s Credit Card

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The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card is one of the most compelling credit cards out there at the moment. I’ve written all about the individual benefits in the past, though figured I’d write a consolidated post with the eight reasons you should consider applying for the Ritz-Carlton Card, especially in light of the merger between Marriott and Starwood:

A sign-up bonus of three complimentary nights & 10,000 points

The card offers a sign-up bonus of three complimentary nights at a Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton property after spending $5,000 within three months. That’s a huge sign-up bonus — a Tier 4 property ordinarily costs 60,000 points per night, so the sign-up bonus is worth up to the equivalent of 180,000 Ritz-Carlton Rewards points.

On top of that, you can earn 10,000 bonus points after adding an authorized user and having them make a purchase within the first three months.

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A $300 annual airline credit

While the card has a $450 annual fee, it has lots of perks to help offset it. One of those perks is a $300 annual travel credit, which can be applied to non-ticket airline purchases. Best of all, the benefit is based on cardmember year rather than calendar year, meaning that you’ll get two of these credits before your second year’s annual fee is due (one through December 31, and one starting January 1).

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A $100 domestic companion airfare discount

This benefit has the potential to be huge. The card comes with a $100 domestic companion airfare discount. This means that if you’re booking a roundtrip domestic ticket with a companion you can get $100 off. If you usually travel with someone else, this can save you hundreds and hundreds of dollars per year.

I suspect this might just be the card benefit I’ll get the most value out of.

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Easy Marriott/Ritz-Carlton & Starwood Gold status

The card comes with Ritz-Carlton Gold status for the first year, plus you can get Gold status in subsequent years by spending $10,000 on the card. As it stands, there’s not all that much differentiation between Marriott/Ritz-Carlton Gold and Platinum, as both tiers get late check-out, room upgrades, club lounge access/breakfast (at non-Ritz properties), etc.

So you get the status for the first year, but long term it could make sense to spend $10,000 on the card per year as a way of maintaining Gold status.

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A path to Marriott/Ritz-Carlton & Starwood Platinum status

This card also offers Ritz-Carlton Platinum status if you spend $75,000 on the card in a year. That’s a substantial amount of spend, and personally I wouldn’t put that marginal spend on the card to earn Platinum status over Gold status.

However, the big catch here is that Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Platinum now matches to Starwood Platinum, which most definitely is a lot more valuable than Starwood Gold. So this is a fantastic way to get top tier status with Marriott and Starwood through credit card spend.

Assuming there’s differentiation between Platinum and Gold going forward, I could certainly see myself earning top tier status with the “new” Marriott by putting $75,000 of spend on this card.

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Not subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule

As many of you probably know, Chase has a restriction where they typically won’t approve people for many cards if they’ve opened more than five new accounts in the past 24 months, called “the 5/24 rule.” Anecdotally this card is not subjected to that policy, meaning you can be approved for this card even if you’ve opened more accounts than that over the past two years.

Three Ritz-Carlton Club upgrades

Just for having the card you receive three Ritz-Carlton upgrades per year. There are some strings attached with these upgrades, in the sense that you need to book directly with Ritz-Carlton, so not everyone will get that much value out of this perk. However, it does have the potential to be extremely valuable.

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A Priority Pass membership

Like many other premium credit cards, the Ritz-Carlton Card offers a Priority Pass membership for as long as you have the card, which gives you access to the largest global network of lounges. Not everyone will get value out of this, though, given that many of us have multiple premium credit cards that get us this membership.

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Bottom line

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card has a fantastic sign-up bonus and lots of perks that make the card a keeper long term. On top of that, the card is easier to be approved for than many other Chase cards. If you haven’t yet applied for this card, I’d seriously consider doing so.

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Comments

  1. Credit card rewards are great but an average person with family and kids has no time to use them. Too many ducks have to line up perfectly for the rewards to be useful. Either you get very lucky and can use the rewards at a good redemption value or more likely their value to you personally will end up being much less than touted by the bloggers.

    Tldr: don’t buy the hype.

  2. Credit, in what world do families with kids not take vacations? Do you think Disney World and the Florida beaches are just filled with gays on vacation? What about the Grand Canyon, National Parks, trips to Washington D.C., New York City, etc. etc. etc. You really need to get your heads out of your ass and the “if it doesn’t apply to me then it doesn’t apply to anyone” mindset.

  3. Re: Credit…. My wife and I took a three week trip to Europe this April funded almost entirely by credit card rewards. Flights via AAdvantage….saw Adele from the SPG suite, crossed off English bucket lists items for my wife (pounded the Wyndham sign up at 3 free nights per card), had an amazing birthday dinner in Amsterdam (Artotel via Club Carlson), etc. Credit Card rewards enabled the trip to be spectacular… when you save $1500 – $2000 (we fly coach, don’t judge) because you redeemed points for the trip… you can reinvest that money into experiences along the way without breaking the bank. So a giant THANK YOU to Lucky, Tiffany, and the crew for sharing what is possible.

    Tldr: Invest the effort, it can really pay off

  4. @RCB @Credit

    I get Credit’s point. My wife and I used to travel a lot. Now with a 2.5 year old our travel has been cut down dramatically. Partially due to time, partially due to $$. We’ve taken 1-2 long weekends a year without the child and usually do a trip or two with the child.

    Problem with traveling with a small child is that I dont really want to do any lux travel with him. He’s generally well behaved but is going to have a much better time (meaning we have a much better time) if we rent an AirBnb in Florida vs staying at a Ritz Carlton in Europe. The long flight, the small rooms, the more structured days dont work well imho.

    I cant wait for the day when he can handle and enjoy a longer, exotic vacation, but until then…..

    We’ve passed on many a new cc sign up over the past few years simply because we dont know if we can use the benefits these days.

  5. My point is get a card that will help you get where you need to go. Not because it currently has lifetime max sign on bonus. It’s too much work trying to line up things so that you don’t lose your rewards or use them before devaluation etc etc.

    Been there, done that. Not falling for it again. Strategic application is the key.

  6. Anybody know ho wrong you have to use the free nights. Some hotels are good for a year and others only last 6 months.

  7. @RCB – what a condescending and arrogant person you are. You sound like a Clinton voter! You can stick your comments up your a** moron.

  8. I would love to check out RC properties one day but as far as the cc goes – even with the credits and perks – one still has to cough up a $450 AF. Also, they don’t have a large enough footprint for my purposes nor am I a Marriott person, but they are luxurious!

  9. Another push for this card – must be the only card he earns $$$ on it. By the way the ‘opinion leader’ is even worst – pushes it 5 days a week.

  10. @HT: spot on – the only reason is that chase is paying for referrals. Before the revamp this card never got this much attention.

    Its sad that all the blogs never emphasize the fact that if you dont stay at the ritz carlton atleast twice a year utilizing the club upgrades this card is an absolute waste of money.

  11. I got this card last week and agree that it offers compelling value that’s not necessarily obvious. There’s also a $100 amenity credit (to be used during a paid stay) and a 10% bonus on all points earned in a year. And apparently some people really dig the metal card! 🙂

  12. I used the Club “upgrade” at Ritz Hong Kong last month. Beware the price changes when you try to book the upgrade. I checked the web site for a specific room then when I called to book the upgrade I was told the rate on the Ritz/Marriott web site cannot be used for an upgrade. Yes, apples to apples on room type and view. Bottom line is for a three night stay I saved a total of about $100 versus booking a club room directly. I also received the $100 hotel credit. Better than a stick in the eye but the upgrade cert is far less valuable than it would appear.

  13. One last item. The metal credit card often sets of the WTMD often resulting in a trip to the nude-o-scope. Now I put my wallet in my backpack.

  14. Couldn’t I sign up for The Ritz card AND the Marriott Rewards card to also get Marriott’s 80k point bonus? I could simply close the Marriott one in 11 months to not incur the annual fee. I’m ultimately looking to get max benefit for use at Marriott properties (the 2 free RC nights & Club upgrades would just be icing on the cake). Here is how I’m envision it play out in my head:

    1) Have current Marriot Rewards Membership.
    2) Open Ritz-Carlton Card account, keeping Marriott as primary affiliation.
    3) Receive Ritz/Marriott Gold status.
    4) Add RC card authorized user to get 10k points.
    5) Make 2 Marriott stays by Sept (using RC Card) to gain the 4,000 MegaBonus points (in addition to normal gold earned MR points). Potentially use RC card’s $100 hotel credit benefit during stay.
    6) Hit 4k spent mark to gain RC’s 2 free nights.
    7) Immediately open Marriott Rewards card.
    8) Hit 3k spent mark to gain 80,000 MR bonus points.
    9) Go back to using RC Card until hit 10k mark, for second year of gold status.
    10) January: Gain 10% pt bonus on 1st year’s RC card spending.
    11) Cancel MR card before 12 months.

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