13 Things I Love Most About the New Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa Infinite

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Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card

The new Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card is a Visa Infinite card. The card was already strong, last month Chase made the card great.

Here are 13 things I love:

  1. Earn 3 Complimentary Ritz-Carlton Nights

    This card is offering 3 complimentary nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel after $5,000 spend on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

    You can stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel or Half Moon Bay in California. It’s hard for me to imagine anything more pleasant than sitting out with a glass of wine or a martini at the Laguna Niguel property watching the sun set over the Pacific.


    Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Credit: Ritz-Carlton

    You can stay at the The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua on Maui, the Ritz-Carlton Aruba, or the Hotel Arts in Barcelona. Use it in Sanya, Macau, or the other China properties. Use it in Bali. To name just a few.


    Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Credit: Ritz-Carlton

    As if that’s not enough you also get 10,000 bonus points when you add the first authorized user to your new account and make a purchase within the same first 3 months from account opening.

  2. Chase seems to be welcoming cardmembers that have opened plenty of new card accounts.

    Plenty of reader data points, and reports elsewhere, suggest that Chase doesn’t seem to be imposing restrictions on getting this card like they are many of their other cards: customers haven’t been reporting being denied for too many new cards in the last 24 months.

    You’re eligible for the signup bonus if you are not a current cardholder, and you haven’t received a bonus from this card in the past 24 months.

    If you’re over ‘5/24’ this is a no brainer card to get.

  3. Comes With Elite Status

    The card comes with automatic Gold Elite status for your first account year. You can keep Gold status in subsequent years with $10,000 in purchases on the card each year. And $75,000 in purchases in an account year on the Ritz-Carlton credit card earns top tier Platinum status. Gold gets you complimentary room upgrades and late checkout.

  4. Ritz-Carlton status means Marriott status recognition too

    Ritz-Carlton Rewards Gold is honored as Marriott Rewards Gold at Marriott hotel properties. At Marriott hotels you get club lounge access. And at most brands and hotels you get breakfast when there’s no lounge available. (There’s no breakfast benefit at Marriott Courtyard properties.)

    This is a fantastic benefit, even for someone like me who is primarily loyal to smaller chains. That’s because there aren’t Hyatt’s everywhere, but certainly in the US there are seemingly Marriotts everywhere, there are about 7 times as many Marriotts as there are Hyatts. My strategy has been Hilton Gold (which you get with the Citi Hilton Reserve Card) but Marriott or Ritz-Carlton Gold works just as well to ensure you can walk into a hotel just about anywhere with status.

  5. $100 airfare discount

    The biggest benefit that’s bundled with the card as a Visa Infinite is the $100 airfare credit when buying tickets through their portal (which limited you to United, Delta, and American) for two to five passengers. You can use this benefit an unlimited number of times.

  6. $300 airline fee credit that’s per calendar year (use it twice in your first cardmember year)

    You get a $300 annual airline fee credit to use on this like seat upgrades, baggage fees and lounge memberships or club passes. Since it’s an annual benefit, you should be able to get the Ritz-Carlton credit card now and use the credit in 2016, and then again at the beginning of 2017 — for a total of $600 all in your first annual fee year.

  7. Airport lounge access

    The card comes with a Priority Pass Select card for lounge access. This gets you into the 900 clubs that are part of the Priority Pass network. In the US that means Alaska Airlines clubs, and many lounges operated by foreign airlines. It means independent lounge networks like The Club. And it means lounges all over the world, most places you’ll travel.


    You’ll see the Priority Pass Select sign beside the entrance to the KLM Lounge in Houston

    This is a premium version of Priority Pass that comes with free visits, and authorized users on a Ritz-Carlton credit card account can request a Priority Pass Select as well!

  8. Very good concierge service

    The card comes with a Concierge program, useful for travel arrangements and restaurant reservations, finding things and arranging gifts. Many cards come with Concierge benefits, but I’ve been told that the Ritz-Carlton card comes with the same concierge service as Chase’s Palladium card for high net worth banking customers (which is the card President Obama has).

  9. High-end look and feel to the card

    It’s nothing like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card which is itself praised for its look and feel. The Ritz-Carlton credit card is heavier than a normal credit card, but also heavier than Sapphire Preferred. Its card construction just blows everything else that’s available to apply for away from a weight and feel perspective.

  10. Club level upgrades

    Ritz-Carlton clubs aren’t like the club lounges you may be used with at major chain hotels. They’ll frequently have up to 5 food presentations daily, and adult beverages throughout the day along with great service to take care of any needs you have during your stay.


    Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge Chengdu, credit: Ritz-Carlton

    You’ll find delicious, substantive food from breakfast to light snacks, afternoon tee, evening Hors d’Oeuvres and desserts.

    The Ritz-Carlton credit card comes with 3 complimentary upgrades to The Ritz-Carlton Club® Level each year valid on paid stays of up to seven nights. It also comes with a $100 hotel credit toward dining, spa or other hotel recreational activities on paid stays of two nights or longer.

    For both of those benefits you need to call to book the stay at an eligible rate. Some dates at some properties with these benefits will be more expensive, so make sure to shop around, since you can’t use the benefits with corporate rates and non-refundable rates. You’ll use these benefits when it doesn’t cost you more or a few dollars more, and then they’ll provide tremendous value.

  11. Visa Infinite protections

    As a Visa Infinite the Ritz-Carlton card offers car rental discounts, and premium benefits on hotels booked through Visa. You get access to the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection which provides automatic room upgrade on arrival (subject to availability) and complimentary continental breakfast. There’s also Visa Infinite Preferred Hotel Benefits at Relais & Châteaux properties.

    The protections bundled with the card are really strong. You get primary car rental collision damage coverage — so instead of secondary coverage where the card covers what your insurance doesn’t, this comes first so in many cases your own insurance doesn’t even need to know if you’ve played adult bumper cars.

    There’s also trip accident coverage, trip cancellation coverage, trip delay coverage, and a lost luggage benefit as well. Pay for your airfare with the card and if there’s a long enough delay you can send over receipts for hotels and meals and get those reimbursed. If your luggage doesn’t arrive you’ll get coverage for incidental items you need to purchase while the bags are gone.

    Visa Infinite also provides extended warranty, purchase protection and return protection for when you’re unhappy with a product and the retailer won’t accept a return.

  12. Global entry fee credit

    You get a $100 statement credit for Global Entry so get expedited immigration, which comes with TSA PreCheck, and the application fee is rebated to you when you pay with the card.

    Already have Global Entry? Use your card to pay the fee for a family member or friend.

  13. 10% annual bonus on points earned through card purchases

    Many lament the loss of the annual 7% points bonus that the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card used to have. This card comes with an annual 10% bonus.

Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. What If i am already a marriott rewards memeber – since you can only be a ritz or marriott member – If i sign up for this will i lose my marriott status?

  2. Same question as Robert. I’m MR Plat and already re-qualified for next year. Last thing I want to do is screw up my re-qualification and rollover for 2018.

  3. Is trip accident coverage, trip cancellation coverage, trip delay coverage, and a lost luggage benefit are equally as good as CSP?

  4. #14 – I get a cushy sign up
    bonus for every application I peddle. Of course you love it!!!

    It’s not worth applying for if you are close on 5/24 and can wait a bit to snag the sapphire reserve bonus. Don’t lead people down the wrong path.

  5. Hi Gary,
    I am a little unclear on what happens at year two-if I’ve spent $10k do I get an additional three nights?
    thanks!

  6. @Robert – You can use this card with your Marriott account. Simply give them your Marriott number during signup.

    @evenus – No. First year bonus only.

  7. Miles,

    Just to clarify further – if you give them your Marriott Rewards Number when signing up, does this card earn Marriott Points? Similarly, if they ever go back to the 100,000 point signup bonuses, would getting the Ritz card then get you 100,000 Marriott points instead? I don’t want to complicate this post, but I’ve been extremely unclear on this point (pun intended) for a long time and would really appreciate some crystal-clear clarification. Thanks!

  8. I’ve been tracking how often servers/cashiers/etc make comments when I use the card, and through about 50 uses since I got it, the rate is about 80%. With the Sapphire Preferred, maybe once a month someone would make a remark. The physical quality of the card is a real conversation starter. I like it!

  9. @Miles:

    Marriott points and RC points are one and the same. You can only sign up once through either program but underneath the hood, it is the same thing. Essentially, the portal through which you manage your account is different.

    The points/status are recognized across both programs and there really isn’t a difference to it as such.

    Simply: Marriott points = RC points

  10. 3 good reasons to get it:

    #1. It’s not subject to 5/24
    #2. It’s not subject to 5/24
    #3. It’s not subject to 5/24

    ditto Hyatt and Fairmont which are better deals

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