$100 Visa Infinite Companion Airfare Discount… But You Can No Longer Game It?

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The new Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card is a Visa Infinite card.

In addition to Gold Elite status (which is honored at Marriott hotels, comes complimentary the first year and that you retain each year you spend $10,000 on the card); a $300 Airline Fee credit, $100 Global Entry credit, and unlimited use $100 Airline Ticket discounts when buying for 2 or more passengers; 3 complimentary upgrades to The Ritz-Carlton Club® Level each year valid on paid stays of up to seven nights; plus airport lounge access and a premium concierge, the card gives you:

    A great signup bonus of 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.

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card also offers a $100 discount on the cost of two passengers traveling roundtrip in domestic economy.

Though it’s a Visa Infinite benefit it’s offered with the Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card and the Visa Infinite from City National Bank. It isn’t offered with the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.

And it apparently works for authorized users on the account, too, even though that’s not guaranteed. (Authorized users also get Priority Pass Select cards for airport lounge access.)

The discount allows between 2 and 5 passengers to travel on the same itinerary and the cardmember must be one of those passengers. You just make the purchase through the Visa Discount Air site.

You can use this as many times as you like. If you travel with someone regularly the savings can add up. And it can amount to some phenomenal airfare savings when coupled with sale fares, we’ve seen fares like Boston – Houston for $116 roundtrip, Chicago – Phoenix for $106, and Los Angeles – Atlanta for $181. You’d effectively pay ‘full price’ for one of those tickets and get the second for a pittance (like, $6 Chicago – Phoenix).

However, there may have been one change to the benefit and how some people were ‘gaming’ it.

Since the benefit is $100 off the total price of all passengers on the itinerary, not $100 per passenger, you could buy two $80 roundtrips (total $160) for a total of $60 for both passengers.

However there’s a report that the minimum fare that’s bookable on the site is now $100. (HT: @IadisGr8)

Okay I have booked already several flights using the $100 visa infinite website. Pretty easy process. However I have noticed that since about 7 days ago all the fares that were bellow $100 are gone. Previously if you found a fare of for example: $70 on google or an airline you would find it on the visa website and do $70 + $70 – $100 = $40. I did it twice.

However now ANY flight under $100 is actually booked in a higher fare automatically…

The fares I’ve seen reported through the Visa Discount Air site have matched the best available fares elsewhere, except perhaps now sub-$100 fares that book in a higher fare class to get the price to at least $100.

Not all airlines are available. However United, Delta, and American are. So are Alaska, JetBlue, and Virgin America.

The airlines that cannot be booked through this offer are Allegiant, Frontier, Southwest and Spirit Airlines.

Here’s how you book:

  1. Go to the Visa Discount Air website for the Ritz-Carlton card.
  2. Enter your credit card number, this is used to verify your eligibility for the offer as a Visa Infinite cardholder.
  3. Search for your preferred flight itinerary
  4. Complete the purchase with your Visa Infinite credit card.

It’s $100 off per itinerary not per person. There’s no extra benefit for a third, fourth, or fifth passenger. And you’re not going to split up to do multiple bookings in order to save more on a single trip except perhaps by booking one ticket for two passengers with your card and another ticket for an authorized cardmember and a companion with the authorized cardmember’s ticket (and then perhaps scale this). The cardholder’s name on the Visa Infinite card must be the primary traveler on the itinerary to qualify for the discount.

Roundtrip tickets with a minimum of one day advance purchase are required, and these are available for travel only within the 50 US states.

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. Thanks for the post!

    Do you think AA will treat this as a normal EQD earning ticket or an opaque fare that gives % of miles flown as EQD?

  2. hmm not true. I am looking at some sub $100 fares in LAX market and I can see them on the engine. I just priced 2 r/t for $60 after $100 rebate.

  3. @Gary I noticed this yesterday

    @Beachfan you will get a normal EQD because the airline will receive the full amount of money for both tickets, Visa or Chase is the one is paying for the discount, not the airline.

  4. This is old news. I fail to see how booking a sub $100 per person fare is gaming the system. They should have put this in the terms and conditions. Simply configuring the website to hide flights under $100 is unfair.

  5. @Alfredo sub $100 tickets allow you to book two tickets and even if the second person doesn’t show up it would still be cheaper than booking one ticket. Ex: 2x$60 = You pay $20, 2x$80 = You pay $40. I’m assuming people game the system by buying 2 sub $100 ticket and throwing aways the second ticket.

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