The new Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card is a Visa Infinite card, a higher tier than the Visa Signature that nearly all other premium rewards cards top out at.
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 (apparently also an authorized user benefit); 3 complimentary upgrades to The Ritz-Carlton Club® Level each year valid on paid stays of up to seven nights (here’s how to use them); 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.
Hotel cards often give 2 night stays. That’s great for a Friday to Sunday, or as part of a stay. But 3 nights makes a big difference for a trip. Here are some ideas for where to redeem your 3 complimentary nights in Europe.
Hotel Arts, Barcelona
This hotel has held a certain mythical status for me ever since reading on Flyertalk about the hotel’s concierge getting people in to dinner at the legendary El Bulli. At the time I went there the now-closed restaurant in Roses on the Mediterranean was often regarded as the best restaurant in the world, and was certainly the toughest to get into — reports were of ten thousand requests per table (they used to take reservations on only one day a year and it could take a month to hear back).
Four of us went to Barcelona thinking where there’s a will, there’s a way, and we were determined to eat at El Bulli. The Hotel Arts concierge previously had said to each of us, via email, that getting into El Bulli was next to impossible but to check with him when we arrived. We did. He said the same thing.
We asked him for other restaurant recommendations, which he willingly gave us. Knowing the Barcelona food scene relatively well, we had not heard of any of them, but tried the first two and raved to him about them….how good they were, what a great recommendation, how could we ever thank him, would he like to join us for lunch the next day. Turns out it was his day off and he did.
The theme of conversation was El Bulli…had he been there, how do people get in, what had he heard about it, etc. We figured if we were going to get there, this guy was our only hope, as we had tried calling El Bulli directly each morning and were told the same thing…nothing available. On our third bottle of Vega Sicilia Unica, the guy cracked. He said he wanted to make a few phone calls.
He left the table and came back about 15 minutes later with a smile on his face. Reservation for 4 the next evening. We asked him how he did it and said that the hotel often works with the Barcelona El Bulli catering team for special events and he had a few friends on staff who were always the first to know of cancellations. We were ecstatic and asked if he would like to join us, but he politely declined. No money changed hands, but he seemed to appreciate the wine.
Rates for a 3-day weekend in May: $475++ per night, $1582 all-in.
The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna
The Ritz-Carlton is made up of four historic palaces, on Vienna Ringstrasse and adjacent to Stadtpark. Its rooftop bar overlooks the city.
Vienna has held a special place for me dating back to Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy spending the night walking the city and discussing life.
Rates for a 3-day weekend in May: $371++ per night, $1140 all-in.
The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest
The Ritz-Carlton is near Buda Castle and features views of St. Stephen’s Basilica and Erzsébet Square.
Rates for a 3-day weekend in May: $279++ per night, $992 all-in.
The Ritz-Carlton Tenerife, Abama
The Canary Islands are a part of Spain, and thus the European Union, though off of the coast of West Africa.
The Ritz-Carlton is on the Guia de Isora coast know as “the island of Eternal Spring” with more sunshine than any other part of Spain. Tenerife hosts one of the world’s largest carnivals, in the process of being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I have never traveled here, though it’s one of the major tourist destinations in the world. It’s on my list for a strange reason, but as an aviation geek I’m drawn to the site of the 1977 collision of two Boeing 747s at Tenerife North Airport although I shouldn’t admit that let alone that I’d want to stay in luxury when I do go, I think that makes me somehow a bad person.
Rates for a 3-day weekend in May: $308++ per night, $990 all-in.
The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul
It’s such a shame what’s happening in Turkey, but even though I’m not looking to make a trip there now I look forward to again when the situation improves. Commenter Ivan Y recently wrote, “I am betting hard cash that if you stumble across a IST F mistake you would fly and visit in a heartbeat…” Either way I’d need some place to stay.
The Ritz-Carlton is located in Dolmabahçe overlooking the Bosphorus, the body of water separating Europe from Asia.
Rates for a 3-day weekend in May: $175++ per night, $567 all-in.
Earning Ritz-Carlton Nights With This New Visa Infinite
Based on reader feedback and other reports 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.
And you can earn more Ritz-Carlton nights quickly, too. In addition to the complimentary nights signup bonus offer you also get 10,000 bonus points when you add the first authorized user to your new account and make a purchase within 3 months from account opening.
The card earns 5 points per dollar on Ritz-Carlton and Marriott spend, and double points on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, and at car rental agencies and restaurants. You also earn a 10% annual bonus on points earned through card purchases made during the year.
A PointSaver reward at a category 1 Ritz-Carlton costs 20,000 points. After spending the $5000 required to earn the bonus, and adding an authorized user to your Ritz-Carlton credit card, you’ve got a minimum of 15,000 points. If your initial spend is on airline tickets or restaurants you’ve got the points for a complimentary night. And you can transfer points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to Ritz-Carlton to top off as well.