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Since launching the Ritz-Carlton card in 2011, Chase has kept the sign-up bonus steady at 50,000 points, with a couple recent reports of targeted 70,000 point offers. However, I just got notice that for a limited time my official link for the card is now for 70,000 points after $2,000 spent within 3 months, which is a nice 40% increase over the public offer of 50,000 points after first purchase. Since spending $2,000 within 3 months is pretty easy to hit, I think the 70,000 point offer is a much better deal. (Note: there’s a targeted deal of 70k points and first year annual fee waived for Ritz-Carlton Residence owners, but it may be possible for others to apply and get it, though I can’t vouch for sure. Application link).
What do 70,000 Ritz-Carlton points get you? Free nights start at 30,000 points for Tier One properties like Atlanta and Beijing and 40,000 points a Tier Two (Los Angeles and Dubai). Or you could use them all on one night at a Tier 5 property, like New York Central Park or Hong Kong (which is an amazing property).
You can also redeem for free nights at Marriott hotels, which start at 7,500 points and go up to 40,000 for top tier hotels, like the Renaissance Paris Vendome.
These free nights could easily amount to $800 or more, though the card does come with a $395 fee. However, the card also comes with a host of perks including a $200 airline credit, $100 in dining/spa certificates, Gold elite status (free internet and upgrades) as well as three Club Room upgrades a year, no foreign transaction fees and 5 points per dollar spent at Ritz-Carlton, so if you take advantage of these key benefits the annual fee may be well worth it.
Ritz-Carlton is also offering a 30,000 point bonus when you stay four consecutive nights at a Ritz-Carlton between July 15 and October 15, 2012. You must register here by September 15, 2012. I personally think the hotel promotions this year so far have been pretty lackluster, but this one is pretty decent – basically a free night at a low-level property after four nights. I just wish this promotion didn’t require consecutive nights, since most of my stays coming up are one or two nights.