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Guide to Q4 Ritz Exclusive Events: New York and New Orleans

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The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card offers several great benefits, including three Club level upgrades per year and an annual $300 travel credit. One lesser-known perk is access to the Ritz-Carlton Exclusive Events — below, TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Richard Kerr introduces the program and explores the options available through the end of 2016.

Chase recently announced an update to the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card that actually added benefits rather than taking them away. While the card has several well-publicized perks, there are a few benefits that fly more under the radar. One such example is the chance to attend Ritz-Carlton Rewards Exclusive Events. Today, I’ll give a brief overview of this program and look at the upcoming fourth-quarter events.

Ritz Exclusive Events

Throughout the year, cardholders receive invitations to cultural, sporting and culinary events usually located in the US or Caribbean. The events generally cover a three- to four-day period and usually include hotel stays, a few meals and the themed experience for that event. Earlier this year, TPG had a fantastic time at the 2016 Cayman Cookout Experience, offered through the Exclusive Events program.

Last year, cardholders enjoyed a lavish Napa Valley/San Francisco Wine experience. Photo courtesy of Ritz-Carlton.
Last year, cardholders enjoyed a lavish Napa Valley/San Francisco Wine experience. Image courtesy of Ritz-Carlton.

The invitations appear in the mail, and they can get you rather excited about being a cardholder. However, if you were hoping these experiences were an included benefit, you may be disappointed: While the events are as luxurious as you’d expect for a Ritz-Carlton experience, they also carry a hefty price tag. Most cost about $2,000 for you and a guest, though they can often go higher.

All events are reserved for guests 18 years and older and generally don’t include any added expenses like flights, airport transfers or additional meals not specifically stated.

FOURTH-QUARTER EXCLUSIVE EVENTS

If you’re looking to take advantage of these experiences, you might want to consider these events planned for the remainder of 2016.

September 9-11: New York City Fashion Experience

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The New York Fashion Experience package includes a stay at the Ritz-Carlton, Central Park. Image courtesy of the hotel.

Spend Friday and Saturday night at the Tier 5 Ritz-Carlton, Central Park. Friday night, you’ll receive VIP seats at the MONSE fashion show, and on Saturday you’ll have free time to explore the city before heading to a private cocktail reception at Asprey Boutique that evening. After the reception, there’s a dinner with celebrity chef Daniel Boulud at his popular New York restaurant Daniel. Before you leave the city, you’ll enjoy breakfast at Sarabeth’s on Central Park South.

A two-person package costs $2,600 and can be reserved by calling 1-855-204-5870. As a Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card holder, you might want to inquire about using your Club level upgrades and $100 property credits, as these packages are technically paid two-night stays (or longer).

Rooms alone are currently going for $1,075 plus tax for this weekend at the Ritz-Carlton Central Park, so if you’ve been wanting to check the hotel out — and the included events appeal to you — this package may actually present a good value.

October 7-9: Unforgettable New Orleans Jazz & Culinary Event

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Enjoy a private jazz concert at the Little Gem Saloon in New Orleans. Image courtesy of the venue.

Spend Friday and Saturday night at the Tier 3 Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans with breakfast in the Club Lounge included Saturday and Sunday mornings. On Friday night, enjoy cocktails at the property along with a private performance by jazz trumpeter and singer Jeremy Davenport. You’ll then head to the Little Gem Saloon for a southern soul cuisine dinner, cocktails and a private concert by Kermit Ruffins. On Saturday, explore New Orleans and spend the evening at the private estate of Chef John Besh, where you’ll enjoy a cocktail reception and New Orleans cocktail demonstration. Chef Besh will then put on a cooking demonstration in his personal kitchen followed by a multi-course dinner prepared by the chef himself.

A two-person package is $2,000 and does not include flights, hotel transfers (except transport to Chef Besh’s estate) or any other meals not specifically stated.

For dates in the near future, you can get a room at the Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans for $391 per night plus tax, but you obviously won’t be able to recreate the experiences included with this package. If you want to book a unique getaway with a special someone, this should be an option you include on your list.

Bottom Line

While these packages are pricey, they could be good options for Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card holders looking for luxurious, unique experiences. Personally, I am a bigger fan of Starwood’s SPG Moments program, which also includes unobtainable experiences for the common person, because they can be booked entirely with Starpoints and there tend to be more options across event categories. However, if you have the funds available and really want to make a memorable weekend, Ritz-Carlton Exclusive Events is definitely worth considering.

Featured image courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans.

Have you attended any of the Ritz-Carlton Exclusive Events?

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card

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  • Earn 3 Complimentary Nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • A $300 annual travel credit to use for qualifying airline purchases such as seat upgrades, baggage fees and preferred lounge memberships or passes
  • A complimentary $100 credit for qualifying dining, spa or other hotel recreational activities on paid stays of 2 nights or longer
  • A complimentary annual Priority Pass™ Select membership with access to over 900 VIP airport lounges in over 400 cities worldwide (~$399 retail value)
  • Automatic Gold Elite status during your first account year and each account year thereafter when you spend $10,000 on your card.
  • Upgrade to The Ritz-Carlton Club® level 3 times annually on paid stays of up to 7 nights
  • Pay for your Global Entry application (currently $100) and receive a $100 statement credit. You'll also be eligible to receive TSA Pre √® privileges if you are approved.
  • All for a $450 annual fee
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 16.24% - 23.24% Variable $450 0% Excellent Credit