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Today, Chase announced updates to the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card, including an improved sign-up bonus in addition to new perks.
Here’s a rundown of the card’s latest benefits, including the new sign-up bonus:
You can earn three complimentary nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening The card also offers a $300 annual travel credit to use for qualifying airline purchases such as seat upgrades, baggage fees and preferred lounge memberships or passes. You will also enjoy automatic Gold Elite status during your first year, and every year thereafter when you spend $10,000. This card has a $450 annual fee.
If you’re already acquainted with the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card, many of these perks will be familiar to you. The biggest changes are the sign-up bonus (three nights vs. two nights with the previous card), Priority Pass Select membership and a statement credit for the Global Entry application fee. Additionally, as a Visa Infinite cardholder, you’ll receive a $100 discount when you purchase domestic round-trip coach tickets for two or more passengers traveling together when you book your flights here. This benefit can be used an unlimited number of times.
The card will continue to offer 5x points on spending at Ritz-Carlton and Marriott properties, 2x points on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline and at car rental agencies and restaurants and 1x on everything else. Finally, the annual fee is increasing from $395 to $450, putting it in line with many other premium travel rewards cards.
Is It Worth It?
Considering that the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card is largely adding benefits rather than taking them away, it remains a very appealing premium travel rewards card. The sign-up bonus of three free nights at a Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel can be worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on its own. A three-night stay at the Tier 4 Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park in mid-December currently costs $1,309, so you’re clearly saving big if you choose to redeem your sign-up bonus here.
The new sign-up bonus does require meeting a slightly higher spending requirement: $5,000 in the first three months vs. $4,000 in the first three months with the earlier version of the card. However, it could definitely be worth it if you can maximize the free nights at an expensive hotel.
Priority Pass Select lounge membership is a new benefit, and if you don’t have lounge access through another card this can come in handy. There are more than 900 locations around the world — and some of them are quite luxurious — so you’ll likely be able to use this perk on most of your travels.
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card now also offers a Global Entry application fee reimbursement in addition to a $300 annual travel credit. Previously, you could use the $300 travel credit toward this application fee, but now you can get that $100 back in addition to spending $300 on other fees such as baggage costs and airline incidentals.
Thanks to a generous sign-up bonus and some new perks, the updated Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card is a stronger option than ever. The three complimentary nights at a Tier 1-4 property can get you well over $1,000 in value, and we appreciate that the Global Entry application fee reimbursement is now separate from the $300 annual travel credit. Priority Pass Select lounge membership is another solid value-added benefit, though Chase did raise the annual fee to $450 in addition to adding some now perks. Ultimately, if you frequently stay at Ritz-Carlton or Marriott properties and can maximize this card’s features, it could definitely be worth considering.
Featured image courtesy of the The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.
What do you think about the new Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card?
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards