The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card Gets Major New Perks

Aug 8, 2016

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card

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.

The new Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card looks quite similar to the previously available version.

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?

The sign-up bonus can get you well over $1,000 in value at properties like the Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park.
The sign-up bonus can get you well over $1,000 in value at properties like the Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park.

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.

The Cap Ferrat Lounge at Nice Airport, a Priority Pass member.

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.

Bottom Line

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?

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