December 4, 2016

Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card Review

Chase has had a Ritz-Carlton credit card product for years.  This year, they changed up the signup bonus from two free nights (and sometimes targeted 140,000 points) to there free nights after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months.

The card comes with a $450 annual fee and a $300 calendar year airline incidental credit.  So now is a great time to get the card since you can effectively get the rebate twice (in 2016 and 2017).  This will essentially offset the annual fee plus some.

The good news is that the card isn't subject to Chase's 5/24 rule so those (like me) with more than 5 card applications in the last two years are still eligible.

I've had the card in my wallet for a month or so and am quite pleased.  The card has a similar metal feel to the Chase Sapphire Reserve which is cool.  I haven't had a chance to redeem the airline credits yet but will report back on my experience before the end of the year.

In terms of the signup bonus, the free nights are good at nearly all of the Ritz Carlton properties around the world.  It's unfortunate that the best properties (Tier 5) are excluded but Tier 4 properties are verbally going to run $300 - $450 a night so you're getting a ton of value there.  Redeeming Marriott points would cost 60,000 (or 20,000 SPG points) per night so the bonus is essentially worth 180,000 points.

Tack onto that the 10,000 for adding an authorized user and you're at 190,000.  Meeting the minimum spend will add (minimum) 5,000 to the haul.  Once you meet the spend, you'll have 15,000 points and 3 free nights.  Not bad for a premium card that has TONS of other benefits as well.

The card also offers the standard $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck rebate as well as Ritz Carlton club upgrades and a $100 credit on certain Ritz stays.  I have used the latter two benefits (holding the previous version of the card) and have received several hundred dollars worth of benefits with the upgrades.

The card is a Visa Infinite (like the Sapphire Reserve).  One unique thing about this card offering is the ability to receive $100 off on a roundtrip airline ticket purchase for 2+ people.  I haven't tested this out yet but plan to do so shortly and will report back on the experience.

I'm not sure if this card is a keeper but will certainly be maximizing the benefits for the first year.  Given 5/24, we need all the Chase opportunities we can get.  I've been pleased with this one so far and look forward to leveraging more of the benefits in 2017.

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