December 26, 2016

Tallying Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card Benefits

I've written several posts about Chase's new Ritz-Carlton Rewards card.  For those just catching up, you can read earlier posts:

I've reaped so much value from the card, I figured I'd add it all up.  I should note that the card carries a $450 annual fee which isn't waived for the first year.  So before you apply, know that you're in for $450.

I've had the card for a few months and had a chance to use many of the advertised benefits.  While I am still loving my Chase Sapphire Reserve card, the Ritz-Carlton Rewards card actually offers more value (at least for me) in terms of non spending bonuses/benefits. 

Here's a recap of what I've received in exchange for my hard earned $450:
  • 3 complimentary nights at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown (~$1600 value)
  • $200 in airfare discounts
  • $300 in airline incidentals (first class upgrades)
  • 10,000 Marriott Rewards points (valued at ~$100)
  • Additional $300 in airline incidentals coming next week (2017)
That is $2,500 in "value" from carrying the card for just a few months.  While this is the cash value, these aren't the prices I would personally pay.  So let's go through that exercise:
  • I wouldn't pay $500+ a night for the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown but I would pay $250/night so let's knock that down to $750.  
  • The airfare discounts are real money.  
  • While upgrading to first class is a luxury, I would pay $50/segment/person for the privilege.  So we'll knock that down from $600 to $200.
  • The Marriott Rewards point value is real
Add it all up and you're looking $1,250 in exchange for a $450 annual fee.  Not bad at all.  I plan on booking 2-3 additional roundtrips for 2+ people in 2017 - that should result in $200-$300 in additional savings against the annual fee.  This card may just be a keeper!

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