Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
I recently wrote the Ritz-Carlton card is one of the top hotel credit cards for elite status and great perks.
And now there’s a better sign-up bonus for the Chase Ritz-Carlton card! Instead of earning 2 nights at participating Ritz-Carlton tier 1 through 4 hotels, you’ll earn 3 complimentary nights after meeting minimum spending requirements!
Plus, you’ll earn 10,000 Ritz-Carlton points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months of opening your account.
The sign-up bonus has improved but there are a couple of drawbacks! I’ll explain details about the new offer!
What’s the Deal?
Link: Chase Ritz-Carlton
But now there’s a better offer for 3 free nights at participating Ritz-Carlton tier 1 through 4 hotels after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. The previous spending requirement was $4,000 on purchases in the same time frame.
You’ll also earn:
- 10,000 Ritz-Carlton points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase within the first 3 months of account opening
- 5X points at Ritz-Carlton and Marriott hotels
- 2X points on flights purchased directly from airline, rental cars, and restaurants
- Upgrade to the Ritz-Carlton Club Level 3 times annually on paid stays up to 7 nights
- $300 annual travel credit to use for qualifying airline purchases such as seat upgrades, baggage fees and preferred lounge memberships or passes
- $100 discount on multi-passenger, domestic round-trip itineraries purchased through the Visa Infinite Discount Air Benefit – with no limit on the number of times you can use the discount
- Priority Pass Select for access to airport lounges
- $100 hotel credit for dining, spa or other recreational activities with each paid stay of 2 nights or longer at participating Ritz-Carlton hotels
- $100 statement credit for Global Entry
- Gold elite status at Ritz-Carlton & Marriott (after the first year you have to spend $10,000 on the card to keep Gold status)
- Platinum elite status if you spend $75,000+ in a year
- 10% bonus points premium earned through card purchases each calendar year
The card has a $450 annual fee, which is higher than the previous annual fee of $395. The annual fee is NOT waived for the first year.
Ways to Offset the Annual Fee
Although this card has a high annual fee, there’s a $300 statement credit for airline incidentals and $100 hotel credit, Global Entry credit, and Priority Pass for airport lounge access, which can effectively cancel out this fee.
Plus, with Global Entry, you’ll normally always get through airport security faster with TSA PreCheck.
And if you book paid domestic flights frequently, you could save a lot of money with the Visa Infinite Discount Air Benefit. You’ll get a $100 discount on domestic, round-trip itineraries for 2 to 5 passengers when you book through the Visa Infinite Discount Air Benefit site and use your Chase Ritz-Carlton card.
And you can use this benefit as many times as you want!
Note: The cardholder must be one of the passengers on the itinerary. And certain airlines, like Southwest, Allegiant, Frontier, and Spirit, aren’t eligible.
Gain Gold Status for Late Check-Out
I like that the Ritz-Carlton card gives you automatic Gold elite status for the first year. Earning Gold status usually requires you stay 50 nights in a calendar year! So getting it automatically and earning the extra perks can be a great deal!
With Gold status you get:
- 10% discount at Marriott gift shops
- 25% bonus points on stays
- 4:00 pm guaranteed late check-out at most Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels
- Free breakfast and lounge access at participating executive lounges
- Room upgrades (if available)
Should You Get This Card?
In the past, there have been other increased sign-up bonuses on the Chase Ritz-Carlton card. For example, there was an offer for 140,000 Ritz-Carlton points, which could be used at any Ritz-Carlton or Marriott hotel. Some folks prefer the points instead of free nights because there’s more flexibility for you to use them.
But if you stay at Ritz-Carlton hotels, the current sign-up bonus on the Chase Ritz-Carlton card can be very valuable. Because you’ll earn 3 free nights after meeting minimum spending requirements that you can use at participating Ritz-Carlton tier 1 through 4 hotels.
You could use 1 or all 3 of the free nights to ski this winter near The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe.
Using a free night during peak travel times can really earn you Big Travel!
Paid nights in February 2017 range from ~$313 to ~$1,150. And there are plenty of award rooms available!
Plus, you’ll earn 5X points when you use the card at Ritz-Carlton and Marriott hotels. These points can add up quickly and be used for free nights at any Ritz-Carlton or Marriott hotel.
Marriott hotels include:
- AC Hotels by Marriott
- Autograph Collection Hotels
- Bulgari Hotels
- Courtyard by Marriott
- Delta Hotels
- Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott
- Gaylord Hotels
- JW Marriott
- Marriott Executive Apartments
- Marriott Hotels
- Marriott Vacation Club
- Moxy Hotels
- Protea Hotels
- Renaissance Hotels
- Residence Inn by Marriott
- Springhill Suites by Marriott
- TownePlace Suites by Marriott
Note: The 3 free nights from the sign-up bonus can NOT be used at Marriott hotels. And the free nights expire 12 months after they are issued.
Keep in mind Ritz-Carlton is a smaller hotel chain. So you’ll want to have plans to stay at a Ritz-Carlton hotel if you apply for this card.
Chase Application Rules
You can qualify for the current sign-up bonus if you have not received a bonus from this card in the past 24 months.
Just remember, Chase now has stricter approval rules. So if you’ve opened ~5 or more credit cards from any bank (excluding certain business cards) in the past 24 months, it’s unlikely you’ll be approved for most Chase cards.
There’s an improved offer for the Chase Ritz-Carlton card. You’ll earn 3 free nights at participating Ritz-Carlton Tier 1 through 4 hotels after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.
And you’ll earn 10,000 Ritz-Carlton points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months of opening your account.
The card has a $450 annual fee, which is not waived. But you can easily make up for the fee with the $300 statement credit for airline incidentals, $100 hotel credit when you pay for at least 2 nights at a Ritz-Carlton hotel, $100 discount on domestic, round-trip, multi-passenger itineraries, Global Entry credit, and airport lounge access with the Priority Pass.
Just remember, Chase now has stricter approval rules.
* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 20,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!