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Because of the increased sign-up bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, I’ve been thinking about ways to use the points to splurge on special getaways at Ritz-Carlton hotels.
I’ll show you how you can get free award nights at beautiful Ritz-Carlton hotels in the Middle East, including popular tourist destinations like Cairo, Doha, and Tel Aviv!
I’ll show you 4 top hotels in the Middle East to book with Ritz-Carlton points!
4 Beautiful Ritz-Carlton Hotels in the Middle East for Award Stays
- Points Advance – Book an award stay before you have the points, as long as you earn (or buy) the points to cover the full cost 14 days before check-in.
- Points Sharing – Share your Ritz-Carlton points with ANY Ritz-Carlton or Marriott member (up to 50,000 points per year). Once per year you can go over the 50,000 point limit right before a specific redemption, only up to the amount needed for a specific stay, rounded to the nearest 1,000 points.
- Elite Credit for Award Nights – Redeem points for award nights and you’ll earn stay credits towards Ritz-Carlton elite status
- Cash + Points – Use a combination of points and cash to book each night of your stay
And, you’ll get the 5th night free on any award stay!
I like using Hotel Hustle to find hotels for award stays because it shows how many points you’ll need for your specific travel dates. And it’ll show you if award nights are actually available.
Another option is AwardMapper. It shows similar information. But it’s not specific to travel dates and won’t search for available award rooms.
I haven’t stayed at these hotels myself, but they look beautiful!
Note: The prices in these examples are based on travel in March 2016.
I usually like transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt for award stays. Or moving points to United Airlines and their partners for international adventures. I’ve gotten amazing travel this way, but your best use of Chase Ultimate Rewards points is for travel that’s important to YOU!
Note: Some Ritz-Carlton hotels (especially resorts) add pricey resort fees to paid and award nights. Before you book, check the hotel policy to decide if it’s worth it for you.
1. The Ritz-Carlton, Doha
The Ritz-Carlton, Doha is a 5-star hotel on its own island – perfect for a weekend of unwinding on the shores of the Arabian Gulf. Each room has views of the water, or the city of Doha.
There are indoor and outdoor swimming pools! Or you can go into the Gulf by boat or jet ski from the marina, steps from the hotel.
Nights here start at ~$237 or 30,000 Ritz-Carlton points per night. But keep in mind rates can be well over $500 a night! So you can save a lot of money with Ritz-Carlton points, depending on when you visit.
It’s only worth transferring your Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you get more than 1 cent per point back in value. At the rate of ~$237 per night, you’re better off paying ~19,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points by booking at the rate of 1.25 cents per point in the Chase Travel Portal.
Or, if you already have nearly enough Marriott points, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott instead. Because you can book Ritz-Carlton award nights with Marriott points, too.
Folks on TripAdvisor say great things about the location and service!
Remember, you’ll earn at least 4,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points from meeting the minimum spending requirements. And you can earn 5,000 more Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you add an authorized user who makes a purchase within the 1st 3 months.
That adds up to 59,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which is almost enough for 2 nights here worth close to $500, or over $1,000 in the high season!
2. The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya
The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya is located in Israel near Tel Aviv, on the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a great hotel for relaxing near the water before or after you visit the other attractions in the area, like the nightlife in Tel Aviv, historic Jerusalem, or the Dead Sea.
Be sure to read the excellent reviews on TripAdvisor!
When I checked, nights here cost ~$500, or 50,000 Ritz-Carlton points. So it’s better to use your Marriott points, because your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are only worth 1 cent each at this price.
Remember, your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1 cent each for cash back. So ideally, you’ll use them for travel experiences worth much more than that!
Although, if you’re short by a small number of hotel points, you may consider transferring the remaining Chase Ultimate Rewards points to the hotel partner so you can get the award night.
There’s a beach outside, or a rooftop pool where you can swim on the 12th floor (and get beautiful views)! And every room has a private balcony overlooking the Mediterranean.
Perfect for taking Instagram photos! 😉
Note: If you plan to visit Israel, keep in mind you must pay an exit tax of ~$30 to leave the country. And because of the political environment in the area, you may have a hard time getting into Israel if stamps from certain countries are in your passport.
If you want to visit nearby countries like the UAE or Saudi Arabia, they may not let you in if there’s a stamp from Israel in your passport. Sometimes you can have your stamp on a separate piece of paper, so be sure to ask if it will impact your travels.
3. The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo
Nights here cost ~$298 or 30,000 Ritz-Carlton points. Again, it’s better to NOT use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points here because you’ll receive less than 1 cent per point in value. So use your Marriott points instead, or use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points when the nightly rates are much higher.
If you want a fantastic day trip, visit the Pyramids of Giza, and the Great Sphinx, to learn about the history of Egypt’s fascinating culture.
Egypt also has lots of resorts on the Red Sea, so perhaps Cairo can be part of a bigger trip!
If you want extend your time in Cairo, you can mix your award stay at Ritz-Carlton with Airbnb. I found rooms starting at ~$11 a night!
4. The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain
Located on a 20-acre private island and overlooking the Arabian Gulf, The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain can’t be beat for a romantic getaway or special occasion. The hotel has 9 restaurants and a pool, and is steps from the beach.
This hotel costs ~$690 or 40,000 Ritz-Carlton points per night.
If you decide to venture out, check out the Bahrain Fort, only 15 minutes away. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site near the ancient harbor with traces of human activity dating as far back as 2,300 BC. The whole area looks gorgeous!
Need More Ritz-Carlton Points?
Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards
Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Link: Chase Ink Plus
Link: Chase Freedom You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Ritz-Carlton instantly at a 1:1 ratio if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or (no longer offered) Chase Ink Bold card.
This is great for folks who want to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. That’s because you’ll earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account. Then splurge for a special night at a Ritz-Carlton hotel!
Remember, Chase has gotten more selective with their approvals if you’ve opened more than ~5 cards within the past 24 months. So if you’re interested, get this card first!
And the Chase Freedom card has rotating quarterly categories that earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you activate the bonus. Bonus categories often include everyday purchases like dining out, gas, and commuter train tickets.
The Freedom card also has an increased sign-up bonus of $150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account, and NO annual fee!
Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Cards
Link: Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Card – 50,000 Points + $200 Marriott Gift Card Offer
Link: Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Card – 80,000 Points Offer
Link: Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card
Ritz-Carlton and Marriott are essentially the same frequent-guest program (just with different branding and marketing), so you can use your Ritz-Carlton points to stay at Marriott hotels and vice versa.
The current sign-up offer for the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier card is 50,000 Marriott points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of account opening. The $85 annual fee is waived the 1st year, plus you’ll receive a $200 Marriott gift certificate after meeting the minimum spending requirements. Here’s my review of the card.
There’s another offer on the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier card to earn 80,000 Marriott points, which is enough for 2 nights at a Tier 2 Ritz-Carlton hotel, but the $85 annual fee is NOT waived, though the minimum spending requirements are the same.
You could also pick up the Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards card. You’ll earn 2 free nights at any Tier 1 to 4 Ritz-Carlton hotel, after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account. The $395 annual fee is NOT waived, but it comes with perks and benefits that can easily make up for it, like a $300 annual travel credit for seat upgrades, airline fees, or other travel incidentals.
It’s a card worth getting, especially for folks who like Ritz-Carlton hotels. Here’s my review of the card.
You can earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening a new Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which you can transfer directly to Ritz-Carlton at a 1:1 ratio.
Remember, Marriott and Ritz-Carlton have similar loyalty programs, and you can book Ritz-Carlton stays with Marriott points (or Marriott stays with Ritz-Carlton points). Earn 50,000 Marriott points and a $200 Marriott gift card with the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier card after spending $3,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of account opening.
You can also earn 2 free nights at any Tier 1 to 4 Ritz-Carlton hotel with the Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards card after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account. That can be worth hundreds of dollars, depending on which hotel you choose!
Let me know if you’ve stayed at any of these hotels!