Update: This card is no longer available to new users. Check out our list of travel rewards credit cards available that earn Marriott Bonvoy points.
Even after purchasing the luxury hotel brand, Ritz-Carlton and Marriott maintain separate loyalty programs. You can redeem your points with either group, and there is some reciprocal recognition of elite status. But there they are definitely different programs. One advantage of that is you can apply for a separate Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card that has its own benefits distinct form those offered with the various Marriott Rewards cards.
Million Mile Secrets shared today that there is a new offer for the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa Signature card, including two free nights at a Ritz-Carlton hotel (Tier 1-4) after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Ritz-Carlton has five tiers, but those hotels that fall into Tier 1-4 are stilly awfully nice — they’d have to be, if they’re all Ritz-Carlton. 😉
Rates can easily be $500 or more per night for such properties, making this a valuable benefit. Two nights at a Tier 4 hotel are worth 120,000 points.
Just a few examples of eligible hotels include:
- The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay (CA)
- The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui (HI)
- The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel (CA)
- The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe (CA)
- The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul (Turkey)
- The Ritz-Carlton Bali, Nusa Dua (Indonesia)
- The Ritz-Carlton Vienna (Austria)
- The Ritz-Carlton Barcelona, Hotel Arts (Spain)
- The Ritz-Carlton Aruba (Aruba)
The caveat is that this is not a cheap card to get. The annual fee is $395, similar to other benefit-rich cards such as the Amex Platinum Card or various airline lounge credit cards. In addition to the free nights you’ll receive:
- 5X points at The Ritz-Carlton and Marriott
- 2X points on flights (purchased from the airline), restaurants, and rental cars.
- 10% premium on points earned during the year with the card.
- $100 hotel credit on paid stays of 2 nights or more.
- $300 annual travel credit for things like baggage fees and seat upgrades.
- Three annual upgrades to the Club Level when booking a paid stay at The Ritz-Carlton.
- Complimentary Gold elite status the first year, and after spending $10,000 in subsequent years.
- Complimentary Platinum elite status after spending $75,000 in one year.
The earning rate is comparable to what you’d earn with the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card, and if you’re someone who books the occasional Ritz-Carlton stay, the additional benefits are be a big step up and could be worth keeping the card long-term. You might pick this card instead of a Marriott card.
But that fee is a sticking point. If you aren’t a Ritz-Carlton fan, then you’re essentially paying extra just to get the two free nights. Good deal? Maybe, but not nearly as attractive.