Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Credit Card Review

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The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card is custom-made for frequent Ritz-Carlton customers, and that’s where most of its benefits can be found. Like most credit cards with a rewards program, you get rewards points for each purchase; however, the Ritz-Carlton card sports a multi-tiered system that exponentially increases your rewards points if you use it at participating hotels.

Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Card Review

On Chase's home portal

750 - 850
Best for excellent credit

Highlight: Tons of rewards at associated hotels
  • $450 annual fee
    Two free nights at any Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton Hotel (signup bonus)

  • 5x rewards at any Ritz-Carlton, Marriott and Starwood Hotel

  • 2x rewards for airfare, car rental and dining

  • 1x baseline rewards for all purchases

  • 10% annual bonus points each year

  • $300 annual travel credit

Intro APR

None

Variable APR

17.2% - 24.2%

Annual Fee

$450

Bonus Points

10%/yr

In addition to that, the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card heavily subsidizes your travel expenses, whether it’s through annual travel credits, airline ticket discounts and access to airport lounges. The card also offers a generous signup bonus that gives you two free nights at any Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel if you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of membership.

When it comes to your actual hotel stay, the Ritz-Carlton Rewards card also offers a number of amenities for its customers. Perks like spa visits, Gold Elite status (for the first year of membership) and an $100 hotel credit cement this card’s focus as a bonus program for those already planning on frequent stays at Ritz-Carlton and related hotels.

Our Overall Rating

The Ritz-Carlton is one of the biggest luxury hotel brands in the world, so it makes sense that their accompanying rewards credit card would focus on enhancing that brand. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards card emphasizes the hotel chain through and through, with the goal of rewarding its frequent customers with a generous rewards system and plenty of hotel-related amenities.

That being said, cardholders who want to use it outside of the Ritz-Carlton’s revolving doors might find it a bit lacking for substantial rewards. The multi-tiered reward system is nice, but you only get the most out of it in hotel and travel-related purchases. Plus, a high APR and exorbitant annual fee make this a card reserved only for those who can afford the Ritz every business trip.

The bottom line is that this card is great for luxury business travelers who prefer staying at the Ritz-Carlton, and little else. In that specific context, this card shines with plenty of generous travel credits and hotel-related amenities. As an everyday credit card for business or personal expenses, it leaves a bit to be desired.

Where it Wins

It’s a great value for frequent Ritz-Carlton customers. If you’re a frequent traveler, and enough of a big spender to afford going to the Ritz-Carlton as your regular hotel chain, the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card is a no-brainer. While the annual fee is high, frequent use will definitely subsidize that through all the free amenities and travel credits you get.

A multi-tiered rewards system that favors travel and hotel expenses. The rewards system tiers ensure that you are always getting points regardless of purchases, but give you that much more value when you use the card for travel expenses or staying at Ritz-Carlton or Marriott hotels.

Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card Rewards & Benefits

Multi-tiered rewards system. As previously mentioned, the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card emphasizes a 5-2-1 rewards system – 5x points for Ritz-Carlton purchases, 2x for travel-related purchases, and 1x for all other purchases.

$300 annual travel credit. This is a particular boon for those who travel frequently – you can use this to cover baggage fees, upgrade your seat, or gain access to your nearest airport lounge. It’s a great benefit for those who want that luxury experience when they travel.

A generous signup bonus for free nights at Ritz-Carlton hotels. As a welcome bonus, cardholders who spend $4,000 in the first three months of membership are give two complimentary nights at any Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel. It’s a wonderful benefit, especially if you find yourself near one of their Tier 4 hotels on your next trip.

Automatic Gold Elite Status during the first year of membership. For the first year of your card membership, you gain automatic Gold Elite status, which means you can check out later, free room upgrades, as well as Club Level upgrades when available.

$100 hotel credit for spas and amenities. With this added perk, cardholders can make the most of their hotel stay by treating themselves to a nice meal or a spa day. Keep in mind, however, this credit does not apply to alcohol purchases.

Access to airport lounges. Cardholders also get a complimentary membership to Ritz-Carlton’s Priority Pass Select program, which offers access to over 900 airport lounges worldwide. Provided you’re in an airport that has an in-network lounge, you can use the card to relax in style before your next flight.

Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card Costs & Fees

$450 annual fee. This is perhaps the biggest hurdle to getting the card, outside of simply not going to the Ritz-Carlton very often. A $450 annual fee is one of the steepest we’ve seen, and it’s difficult to justify that exorbitant price tag – unless you use enough of the card’s hotel perks and rewards to subsidize it.

17.24%-24.24% variable APR. The card’s lack of an introductory APR is another slight ding against it, and the APR range is a little on the steep side. However, if you’re the kind of big spender who stays at Ritz-Carlton hotels often enough to justify getting the card, these interest rates might not be too out of bounds.

Who is this card best for?

To put it bluntly, the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card is ideal for high-income cardholders who already favor the Ritz-Carlton and stay there frequently, whether for business trips or the occasional vacation. If you plan on traveling often enough to make use of the card’s travel and hotel amenities, there’s a lot to like about the card’s generous in-hotel rewards system.

However, budget travelers would do well to stay away from this particular card. With its sky-high $450 annual fee, and the various hoops you have to jump through in order to take advantage of a lot of the card’s amenities, it just isn’t worth it for those who don’t often splurge on luxury lifestyle purchases.

How to Apply

To apply for the Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card, all you have to do is go to their application portal, and fill out the required information. Like most credit cards, you need to provide your name, address, financial information, and so on.

However, with the Ritz-Carlton card, you can also enter your Ritz-Carlton Rewards Number to transfer your existing balance to the new card. Just enter the information, e-sign the disclosure form, and you’re good to go.

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Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card Alternatives

Amex Platinum. Those looking for more bang for their buck outside the doors of a specific hotel chain might do well to pick the American Express Platinum Card instead. There’s no interest rate, and slightly better redemption value outside of Ritz-Carlton products than the latter card.

Marriott Rewards Credit Card. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton are intertwined brands, and both their rewards cards function within the auspices of either hotel chain. However, if you want a signup bonus focused more on rewards points (80,000 in the first 3 months) instead of free hotel stays, the Marriott is the one to pick.

Capital One Venture Card. If you’re looking for a more general-purpose travel and hotel card, the Capital One Venture Card might work best as an alternative. The annual fee is much lower ($95 per year, waived the first year), and you get 10x miles for every dollar spent at Hotels.com.

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