Just Got My New Chase Ritz Carlton Card–Is It the Best Reward Card Ever?

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First thing first: the presentation is beautiful!

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And the card? The card is heavy as you won’t believe it. Hit someone on the head with this thing, and I guarantee they will feel it. So don’t. 🙂 It’s heavier than the Sapphire Preferred, which is also metal, but it doesn’t hold a candle to this card weight-wise. The Ritz Carlton really feels good in your hand!

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But enough with all this geekish nonsense. A few days ago, I posted that the Ritz Carlton Reward card (well this version of it) is probably the best, yet the most underrated credit card on the market. Let’s recap why:

  • 70,000-points bonus, and the points work for Marriott, too;
  • Gold Status for the first year and reciprocal elite benefits for Marriott;
  • Low spend: $2,000/3mths;
  • Complimentary airport lounge access for you and the guest;
  • The $300 annual credit for airline incidentals including Global Entree (raised from $200) per calendar year!!!

And if you use the code F53K on the phone (and only on the phone) you will have all the above with no annual fee for the first year.

Now that I’ve received the card, there are a couple of the benefits that I didn’t know about. These are not mind-blowing benefits, but they just add to the general awesomeness of this product. Sure, it has trip cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, extended warranty and other benefits we take for granted, but it has some other goodies that stand out, too.

Primary Rental Coverage

Yes, Chase Sapphire Preferred has it too, now (or it will; I’m not sure if it has come into effect yet), but this is still a great and rare benefit, no matter how you look at it.

Free Road Side Assistance

You get up to four “events” covered up to $50 each during the year, including towing, fuel delivery or flat tire fix if you are driving at least 50 miles away from home. Note, that the AMEX Platinum card also comes with this benefit (and it gives this to you wherever you’re driving). Still, an awesome benefit if you drive away from home every now and then.

Purchase Protection 

This is not an uncommon Visa Signature benefit, although it doesn’t come with every VIsa Signature card. What’s very different, however, is that it protects your purchase against damage or theft for 120 days vs. 90 days for a typical Visa Signature card. Besides, it covers up to $10,000 per claim (!!!) vs. your typical Visa Signature $500 limit.

Price Protection

Price protection is not a common Visa Signature benefit at all. From what I remember, the Citi ThankYou cards have something like that. The Ritz Carlton Rewards card will reimburse you up to $500 per item (vs. more “industry common” $250), and up to $2,500 per year, if you find a cheaper advertisement for the same product you’ve purchased within 90 days. I’m sure that many folks in our hobby who resell stuff on Ebay and Amazon could turn this card into a moneymaker even with the annual fee.

Emergency Medical and Dental Benefit and Emergency Evacuation and Transportation

You are covered up to $2,500 (and up to $100,000 in case of the Emergency Evacuation) if you or an immediate family member becomes sick or injured. Now, $2,500 might seem a little low, but it will cover most not too serious accidents and sicknesses just fine. And another thing, I haven’t found the dreadful words pre-existing conditions in the T&C, although I have only scanned it, so I need to read more carefully to be sure.

Now, this is such a rare benefit that I can’t name another credit card that offers this coverage off the top of my head. The AMEX Platinum does not. Please tell me if you know any other credit cards that do that.

Note how I haven’t even begun listing purely Ritz Carlton benefits! Those are great too, as long as you are interested in paid stays at the Ritz Carlton. Here are some highlights:

  • Earn 5 Ritz-Carlton Rewards points per $1 spent at The Ritz-Carlton hotels.
  • Upgrade to The Ritz-Carlton Club® Level three times annually on stays of up to seven nights.
  • Extra Hotel Experience with each two-night stay or longer at a Ritz-Carlton hotel. Celebrate with a $100 Hotel Credit to be used toward your choice of dining, spa or other hotel recreational activities when reserving this offer.

And if any new people who don’t know me better think for a moment that I’m getting paid for this glowing review, I have only one thing to tell you: I wish! 🙂 Get this card while you can and don’t forget the code F53K. Seriously, do it now if you qualify. Check this FT thread for more details.

So, paraphrasing Stephen Colbert: best hotel credit card or best credit card ever? What do you think?

Be on the lookout for my new Manufactured Spend posts, and also my newsletters explaining a thing or two are going out over the weekend. Please make sure they don’t go into your spam folder.

If you haven’t  subscribed to my email newsletter yet, the form is in the top left corner, and don’t forget to subscribe to my feed, too!

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21 Responses to Just Got My New Chase Ritz Carlton Card–Is It the Best Reward Card Ever?

  1. Vivienne says:

    Thanks for the info. I applied for the card yesterday and am now waiting for decision / approval.

  2. Smith says:

    Did you have to switch your account to Ritz Carlton to get the credit card or can you have a Marriott account and have the points and status applied there?

  3. Hua says:

    Interesting review. FWIW, I have used Chase’s price protection on the CSP and United Club card… Claims were both quickly approved and checks appeared in the mail.

  4. […] PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ: The 70K Marriott offer has apparently just expired, but there is still a potentially lucrative 70K Ritz-Carlton offer out there, and in case you didn’t know already you can use Marriott’s points at Ritz-Carlton and vice versa. Andy at Lazy Travelers has fallen in love with this offer and has a great rundown on it: […]

  5. John says:

    So Andy do you pick an airline and order GC Like with Amex Plat?
    $300 a calendar year is awesome if yes. 🙂

    • Andy Shuman says:

      There are conflicting reports about airline GCs. Sometimes they work and other times they don’t. I’m thinking about going the upgrade route. Slightly more complicated, but should work without a hitch.

  6. I already have three Marriott Visa cards can I get the Ritz Carlton card?

    • Andy Shuman says:

      Steve, I don’t see a reason why not since they are different cards, but now I’m curious about your 3 Marriott cards. Have you received the bonus for each of them?

  7. […] Just Got My New Chase Ritz Carlton Card–Is It the Best Reward Card Ever? […]

  8. […] Just Got My New Chase Ritz Carlton Card–Is It the Best Reward Card Ever? […]

  9. mintcilantro says:

    I’ve been debating about this card. The redemption I have in mind is 5 nights at ritz carlton kyoto usign by combining points from my account and wife’s account.

    the benefits sound awesome too. ultimately citi prestige won over this card b/c of the super easy $250 airline credit. Not sure it’s as simple on this card.

    I think lounge access on prestige card is better.. not that I care that much about lounge access.

  10. Andy Shuman says:

    It’s not, even though I got credited everything I wanted to be credited eventually. But you have to be creative, because their T&C only cover incidentals, not an airfare. What I’m debating right now is whether or not to hold on to it for another year. Really like this card.

    • mintcilantro says:

      the fact is it is $395 out of pocket. Just because you got GCs doesn’t mean it’s $95.

      Hard to justify $395 AF.. I like my CSP at $95 b/c of all the insurance benefits.

  11. Andy Shuman says:

    I have already booked a few trips on this card, and one of those is with my mom to Paris. Since possible health issues are a serious consideration, I’m debating whether or not to keep the card because it includes medical and medical evacuation coverage. I can buy a separate policy, of course, but doubt it would save me a lot of money.

    As to credit, I didn’t buy GCs, but I was able to be credited for everything I did: all the airfare taxes,fees, an occasional bag or two, a couple of Spirit upgrades I would’ve bought anyway, etc.

  12. […] fell in love with Chase Ritz Carlton card when it offered 70,000 Ritz Carlton/Marriott points with no annual fee and 140,000 points with $395 […]

  13. […] Carlton can be a good deal if you snag the 140K offer. Andy has some good posts about this card here and here, while Travel Is Free just put up a solid post on another use of Marriot points you may or […]

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