Ritz-Carlton Credit Card Review

suite at Ritz-Carlton miami
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards card has always been perk-heavy, a prerequisite for its target demographic. But the program recently (Aug. 2016) took things up a notch by making the card a Visa Infinite, a Visa tier still rare in the U.S.

The new price tag ($450, up from $395) is not cheap, but neither are the rewards and benefits. This review will guide you through all the card has to offer.

The Rewards Program

As with most credit cards, the Ritz-Carlton Visa Infinite card will earn you points on spending, namely points for the exclusive Ritz-Carlton Rewards program. You will earn them as follows:

  • 5 points per dollar for your spending at The Ritz-Carlton hotels (and partner brands within the Marriott International portfolio), anywhere in the world.
  • 2 points per dollar on airline tickets purchased directly from an airline, at restaurants and at car rental agencies.
  • 1 point per dollar on virtually all other purchases

Of course, all that means absolutely nothing without analyzing how much the Ritz-Carlton reward points are worth, right? To do that, divide the cash price by the number of points required. Ritz Carlton rewards standard point value For example, a standard room at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe starts at $369 per night and is a Tier 4 property, giving you a per-point value of 0.6 cents per point.

The above table is for “Standard” rewards redemption. However when you book your reservation in advance during qualified dates at participating location, you will save even more money through PointSavers. This redemption offers you stays for up to 33 percent fewer points than Standard… Ritz Carlton Point Savers redemption Things get better when you redeem your points for a 5-night stay, your 5th night is completely free (which is essentially a 20% points savings, since you are receiving 5 nights for the price of 4).

Travel Benefits

  • Airport Lounge Access: You will receive complimentary membership in the Priority Pass Select program, which grants you access to more than 900 airport lounges across the globe. If you’re curious, this page has a full listing.
  • $300 airline fee credit every year (NEW) – For checked baggage fees, in-flight meals, and other airline incidentals, you can receive up to $300 rebated every year. That’s up from $200 on the old version of the card. Simply contact the J.P. Morgan Priority Services (number on back of credit card) within 4 billing cycles of these purchases and you will receive statement credits for them. This perk can help offset the annual fee.
  • Global Entry application fee statement credit (NEW): Use your card to pay the application fee for the Global Entry program (which includes TSA PreCheck) and get refunded via a statement credit.
  • $100 discounts on group itineraries (NEW): Whenever you book air travel for two to five travelers, you’ll get a $100 discount. There is no limit to how many times per year you can use this benefit, but you must book via Visadiscountair.com/ritzcarltoncard.
  • Primary rental car insurance: You get primary coverage on rental cars, meaning you won’t have to involve your personal auto insurance if you get in an accident.
  • Rental car privileges: Get upgrades (subject to availability), discounts and other special offers from Avis, National and Silvercar.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee: Some credit cards have a surcharge on purchases made outside the United States, but with the Ritz-Calton card, you won’t pay anything extra.
  • J.P. Morgan Premier Concierge: Get help with things like travel-planning, restaurant reservations and more via the 24/7 concierge service.
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement: You’re covered for up to $3,000 per passenger if your checked or carry-on bags are lost (see terms and conditions for restrictions)
  • Trip Delay/Cancellation Insurance: This card provides up to $10,000 per trip for pre-paid non-refundable expenses, if you have to cancel or cut it short for a covered reason.
  • Emergency Medical Coverage

Ritz-Carlton Hotel Benefits

  • Status: You’re automatically elevated to Gold Elite status your first account year, which comes with room upgrades (based on availability), complimentary Internet, late check-out and point-earning bonuses. After Year 1, you must spend at least $10,000 on the card to retain your status.
  • $100 Hotel Credit: Every time you stay 2+ nights (paid stay at Ritz-Carlton), you receive $100 credit to use at the hotel’s restaurant, spa, or recreational activities.
  • The Ritz-Carlton Club Level Upgrade: If you’re not familiar with the Ritz-Carlton Club, it’s a luxurious private lounge which is typically located on an upper floor (and it can only be accessed via your special key). Five times per day, complimentary food and beverages are served. Perhaps the most raved about is their vast breakfast buffet. A wide-array of international magazines, newspapers, books and more makes it the perfect place to relax. From 6 am to 11 pm a concierge is on duty, at your beck and call. This Club Level upgrade is yours free of charge, up to 3x per, on stays of up to 7 nights.
  • Gold Elite Status: You’re automatically elevated to Gold Elite status your first account year, which comes with room upgrades (based on availability), complimentary Internet, late check-out and point-earning bonuses. After Year 1, you must spend at least $10,000 on the card to retain your status.

Shopping Benefits

  • Price protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Purchase security
  • Return protection


Chase’s Ritz-Carlton card offers a lot, but is it worth $450? If you utilize all the benefits, including the travel credit, the Global Entry credit and the unlimited $100 discounts on group air travel, you could easily offset the annual fee. The airfare discounts are especially compelling if you frequently travel with family.

If you’re not a loyal Ritz-Carlton customer, though, consider other similarly priced premium cards, like the Citi Prestige and the Platinum Card from American Express (a CreditCardForum advertising partner). You’ll find many of the same benefits, like Global Entry fee refunds, lounge access and travel statement credits.

Written or last updated Aug. 15, 2016

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

hi, is the card plastic or metal like the black amex? thanks

Card made out of metal and its a conversation piece by itself, got the card with no annual fee for a year !!!! Booked my stay at ritz carton got upgraded to club level plus the $100 hotel credit.
.Bravo!!! Best card ever!!!!

I just saw the 395 annual fee on my bill and I was unaware of it. I’m sure it was in the fine print. I just cancelled my card and will not visit this hotel again. Nice trick Ritz. You should have refunded my fee.

Christopher Christopher – the fee was not hidden anywhere. I saw it immediately before I applied. It was waived for the first year. You just weren’t paying attention and then decided to make it someone else’s problem. BTW – ever hear that when you cancel an account its a negative mark on your credit report? Hmmmm – exactly who did you injure with that move?

I was very impressed with the benefits offered. As we enjoy going to the Ritz for special occassions (and prefer Marriott hotels in general) we were particularly excitied by the offer. Unfortunately, I also missed the annual fee when applying- I guess I am spoiled by all of my other free rewards cards. As soon as I received my first bill with the fee I immediately called to cancel. The easily canceled the card and refunded the fee. However, in retrospect, I might have kept the card as the benefits are really strong. Prior to canceAs I wound up taking my wife to the Ritz for our anniversary, I would have appreciated the Club level. Maybe I will apply again in the future. I also should add, JP Morgan did a terrific job in “delivering” the card. The card itself has heft and your name is engraved on the front of the card. Also, the card is delivered in an elegant “package”. It all really feels very first class and special.


Thanks for the feedback Tony. Like you said, it’s a very a good card for the benefits as long as you use them.

Hey guys I had a quick question for those of you who are experienced in the credit game. Im debating to apply for this card(I want it really bad) but I just started building credit a year ago. I already have an Amex charge card and my household income (fiancé and I) = 180K. Even though my credit score isnt in the excellent range(Because I haven’t established myself long enough) will they still consider me for the card given income and all payments on time no issues on credit report the only setback is length of credit.


I received my Ritz Carlton Rewards Visa Signature card a few weeks ago and am thoroughly impressed with everything from start to current. The toll free number is a dream compared to my Amex. The Amex toll free number is no more than a “vanilla” sounding person reading from a script half the time, and who more times than not just wants to wrap things up rather than acting as a Concierge. I haven’t even used the Concierge line on the Ritz card yet, this is just customer service where they acknowledge you as a Ritz family member for lack of better verbiage, nice feeling. As to the points and free upgrades to club level and airport lounge access and all the other goodies that come with the card, that’s all nice but they really shine in the area of answering the phone and exceeding your expectations every time! I have no need to utilize any other card anymore at any time. Thank you Ritz and J.P Morgan for the collaboration and bringing the Ritz experience to everyday use. BTW, I was also a Marriott rewards member and yes my points were married into one new account under the Ritz card seamlessly. Bravo….well done.

Absolutely AGREE John. When I received my card I needed one for my wife, so I called the toll free number, the woman on the other line had impeccable politeness & candor. They offered to rush ship my wife’s card via overnight UPS & gave ZERO sales pitches or anything trying of the sort. 5-star service indeed! This card’s services are managed just like Ritz Carlton hotels.

Is it Lounge Club or Priority Pass Select for the lounge membership?

Lounge Club

Can you transfer the Ritz points to an airline or redeem it at another hotel?

Take a look at this, but when I follow the link for the special 70,000 points promotion, I don’t see any reference to 70,000 points – just a reference to one free night after 2K spend???

I agree that’s confusing, they should mention the 70,000 points on the application. But rest assured, the “free night” is referencing all tiers of properties (which is up to 70k points). So you could use the points for 1 free night at a tier 5 or get more than 2 free nights at tier 1. Meanwhile with PointSavers redemption, you can get those rooms for even a lower number of points. Scroll up to see the redemption charts.

I got my approval and received the card in about 5 days – packaging was amazing. I too will wait to see whether they charge me the $395 fee for the first year – the letter/form accompanying the card says no fee for the first year, so let’s see what happens…