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Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Credit Card — Prestigious and Luxury?

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The Ritz Carlton is best known for its luxurious accommodations and prestigious customer service – those who appreciate the quality of personalized service and exceptional privileges will enjoy holding the Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Credit Card. Aside from being a cardholder to one of the best name hotels in the world, the Visa Signature credit card comes with a range of benefits and privileges you won’t find with other standard cards.

Despite being a Visa Signature credit card, the Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Credit Card is not designed for the everyday cardholder. The privileges to holding the rewards card include exclusive access to ski excursions or weekend getaways – so it’s geared more for those who have a larger disposable income than the average family.

Benefits of the Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Credit Card

There are many benefits associated with the Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Credit Card – points accrued with purchases can be applied to hotel accommodations or airline miles in addition to other getaway-related amenities and upgrades. One of the first benefits a member can expect is 70,000 Ritz Carlton rewards points after spending $2,000 within the first three months of opening the account. These bonus points are enough to enjoy a free night in any one of the Ritz Carlton hotels – or you can continue to save the reward points to apply to other luxurious upgrades or discounts. There are many ways to enjoy the reward points saved up with each purchase, such as:

  • Contribution to your favorite charity – If you aren’t going to use up all your reward points, you can donate them in a meaningful way to a variety of charities and causes. Examples of charities that accept reward benefits include Make-A-Wish, American Red Cross and hundreds of other worthy organizations.
  • Seasonal awards – Use fewer rewards points during designated times throughout the year on stays in any Ritz Carlton hotel.
  • Airline Miles – Rewards points can be earned and saved up for miles with countless airlines – for example, you can earn 2,000 reward miles with United Airlines using 10,000 points on the Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Credit Card.

Earning rewards is simple and advantageous if you stay in any of the Ritz Carlton or partner hotels. There are accommodations around the world to choose from including:

  • JW Marriott
  • EDITION
  • Renaissance Hotels
  • Marriott Hotels & Resorts
  • Autograph Collection Hotels

When staying in any of these hotels and paying with the Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Credit Card, you earn five points for every dollar spent on the accommodations. You can also earn two points for every dollar spent when you book airline tickets directly through the airline of your choice or use the credit card at restaurants and car rental establishments. For all other purchases, you earn one point for every dollar spent. Compared to many rewards credit cards, this is actually a generous reward system that pays off if you frequently stay in a Ritz Carlton or partner hotel – and the Marriott Hotels are very budget friendly, so you can make good use of the card and benefits even if you aren’t staying in the luxurious Ritz Carlton.

Additional benefits include:

  • Three annual complimentary upgrades on paid stays to the Ritz Carlton Club
  • $200 airline incidentals credit annually to alleviate the costs of snacks, in-flight entertainment and baggage fees
  • $100 hotel credit to apply toward spa trips, dining, or hotel-related recreational activities during a paid stay lasting two nights or longer.

Rates and Fees  for the Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Credit Card

When it comes to applying for a rewards card, it’s always important to read the small print – especially the details regarding annual percentage rate, cash advance fees and annual memberships. These factors can often make a huge difference when determining if the value of holding the card outweighs the costs of having it.

The annual fee for the Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Credit Card is a hefty $395 – and while that is a substantial amount of money, it’s not outrageous when you think of the benefits you receive for being a member, such as the incidentals credits, upgrades and discounts on accommodations throughout the year. If you are a business traveler or use the Ritz Carlton hotels or partners frequently, the annual fee is not that unusual.

The annual percentage rate (APR) and balance transfer APR for the card is 15.24%, while the cash advance and overdraft advance APR bumps up to 19.24%. These interest rates are competitive with other Visa Signature cards, but it’s always a good idea to compare offers to see if you could find a lower interest rate elsewhere. When it comes to penalty rates, making a late payment (or missing the minimum payment) will cause the APR to increase up to 29.99% for the life of the loan.

Other important fees and charges to know about include the transaction and penalty fees. For some transactions – such balance transfers or cash advances – there is a fee of $5 or $10, respectively or three percent of the transaction amount, whichever is higher. There are no foreign transaction fees to worry about with the Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Credit Card – ideal for business or frequent international travelers. Penalty fees, such as for late payments, returned checks or returned payments, have fees that are associated with the balance owed on the card – anywhere from $15 to $35.

There are plenty of reasons why having a Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Credit Card in the wallet is a good idea, but signing up for the card should be based upon the usability and benefits for your needs and lifestyle. If you’re looking for a Visa card with exclusive or prestigious access to airport lounges, this card is ideal. Cardholders can also enjoy having automatic gold elite status within the first year, and then maintaining the status in the subsequent years by spending $10,000 annually.  The Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Credit Card is a luxurious option for those who can afford the annual fee and make good use of the perks and benefits!

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