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Ritz-Carlton has just launched their official Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card, which I think has some of the best benefits in the luxury hotel industry. This Visa (V) Signature card, issued by JPMorgan Chase (JPM), is just the card for those of you who like staying at Ritz-Carlton, and want to earn rewards points at an accelerated pace. New sign-ups will receive 70,000 bonus points as a signing incentive, redeemable for a free night at a tier 1-5 Ritz-Carlton hotel, after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months. After looking through the fine details of the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card, I've compiled a list of the pros and cons of this card, so that you'll have a better understanding of its benefits and features. As it is a luxury card for the affluent, you will need very good to excellent credit score to be approved for it.

Things We Like About This Card

Earn 70,000 rewards points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months, which applies to purchases, checks and balance transfers. This is a fantastic offer only for new card members, and you can redeem these points for a one night stay in a tier 1-5 Ritz-Carlton hotel. Each hotel tier has a specific amount of points needed to redeem for a complimentary night. I've included a table from their website here below:

Here's the catch: Your credit card account must be open for at least 6 months, if not, your 70,000 bonus points could be deducted from your rewards account!

Earn 5 points for every dollar you spend at any of The Ritz-Carlton hotels worldwide. You will rack up points the fastest when you use this card to pay for your stay at Ritz-Carlton.

Earn 2 points for every dollar you spend on qualifying dining, airfare and car rentals. I find this benefit to be quite rare among hotel credit cards as this card actually gives you 2 points per dollar when you use your card to pay for airfares in particular, instead of just 1 point for other hotel credit cards.

Earn 1 point for every other dollar you spend on purchases.

You can earn unlimited points that can then be redeemed for room upgrades, hotel stays, travel packages, airline miles, exclusive partnerships, event and meeting credits and luxury cruises. Your points can even be converted into airline miles transferable to 33 airline partners.

Enjoy Gold Elite Status for free during the first year in more than 3,400 partner hotels worldwide including Ritz-Carlton. With this automatic status, you'll enjoy priority late checkout, 25% bonus points when staying at Ritz-Carlton, exclusive rewards and offers, free high-speed internet access in your hotel room, a toll-free reservation and guest services line, and savings when making purchases at the Ritz-Carlton gift shop. After the first year, you can maintain your Gold Elite Status as long as you make $10,000 or more worth of purchases on your card yearly.

Unlimited airport lounge access around the world. With your free Priority Pass Select membership, you will be able to enjoy complimentary access to airport VIP lounges, regardless of the airlines and type of class you fly. I find this to be a very invaluable benefit, especially to frequent travelers, as you can enjoy free refreshments and snacks, the use of Internet, fax and phones, and most of all, a place to relax from the hubbub of the airport aisles for no additional fee.

$200 airline reimbursement yearly for air travel-related expenses such as baggage fees or meals on the plane.

No foreign transaction fee. When making purchases with this card outside the U.S., you won't have to pay any fee for using your card, which will allow you to save lots of money if you travel often, since most cards charge a 3% fee.

Purchase Security in the case of your purchases being damaged or stolen during the first 90 days of making the purchase.

Return Protection if you want to return an item you purchased with your card and the retailer does not want to reimburse you. You will be reimbursed as long as you make the claim within 90 days of making your purchase.

Price Protection which will reimburse you the difference if you make a purchase and then find that same item at a lower cost within 90 days.

Ticket Protection which will reimburse you if, for a covered reason, you are not able to attend an event you booked, be it a sports event, concert, or theater performance.

Extended Warranty that will double the warranty of the products you buy with your card up to one more year as long as the original warranty was up to three years. This extended warranty service will also help you manage your warranty information and receipts in order to make it easier for you.

Personal identity theft coverage to pay for eligible expenses in order for you to restore your identity.

Travel-related benefits such as travel accident insurance, roadside assistance, trip delay reimbursement, baggage delay, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation insurance, emergency medical and dental coverage, emergency evacuation and repatriation, travel and emergency assistance and car rental collision damage waiver.

Free upgrade to The Ritz-Carlton Club Level up to 3 times every year, with a 7-night maximum length of stay. This offer is subject to availability during your reservation.

$100 hotel credit when you book a stay of two days or more at Ritz-Carlton. Basically, you can use this $100 for spa, dining or other recreational activities at the hotel. To qualify for this $100 promotion, just request for it when you book your stay by phone or online.

24/7 concierge services to help you make dinner reservations, plan and schedule your travels, or get tickets for concerts and events.

Our Least Favorite Things About This Card

Annual fee of $395. In reality, this annual fee is very reasonable, considering the wide range of benefits this card offers, especially if you fly often and like to stay at Ritz-Carlton. The points, rewards and benefits of this card are worth far more than what you have to pay in annual fee.

No 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers. Your annual interest rate on purchases and balance transfers will be a variable 15.24% if you carry a balance.

Despite the $395 annual fee, the new Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card has an incredible rewards system with which you will earn 5 points per dollar spent when booking and making purchases at Ritz-Carlton hotels worldwide, 2 points for each dollar spent on dining, car rental and airline purchases, and 1 point for every other dollar spent on everything else. Such fast accumulation of points means that you can soon redeem for a wide range of rewards, ranging from free stays at Ritz-Carlton or Marriott family of hotels, room upgrades, exclusive events, vacation packages and more.

Using this card gives you the chance to enjoy Gold Elite Status at more than 3,400 hotels around the world, and also free upgrade to the Ritz-Carlton Club Level up to 3 times a year. It also helps you save money by giving you a free $100 hotel credit, as well as a $200 airline incidental credit annually. Plus, you'll receive 70,000 bonus points as a signing bonus for new members after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months.

If you like staying at Ritz-Carlton, and are a frequent traveler who wants to earn points and enjoy elite benefits that will save you a lot of money, the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card is definitely the card you should go for.

Click here to go to the official Chase website to apply online for the Ritz-Carlton Credit Card now.

This card offer is no longer available through! However, you may click here to check out the best Travel Credit Cards.