Chase and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, the guest loyalty program of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., recently announced enhancements to The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card, including the upgrade of the card to Visa Infinite. Card members will now get airline ticket discounts, access to more than 900 Priority Pass lounges, Global Entry application fee reimbursement, special car rental privileges, and numerous exclusive experiences, among many other benefits.

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card is the first co-brand credit card in the U.S. on the Visa Infinite platform.
Loyalty360 reached out to some members of its Association to gauge their opinions on this new and improved loyalty offering from Chase and The Ritz-Carlton.

Narina Sippy, CMO, Stellar Loyalty:
“Luxury brands such as The Ritz-Carlton cater to guests who want and expect exclusive VIP experiences. The challenge, and the opportunity, is to find new and creative ways to inspire members with rewards that complement and enhance their lifestyles. Together with Chase, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card is raising the bar with a unique and compelling set of offers for its members.”

Brad Marg, COO, Clutch:
“I think that this is a smart move by Chase and Ritz-Carlton. For a segment of the market, premium hotel programs are very competitive and the benefits available to these members seems far superior to most programs that exist today. Whether traveling for work or pleasure, this program is a great way to ensure that there will be realized benefits. Additionally, while there is an above average annual fee, the credits that are offered back to the cardholder make it of real value.”

Brett Kline, CMO, House Advantage:
“This is a pretty rich program in terms of offering and value but as you know annual fee-based credit card affinity programs target a very niche demographic – hyper business travelers, lifestyle/affluent. I currently have the Amex Platinum and enjoy the rewards, benefits, and services, but I also don’t feel like I am taking advantage of all that I have available to me. Would be interesting to see the level of breakage these programs have in terms of the extra benefits offered above and beyond the point earning.”

Gregg O’Neill, Business Development Director, Hinda Loyalty Group:
“The new services offered on the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card are exactly what a consumer should expect from these iconic brands. Ritz-Carlton guests are used to some of the greatest properties and services when they are staying at a property and the experience offered here through the card and the loyalty program extend the engagement to the brand. As a business, consumers we look for brands that offer elite perks and, as loyalty marketers, we appreciate programs that are constantly raising the bar for their best customers. At Hinda Loyalty Group, we believe that experiential rewards play a substantial role in our engaging rewards portfolio Ritz, Chase, and Visa continue to offer up some of the best in the world.”

Chris Teso, CEO, Chirpify:
“While the enhancements offer a nice upgrade to existing behaviors, the program is still entirely based around rewarding for spend; 84% of consumers say they would spend more with companies that reward activities other than spending. Modern consumers recognize there is greater value in their attention their social engagement. Companies like The Ritz-Carlton should be recognizing and rewarding their customers for these types of engagements on the channels they’re spending all of their time.”

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card offers the following benefits, all for a $450 annual fee:

Elite Travel:
New: Unlimited $100 discounts on two or more domestic airline tickets
New: Worldwide access to more than 900 airport lounges through Priority Pass
New: Global Entry application fee reimbursement credit
New: Car rental discount and upgrades
$300 annual travel credit
No foreign transaction fees

Exclusive Privileges:
Card member events, including exclusive sports, entertainment and culinary experiences

Three The Ritz-Carlton Club Level upgrades annually on paid stays of up to seven nights, subject to availability
Automatic Gold Elite status in Ritz-Carlton Rewards for the first year and maintain after spending $10,000 each year

Platinum Elite status in Ritz-Carlton Rewards after spending $75,000 each year
$100 hotel credit on each paid stay of two nights or longer

Faster Rewards:
Five points for every $1 spent at participating The Ritz-Carlton hotels or worldwide partner brands within the Marriott International portfolio, including JW Marriott, EDITION, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels, and Marriott Hotels

Two points for every $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, at car rental agencies and restaurants

One point for every $1 spent anywhere else

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