[Too Late] Consider getting the Ritz-Carlton card right now

The Ritz card is unavailable for new signups as of July 26 2018


With great change comes great opportunity.  The great change I’m referring to is the upcoming Marriott / SPG / Ritz loyalty program merger.  And, at this moment in time, Chase’s Ritz-Carlton Rewards card is uniquely positioned to unlock a number of opportunities…

Card and Offer Details

Below are the full details about the current signup offer for the Ritz card. For the purpose of this post, though, the key take-aways are:

  • 2 Free Tier 1-4 night stays after $4K spend
  • Gold status first year
  • $75K spend per account year for Platinum elite status
  • $450 annual fee partially offset by $300 annual credit for airline incidentals and $100 discount on domestic multi-passenger round-trip ticket purchases.
Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Visa Infinite

Click here to view details about a similar card: Marriott Rewards Premier Plus

Recent better offer: 3 Free Tier 1-4 nights after $5K spend in first three months + 10K points for adding an authorized user.

FM Mini Review: While the card is pricey, it offers a very nice collection of perks. Great choice for those seeking Marriott elite status.


Card Type: Visa Infinite

Earning rate: ⚬ 2X airline, car rental, & restaurants ⚬ 5X Ritz & Marriott.

Big spend bonus: $10K spend per account year to keep Gold elite status; $75K spend per account year for Platinum elite status

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ 3 club level upgrades. Gold status, first year ⚬ $100 hotel credit for each 2 night or longer stay ⚬ Airport lounge access ⚬ $300 annual credit for airline incidentals ⚬ 10% annual points premium ⚬ $100 discount on multi-passenger ticket purchases.

Note: This card is believed to not be subject to Chase's 5/24 rule

Platinum Elite or Platinum Premier Elite Status

In August, those who have earned Marriott / Ritz Gold or Platinum status by any means other than matching from SPG will get the following status in the new program:

  • Those with Marriott / Ritz Gold status will become Platinum Elite
  • Those with Marriott / Ritz Platinum status will become Platinum Premier Elite 75

Platinum status in the new program is exciting for a few reasons:

  • Elite benefits will apply across all Marriott and Starwood hotels
  • Free breakfast and/or lounge access will be available at all resorts and most hotels (see this post for details).

If you sign up for the Ritz card before August, you will get Marriott Gold status which will convert to Platinum Elite status in August.  That status will then last until Feb 2020.  If you sign up for the card in or after August, you’ll only get Gold status in the new program.

If you signed up for the Ritz card last year or earlier, make sure to spend $10K on the card before August so that you will get Marriott Gold status which will convert to Platinum Elite status in August. That status will then last until Feb 2020.  If you complete the $10K spend after July 31, you’ll only get Gold status in the new program.

If you spend $75K on the Ritz card before August, you will get Marriott Platinum status which will convert to Platinum Premier Elite status in August.  That status will then last until Feb 2020.  If you complete your $75K spend after July 31, you’ll only get Platinum Elite status in the new program.

While I don’t think that too many readers will seriously consider spending $75K on the card before August, I do think that the ability to get Gold status (then Platinum Elite status) without spend (or with $10K spend for existing cardholders) is well worthwhile.

The irony about all of this is that Ritz is one of the few brands that fail to offer any meaningful Platinum Elite benefits.  But if you get Platinum status through the Ritz card, you’ll enjoy the status perks pretty much everywhere except at Ritz hotels.

Free Nights… Everywhere

This is where things get really good.  The signup bonus of two free nights at Tier 1-4 Ritz hotels is nice if you happen to have plans to visit a qualifying Ritz within the next year and if you don’t mind the fact that you won’t get any meaningful elite benefits during your stay (no free breakfast for you).

But Marriott has asserted that free night certificates earned before the August merger will be converted into their point equivalents.  Tier 4 Ritz hotels cost 60,000 points per night, so I believe that, in August, those with Tier 1-4 Ritz certificates will be given new certificates good at any Marriott / SPG / Ritz property that costs up to 60,000 points.

It gets better…

Between August and early 2019, it will be possible to book any Marriott / SPG / Ritz property worldwide for 60,000 points per night or less.

This means that it should be possible to use your two free nights at literally any Marriott / SPG / Ritz property worldwide as long as you book between August and early 2019!  Personally I’d much rather use those free nights at top end St. Regis properties where I would get elite benefits like free breakfast than at a Ritz hotel.  Wouldn’t you?

No Suite Night Awards

One downside of achieving Platinum or Platinum Premier status through the Ritz card is that you won’t earn Suite Night Awards.  Those choice benefits are awarded when you reach 50 elite nights and again at 75 elite nights.  Since this is an alternative to earning status via nights, it won’t trigger the choice benefits.   Of course if you earn 50 and/or 75 elite nights anyway, you will get the choice benefits, but then there’s no point in using the Ritz card to get status.

You can read more about Suite Night Awards here.

You can get this card despite 5/24

The Chase Ritz card is not subject to 5/24 so you can get approved even if you’ve signed up for 5 or more cards in the past 24 months.  Of course, once you are approved, it will add to your 5/24 count.

Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months. Some exceptions that are NOT subject to the 5/24 rule include: British Airways, Hyatt, IHG, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Marriott Business, and Ritz Carlton.

To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status.

Caution

The combination of high level status and soon-to-be-super-valuable free night certificates makes the Ritz card highly desirable at this time. On the other hand, signing up for a Chase card could be risky if you often open cards and/or manufacture spend.  See this post for details: Why Chase shutdowns have increased and how to avoid them.

Note that we do not earn a commission for this card.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

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Nanu
Guest
Nanu

The terms (https://imgur.com/a/iyttCzd) on the Ritz $10K spend for Gold status are not very clear – it sounds as if you’ll get the gold status only 8 weeks after your next account anniversary date, not immediately after you spend the $10K.
So if your account anniversary year is after this coming August, I don’t think spending $10K will help you.
And if it’s before that, then well, you probably needed to spend $10K earlier and you’re out of luck now… (e.g. my account was opened Feb 2017, so I would have had to spend $10K by Feb 2018, which I didn’t…)
Don’t you agree?

Justin
Guest
Justin

Any data points on what non-incidental purchases (i.e. gift cards) work to trigger the $300 credit?

Just a Note
Guest
Just a Note

I have purchased AA gift cards (in $100 increments). It is true that you have to call in to get the credit applied (SM may work as well, I just called and had no problem with it).

Andy Shuman
Guest
Andy Shuman

When I had the card, I never failed to get reimbursed for anything as long as it wasn’t a “round” number. The trick is not to get greedy and try to be reimbursed for the whole $300 at one sitting. Numbers like $72.55 work great, but $75 is also fine.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Am very conflicted! Am at about15/24 now, but no new Chase cards since the Fairmont at last minute(thanks again). Should I lower my credit
Limits on chase cards? FICO well over 800 but I do engage in ms at office stores. What would Greg do?

Alex Z.
Guest
Alex Z.

“free night certificates earned before the August merger will be converted into their point equivalents” –
so if I’ll get R-C card at the end of July and will do $4k spending in 90 days I will NOT get those nights converted under old rules ??

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

Just to confirm – Gold status obtained from having this card will match to the new Platinum, but having Gold status by way of the American Express Platinum card will only match to Gold? Thanks again Greg!

Phillip
Guest
Phillip

Hi Greg,

I just called the elite rewards number on my ritz card. The agent checked with her supervisor and said the card will get me platinum until end of 2018. New benefits and updated benefits will be coming very soon too she said. I hope Im wrong and you are right that we get plat until 2020

Larry
Guest
Larry

Greg — I have the Ritz card. How confident are you that the $10k spend will get me Plat for 2019? Also, just to be clear, I also have the Amex plat but that won’t help me for 2019 because my current gold is only good to get plat for 2018?

Mei
Guest
Mei

Hi Greg.
Based on my current nights between SPG/Marriott, I will have earned gold by August. If I read your post correctly, I should then be converted to Platinum good through Feb 2020. Is this correct?

Do you know if RewardsPlus with United will continue to equate Marriott Platinum to RewardsPlus Silver?

Thanks!

hopeful
Guest
hopeful

I had this card before and closed it in May 2017. I am way over 5/24 (14 cards of my own and a few authorized user cards on my wife’s accounts). Can I apply for it again and will I be eligible for the bonus?

The appeal for me is the possibility of getting the 2 free night certs converted to points. I’m eyeing a redemption at a Tier 5 RC after August.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Greg, what’s your take on the email wording from the Marriott team regarding earning Platinum with Ambassador service?

Their email states that if you have current Platinum status plus 100+ nights, you’ll be converted to Platinum WITH Ambassador service. However, if you look at the website to see how you’ll qualify for the same Ambassador service AFTER the merge, it states you’ll have to stay the 100+ nights PLUS spend $20k annually (assuming that’s on direct hotel costs).

To me, I’m reading this as a one-time match to Plat+ambassador without the spend if you’re already a Plat member w 100+ stays, regardless of spend. How about you?

Rajat Madan
Guest
Rajat Madan

Greg,
I am a bit confused about status in August. If I get 25 stays in SPG before August 1, and get to SPG platinum, thus matching to Marriott Platinum before August 1, will I be Platinum Premier in August or will I be Platinum since I matched via SPG. Can you clarify? Thanks

Phillip
Guest
Phillip

I’m not Greg but you will be platinum. Plat premier requires 75 nights total, no exceptions. This has been confirmed many times too 🙁

Rajat Madan
Guest
Rajat Madan

Ok. Thanks.

Nick Reyes
Editor

Phillip is correct. See the Elite section of our complete guide on the transition:

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/marriott-spg-ritz-transition-guide/#elite

D f
Guest
D f

I have to tell you I was never interested in this card. Just didn’t seem worth it. But after your article I am absolutely reconsidering it. Especially with so many data points that the travel credit can be used for gift cards although I realize I’m taking chances there. Great write up

sj0
Guest
sj0

Getting matched to 3 certs offer is a possibility. After all you’ve 115 days to complete signup offer and request a match. Also, being able to PC to Marriott card is great, especially for those outside of 5/24.

Eugenia
Guest
Eugenia

Greg, Thanks a lot for summary! Very useful info. I have a question, if I may, I have GOLD for LIFE with SPG. My understanding that it will convert into Platinum for life? Am I wrong? Is it making sense to bother with new card just for 2 nights?

Garrett Welch
Guest
Garrett Welch

I’ve been waiting for the 3 free night sign up bonus. Might be a good idea to go ahead and pull the trigger.

Kimbra
Guest
Kimbra

If the Ritz certificates become 60k points on Aug 1st, would they still carry an expiration date? I have 3 4/19 expiration

Nick Reyes
Editor

If they become points, I expect they would just be subject to the normal Marriott points expiration policy (activity once every 24 months). If they become “60K point certificates” (i.e. they stay certificates but they are valid at any hotel up to 60K points), I expect the expiration would stay the same.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Greg, Do you think that my wife could get the card and then share the points with me when they convert in August? I’m currently Platinum (soon to be Platinum 75 in August) and would prefer to get the credits and upgrade opportunities that come with that as opposed to my wife since she doesn’t travel without me.

Nick Reyes
Editor

Again, this depends on how the certificates convert. Our initial understanding from Marriott was that the certificates would convert to certificates with equal point values, but still be certificates. In other words: the current sign up bonus is two free nights at Tier 1-4 properties, awarded as two one-night certificates valid at Ritz Tier 1-4 properties. Since Tier 4 properties currently cost 60,000 points, our understanding is that the certificates will keep that “up to 60K” value in the new program. In the new program, 60K is the absolute top tier (at least through 2018), so those two one-night certificates would suddenly become valid at any property in the combined Marriott/Ritz/SPG program. That’s pretty awesome as that gives you a lot more options than just the current Ritz 1-4 properties.

There have been some rumors about the certificates being converted into straight up points rather than certificates. If that were to happen, you could theoretically combine your points (Marriott officially allows you to move 50K points from one member to another per year; you can transfer more if you have a specific redemption in mind…so the workaround is to find something to book that requires your points to be combined). I expect we’ll know what’s going to happen with the certificates before August, but either way I’d call it a win with regard to the Ritz certs due to the fact that all of the top-tier properties will be 60K in August.

Wright
Guest
Wright

Any idea how transferring points will work in the new program? Wondering if we should transfer all household points through SPG to the account with status. Seems like more restrictions on the Marriott end but at least Gold and Plat don’t need to pay the fee.

Sophia
Guest
Sophia

If I am only interested in getting the 60k points (already have platinum 75 nights) do you still recommend getting the card before August or waiting to see what the new card bonus will be?

Max
Guest
Max

Is this card expected to lose benefits after the merger? Otherwise, what’s so special about “this moment in time” to apply?

haroon
Guest
haroon

I have 3 free night certificates that are slated to expire middle of August and an annual fee that is about to post June 15th. Do you think `these certificates will transfer to points and do you think a card cancelation will impact redemption or Gold Elite to Platinum status? I would prefer to cancel the card especially if these get converted to points with a longer expiration and more flexible redemption options, but also dont want to jeopardize my free nights, unused club certificates or status.

Any thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.

Chucks
Guest
Chucks

Very good article. I hadn’t considered the added value of Ritz Gold converting to Platinum. Though I’m far short on nights for lifetime elite status, the fact that years of elite status will combine under these programs means I’m at 8 years of Platinum status, despite having fewer than 90 nights of total actual stays under all these programs! The Ritz card can probably help push me over.

Tyler K Johnson
Guest
Tyler K Johnson

If you apply for the card now do you need to spend $4,00 by august or do you have until september?

PSL
Guest
PSL

I recall reading another blog which said that those who have Marriott Gold via the Ritz Carlton credit card would only get the new Platinum status from August 1 until January 2019, rather than 2020 as you stated. . Is the 2020 date definitive?

Max
Guest
Max

I understand that Marriott walked back their earlier promise of temporary Plat status for Aug-Dec, 2018. Their new mantra is you must earn Plat by staying. It’s a big risk to pay $450 based on a promise of lying Marriott.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

Any proof of where you saw/read this? There seems to be a lot of grey area right now as to what Gold from the Ritz will get you. I want to apply to get Plat status but don’t feel like wasting $450 for nothing

Gary70
Guest
Gary70

I fill exactly the same way. I would like to have something to backup that statement in case of thing going the other way 🙂

Drew
Guest
Drew

I am under 5/24 for Chase and never applied for any hotel credit cards. My question is, Is this a good hotel card for me to jump on? Or would anyone recommend me apply for something that Chase requires stay under 5/24. I’m still learning the credit card and loyalty program game.

NinjaX
Guest
NinjaX

wont hate on u because ur still learning but ur question is too general. first of all, u didnt provide enough info for anyone to help. next, u should be posting on reddit. lastly, its clear u havent read enough yet. the amount of info that someone would have to comment on here to answer ur question is too extensive.

Drew
Guest
Drew

Thanks for your very helpful response. I think your very general response has lead me down a rabbit hole of wasting the last two hours of my life looking at the reddit home page. First of all, you didn’t provide enough information on where and what to post and read on reddit. Next you point me to Facebook travel communities or different blogs. Finally, u is actually spelled YOU and ur is spelled YOUR. Thanks for helping me with a yes or no question.

Crazy913
Guest
Crazy913

I will have to echo sentiments though. Everybody’s situation is unique, “is this a good card for me?” with no other info is a horribly difficult question to answer with accuracy. You should be looking at the r/churning subreddit. Also, if you so strongly desire a yes/no answer in this situation, yes. Does that help your decision?

TKW
Guest
TKW

“Of course if you earn 50 and/or 75 elite nights anyway, you will get the choice benefits, but then there’s no point in using the Ritz card to get status.”

One reason might be to have higher status during your first 50 or 75 nights, right?

trackback

[…] Miler makes a case to consider getting the Ritz-Carlton card right now. Yes, you are right…If this was for a card that pays a sales commission it would never appear […]

PSL
Guest
PSL

If someone already has Marroitt Gold via a status match from SPG Gold thanks to spending on the SPG Amex, but now earns a Marriott Gold via the Ritz Carlton credit card, translating into Platinum Elite in August, will Marriott Rewards even recognize the difference?

Texan@heart
Guest
Texan@heart

This is an important question. Based on my own limited experience dealing with Marriott rewards, the odds of them NOT recognizing the difference look pretty high. I doubt their computer systems have the ability to differentiate. I have even less faith in the human factor. Most of their phone reps are useless and do not know the rules. Nor are they empowered to change a status. It may work out great. But I would not want to have to try to spend hours on the phone hoping to get someone to un-cluster it all. I’m one of those AMEX Plat cardholders who will be kicked out of the lounge on August 1. Much as I’d like to get “50 night status” through a credit card, I’m not willing to gamble $450 based on what Marriott confirms to a blog. (Even a good reliable blog!). They could just as easily reverse themselves and say that the agreement promises Gold… and only Gold. Aside from the potential for “50 night status,” this card does not seem to offer all that much value to someone who already has an AMEX Platinum card.

NinjaX
Guest
NinjaX

haha this guy…

greg
Guest
greg

greg?

Nick Reyes
Editor

We expect that the Ritz card status will be the one recognized by Marriott as we suspect that they will first consider status earned from Marriott/Ritz.

greg
Guest
greg

There may be a lot of folks in this boat, i would check with marriott when you guys can as it would benefit a lot of your readers me thinks

Preacher
Guest
Preacher

Good catch. That’s exactly why I opened up a new MR account this week, with a new number for that very purpose. I’ll use that new account number when I apply for the Ritz, then merge my old, “comped-SPG Gold” account with my new MR Plat account after Aug. 1. That’s the play.

tassojunior
Guest
tassojunior

Very very highly recommend the RC Half Moon Bay for the free night certs. Cat 4 but often costs $1000/night

trackback

[…] isn’t super lucrative and this card is more about perks and getting maximum value from those. Although it is believed that it will be possible to use the 2 free nights at ANY SPG, Marriott, or R… in the coming months.  The loophole won’t last long […]

Mark P
Guest
Mark P

Wondering what happens if I sign up for the card before August under the current terms, but then I don’t earn the signup bonus until after the new program has begun? Will I still get the certificates that can be used anywhere?

trackback

[…] Consider getting the Ritz-Carlton card right now […]

Nun
Guest
Nun

Why are people so sure the 2 nights will be good at any property? Marriott can do whatever they want. The other angle here is there will be a better signup bonus later this year, and if it’s points that can be better for some. Consider also that the Marriott visa is offering100k recently and Ritz was 3 nights. Maybe a new card will over more. We don’t know. The reason to get the card now is about status.

Nick Reyes
Editor

We obviously can’t be totally certain that the 2 nights will be valid at any property, but Marriott has made it clear through several channels that current certificates will map to a similar points value in the new program. Since Tier 4 Ritz properties now charge 60K per night, maintaining a similar value would put these certificates at the top of the new award chart. It’s certainly possible that they will somehow map these differently, but I think it’s very likely that they will be valid everywhere.

As for a better signup bonus, I don’t have a crystal ball — so I certainly can’t say for sure that it won’t happen. But since Amex is going to be the issuer of the “premium” card moving forward (not Chase), this card will eventually be discontinued for new applications.That might not happen until next year, and it’s certainly possible that they could make a late push to get more cardholders, but I don’t think it’s likely that the signup bonus will get better. In fact, I’d say this: I think it’s more likely that the free night certificates that come with the Ritz card now will be valid at any property than I do that there will be a better signup bonus. I’d love to be wrong — I like a good signup bonus as much as anyone — but if I were placing a bet, that’s how I’d place it.

Regarding the 3-night offer, for a very long time people were matching to the Ritz 3 night offer. If I remember correctly, that offer was last publicly available in late 2016 — but people were matching to it until December 2017. That died unfortunately (to my knowledge).

I agree that the status is also a strong benefit of getting this card.

Nick Reyes
Editor

Update: I take that back on the Ritz card being discontinued. Greg just pointed out to be that the discontinuation of the cards hasn’t been spelled out – so it’s possible that it will continue on indefinitely.

Nun
Guest
Nun

To maintain current value of the Ritz certificates, MR only has to make them worth whatever the August price will be for a tier 4 hotel. That might be 60k or it might not.

David
Guest
David

Very interesting article. Thank you. If I apply now, and meet requirements, earning the 2 night certificates, do they expire 1 year from earning? I am planning a trip to Europe August 2019. Thanks!

trackback

[…] Miler made the case that it’s high time to get the Chase Ritz-Carlton card because the Tier 1-4 free night certificates the card comes with will [probably?] be converted to […]

Madison
Guest
Madison

Those with Marriott / Ritz Platinum status will become Platinum Premier Elite 75
Does that hold true if I received Platinum status through Marriott Platinum challenge?

Biggie F
Guest
Biggie F

Confused on need to spend $10,000 before August 1 …

Spouse has Chase Ritz-Carlton card, for 4+ years now, grandfathered in at $395/year.

Log-in at ritzcarlton.com shows her as Gold Elite currently. This is almost certainly a function of some Amex Platinum radiation, since she has not been qualifying on stays of spend within the Marriott/RC universe.

So come 1 August, RC/Marriott/SPG will not shift her to Platinum since the source of the current RC Gold status is from Amex Plat? Whereas if we spend another $9000 or so to make the $10,000 spend on card before 1 August, it will still show her (until 1 August) as RC Gold, but the type of Gold that will turn into Marriott Platinum? They can really make this distinction …?

Like I said, confused.

Nun
Guest
Nun

Yes. If you have MR gold from Amex then it will be MR gold in August, not platinum. If you spend $10k before August, you’ll have platinum in August.

Dave
Guest
Dave

I am at 4/24 or possibly 3/24 (but slim) with Chase. I have 7 cards with chase already (Reserve, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott Business, Ink Cash, Ink Bus Pref, Freedom) and want to get the Chase Business Unlimited, Ritz, and Marriott Premier Plus. The question is in which order should I get them? Business first since it would hurt my 5/24 by getting another card first, then Marriott, then Ritz since it isn’t subject to 5/24. I want the Ritz to get the Platinum status and marriott points to book when the points combine. I don’t see myself getting under 5/24 in a long time after this run of cards. Or should I just forget the Bus Unlimited and go for the other two?????

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I am currently a platinum but probably won’t hit 50 nights this year to requalify and Marriott took away the status buyback program. If I apply for the Ritz card as a current platinum will they give me gold status that maps to new platinum until 2020 or will it not take because I’m a current platinum?

Nick Reyes
Editor

Great question. I don’t know.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Thanks. Would be interested if anyone else knows.

Fresh
Guest
Fresh

I have to ask after doing some reading from other blogs and many other sites but i always come back to FM and DoC; Marriott Platinum status before I apply for the ritz card, Many say they have to always ask or beg for upgrades or rarely get upgraded / not being recognized of their status and all this and that. Its almost the majority of the comments i’ve read continuously that gold and platinum status upgrades are generally the same or almost never. From my experience as a gold, only spg has always given me an upgrade, though i rarely stay at marriott’s myself(work pays for those rooms if I did) Currently I have the Amex Plat, Spg Personal and the CSR as my travel cards. Is the Ritz card really worth it/worth it for the platinum status? Most of my personal travel is international and work travel only in the US. other cards I have (yes looming near 5/24) are the freedom, FU , ink cash and EDP if that matters.

trackback

[…] Frequent Miler blog has a good post on this card, which I recommend you read. Few key details: […]

trackback

[…] use to stay at any property, not just Ritz. This idea comes from the ever-genius Frequent Miler, who has a good post up about […]

trackback

[…] stay at any property, not just Ritz. This fantastic idea comes from the ever-genius Frequent Miler, who has a good post up about it. The card is $450, but you can get $300 back towards airfare if you’re creative. It […]

Ned Shamon
Guest
Ned Shamon

Greg, thank you for a fine, well researched post.
You write, “If you sign up for the Ritz card before August, you will get Marriott Gold status which will convert to Platinum Elite status in August.” Would you please confirm your assessment that I if i get the card now, I won’t need to spend $10K to obtain Gold Status immediately and be entitled Platinum after ~8/1/18? Also, is it ok for me assume that the two free nights certs after $4K spend in first three months would still be valid even with new award program starting ~8/1/18?
Gratefully, Ned

Yury
Guest
Yury

Hopefully we can get some clarity due to the breaking news that on August 26 holders of the Ritz card will get converted to Marriott Gold Elite status in the new program. So does this mean new holders of this card in their 1st year will not get Platinum Elite as of August 1, like this post says? I was gonna apply this weekend, but if this isn’t the case, I’ll pass. Please advise.

Gloria
Guest
Gloria

Same question as Yury. Does the August 26 conversion change the stance on this article?

Nick Reyes
Editor

We always knew that after the programs merge in August this card would only come with Gold status — that’s the half the point of the rush to get it now rather than waiting. Today’s Gold status earned on the Marriott/Ritz side (i.e. not via match from SPG) becomes Platinum in August…but after August, the card only comes with Gold. As an existing cardholder, if I don’t spend $10K before August, I’ll get “upgraded” to Gold without spend — but if I already have Marriott Gold (via $10K spend), I should get Platinum. Again, new cardholders get Gold to start — so someone who opened it in 2018 does not have to spend for Gold status that should convert to Platinum in August.

However, when I contemplated Friday’s announcement more, I decided to reach out to our contacts at Marriott to double confirm. A month ago, they told us that those who get Gold status via the Ritz card before August will be Platinum through Feb 2020. I’ve gone back to that email and asked for confirmation one more time that this is true — but it’s definitely what we’ve been told.

In the future, the Ritz card will come with Gold status. My understanding is that this will happen:

-If you get Gold status before August (either by signing up for this card during 2018 or by spending $10K before August if you opened it before 2018), you will have current Marriott Gold (50-night status today) and that Marriott status will get converted to new Platinum (50-night status in August) until February 2020.

-After February 2020, you would only have Gold status unless you spend $75K on the card in 2019 (or in 2020 and thereafter).

Again, the current cardholders who get converted to Gold would be existing cardholders who opened before 2018 and have not done $10K spend this year (that crowd would get “upgraded” from Silver to Gold) based on what we’ve been told.

Nick Reyes
Editor

They definitely aren’t going to take away your certificates — so yes, you’ll still get certificates for your spend. We don’t know exactly what the value will be with Ritz tiers disappearing — but yes, you’ll still get something. We suspect they may be valid anywhere (as Greg notes in this post).

Gold the first year requires no spend under the current benefits — so no, you don’t have to spend $10K.

As for that converting to Platinum, see my response below.

Nick Reyes
Editor

For those following this thread of discussion, I received confirmation again today that if you receive Gold status before the programs merge (i.e. from opening the Ritz card this year or doing $10,000 spend as an existing user), you will transition to Platinum in August. That answer has not changed.

TMouse
Guest
TMouse

What are your thoughts on this
June finally got under 5/24, opened CSR

Also saw your ritz post here, applied, got denied, called recon, denied, called again, had to go through a very long phone call, lots of holds and checking on me, finally got approved for ritz card after moving some credit limit over from csr

As of today, under 5/24 again and its been over 24 mos since I got the old marriott bonus. Do I try to open the marriott premier for the 100k, as I know it ends july 12th. Do you think this will result in me being closed down?

Also, any further word about the rumor that amex will not let you open the new spg card if you have opened the ritz or Marriott premier card in past 24 mos?

Nick Reyes
Editor

Ha – read your second paragraph again out loud. You were denied twice and barely squeezed through after a third long phone call last month. No, I don’t think it’s a good idea to apply for another Chase card this month.

The current 100K offer ends July 12th, but I expect it will cycle back up again in the future. Not worth risking a complete Chase shut down when they pretty clearly sent their message to you last month.

I have not heard anything beyond what DoC has posted about restrictions on the bonuses. Even if that’s true and you lose this shot at 100K Marriott points and can’t get a new SPG bonus, I’d rather live to fight another day with Chase. More on this tomorrow I think.

TMouse
Guest
TMouse

Haha! That’s what I thought you’d say. I was denied only 1x on the phone! 😉 Worked the 2nd time after practically begging. I have had the old chase ink biz card for 4 years now, so I do have some sort of relationship with chase. However, I agree with you….I won’t do it. Maybe the spg bonus will be huge! And Chase won’t talk to Amex like DoC is stating. But then I’ve got the whole 4 cc from Amex restriction, and I’m currently at 5 when my citi hilton converted over to Amex. #TravelHackerProblems !!!

Jon
Guest
Jon

Hi Nick. Thank you always for your opinion and thoughts. I got my Ritz Carlton card last month and I am trying to spend $10K to get another Plat status until Feb 2021. But this whole scenario would rely on the fact that Marriott will honer Gold status from Ritz Carlton card. May I ask where you received confirmation about automatic plat match? Thank you in advance.

Nick Reyes
Editor

That’s not going to work. You get automatic Gold status the first year, so you have Gold status now and as such that will become Platinum in August. Since you “earned” your Gold status (new Platinum) during 2018, you will have status for the 2019 membership year — which ends in February 2020.

There is no play for earning status until 2021. Spending $10K this year won’t do anything for you at all. The only people who need to spend $10K this year are people who opened the Ritz card before 2018 (they need to “earn” Gold status this year — you’ll always earning status this year to enjoy the benefits next year. You get the benefits this year also, but it’s really next year’s status that you’re earning).

So, again, don’t bother with $10K spend. To have Platinum status from Feb 2020 to Feb 2021, you’ll need to spend $75K next year.

As for where our info comes from, we’ve had an email thread going with Marriott’s leadership team since the launch event in April. That message has been consistent and reconfirmed several times (including again yesterday).

It’s not really a case of Marriott “honoring” Ritz status. Marriott and Ritz has long been one and the same (before the SPG merger). You had a membership number from one or the other, but you could log in with the same credentials on either website and your status is the same in both programs, when you look at your point balance on either site it matches, etc — so Ritz status really is Marriott status…unlike SPG, which was an entirely separate program when the merging of the programs began here. At any rate, we have asked multiple times and have been told multiple times that Gold status earned from the Ritz card will transition to new Platinum.

Jon
Guest
Jon

Thank you Nick. But I have still wondering about spending 10k before Aug.
According to Ritz Carlton card website, in the first sentence “You are automatically elevated to Gold Elite status in The Ritz-Carlton Rewards for your first account year.” and in the last sentence “Gold Elite status is automatically renewed when you spend $10,000 your first account year and each account year thereafter.”
I got my RC card in June which is in my first account year(until 2019 or Feb 2020). I have been spending 10k both in June and July which is still in my first account year. By end of July, 10k spending will be fulfilled. Therefore, my gold elite status is automatically renewed my second account year(2020 or Feb 2021).
What am I missing?

Nick Reyes
Editor

Well, you’re missing a couple of things, and this is a little hard to type out in a way that makes sense, but here’s my best shot: Gold stauts means something entirely different today than it will next year. Basically, Marriott is renaming the status levels. It’s more useful to think of the names in terms of nights rather than Silver/Gold/Platinum,.

2018 Silver (25-nights) = 2019 Gold (25-nights) (no free breakfast)
2018 Gold (50-nights) = 2019 Platinum (50-nights) (free breakfast)
2018 Platinum (75-nights) = 2019 Platinum Premier (75-nights)

So getting Gold status right now means something very different from Gold status next year.

The only year that Gold status matters is this year. If you have Gold status earned from the Marriott/Ritz side when the programs merge next month, the name of your status will change to “Platinum”. That’s because today’s Gold status is 50-night status (i.e. you normally have to stay 50 nights to get it) — so the benefit you are getting from the Ritz card for the first year of card membership today is 50-night status. In the “new” Marriott program, 50-night status is called Platinum. Since you’ll have earned 50-night status (courtesy of this being your first year of the Ritz card in your case) before August, you’ll keep 50-night status. Since you earned that status in 2018, it’ll count the same as someone who completes their 50th night in a Marriott hotel in November 2018 — you’ll both be Platinum for the 2019 year (which ends in February 2020 for Marriott).

In the past, the way the Ritz card worked was that if you spent $10K during your cardmember year, you would get renewed at 50-night status (old Gold). Let’s say you had opened your card in July 2017 and you spent $10K in January of 2018. When your anniversary date passes this year in July, you’d maintain Gold status. Again, since that is currently a 50-night status, it’ll become Platinum in August. Since you’ll have “earned” it in 2018 (the same as someone who earned Gold by staying their 50th night this month), you’ll get Platinum for the 2019 membership year (ends Feb 2020).

At some point in August, your 50-night Gold status will get renamed 50-night Platinum status.

Then, starting August 26th, the Ritz card will automatically come with “new” Gold status (25-night status) every year — there is no longer a $10K spending requirement (you’re really getting the old Silver 25-night status, they are just calling it Gold in the new program).

But by August 26th, you’ll already have Platinum for 2019 because your 50-night status stayed 50-night status. It’s a 1-year win.

However, when your anniversary date passes in 2019, you’ll get automatic new Marriott Gold — which will only be 25-night status, no breakfast. You don’t need to spend anything at all because the benefit is changing — Gold will be automatic, but Gold will no longer get free breakfast. Spending $10K will not make a difference — you’ll renew at 25-night Gold with no spend at all.

That’s why it’s good that you opened the card this year. Right now, you are getting 50-night Gold status, which gets you free breakfast and you’ll maintain that benefit when the programs merge — but you’ll lose it when you don’t requalify for 50-night status in 2019. Unfortunately, the Ritz card will now require $75K spend to get 50-night status moving forward. That’s a huge devaluation in that benefit, but that’s what’s happening.

Does that make more sense?

Jay
Guest
Jay

I got the card and did my $4k spend. Gold elite status is showing on Marriott account – thanks, FM! 1st statement closed. Anyone know how/where to access the certificates?

Nick Reyes
Editor

If you go to your account and click “activity”, you should see any certiicates that have posted. You should definitely at least see your 3 club upgrade certificates that come with the Ritz card. If they have posted your Tier 1-4 free nights, that’s where you’ll see them. If they haven’t posted yet, it might be worth a call or SM to Chase to inquire. I’m sure they’ll tell you that it can take up to 8 weeks, but in practice it doesn’t and it probably won’t hurt to prod.

Sofia
Guest
Sofia

Hi Nick!

Sorry to come in under the wire here, but deciding between the Marriott Plus 100K & Ritz cards.

We are a family of 4 & travel mostly to SPG properties (Caribbean, Europe, US) & have no status with ANY hotels.

Currently hubby and I have 4 SPG cards & 2 Marriott bus cards which we will keep & pay the $95 fee so we can book single night consecutive stays at cat 5’s with the annual certificates.

We are both at 3/24 & have already got the best Chase cards (reserve, ink, pref etc). Approved for Ink 100k a few months ago too.

Would plat status be good for cardholder only or all 4 of us )do we need 2 Ritz cards)?

Would we have to pay the annual fee again next year to keep status until Feb 2020 or will it be automatic even if we downgrade/close the card?

Would Ink approval hurt us as it’s too many cards in too short a time (mine was approved in May, Hubby’s was just in June & he’s still working on $5k spend)?

In your opinion, is it better to get the Marriott (more pts) or Ritz (status)?

*just to confirm – we just need to be approved for Ritz b4 Aug NOT complete $4k spend to get Plat status, Correct?

Thank you so much for answering a newbie’s questions, it’s much appreciated!

Nick Reyes
Editor

You’ll need 2 Ritz cards as the cardholder’s Marriott number is going to be associated with the free night cert. In other words, if you have status and he doesn’t but you’re using his free night cert, you’re not going to get status benefits — and Marriott only officially gives you status on one room in your name (so even if you were using two of your own certificates, you aren’t entitled to status benefits for both). Of course, it’ll be somewhat hotel-dependent — I’m sure if both certs are yours/booked in your name, some hotels will grant benefits to both rooms and I bet that in some cases, a hotel might agree to give you breakfast when the room is in your husband’s name since you are a “valued Platinum member” staying in his room — but there’s no guarantee at all on that and it is likely to be a crapshoot and function of which property, what time of year, occupancy, the agent you deal with, and what kind of mood he or she is in that day. If you’re a smooth talker, you might get by — but you’ll need to both have status if you want it to be a given that you’ll have breakfast for the whole crowd.

You wouldn’t need to pay the fee again. You’re always earning this for to have status next year. Think of it from the perspective of a guest starting with a clean slate – Joe Business Traveler. From January 1st to December 4th, Joe spends a total of 50 nights in Marriott hotels. On December 5th (or 6th or whatever), Marriott recognizes that he has achieved 50-night status for 2019. Rather than making Joe wait until January to enjoy the fruits of his loyalty, they give him benefits right away — but really, he was earning recognition next year for his loyalty this year. Rather than end the status year on New Year’s Eve, the 2019 year actually ends in February 2020. So Joe stays 50 nights this year and gets status the rest of this year and all of next year (which actually ends February 2020).

Let’s say Joe traveled a lot in the first half of the year and instead of December 4th, he finishes his 50th night on May 5th. He’s still earning status for the 2019 year — but, again, they don’t make him wait until January to get the benefits — he gets that 50-night status recognition the rest of this year and then next year (until February 2020).

With the Ritz card, you’re just taking a shortcut on Joe and getting 50-night status when you get approved. So you’ve “earned” Gold status for 2019 the same as Joe, just without actually staying in the hotels. Once Marriott records that you’ve met the requirements for status during 2018, it’s yours until February 2020 — keep, cancel, downgrade…whatever you want to do with your Ritz card at that point.

If you want status beyond Feb 2020, you’ll have to do $75K spend before your next anniversary date. Then you’ll have “earned” in 2019 to have status during 2020, and so on.

If you’re at 3/24, I don’t think the Ink apps are going to be a problem for you. You’re probably fine to apply for either card (I wouldn’t do both Marriott & Ritz with your Ink apps so recent).

As for which is better….that’s a tough question. I guess it depends on where you’re planning to stay. If you’re going to stay several times with a family of 4 at some St. Regis properties or a JW Marriott resort with a lounge or something, I imagine you’ll save some serious money by not paying for breakfast and having access to lounge snacks / drinks. If you’re mostly going to stay at Fairfield properties where everyone gets free breakfast or Ritz-Carltons where nobody does, maybe it doesn’t matter (or if you’re paying for Ritz stays, you’ll want the lounge upgrades).

Let’s put it this way: based on our Reasonable Redemption Values, the Marriott points are worth around $720, give or take. Is free breakfast worth more to you than $720? That’s really a function of where you’ll stay and how many nights. It’s not totally uncommon for some of these high end resorts to charge prices like $40 per person plus tax and tip for breakfast. Even if they’re only charging $30++pp, you’re looking at $150+ for a family of four — it only takes 5 nights to be at a pretty-close-to-even point if you’re going to be staying at properties like that. Of course, if you’re just as happy with a Sausage McMuffin for $1 at Mickey D’s, maybe that $150 breakfast isn’t really worth $150 to you.

Elite status is an irrational thing. Points are more flexible, they last beyond next year if your travel situation changes and you don’t travel as much next year as you anticipated, there isn’t pressure to use ’em while you’ve got ’em like there will be with making sure you get benefit out of your status before it runs out (which could convince you to take trips you wouldn’t otherwise take). On the flip side, if you’re planning to make a run for someplace crazy like the St. Regis Maldives or Bora Bora, you’ll probably want status, rationality be darned.

Now, all that said, and I was typing this closing paragraph and finally saw the light: You’ve got a bunch of mid-tier certificates (25K/35K) that you’re going to be looking to use at those types of properties. 100K points will basically get you 3 more nights at a 35K or 4 at a 25K. The Ritz card will get you 2 more nights at those properties (or 2 nights at a higher-tier place) + status. When I think about it that way, I think the answer is clearly Ritz — you are giving up at most 2 extra nights and gaining status. Unless those are really valuable nights, status is *probably* worth more. The only exception I’d say is if you’d intend to use your 100K points to stay 10 nights in 10K properties or something along those lines — then it’s possible that they would be more valuable (but still not a definite).

Sofia
Guest
Sofia

Wow, thnx for such a detailed response!

Just to confirm – whenever we travel, we just book 1 room for the 4 of us. So with that being said, if we booked 1 award room using EITHER my free night cert OR my hubby’s, all 4 of us would get lounge access/free breakfast IF we BOTH had the Ritz card (so 2 Ritz cards, regardless of who’s name the cert is in), right? For ex. If we booked 1N at a JW using MY cert, would hubby & kids still also get breakfast/lounge access (even tho we only used my free cert and not his & only booked 1 rm)? Would he still get the access/breakfast because he has status (even tho he didn’t book a rm in his name)? Sorry, I hope I’m making sense…

Will our status start immediately when we r approved or only after we meet min 4K spend?

I know we can buy $300 airline gift cards to offset the $450 fee, but what does this perk mean: $100 discount on multi-passenger ticket purchases?

One last q…is airport lounge access provided by this card good at any airport lounge? Is it for member only or member + guest?

Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate the time you took to answer my questions. 🙂

Nick Reyes
Editor

1) Hopefully someone with more family travel experience can chime in here for you. I believe the actual Marriott policy is lounge access for the Plaitnum member and 1 guest. In practice, I imagine that many hotels probably allow you in with children who are young (under 12 perhaps?), but I don’t think they have to allow access for all four of you by the program terms.

2) Status should start “immediately”. I put that in quotes for two reasons:
A) You get “old Gold” immediately (which includes breakfast/lounge access right now). That will convert to “new Platinum” (breakfast/lounge access) next month.
B) I’ve read that it takes about a week or so for status to take effect — I didn’t pay attention when I first applied. It did take about a full ten days for Chase to match up my account info and issue my Ritz card — I was told there was no way to expedite (they do ship it overnight when they finally ship it). I’ve heard of others having a similar experience. You may or may not get status before you see the card – I honestly can’t remember. But yes, I would expect you to have it before August as even those spending have up until the end of this month to complete the spend (existing cardholders who have to spend $10K to renew Gold).

3) Careful – I wouldn’t say you can definitely buy $300 in gift cards to offset the fee. The Ritz credit isn’t automatic. You have to send a secure message or call to get a human to issue the credit for your airline incidental purchase. Many people are able to purchase gift cards successfully, but many people run into roadblocks on it, too. You’ll want to Google around and look for data points about denominations to buy. I’ll try to put together a resource page for this actually. I’ve been using my credits on low cost carriers (Southwest A1-15 boarding, in-flight wi-fi, checked baggage and seat fees for Spirit and WOW, etc).

4) The $100 flight discount quick summary: You get $100 off when booking 2 or more economy class tickets through the Visa Discount Air website. Essentially, you get $100 off when you book 2 tickets. They don’t have Southwest / Spirit and it’s domestic econ only. They do have United, AA, JetBlue, etc. I find prices to usually match Google Flights, though not always. You can repeat this discount an unlimited number of times. Your initial flight has to be over $100 per person now — but that means if you live in NYC and get a cheap $100 RT to Dallas or Chicago, you can get 2 people round trip for $100 (two tickets x $100 = $200 minus the $100 discount). Here is an older post about the same benefit offered on the CNB Crystal Visa:

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2016/01/08/bet-you-didnt-know-companion-airfare-discount-cnb-crystal-visa-infinite/

And here’s a post I did about an airfare sale last year where I included info about it:

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2017/12/05/ny-orlando-low-57-40-rt-visa-discount-air-83-basic-econ-without/

In my opinion, it’s one of the best rarely discussed benefits of this card…if you book round trip economy class travel for 2 people.

5) There is no lounge access in the world that gives you access to any lounge, unfortunately. This is Priority Pass membership. You get unlimited guests with the Ritz card Priority Pass membership (though some individual lounges may restrict you). You can download the Priority Pass app to put in airport codes and see what you have access to. Access is so-so domestically in the US, but Priority Pass has been adding more and more restaurants. At the included restaurants, you get a $28 credit per person. Some restaurants limit you to one or two guests, others don’t (so one membership could get your family $28 x 4 to spend). Here’s a quick post I did on using this at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse at JFK in May of this year:

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2018/05/25/bobby-vans-jfk-priority-pass-restaurant-worth-a-visit/

Hopefully, that gives you some food for thought.

Sofia
Guest
Sofia

Thanks so much, Nick. Great answers to my questions. I’ll try to post the lounge access q for families on the FB grp & see if anyone knows.

Thanks again for all your help!

Ben
Guest
Ben

Thank you for the informational post on Ritz-Carlton card. If I get the card in July but did not meet the 4K spending requirement until end of August. Will my free night certificate only good at Ritz-Carlton properties? And if I want to received the certificate before August does that mean I need to move up my statement date or as soon as I meet the 4K spend the certificates will be issue?

Nick Reyes
Editor

We don’t know for sure how the Ritz certificates will be handled either way — the point of this post is that it stands to reason that if you have in your possession a certificate that works at a property that charges 70K per night (Ritz Tier 4), Marriott would convert it to something of comparable value — which, in the new program, means any property. It therefore seems reasonable to try to earn the certificates before the programs combines if you can. That said, I’m not sure it’ll make any difference — we just don’t know.

I tend to expect that these certificates will work at Marriott, Ritz, and SPG properties either way — it’s just a matter of how high they map.

TMouse
Guest
TMouse

I emailed them, they said the certs are electronic and will show up in my marriott account

Aldophx
Guest
Aldophx

Is the $300 annual travel credit based on a calendar year?

Nick Reyes
Editor

Yes.

Miller508
Guest
Miller508

Applied last week, got the card couple days ago, met min spend for the CC $4100, $100 plus to be safe, I asked chase to change my cycle from August 4th to July 28th, they did.

This month my spend will post and I’ll payoff ASAP within a week, my question is: will my new plat status after aug1 go into feb 2019? Or I should spend another $6k to make it over $10k?

Notes: big spending for home improvements, extre $6k on this card isn’t a problem I rather spend it on AMEX SPG card to get the last of the 3/1 ratio points before August. Someone please advise, thanks in advance

Nick Reyes
Editor

You always earn status now for next year. Imagine someone staying in hotels. They may not get their 50th night in until December 20, 2018. If Marriott cut their status off in Feb 2019, that person would never have status for more than a few months. That customer earned status by doing 50 nights in 2018 — so they have that status for 2019 (the idea being that Marriott wants to encourage them to stay at Marriott hotels in 2019 i.e. remain loyal). Status earned in 2018 is good for the 2019 membership year, which ends in Feb 2020 (they don’t make you wait until 2019 to enjoy it though — if you earn status in June, you get to enjoy it for the rest of the current year and all of the next year).

With the Ritz card, you “earned” your Gold status in 2018. That means it is really good for the 2019 membership year. Your status would be good through February 2020 — no spending required.

The only people who have to do $10K spend are the people who opened the card before 2018. They would need to “earn” status in 2018 for the 2019 membership year. A

By the way, “new plat status” isn’t necessarily starting on August 1st. Marriott was saying August 1st initially, but they have since backed off and begun just saying “in August”. We don’t know exactly what date the programs will merge.

Miller508
Guest
Miller508

Some notes: I was, are you kidding /24 but with zero balance with chase and a healthy credit line $55k’ish? they moved some from my new Iberia card to make it a clean $10k limit, that’s the minimum for this card.

$100k income , mortgage(s) under 30% and zero card balance, just over 40 active credit cards, average age of account 5.5 years, I still have my discover active since I was 18 years old, that helps! 790 FiCo

I got a reminder on each card to keep active to buy a pack of gum or cigarettes with one of the cards from the sock drawer to keep active, I only use a few cards out of 40 for spend, SPG and CSR 99% Ink card for gift cards at staples for the a few stores, friends ask why do I use a CC to buy a gift cards? because I’m a point horder, truth is I mostly give them to family, we fly JetBlue and stay @ $150 hotels most of the time anyway.

This year alone 7 months over 9 cards? maybe more, I’m running out of cards to apply for.

Nick Reyes
Editor

Not super important, but FYI anyway — It’s possible that they instituted a new minimum $10K limit for opening the card when it became a Visa Infinite, but there isn’t really a minimum limit on it. I’ve had mine a few years — when I got approved, I had been on a bit of a run and the limit they gave me was less than $10K. Just recently (like within the past 2 months) they gave me an unsolicited CLI on it that brought it north of $10K — but I’ve had it open and less than $10K for a few years. Some people have reduced it to as little as $1500. I replied here because it’s noteworthy that it can be adjusted.

Miller508
Guest
Miller508

Nick,
Why I got this card @ the 11th hour was a couple reasons, I have Marriott gold through several chanels 1. SPG match from Amex Plat and 2. spending over $30k on SPG business card, but after learning new gold will not be as good as old gold I think a $150 true cost card and 2 award top nights worth it.

I read your blog weekly, I thought I knew about the merger but almost overlooked if your gold from the match or any other way except the hard way or through Ritz you will get a watered down new gold.

voyager
Guest
voyager

Greetings Nick and others, just got the card and curious about those two nights certificates. Do you know if I have a choice to trade those for points? I honestly would rather stay more nights at a lesser value property if I have a choice. Can I exchange those certificates for points with someone else? Thank you !

Nick Reyes
Editor

No, to both.

David
Guest
David

Nick, was just instantly approved for the Ritz card yesterday, any idea how long before my Marriott/SPG account with reflect status? Will it show up before they officially merge Aug 1st?

Nick Reyes
Editor

I believe data points indicate about a week. It should show up before Aug.

Also, note that we don’t know exactly what date the programs merge. Marriott has backed off of the Aug 1 date and has instead just been saying “in August” for the past several weeks. Could be Aug 1, could be Aug 4, could be Aug 22 – we just don’t know for sure.

At any rate, you should have status in time.

Finn
Guest
Finn

If it’s a week, would that mean the last day to apply for the Ritz card would be 7/24? Or would 7/31 would be just fine as well?

Nick Reyes
Editor

Greg reminded me earlier that Marriott told us you would get the status as long as you complete the spend by July 31st.

Finn
Guest
Finn

Interesting. I was under the assumption that currently if you applied for RC card, you receive gold status in your first year, regardless of hitting min spend or not. Did this change recently? Even this post mentions just applying for the card.

Nick Reyes
Editor

I’m sorry — I was reading quickly and I misread your message (thought you were asking about completing spend for existing cardholders who need to renew status). If you’re interested in applying for the Ritz card, I wouldn’t wait at all. Theoretically, you get Gold status right away (and Michael notes below here that his account switched to reflect Gold in 2 days) — but in practice, it takes time for the card to show up and I wouldn’t want to chance something takes a few days and I later have to go back and forth between Chase and Marriott over when my status should have taken effect. If you want the card and the status that comes with it, I’d apply today.

Finn
Guest
Finn

Thanks for the advice!

Finn
Guest
Finn

Wow, It seems Ritz card is closed to new applicants. So, glad I followed your advice. Thanks.

Michael
Guest
Michael

I was just approved for this card on Wed., and my Marriott account switched to reflect Gold Elite on Friday.

Michael
Guest
Michael

What do we know about how easy it will be to actually redeem Ritz certificates on SPG properties that have limited participation in the SPG program? I understand that Ritz Tier 1-4 certificates will probably be redeemable at any Marriott / SPG / Ritz between August and early 2019, but am I correct to assume that the caveat is that there must be consecutive award space available?

I was just approved for this card and am hoping to use my certificates for my honeymoon at a beach resort in Costa Rica, preferably an all-inclusive. I sent a message to Starwood to ask whether I would be able to redeem these for a stay in October 2018 at the Westin Playa Conchal, an all-inclusive with “limited participation in the SPG awards program” that will be a new Marriott Category 8. I received a message telling me to check back in August as this information has not yet been released.

Other options would be the JW Marriott Guanacaste or Los Suenos Golf Resort, which both have all-inclusive options that can’t be booked with points (http://bit.ly/2NbWzmT). I called Marriott to ask if there’s a way to book a stay at these properties with points and then pay an additional amount in cash to make it all-inclusive, and the representative couldn’t answer my question.

I would greatly appreciate any advice on redeeming Ritz certificates for a beach resort in Costa Rica in Oct. 2018, preferably an all-inclusive. Thanks!

JoshDG
Guest
JoshDG

Hello Greg and thank you for the informative post!

I had an AMEX Platinum and received SPG Gold. I linked it to Marriott and has been showing Gold Elite. Last week, I applied for the Ritz and got it in the mail today. Surprisingly, my membership number on back of the card is the same as my Marriott (Gold) membership that I got through AMEX Platinum.

Do you think Marriott will upgrade my account to Platinum whenever it comes time to roll this out? Meaning, will my Ritz supersede my AMEX Platinum?

Nick Reyes
Editor

Yes, that’s what we expect. Marriott and Ritz numbers have been the same for years now actually. That’s why we expect that status to matter. From Marriott’s end, Marriott and Ritz are equal. Starwood is the program that’s getting folded in.

TMouse
Guest
TMouse

Do we know yet what the ritz certs are going to be? 60k certs or converted to points? I just got mine!!! Ritz Carlton Al Wadi or Al Maha? Any opinions?

Nick Reyes
Editor

Nope, no word yet.

Robert
Guest
Robert

To clarify, If I apply and am approved today, I’d get Marriott Gold (and then converted to Platinum) at the end of the month without any spend requirements? Once I hit it spend requirements (after August 1st), would I get the free stay credit or the equivalent in points?

Nick Reyes
Editor

First, for clarity, we don’t know what day the new program will take effect, but it almost certainly won’t be August 1st. I say that because Marriott was saying August 1st back in April, but for about the past two months, they have been saying “in August”, backing off of committing to August 1st. I say that so you’re not surprised if this doesn’t all happen immediately on the 1st. Hopefully, they’ll give us a date sooner or later — but at this point, we’re still waiting.

Otherwise, yes. If yyou get the Ritz card within the next couple of days, your account should reflect Gold status from that before the programs merge and you would therefore get Platinum in the new program.

As for the signup bonus, I’d go into it expecting to get exactly what it says — two nights at a Tier 1-4 Ritz property — but knowthing that you might get something better (like 2 certificates valid at any property or a points equivalent). Nobody knows for sure. It’s a reasonable guess to think you’ll get two certificates valid for nights up to 60K points, which would mean any property once the programs merge here shortly. If you end up getting points instead, all the better.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Perhaps the answer is already here, but I’m missing it.
Just got approved for the Ritz card. I had to move some credit from my recently approved Iberia card, but Chase was very accommodating.

Is it critical that I do the spend before August 1?

I think I get the status regardless. But, I’m not sure on the differential for the free nights if they are earned prior to or after August 1.
Just trying to determine how much effort I need to put in to get the spend done before 8/1.

THANKS! I really appreciated this post.

Nick Reyes
Editor

You are correct that you get status regardless. It is not critical to do the spend before August 1st.

Adeel Ahmed
Guest
Adeel Ahmed

My wife applied for this card on July 19. Still waiting on approval.

Any idea if getting Marriott gold status (and subsequently, platinum) be provided based on application date, or approval date?

She applied with the offer saying gold elite status – concerned that with the time delay, and being close to August 1, that they will approve and provide status based on whatever is in effect at the same of approval, which would be contrary to the whole point of applying.

On a related note, once approved, how long does the status take to be updated on the marriott/ritz account. We have a stay at the end of August for which we are really hoping to make the new Platnium somehow. Terms say up to eight weeks.

Nick Reyes
Editor

Someone in the comments above you noted that it only took two or three days. Hard to say whether status would be based on approval date or application date. I would expect it should be based on application date, but it’ll definitely be a little confusing if approval is after the changeover. If not approved within the next couple of days, I would call the Recon line.

Adeel Ahmed
Guest
Adeel Ahmed

just approved today after calling the recon line…should have done it earlier

any datapoints on how soon my wifes marriott status will get updated to true marriott gold?

Jayboo
Guest
Jayboo

Re: Is this still going to happen? “If you signed up for the Ritz card last year or earlier, make sure to spend $10K on the card before August so that you will get Marriott Gold status which will convert to Platinum Elite status in August. That status will then last until Feb 2020. ” I just received an email from RC “Your Ritz-Carlton Rewards(R) Credit Card is getting new benefits”, and it says that I get automatic *Gold* Elite Status. I am currently Marriott Gold Elite (I made sure I spend over $10k on my Ritz-Carlton card this year), but there’s nothing the RC email saying that my Gold Elite status will convert to Platinum Elite in August.

Am I worrying too much, or has there been a change in the program since you posted this?

Nick Reyes
Editor

No change. We’ve known the new benefits for a while. After this Feb 2020, you’ll go down to Gold status and that will be automatic (no spend required).

Nick Reyes
Editor

Or if you opened the card prior to 2018 and haven’t done any spend this year, you’ll automatically get Gold in the new program.

Jayboo
Guest
Jayboo

Thanks for the speedy reply! I opened the card in 2016, and have spent over $12k so far in 2018, so I should be good for the Platinum Elite conversion. Maybe the email I rec’d today was generic and not taking into account my spend? Hope so, but I guess I’ll find out soon enough. Thanks again.

Nick Reyes
Editor

Right. It’s just outlining the new card benefits. You should have received the same information via snail mail. It’s just a generic message explaining the new card benefits that they announced earlier this month:

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2018/07/06/new-details-on-marriott-ritz-cards-no-more-elite-credit-per-3k-spend-free-night-changes-more/

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

Is August 18 now the date by which you need to sign up for the Ritz card in order to get Marriott Gold status which will convert to Platinum Elite status?

Gloria
Guest
Gloria

Nick/Greg, thanks for the great article/advice and all the follow up responses to everyone queries. You guys are awesome. So I’m super confused because I got instantly approved for the RC last week, but they didnt link the card to my existing marriot account. They gave me a brand new RC account no. I can’t find anything about combining my accounts but I’m reading things like you can only belong to one program (Ritz or Marriott). My questions are if I have two separate accounts – Ritz and Marriott – what will happen in August to my Ritz account? Will they merge? Will I have two marriot accounts? Can I combine accounts? etc etc This is turning out to be a headache for me! Thanks!

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[…] Full details here: Consider getting the Ritz-Carlton card right now. […]

Paul
Guest
Paul

I’m probably way overthinking this. Got my Ritz Carlton card today. Do you think I should I do the $4000 spend before August 1? Or might it be better to wait? We have no idea yet exactly how the free night certs will be handled, but could timing possibly weigh into the outcome? I can easily put $4000 spend on before 8/1.

Your best guess appreciated, but I won’t hold you to it.

It’s mostly fun playing this game.

Matt
Guest
Matt

With the 18 Aug date having been announced for the launch of the combined Marriott program does that mean that if I meet the $75K spend before that date I will qualify for the Platinum Premier Elite?

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[…] See also: Consider getting the Ritz-Carlton card right now […]

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[…] This hurts those who hurried to sign up for the Ritz card before it died, though I still think opening the Ritz card now was a better value play for those who would not have otherwise qualified for status with Marriott […]

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[…] also decided to apply for the Ritz-Carlton credit card, after reading another awesome analysis written by Greg the FrequentMiler about why you should consider getting the card now. The card comes with Marriott Gold status, which […]

Adeel Ahmed
Guest
Adeel Ahmed

wife just approved today after calling the recon line…should have done it earlier

any datapoints on how soon my wifes marriott status will get updated to marriott gold?

Nick Reyes
Editor

Should be within a few days based on comments from other readers.

Frank
Guest
Frank

Hey Greg, thanks for this helpful article. I have three quick questions: 1. I applied for the Ritz Card on July 26th (the last day available) and my Ritz account shows it was generated on July 27th. Will my gold status be transformed into platinum status after August 18th and will it still be valid through Feb 2020? People on Flyertalk and some other forums/blogs are becoming more and more unsure about this so I just want to double-check. 2. So far I have no stay at Marriott or SPG properties. Do you think that will influence my status transition at all? 3. Do you think the platinum challenge is likely to come back after the merge? Is there any possibility of a “platinum premier challenge” in the future? I’d really appreciate your response!