Ritz-Carlton fee credits: What works? (reader data needed)

Due to sweet opportunities, I know that many readers have recently picked up the Chase Ritz-Carlton Visa Infinite card. One of the benefits this card carries is $300 in annual airline fee reimbursements. While things like seat upgrades and lounge access officially count for reimbursement under this credit, many readers want to know what unofficially works in terms of gift cards and fees that might not appear to fall into the list of qualifying charges. We mantain a similar resource page for Amex cards (See: Amex airline fee credits: What still works?), so I have published a new resource for the Chase Ritz-Carlton card. See:

Chase Ritz-Carlton Visa airline fee credits: What works?

However, you’ll see that existing recent data is limited. I combed through the data I could find online from the past year or two and added my own experiences, but we need reader input. If you have the Chase Ritz-Carlton Visa card, please comment with your experiences in getting the annual travel credit reimbursements. Please include:

  1. Type of charge (i.e. AA gift card / Alaska award fees / etc)
  2. Date of charge
  3. Requested via phone or secure message
  4. Success or failure

Unlike some other premium cards, the Chase Ritz-Carlton Visa airline credits are not automatic. You must either call the number on the back of your card or send a secure message to be reimbursed, which adds a human element as someone must manually process the credit. That adds a lot more potential for variance in what works from one agent to the next. However, understanding what has worked for others can be helpful in identifying what is possible, though recognize that it might require an extra phone call or secure message or two to get your desired result.

Feel free to comment here today or on that resource page in the future and we will update it regularly to include recent data points. Reader input is what helps keep resource pages like this current, so thanks in advance for your recent data points.

Again, see the resource page for what works and to help us with your recent data:

Chase Ritz-Carlton Visa airline fee credits: What works?

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Phillip
Guest
Phillip

I think it depends on the rep 100%. Did message once for a delta 50$ gc, they said no gift cards. Did it again last week same thing they approved it. I only say “I want to use my annual travel credit on this charge here.” My Mom bought a 200$ delta gift card and called but was denied. She then messaged and it was approved.

Phillip
Guest
Phillip

Forgot to add all of these actions took place in the last 2-3 months so very recently.

Erisaguy
Guest
Erisaguy

I bought a $50 delta gift card on 7/23. It said gift card on statement an so far has been denied.

Dave
Guest
Dave

I used 100% of it for an Icelandair upgrade this year and 100% last year for seat selection. I was denied multiple times both calling and messaging trying to use it for flight change fees and gift cards. This is really hard to use outside the confines of the program, IMHO

Jimdpc1
Guest
Jimdpc1

My wife had Southwest companion pass last year (2017). We took many flights using the pass and used our Ritz airline credit to do Southwest early check in on many of the flights. We called to get the credit and never had an issue.

Clay
Guest
Clay

1. Delta award redemption fees, American award redemption fee, Delta in-flight food, American ticket (I used GCs for most of the purchase, so only the difference, about $120, went on the card)
2. Over the last four weeks
3. Phone
4. All success! I just said that I had seven total airline reimbursement requests, and she added them all up without me having to go through to justify each one. She just found each of the airline charges and reimbursed them, no questions asked!

Mike
Guest
Mike

Delta upfare. I bought tickets in coach, then called Delta to upfare them to A (significantly cheaper than paying the upgrade fee they offered). Then I secure messaged Chase and got the fee reimbursed.

Denise
Guest
Denise

1. Alaska award fees. (Claimed as “ Premium Economy” seat upgrades)
2. Late 2016 & early 2017
3. Secure message
4. All good

TMouse
Guest
TMouse

Last 2 weeks: emirates coach twin seat upgrade, then a delta flight coach seat upgrade. Both amts were uneven like 176.43. Simply sent a message through chase website. The emirated 1 just said emirates on the cc statement, but the delta one actually said “delta seat upgrade”. No problem with either one and credit applied. Would love to know if this works with gift cards

JustSaying
Guest
JustSaying

Air France reimbursement of award fees paid After I bought Delta gift cards they posted as gift cards so I didn’t bother to call

Abby
Guest
Abby

I was able to use 100% of it by booking a $49 Wanna Get Away fare on Southwest and then paying to upgrade to a Business Select fare for $352. No questions asked and this was done on my first call. As soon as the annual travel credit posted, I cancelled the flight and got $49 in Travel Funds to use later on Southwest and was fully refunded the rest.

ktc
Guest
ktc

was your upgrade done by phone?

Abby
Guest
Abby

No, I upgraded from Wanna Get Away to Business Select online.

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

Genius! I might get the card now knowing I can do this. SW will actually refund the upgrade fee and not give you travel credit for it?

Abby
Guest
Abby

Yes, since Business Select fares are fully refundable, I got a refund for the amount I paid over the Wanna Get Away fare. That amount remained a travel fund.

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

Abby,

They didn’t claw back the $300 when they saw you cancelled the fare?

Just a Note
Guest
Just a Note

Not terribly recent (earlier this year, hoping to try at least double dip, if not triple), but purchased three AA gift cards for $100 each. Did it separately – one one week, then one the next, then one the week after. After each one fully posted – not just pending – called in, played dumb about not remembering how to request credit, rep was always very helpful and all were credited without a problem. Usually a day or two after the call. In my experience, playing dumb and letting them be helpful vs. being confrontational usually helps. 🙂

Pam
Guest
Pam

@ Just a Note – this is exactly what I wiould like to do. Can you please tell me where you purchased the AA gc’s (AA’s website?) & what was said over your conversatiion with the rep? For instance did the rep ask about the nature of the charge (since round nos)? Thank you

Chris
Guest
Chris

AA gift card in March for $300. SM-ed and was asked the nature of the charge and for proof. Said I had no receipt, but it was to cover bike fees at $150 each way (which is the actual price). They applied the credit with no issue after that.

Pam
Guest
Pam

@Chris – Awesome!! Where did you purchase the AA gift card?

Chris
Guest
Chris

Direct from AA on their desktop site. Posted just as American Air. I just checked, it posted April 15 and the credit was given April 18.

Pam
Guest
Pam

Thank you so much for the good info – I receive my card next week & wanna knock most of that (yet another) $450 fee out quick!

Chris
Guest
Chris

Enjoy the welcome package! It’s fantastic.

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

What is the welcome package? Could I dump my Prestige for this card?

Chris
Guest
Chris

Just the package the card came in was very nice. Felt premium for once. As far as dumping the Prestige, that would be a very personal decision. These are very different cards with totally different benefits. Do you use 4th night free much? Do you value Thank You Points? I’d look for a Prestige replacement more in the Amex Plat or the CSR.

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

Chris,

I do enjoy the Citi Prestige benefits but never use the 4th night free benefit as we enjoy trying different hotels when we travel and my wife works for the Marriott so we get cheap stays. I do value TYPs but I also have a Premier card. I can transfer to airline partners with the Premier, right? Since the 1.8c/point to AA got axed on the Prestige, there isn’t much benefit there anyways. The only good thing is I have the $350 annual fee that was grandfathered in from having a Citigold account before. So you don’t think the Ritz can really replace the Prestige? Why?

Pam
Guest
Pam

oh yes, Chris, super luxe! I’ve never held a card so flippin’ heavy, absorbs as much heat, or comes pre-activated. thx for the heads-up, gonna buy my AA gc’s now!

Pam
Guest
Pam

@Chris – thx, too, for the (2) $150 AA gc idea, worked beautifully for 2 bike fees 😉 & did NOT display as gc for me either on my RC activity

Brandon Sosa
Guest
Brandon Sosa

Did you purchase the physical GC’s or the digital ones?

DSK
Guest
DSK

During the past 18 months, I’ve used it for in-fight wi fi (many times–my preferred use), United baggage fees, a United lounge day pass (end of the year just to kill the remaining credit), and an upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy on JAL. Always called in. Never an issue.

Berkeley Girl
Guest
Berkeley Girl

I used mine for our CLEAR membership (airport security). Operator approved both my fee as well as my spouse’s membership fees.
April charges (called in June). No issues approx $200 for both charges (total)

Michael
Guest
Michael

I was wondering about this…

Anna
Guest
Anna

@Berkeley Girl, what kind of fee/charge did you tell the operator?

Berkeley Girl
Guest
Berkeley Girl

@anna I told them to use my $300 travel credit and explained it was similar to the TSA Global entry but I didn’t have time to make appointment (so I never get that benefit), so was wanting to use the travel credit for CLEAR. She confirmed it was fine. I called back another day and request a CLEAR charge for my spouse’s membership be used towards the $300 travel credit and that was no problem either.

Liz
Guest
Liz

Actually did a post about that (http://pointsmilesandmore.com/index.php/2017/12/15/chase-ritz-carlton-travel-credit/) but basically anything from an airline $50 and under, including gift cards, and Gogo passes. My tips are to bundle all the charges together when sending a SM and label each one – $50 for “baggage fees” even if it’s a gift card. Rep will care less about nitpicking one charge when it’s sandwiched between 10 others.

Also, stock up on Gogo passes if you’re towards the end of the year. They’ll just sit on your account and an easy way to use up your travel credit if needed.

ktc
Guest
ktc

used on onboard wifi & seat upgrade at airport & call-up airline. one rule of thumb given was if this is done on the web site vs with a human operator it is not eligible – not sure if its accurate.

Linh
Guest
Linh

SM Chase for aeroplan surcharges for award redemption

David
Guest
David

Clear ID (clearme.com) Annual fee, Southwest Earlybird and Southwest WiFi
2Q2018
Phone
Success on all 🙂

Elias
Guest
Elias

I have 2 cards and have been using them for about 3 years. Always reimbursed AA gift cards or tickets. Sometimes the full amount sometimes a part of it. Only once I had problems.

Ivan X
Guest
Ivan X

Have submitted multiple times for claimed seat upgrades on DL and AA, always via SM, always for $50-$80, both in 2017 and Jan 2018. Never any problem.

Erika
Guest
Erika

I have used them for AA stretch seating (this month) and they also covered the $5.60 award booking fee over the phone; when I tried to use them for the SWA award booking fee with SM, it was denied; worked for SWA internet and American Airlines internet over the phone.

Larry
Guest
Larry

1. AA mileage redeposit fees ($150 and $25, one transaction)
2. 2017
3. Secured message.
4. Approved

For what it’s worth, I do not lie about these. Sometimes I will look to define it generally and see if they ask for additional information, but I never mislead. Especially in a secure message. I don’t still have the message but my recollection is that I would have been fairly accurate, albeit general, in how I referred to the fee, and I expected denial but it was approved.

Michael
Guest
Michael

OK, today. Via Secure Message. I sent a nice email, asking that my Frontier charges be reimbursed. I said (truthfully) that I had bought a Discount Den. (Look, I hate Gruntier more than you do, but they screwed me and my wife over and gave us a grand in vouchers… So… Whatevs. We’ll hang out at the lounge drinking while they tell us the flight is canceled.) The truth is more complicated… I had vouchers. The vouchers covered the DD purchase. The actual charges were taxes, I think, for booking using vouchers. But, in fact, in that order, I really did buy a DD membership… so I was ready to provide documentation. But they didn’t ask, they just reimbursed me the $$. Here’s the message:

Michael, we credited your Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit
Card account for the transaction you recently inquired
about for $27.95. You can see this on one of your next two
credit card statements.

You have $272.05 remaining of the $300.00 Annual Travel
Credit benefit for the 2018 calendar year.

WrightHI
Guest
WrightHI

Used the whole credit in one transaction for $421 in AS upgrades (via upfare to instant-upgrade fare class), via phone. That’s a legitimate expense, but I wasn’t asked and didn’t volunteer anything but the amount and the date.

Eason
Guest
Eason

United mileage transfer fee
01/2018
Phone
Success

Josh
Guest
Josh

1. Amtrak coach tickets for 2 adults and 2 kids
2. July 11 2018 at Amtrak.com
3. Phone call request to use credit for the $174 charge
4. Success. First was told that the credit wouldn’t work if it was simply for ticket purchase, but WOULD work if it was for an upgrade or something similar. So I told the rep it was an upgrade from coach to business class and she approved it immediately. I have a sneaking suspicion I got lucky with a nice rep.

trimal
Guest
trimal

You are not the only one got lucky! I just got approved within 20 mins without question asked. $133 out of $246 for train.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I wouldn’t call it luck I would say you lied. Maybe if you are saying you were lucky that you found a rep who didn’t care you were lying.

Josh
Guest
Josh

Thanks for your insight karma police.

Key
Guest
Key

1. AA Award Fees & Taxes
2. June 2018
3. Phone
4. Success

1. AA Gift Card (purchase from desktop aa site)
2. July 2018
3. Phone
4. Success

1. United baggage
2. March 2018
3. Phone
4. Success

vdude83
Guest
vdude83

used it on 3 occasions of lounge access outside the priority lounge program, twice for on flight internet accesses, 1 time for united upgrades, all through secured messages, all were refunded within 12 hours no questions asked.

Travis
Guest
Travis

Type of Charge: Southwest Ticket Fare
Date of Charge: April 2018
Request: Secure Message – just said “for these charges on Southwest”
Success x2

Joe
Guest
Joe

If you are willing to lie it’s still easy to use. If you are not willing to lie but willing to risk finding a rep who doesn’t ask questions it can still be used occasionally for things outside the terms. The easiest use for the Ritz card is follow the terms. Each time I’ve called they have asked me what the charge was for and I’ve been able to say exactly what it was because it was specifically listed in the terms, no problems.

Am I crazy for seeing lying to someone as different than allowing amex to auto refund my gift card purchase?

Angie
Guest
Angie

Seat assignment/upgrades on AA last month. No issue whatsoever, did it by phone.

Cherry
Guest
Cherry

I purchased a $50 Delta gift card with my Ritz Carlton card on 10/9/18. It posted as “Delta Gift Card”. I sent a secure message (on 10/12) asking to apply travel credits to the charge and was denied. I then called the executive line and asked for a one time exception and was denied again.