Based on the discussions here, I signed up for the Chase Ritz Carlton CC for the 140K points 3 weeks ago. Also included in the benefits were 3 certificates to upgrade a 7 day stay at any Ritz to club level. The 3 certificates appeared on my marriott account 2 weeks ago. This upcoming week I am staying at the RC in Mclean, VA. I booked the hotel through my corporate travel agent, as required for work. We get preferred rates due to the volume of travel we do with Marriott properties. I called RC to use the certificate and they said in order to honor the certificate, they would need to adjust my reservation to the pay the rack rate of $425 per night, vs the corporate rate of $279. First off, my company negotiates these rate due to tremendous volume we give marriott. I earned the certificates in good faith through a credit card offer partnering with RC. I sure hope that Chase is giving full transparency into their offer by noting some benefits only good when you pay the standard rack rate. I have never experienced this before with an upgrade.
Don't be so hasty seanjaz! The rack rate may not bee as bad as you think. I had booked the Ritz in San Fran online for $399--the lowest rate I could find through the Web. My corporate rate for a larger suite was $579. I called up to add the club-level upgrade, and the person moved the rate to $319.
Alot of people signed up just for the lump of points or gold status, not necessarily for the upgrades. I dont think alot of the people who got the card even stay at Ritz Carlton all that much to take advantage of that. I signed up for it well knowing I would probably never use them so the conditions didnt really matter. Mostly did it to double dip on the airline credit, points and gold status.
Many people like myself signed up to use the extra points toward a Marriott Travel Package which includes airline miles and a certificate for a 7 night hotel stay.
You get a $300 annual airline incidental credit. This goes by calendar year, so for example I applied for my card in early december of 2014:
I bought $300 in southwest airlines gift cards and had those reimbursed
The first week of january I bought another $300 in airline gift cards
So even had my AF not been waived, I would've paid $395 for 140,000 marriott points, and $600 in airline gift cards. Always come out on top.
If you applied in 2015, you will be able to use the airline incidental credit in both 2015 and 2016 before your annual fee is due for year 2.
FYI: Airline gift cards seem to be hit or miss for reimbursement now, but you can use the credit for "Airline lounge day pass, or towards a yearly lounge membership of your choice; airline seat upgrades; airline baggage fees; in-flight internet/entertainment; in-flight meals; Global Entry fees. "
If you go to http://ritzcarltonrewardscard.com/premium-benefits.php you'll see it's very clearly laid out: (I added the bold)
"Club Level offer valid at participating hotels on up to three paid stays per Account Year using The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card with a seven-night maximum length of stay, subject to availability at time of reservation. ("Account Year" means the year beginning with your account open date through the first statement after the anniversary of your account open date, and each twelve billing cycles thereafter.) E-Certificate is required, is non-transferable, and not combinable with other offers. Club Level Upgrade e-certificates are valid for 1 room per e-certificate. Not valid on corporate or other promotional rates. Chase Bank USA, N.A. is not responsible for offer fulfillment or the provision of or a failure to provide the stated benefits and services."
well this is where I went
http://ritzcarltonrewardscard.com/premium-benefits.php (which looks just like your URL, so I am a bit confused) And this is what I see Upgrade to The Ritz-Carlton Club Level* Subject to availability at the time of your reservation, upgrade your stay three times annually (for a maximum seven-night stay) and surround yourself with extra measures of comfort and sophistication. Advanced reservations and e-certificate are required. To use one of your three Club Level Upgrades e-certificates, please call or have your travel professional contact the dedicated Reservations line at 1-800-542-8680. To view available e-certificates, simply log in to your Ritz-Carlton Rewards account at www.RitzCarltonRewards.com and select “Account Activity.” I have no doubt that your post is valid, and that requirement is posted somewhere. My point is that unless you read every detail, you will not necessarily find it.
The stay at the Ritz was nice, even though not in club. I stay at the Ritz maybe 10% of my stays. Some of the responses to this item seem to miss the point. This is not about whether its disclosed. First, just because someone discloses something, does not necessarily make it right. Second, while some commented I get a damn good rate vs the rack rate, what you are forgetting is my Firm is purchasing a block of rooms, upwards of 20 every weekday at that discounted rate and we pay whether the room is filled or not. Said differently, we commit to buy 20 rooms daily, year round, and if 5 employees stay there, we still pay for 20 rooms. Obviously we've done our data analytics on the numbers and know our travel patters, and we make sure people fill the block rooms first, to make this a win win across the US. So is it really me getting the deal at a special rate, or is the Ritz getting a good deal knowing it will fill, and get paid for 20 rooms nightly regardless? Lastly... lets put this into perspective. Im a single guy, I go to club lounge for breakfast, eat the equivalent of 2 eggs, and a glass of juice.... certainly not breaking the Ritz. So in the end... i get the 140K and win, and b/c there are no follow on benefits and the certs are not useful I have no incentive to stay, and I most likely cancel the card. Is that really the outcome RC set out to achieve? I dont think so...
I too just received my Ritz card. Very nice presentation by the way. They send the card in a UPS package with a very large box. Anyway, after reading some of the posts in Flyer Talk I became aware that the certificates could only be used on a rack rate. I too was very disappointed since at the very least, I would use a AAA rate (or Government) if I were staying at Ritz. I do not stay at Ritz often but thought I would give it a try if I could use those certificates.I have planned vacation to St Thomas and was thinking of staying at the Ritz assuming I could use the certificates. However, if I have to pay the rack rate, it is just not worth it. So, in my opinion, these certificates are pretty useless.
I signed up for the 140,000 points and I like the airline credit. Truth is, I would switch and start using the Ritz card vs the Marriott card because in addition to the 5 points for charges at Marriott hotels, the Ritz card gives you an extra 10%. However, the one thing that is missing, which is disappointing, is the Marriott card will give you one night toward your elite status for every $3,000 you charge and the Ritz card does not have this same benefit. That may be the defining point for me on whether or not I start using this card and keep next year. Will wait and see if I get any benefit out of the $300 airline credit.
Jsucool76 Since I just received the card, I am curious how long ago you received the credit for the Southwest gift cards? I have heard that they may be no longer giving you credit for purchases of the gift cards. If they are still doing this, this would be a great benefit and I will purchase a $300 gift card now. Do you know if they are still giving the credit?
Be sure to double check rack rates as they're not always too much more. I was looking for my sister for Marco Island and aaa was like 569 and rack was 599. Worth a bit more a night for club access imo.
I got my southwest gift cards reimbursed in 2014 (end of December) and I got delta cards reimbursed in early January 2015. Reports are mixed right now on reimbursement. Some people have success, others failure.
Best bet is to use it for something real because then at least you know they'll say yes.