What is the trick to reserving this? I have been a Platinum Elite member for years. For the life of me, I can't see where this is complimentary - which means free in my book. I have 3 Club Level upgrade certificates available, 7 nights for each certificate. I priced online this weekend for the Ritz in Cancun. Here's what I came up with:
Online rack rate is $370 per night
Online Club Level room is $559 per night.
Since I can't book online and can only use my reward by calling their reservation line, I call. I ask to book and use my free upgrade. I am then quoted $519 per night. I then argue that I am not receiving the benefit of a free upgrade, that the Ritz is simply taking off $40 of the room fee. I spoke to 5 different people and they all gave me the run around. The last agent said to me, "Well the Club Level price is a good deal, you should go ahead and book it".
I am trying to see the benefit of keeping this card at a cost of $395 per year.
The other benefits of the Ritz card make it worth the $395 fee if you use them all. The club level upgrades are really not of much use to anyone other than frequent Ritz guests who obviously are not looking at the price with that much scrutiny for the most part. I like my RC card, but I have never used the upgrades. It's also heavy enough to kill most attackers - even those with the now considerably flimsier Marriott Metal
Good luck with that! I also obtained the Ritz card last year to get the 140,000 points which was a great deal. However, I could never use the club level certificates for the reasons you mentioned. You can't use them with any special reduced rate (i.e. AAA rate, Gov rate, etc..) so I found the club certificates of absolutely no value to me. There are some other benefits to the Ritz card like the $300 credit for airline incidentals but the loss of the elite night credit using the Ritz card was not worth keeping and actually using this card vs the Marriott card so I closed it after the first year.
I will stay at Marriott's vs the Ritz for those kind of prices unless I am using points and even then, I don't usually find it worth the extra points when many of the Marriott resorts are better in my opinion and less "stuffy."
I doubt you will find any real value in the Ritz certificates. You can usually find a reduced rate that more than makes up for the loss of the Club Lounge benefits.
I agree with everything you said. Even calling into the reservation line and then to the customer service line was painful. The first person didn't care, the second person gave me incorrect info and the last person actually said, "I'm sorry you don't understand how the program works." An hour of my life trying to reserve a room - at the published rate - that I'll never get back. Realistically all that I have received as a perk of the card is free wifi and a free cup of coffee when I check in.
Try using the promo code "Z34" online for your Ritz searches. That is the promo code for the Ritz Credit Card Rate which also gets you a $100 hotel credit for your stay that can be used towards spa or restaurant. The "Z34" Rate also works with the upgrade certificates. You will still need to call though to have your upgrade certificate attached to the reservation.
I get the same quote of $370 per night for a basic room when I use code Z34. However, the Club Level rate is higher with the code. It jumps up a night to $699 - without the code it's $524 now. The $699 does include the $100 credit but by my math they are making an additional $75 a night on you by using the code.
Are you saying to book the room at the $370 basic per night rate and then call and ask them to add the Club Level upgrade at no charge?
Yes...The lower rate ($370) can be upgraded to Club Level access with one of your upgrade certificates by calling 1-800-542-8680. I hope that helps!
Wow, that's a reason to get the card before our next Ritz stay! At that price difference the club upgrade is worth over $1000 for a 7 night stay! We've been thinking about a trip to Kapalua in the next few years, will have to be sure to get the card prior to that trip. Maybe the 140k bonus will come up before then, would be a nicer bonus than 2 nights on offer now since the tier 5s are mainly where we'd want to go.
I have both the Marriott Visa and Ritz Card and like both for different reasons. The Marriott Visa card gives me the Elite night Credits towards my lifetime status (less than 100 nights to go). Both Cards earn Marriott Points at the same rate but the Ritz Card gives the cardholder 10% Bonus on points earned each year. Some other perks I've enjoyed with the Ritz Card is airport lounge access, Emergency Roadside Assistance, Primary Car Rental Insurance, and Trip Cancellation/Delay Insurance. Many of these benefits are overlooked.
I agree that the Club Level upgrades Certificates are a less useful perk of the card for the average traveler but for those who frequently stay at Ritz properties it can be a valuable benefit. Once I reach Lifetime Platinum I plan to move all of my regular spending from the Marriott Visa to the Ritz Card as I will not longer need the Elite Night Credits and can capitalize on the 10% Annual Bonus.
I like the idea of switching. Right now, I'm up to my eyeballs in credit cards and I can barely see straight and I'm not even trying to churn or whatnot. I think in a few years the Ritz will be the card for me. I'll probably use only one or two of the hotels but in the future, the 10% would be good. I need to look into the airport lounges passes as well.