The Updated Chase Ritz Carlton Card
The Old vs New Ritz Carlton Cards
With the ever-changing game of travel hacking and credit card churning comes the eventual demise of once-great credit card products. The Ritz Carlton card ended up taking a hit with the Bonvoy merger in terms of physical appearance but actually ended up a being a better product in the military travel hackers lineup in terms of yearly benefit.
To start, I’ve got a pictorial comparison of the Old Hotness Ritz card and the New and Busted Ritz card for your viewing pleasure.
As we can see, the welcome package took a serious hit and the card design went from the most impressive hand feels on the market to the business-as-usual metal core design of the other high-end Chase cards. You can also see where I failed to take the time to set up appropriate lighting conditions in my photo studio (iPhone X and dinner table). I suppose this was the logical step to take for a card that is no longer offered for application but, gosh, that old solid metal style was a poster child for extravagance.
Luckily, the bad is out of the way and we can focus on the good: annual perks. Every card you get should have a tasty signup bonus with a minimum spend that slows your card acquisition timeline to just barely tolerable by the banks. This is all well and good to start but recurring annual perks are what makes a card worthy of collection space in the military churners lineup. The old Ritz card was no slouch with its $300 airline incidental reimbursement, 3 club level upgrades, and $100 airline ticket discount (but only on paid flights and, really, none of us should be paying for flights anymore).
The new card kept those perks but added a free Ritz night (capped at 50k points) annually. Jackpot. With this new addition, my wife and I get 3 Ritz nights, 9 club upgrades, and $900 in airline incidental reimbursements across our 3 annual fee waived Ritz cards, every year. The hand feel may have downgraded but I’ll take a free night over aesthetics any day.
Remember, the Ritz card is still attainable by getting a Chase Bonvoy Boundless card, waiting a year, and requesting a card upgrade. Do your future self a favor and start that countdown today.
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