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The Ritz-Carlton credit card that’s issued by Chase offers an annual $300 credit for incidental spending with airlines but with most people either not able to travel or not interested in travel, Chase has extended the credit to cover grocery spending and dining expenditure too.
This extension of the Ritz-Carlton’s airline fee credit to cover dining and groceries was never formally announced but it has been in place since the beginning of July. The key aspects of the credit are as follows:
- Cardholders can use the $300 travel credit to offset spending made on dining and at grocery stores worldwide.
- The credit can be used for spending at restaurants and grocery stores through 31 December 2020.
- Purchases must have posted to the account by 31 December 2020 to be eligible to be offset.
- Ritz-Carlton cardholders should call in or use secure messaging to have any qualifying spending offset just as they would if they were offsetting incidental airline spending under normal conditions.
When I called the number on the back of my Ritz-Carlton card to confirm the details of this extended benefit, the phone agent couldn’t answer one very key question: Will Chase claw back any points earned from dining if the $300 travel credit is used to offset the cost of that dining?
Considering the Ritz-Carlton credit card is currently earning cardholders 10 points/dollar on dining through 30 September, this is a pretty important question and although we’re now getting reports of people successfully claiming the $300 for dining expenditure and still seeing all their points posting to their accounts, I’m planning to play things a little more cautiously as I’m yet to be convinced that Chase won’t claw those points back.
It’s important to remember that holders of the excellent Chase Sapphire Reserve Card don’t earn any points on the spending they recoup when they use the $300 travel credit that the Sapphire Reserve Card offers, so it’s not entirely unreasonable to think that Chase may apply a similar policy to the $300 credit offered by the Ritz-Carlton Card retrospectively. Sure, the policy for the Ritz-Carlton card may be different than the policy for the Sapphire Reserve card but I don’t see any reason to take a chance.
While the Ritz-Carlton Card has been offering 10 points/dollar for all dining and gas spending the $300 that I’m allowed to recoup has earned me 3,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points. Rather than put those points at risk, I’m happy to put a further $300 of dining spending on the Ritz-Carlton card outside of the 10 points/dollar promotion and then apply the card’s credit to that particular expenditure. Here’s why:
If Chase decides to claw back the points I’ll only be out 900 Bonvoy Points instead of 3,000 (the Ritz-Carlton card earns 3 points/dollar on dining under normal conditions) and if the points aren’t clawed back, I will have given up 900 Ultimate Rewards points to insure my Marriott Bonvoy earnings (ordinarily I’d use my Chase Sapphire Reserve Card when I eat out as it earns a 3 Ultimate Rewards Points per dollar at eateries worldwide). That’s not a fantastic deal by any means, but it’s a deal I’m willing to take.
How are you approaching the expanded $300 credit the Ritz-Carlton Card is currently offering?