HomeCredit CardsChase Credit CardsThe credit card you can't apply for but can still get

The credit card you can’t apply for but can still get

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Some credit cards have a shelf life, so while cards like the card_name seem to have been around forever (in one form or another), there are others that have come and gone and are (mostly) forgotten in the mists of time.

Not all these cards, however, disappear completely.

In some cases, the card issuer keeps them alive for existing cardholders and simply makes them unavailable to everyone else, and in some rare cases, the cards are kept alive for existing cardholders, and they remain silently accessible to people who know how to get them.

One such card is the Ritz-Carlton™ credit card from Chase.

The Ritz-Carlton™ credit card

The Ritz-Carlton™ credit card that is around today isn’t quite the same card as it was when it was first introduced (it got ‘enhanced’), but it remains a card that can be very useful to hold and a card that in the right hands, can more than cover its $450 annual fee.

This is what the card offers.

Earning rates

  • 6 Bonvoy points/dollar on eligible spending with Marriott.
  • 3 Bonvoy points/dollar on dining worldwide.
  • 3 Bonvoy points/dollar on spending made directly with car rental agencies.
  • 3 Bonvoy points/dollar on spending made directly with airlines.
  • 2 Bonvoy points/dollar on all other eligible spending.

Key benefits

  • Every anniversary, cardholders get a free night award valid at properties costing up to 85,000 points per night*.
  • 3 x annual Club Level upgrades valid on stays of up to seven nights at Ritz-Carlton properties (only useable with select cash rates).
  • An annual $300 airline credit which can be used to offset a variety of airline charges.
  • An annual $100 hotel credit valid on eligible room charges made at Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis properties (minimum stay of 2 nights required).
  • Priority Pass select membership (includes access to PP restaurants)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status (valid for as long as the card is active).
  • 15 elite night credits per year.
  • A Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit worth up to $100 every four years.
  • Primary rental car insurance.
  • Discounts at select car rental agencies (Avis, National, and Silvercar).
  • No cost to add authorized users.
  • Trip delay protection.
  • Trp cancellation/interruption cover.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

*Just as with other Marriott free night certificates, this can be topped up with up to 15,000 Bonvoy points.

What makes this card great

Firstly, the $300 annual airline fee credit is relatively simple to use (it’s a lot easier than the airline credit issued by card_name).

There’s no need to preselect a single airline on which this credit can be used, and while the terms and conditions of card state that the credit can only be used on the following types of non-ticket purchases …

  • Airline lounge day pass.
  • Yearly airline lounge memberships.
  • Airline seat upgrades
  • Airline baggage fees
  • In-flight Internet/entertainment
  • In-flight meals.

… my personal experience with this card shows that charges like award fees and even some cheaper airline bookings can be rebated using this benefit.

This credit is valid for a calendar year and although cardholders must call Chase card services to request a statement credit within 4 billing cycles of the purchase date (there’s no way to do this online), this benefit alone can go a very long way to offsetting the card’s annual fee.

Secondly, the free night certificate valid at properties costing up to 85,000 points per night is the best free night certificate that any Marriott co-branded credit card issues and on its own, could cover the cost of the card’s annual fee.

Personally, each time I have used this certificate in recent years it has been for a 1-night stay that would have costed me in excess of $500, so I get great value out of this benefit.

Thirdly, not only can you add authorized users to this card for no extra cost, but each authorized user also gets their own Priority Pass select membership which gives them access to over 2,000 airport lounges worldwide.

This membership also gives each authorized user credits at airport restaurants which are participating in the Priority Pass program, and it gives authorized users the right to bring up to 10 guests with them into the lounges. Yes, you read that correctly – up to 10 guests.

Put simply, the Ritz-Carlton™ credit card offers the best Priority Pass membership out of any credit card that I know of.

Fourthly, the card offers great auto and trip protections.

The primary auto rental collision insurance on offer means that anyone using their card to pay for their rental in full and declining the rental car company’s collision insurance, enjoys up to $75,000 of cover for theft and collision damage in the U.S. and abroad, and wouldn’t have to get their own insurance company involved in the case of an incident.

The trip cancellation/interruption and trip delay insurances offered by the Ritz-Carlton™ credit card are among the better insurances offered by any U.S. credit card with cover of up to $10,000 per person/$20,000 per trip offered for cancellation/interruption, and up to $500 of cover for delays of 6 hours or more.

Importantly, these insurances are valid on one-way, roundtrip, or open jaw bookings, and that makes these benefits stronger than the similar benefits offers by card_name (which only covers round trip bookings).

In addition to the above, the card also gives cardholders emergency evacuation and transportation cover, roadside assistance, an emergency medical and dental benefit, travel accident insurance and baggage delay insurance, which all go a long way to making travel feel a little more secure.

Note on the Amex cover: Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

How to get the Ritz-Carlton™ credit card

As I mentioned in the beginning, this isn’t a credit card that you can apply for, but it’s still a credit card that you can get if you hold one of the other Marriott Bonvoy co-branded consumer credit cards issued by Chase.

Anyone who has held the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card, or the Marriott Bonvoy™ credit card for at least a year and who has a credit line of at least $10,000 on their card†, can ask to have their card upgraded to the Ritz-Carlton™ credit card. It’s that simple. All it takes is a call to Chase.

You won’t find this advertised anywhere and you won’t find the Ritz-Carlton™ credit card on the main Chase website, but it’s there and upgrading to it is remarkably simple once you’ve held a Chase Marriott Bonvoy consumer credit card for at least a year.

The Ritz-Carlton™ credit card is a Visa Infinite credit card and Chase requires Visa Infinite cardholders to have a credit line of at least $10,000 on their card. If your current Marriott co-branded card doesn’t have a credit line that high, you may be able to ask chase to move some credit from any other Chase consumer cards that you hold.

Related: Is the Ritz-Carlton™ credit card going to make a surprising return.

Bottom line

This is a card that I hold in my wallet and one that between the airline credits and the annual free night certificate, more than covers its own annual fee.

I don’t use it for much everyday spending as its earning rates are weak, but it pays for my airfares (and award taxes/surcharges) when I’m booking a one-way or open jaw itineraries as none of my other cards comes close to covering me as well as the Ritz-Carlton™ credit card does for trips such as those.

Overall and in the right hands, the Ritz-Carlton™ credit card can be a fantastic card to hold, and while this isn’t a card that you can apply for directly or a card that you can earn a welcome bonus with, it’s still a card that you can get if you know how … and it’s not complicated at all.

Link to Chase’s Ritz-Carlton™ credit card guide
Link to Chase’s Ritz-Carlton™ credit card benefits guide

Featured image: The Ritz-Carlton St Thomas.

For Your Consideration

a black credit card with a white line and a chip

Currently, if you successful apply for the card_name (Amex's high-end premium Marriott credit card), you can bonus_miles_full.

(Annual fee annual_fees - rates & fees).

Select Benefit Highlights (terms apply & enrollment may be required):

  • Annual free night award worth up to 85,000 points
  • Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status
  • 25 elite night credits every year (limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy® member account).
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck
  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • Up to $25/month in dining statement credits

Click for more details on the card_name

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, please visit rates & fees

Regarding Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser or any other advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility or any other advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


    • I meant that you don’t find it being promoted alongside all the other hotel cards on the part of the site where all of the cards Chase issues are shown.


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