The Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card charges an impressive $395 as annual fee, but offers a plethora of features and benefits for card users. The rewards points can be accumulated quickly and redeemed in many different ways – in fact, you can redeem your points in more than 250 ways.
A spend of $4,000 in the first three months of card activation can get you two complimentary nights stay at a tier 1-4 Ritz Carlton hotel.
One of the most interesting benefits that travelers get from using this card is that they can access airport lounges at hundreds of airports spread all over the world.
With this card, you earn five points for every dollar spent at Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Renaissance, and other hotel chains. You’re not restricted to only Ritz-Carlton properties, you can enjoy more and save a lot with this card. Airlines tickets booked with the airlines and not via a travel agency, car rentals, and restaurants net you two points for every dollar. All other purchases get you one point to a dollar. In-room WI-Fi is complimentary for hotel reservations made directly with The Ritz-Carlton, this can be done online, via the mobile app, or in person.
Points accumulated during the year earn you a 10% premium. It’s a thoughtful feature to help cardholders accelerate the rate at which they earn reward points. Each year, you are given three complimentary upgrades to The Ritz-Carlton Club level for stays that extend for seven nights or more.
An impressive $300 annual travel credit can be used by you in a number of ways – baggage fees, seat upgrades, access exclusive lounge areas, and more. Hotel stays of two days and more earn you $100 hotel credit that can be used for dining, spa, and similar activities. Don’t worry about foreign transaction fees on your travels abroad.
In your first year as a cardholder, you are elevated to Gold Elite status, qualifying you for all the accompanying benefits such as exclusive points bonuses, late checkouts, dedicated guest service lines, etc. Maintain this status with an annual net spend of $10,000. Spend $75,000 using this card and you can enjoy the perks that come with Platinum Elite status, such as a 50% bonus on the points you accumulate during your stay at a Ritz-Carlton property and guaranteed room availability at a 48-hour notice.
You should check out the card’s website for periodic offers that can help you accrue more points without having to spend any more than you want to. For example, hold meetings and events at the hotel and get upgraded to Silver, Gold, or Platinum Elite levels. Earn up to 50,000 points or 15,000 airline miles per event for holding receptions, banquets, or reunions at the hotel. It’s nice to have a choice between points and miles.
In addition, if you’re of the opinion that Ritz-Carlton points add to your experience when you stay at a Ritz property, then you may purchase these points at the rate of 1000 points for $12.50.
IHG, which owns brands such as Candlewood Suites, InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge Suites, and Holiday Inn, offers an interesting mix of rewards with its IHG Rewards Club Select credit card. Purchases made using this card attract an interest of 15.99%.
Purchases of $1000 over a period of three months will get you 60,000 points. There are no annual fees with this card for the first year; after this, you pay an annual fee of $49. IHG has more than 4,900 properties all over the world and every year, you get one night’s stay free at an HG hotel of your choice. This is to commemorate your anniversary with the hotel.
Every dollar spent via the credit card at the hotel earns you five points. These five points are over and above the ten points you get for being an IHG Club member. This means that this card gives you 15 points for every dollar spent at IHG properties. Purchases at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores get you two points to a dollar. This feature makes the card attractive for all, including those who are not regular patrons of IHG hotels. Two points on important purchases adds a lot of value to this card. All other purchases will add one point to your kitty.
A standout feature of the IHG Rewards Club Select credit card is the 10% rebate during points redemption. This means that if you redeem 50,000 IHG rewards points, you get back 5,000 points. It is a nice way to make your points do more for you. In one year, you can get up to 100,000 points back in this manner. With this feature in place, you are likely to always have some points with you for an impulse purchase or to buy a gift for a loved one. You may want to check out the brand’s online Rewards Club Catalog where at the time of writing buyers using points to purchase were eligible for an impressive 15% discount on merchandize that includes garments, electronic items, kitchenware, and more.
The points are easy to redeem. They never expire, and can also be redeemed for miles, which means air travel becomes that much cheaper. 5,000 points will let you book a Reward Night at any hotel of your choice, and if the points are insufficient, you can combine these with cash payments.
Unlike with other hotel rewards cards, where you have to work your way up the elite status ladder, if you hold an IHG rewards card you automatically get to enjoy platinum elite status. Benefits that accompany this status include complimentary room upgrades, elite rollover nights, and guaranteed room availability. Apart from these, the standout benefit here is that you get a 50% bonus on money spent at IHG properties.
The IHG Rewards Club Select credit card offers a lot more than other cards with a similar annual fee. The card is a widely acceptable one and when used abroad, you don’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees. That is a saving of 3% on expenses abroad.
The United MileagePlus Explorer card is a good airlines card to have in your pocket if you want the best of both – a good signup bonus and strong regular features that encourage you to use the card for making purchases. Spend $1,000 within three months of activating your card to earn 30,000 bonus miles. Within the same period if you make a purchase and add a card member, you get another 5,000 miles free. That’s 35,000 miles that can get you a round-trip to many destinations in United States.
The card does not charge a fee for the first year, after that it is $95 per year. The card charges an interest of 15.99%, no periods of 0% interest here. Nevertheless, if you can pay off your monthly credit card bills on time, this shouldn’t be a big deal. The due date is after 21 days of the end of the billing cycle. Balance transfers attract a fee of 5% from the very first billing statement. Spend $25,000 in a year using this card, and you get 10,000 miles as a reward for being a good cardholder. What’s more, by meeting this criterion you will acquire Elite status with the airline and be able to enjoy the benefits that accompany this status. Redeem your miles without worries about restrictions or blackout dates. If a flight is available, you can use your reward points for it. Apart from air tickets, you can also redeem your miles for car rentals and a range of merchandise that includes jewelry, restaurant vouchers, and more.
Each dollar spent on tickets bought from United will net you two miles. All other purchases yield one mile to a dollar. With the MileagePlus Explorer card, your points don’t expire and you can redeem them at your convenience. This is a worthwhile feature because with non-cardholders United miles lapse after a specific period of inactivity. Purchase your air-travel tickets with the United MileagePlus Explorer card and get the first checked bags free for the cardholder and one companion. This is worth a saving of $100.
Apart from the regular rewards, United periodically runs limited-period offers such as discounted fare to global travel destinations on United Airlines as well as other operators. Enjoy discounted fares to destinations abroad as well as no foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the United States. With this card, you can enjoy priority boarding on flights operated by United, say goodbye to the long boarding queues. You get two free passes each year, enjoy the ambience of the United Club before you board the flight; complimentary food and drinks, free Wi-Fi and other amenities await you. Enjoy special privileges courtesy the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection program by Chase. More than 700 luxury hotels and resorts offer you services such as room upgrades, complimentary breakfasts, early check-ins, late checkouts, and more. If you’re a regular with United Airlines, this card offers a great value proposition with its bonus miles, and low annual fee given the facilities and features it provides.
The Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Reward Premier card is a natural choice for dedicated customers of Southwest Airlines and also those who are looking for a rewards card that has a lot to offer. The sign-up bonus sets the tone or the good times to come; spend a mere $1000 in three months and earn 25,000 bonus points. Twelve months after your enrollment, you’re gifted 6,000 bonus points to celebrate your anniversary with this card. You see, earning and accumulating points is easy with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card.
Get two points on a dollar for purchases related to Southwest, these include the airlines as well as expenses related to Southwest Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases. All other purchases earn you one point. Buy from the Rapid Rewards Shopping portal for some interesting deals that can earn you points. Transfers to this card are made attractive by a very appealing offer; you can add up to 15,000 points if you transfer your debt to this card within 90 days of activating your account. The card charges a balance transfer fee of 5% and interest at the rate of 15.99% APR; the same rate that it charges for purchases. In both cases, you’re not offered a period with 0% APR. The card charges a membership fee of $99 applicable from the very first billing statement. But, come to think of it, the card pays for itself with the points gifted on your anniversary.
When traveling with Southwest Airlines, you are entitled to rewards with tickets for Wanna Get Away, Anytime, and Business Select categories. However, remember to book your tickets directly with the airlines and not via a travel agent. The Wanna Get Away category with its low-priced tickets offers excellent returns for the points that you’ll accumulate with this card. For the other two categories, you’ll need more points to pay for the fare, but in return, you get a smoother traveling experience with features such as priority boarding.
As a cardholder, you are exempt from Change Fees that you’d otherwise have to pay for changing a Southwest Airlines flight. With this card, you can redeem points at more than 70,000 participating hotels. Apart from flight fares, you can also redeem the points for car rentals, cruises, and even gift cards. The points don’t expire. Travel abroad and spend to your heart’s content with this card, there are no foreign transaction fees. If you’re looking for a card that lets you fly in style with all the benefits that you’d expect from a great loyalty program, then the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier card is a good choice. With this card, your first and second checked bags will fly free of cost. The card runs a program offering Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) that let achieve elite status qualification; you get to the A-List which offers benefits such as Priority Check-in and Fly By Priority Lanes reserved check-in, standby priority, etc. A $10,000 spend nets you 1000 points. There’s a ceiling of 15,000 TQPs with this card. These points are distinct from the rewards points and cannot be used interchangeably.
Chase Slate is one of the first choices for people looking for a credit card that can help them get out of debt. This is not a rewards card; but it has an impressive feature set to make it an ideal complementary card for even those who have good credit.
The 0% introductory APR on purchases lasts for 15 months, it’s an opportunity to finance a major purchase; transfers too attract interest-free financing for the same period. Use payments to clear debts without having to worry about interests for more than a year. There aren’t many cards aimed at helping people get out of debt that match this offer by Chase Slate.
Regular interests on purchases and transfers are charged at 12.99%, 17.99%, or 22.99% APR, interest varies with your credit score. You can avoid the card’s balance transfer fee of 3% if you transfer your debt to this card within 60 days of acquiring the card. The amount can be used to lower your debt.
There’s no annual fee charged by Chase Slate; more money that you can direct toward clearing debt and raising your credit score. Chase Blueprint is a program that lets cardholders work toward improving their creditworthiness by planning how they repay the credit drawn. There are four options you can choose from. These include Full Pay, Split, Finish It, and Track It. These options let you pay for small and big purchases, and also chart a monthly payment plan so that you can pay off the existing balance as early as possible. Late payment does not lead to an increase in the APR, which is a good thing for those times when you might miss a payment due to unforeseen expenses. However, it will affect your credit score and may even bring the free APR period to an abrupt end. Therefore, to be on the safe side, do not carry debts into the next month.
Get a free monthly FICO score and information on steps to further boost credit ratings. The score takes into account your Experian credit history. Chase Slate attracts a foreign transaction fee of 3%, but given that foreign travel is not likely to be very high on the priority list of folks looking to improve their credit health, this is not really a downside to this card.
The Chase Slate credit card is a secure one, courtesy an embedded chip that helps to validate transactions made by a chip card reader. All transactions are monitored via Real-Time Fraud Monitoring to ensure bonafide transactions. If any unusual activity is detected, you are alerted via text messages, phone or email. Basically, you need not worry about any liability regarding unauthorized purchases. This said, adding a family member to the card is a breeze and can even help you with recovering lost credit reputation.