Now the standard offer is two free nights at any Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel worldwide - you will need to pay the $395 annual fee and spend $3,000 within 3 months. Note that the certificate will expire after 6 months. A Tier 4 hotel requires 60,000 points per night. Thus you may view this as an 120,000 points offer; however, we will choose points over the night certificates any day due to the better expiration policy and flexibility. We think while this is not as lucrative as the best limited time offers, it is better than the previous standard offers - kudos to Chase. Keep in mind that you can't redeem these certificates at 14 top-tier properties including The Ritz-Carlton hotels in Bachelor Gulch, Naples, Miami South Beach, Miami Bal Harbour, Miami Key Biscayne, New York Central Park, Grand Cayman, St. Thomas, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai Pudong, Dubai, and two EDITION hotels in Miami Beach and New York. However, there are still some amazing properties that are Tier 1-4, such as the ones in Laguna Niguel (rates from $449 per night), Half Moon Bay (from $495), San Fransisco (from $399), Washington DC Georgetown (from $369), Aruba (from $359), London (EDITION, from $500), Vienna (from $360), and Kyoto (from $440).
While the $395 annual fee seems high, remember after you take advantage of the annual $300 airline credit your effective annual fee is only $95 and it does come with valuable perks such as Ritz-Carlton & Marriott Gold status for the first year and maintained with $10K spending each year thereafter, three Ritz-Carlton Club level room upgrades each year (which can only be used on paid stays), unlimited Lounge Club membership, and primary rental car insurance. That is why we regard this product highly and recommend it as one of credit cards worth paying annual fees without spending. However, if you decide to cancel after the first year, you may actually get up to $600 in airline credit since the credit is based on calendar year rather than membership year.
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