I’ve noticed a biding war between Amex Platnum and Chase Ritz Carlton over the past two years as the flagship wallet candy. Now they are offering 2 nights at a tier 4 hotel (valued at 60k ritz points per night), So I went ahead and got the card despite the $395 price tag. Outright the yearly cost paid for itself by reimbursing me for a $600 upgrade to business first for my wife from SFO to NRT. They paid me back $300 for the upgrade. The remaining $95 was made up for in the access to lounge club which is better than the priority pass by allowing a guest to join you in the airport lounge. (mind you less lounges). However the free gold status on Marriott and Ritz Carlton was well worth it. This gives you access to the Marriott lounge, free breakfast or additional points during any stay.
The big goal however was to book 5 days in Bali at the Ritz which is a tier 4. So the card comes with an initial offer of 2 free nights, combined with points transferred from Ultimate Rewards from Chase I am planning to have 5 nights booked for the price of four since the 5th night is free in this situation.
So the card has surpassed the Amex Platinum in all fronts. It will reimburse $300 in travel expenses (justified on the phone) for baggage fees, upgrades and even global entry. It is accepted everywhere and it has the lounge access of Amex, if you get this card before staring active duty it may very well be free, but I got this now so it looks like no annual fee reimbursement from the SCRA for me :(.
So this is my new card, planning on using it in the south pacific area where ritz hotels are in the lower tiers. Going to try to stay at these properties and maximize my points. Additionally ear 5x RC points at Marriott and Ritz, and 2x on dining and tickets. Not a bad use of points.
Also the card comes in a nice presentation box and weighs a good full ounce, feels nice and it has a plunk to it when its dropped! Thinking about earning points for hotels now instead of flights! I will let you know how it goes!
Card comes in a 2 lbs box
Over the top packaging
It’s almost too much!
Well documented on benefits.
Weighed about twice as much as the sapphire!