- Three complimentary nights at any Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel after spending $5,000 within three months
- 10,000 bonus points after adding an authorized user and having them make a purchase within the first three months
While the card has a $450 annual fee, it comes with all kinds of perks that help to offset it, including a $300 annual airline credit, Ritz-Carlton Gold status (which is also valuable at Marriott properties), a $100 domestic companion airfare benefit, three Ritz-Carlton club upgrades per year, etc.
However, there’s one benefit of the card that’s much better than I was expecting.
Reasons you want to add an authorized user on this card
You can add authorized users on this card at no extra cost (I believe up to six), and there are some nice perks for doing so.
For one, you earn 10,000 bonus points after adding an authorized user and having them make a purchase within three months.
On top of that, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card comes with a Priority Pass membership, and authorized users get that benefit as well. So this can be a great way to get lounge access for your friends as well. However, nowadays that might not be quite as valuable as in the past, given just how many credit cards offer Priority Pass memberships nowadays.
Plaza Premium Lounge London Heathrow, accessible with Priority Pass
But there’s one other big perk that seems to be working for authorized users in practice.
Does the $100 domestic airfare discount work for authorized users?
In addition to the great sign-up bonus and the ability to earn Gold status through the card long term, I think the other biggest benefit offered by the card is the $100 domestic airfare discount. I’ve written a separate detailed post about this, so be sure to check it out for all the details.
To sum it up, this card comes with a Visa Infinite perk where you can save $100 on airfare when you book at least two passengers on a domestic itinerary. You still earn miles and are eligible for upgrades as usual, but for a two person itinerary you’re basically saving $50 per person. I could see myself being able to cover the card’s annual fee with this perk alone.
The card’s benefits page says that “the primary cardholder must be the primary passenger on the itinerary.”
However, the terms & conditions don’t make any reference to needing to be the primary cardmember in order to qualify for this offer. Instead, it indicates that you’re eligible as long as you’re a “cardmember in good standing” and as long as “the cardmember’s name on the Visa Infinite card” is the same as that of the primary traveler:
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card cardmembers in good standing with their issuer are entitled to receive a $100 discount on the purchase of between 2 and 5 qualifying round-trip, domestic coach airline tickets on the same itinerary when purchased on the Visa Infinite Discount Air website using an eligible U.S.-issued Visa Infinite card. The $100 discount is applied to the total cost of the itinerary, not per ticket.
Ticket must be purchased in full using a U.S.-issued Visa Infinite card. No other form of payment will be accepted. The cardmember’s name on the Visa Infinite card being used to purchase the tickets must match the primary traveler’s name on the itinerary.
Without exception readers have reported being able to use $100 domestic airfare companion benefit for authorized users as well. I just tried this out on an authorized user card myself, and had no issues either.
I can’t guarantee this will always be the case, but at least as of now it sure seems like even authorized users are eligible for this benefit, which has the potential to be huge.
For what it’s worth, other Visa Infinite cards offer this perk to authorized users as a published perk as well, so I suspect that may be the intent here.
Anecdotally the $100 domestic companion airfare discount seems to be working for authorized users on The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card as well. While the card’s marketing bullets indicate this is intended for primary cardmembers, the terms & conditions don’t make such a reference, and in practice authorized users are having no trouble using this benefit. So I can’t guarantee it’ll stick around, but at least as of now that’s possible.
Being able to give this benefit to all your authorized users (there’s no fee to add them) has the potential to be very valuable, and is another thing that could make this card worthwhile.