Or, consider other cards for 50,000 more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
Reward nights start at 10,000 points. Free anniversary night (no points needed) good at any IHG hotel (Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, more).
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
Some hotel loyalty programs have upper layers of top properties that have somewhat different rules. For example, Hilton HHonors has Waldorf Astoria, Priority Club has Intercontinental, and Marriott Rewards has Ritz Carlton.
The difference is, however, that Ritz Carlton is not just a brand collection of top quality hotels that operates within the confines of the same program, even though governed by somewhat different rules – it actually has its own loyalty program, Ritz Carlton Rewards.
Ritz Carlton even has a separate cobranded credit card that’s also, like Marriott Rewards, is issued by Chase.
Still, despite being marketed as separate programs, Marriott Rewards and Ritz Carlton Rewards are tightly intertwined with one another and in fact the programs are almost identical.
The good news is that you can change your program affiliation any time, and keep all of your points and status progress intact.
The terms of both programs say:
“Members may transfer from the Marriott Rewards Program to The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Program or from The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Program to the Marriott Rewards Program at any time by contacting the relevant Rewards Program Guest Services office.
A Member’s Membership Number will remain the same when transferring between Rewards Programs and all accumulated Points and Elite night credits will transfer to the new Rewards Program selected.”
As for which is better, Ritz Carlton Rewards might be a better idea, simply because Ritz Carlton members can use both Ritz Carlton and Marriott free night-earning promotions like Megabonus, while Marriott Rewards members can generally only use promotions from Marriott Rewards.
If you have a Ritz Carlton account you might not get Marriott Rewards promotions directly mailed to you, but if you keep an eye on them you can register on your own.
Ritz Carlton also sometimes offers bonuses for elite qualifying nights to Ritz Carlton members for stays at Ritz hotels, and you can only enroll if your account is labeled as a Ritz Carlton account.
And the Ritz Carlton membership card looks more luxurious.
The downside is, some people say Ritz Carlton Rewards customer service is less consistent than Marriott Rewards customer service.
No, you must be either a Marriott Rewards or Ritz Carlton Rewards member – you can’t have both tied to an account, and while it might be technically possible to have two separate accounts, the rules of the programs are that you can only have one account per person at a time.
No, you have to contact Guest Services by phone or email.
There are no official limits.
No. You can sign up for the Ritz Carlton card with your Marriott Rewards number if you want to keep your primary relationship with Marriott.
No. You can sign up for a Marriott credit card with your Ritz Carlton Rewards number if you want to keep your primary relationship with Ritz Carlton.
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