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What’s the Difference Between Marriott Rewards vs Ritz Carlton Rewards?

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This article was last updated Aug 25, 2016, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

The information related to The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card has been collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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 — The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card, that’s also, like the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card, 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 point and status earning requirements are the same.
  • The redemption prices and hotels available are the same, too.
  • Status recognition is reciprocal – for example, Ritz Carlton Platinum members recieve Platinum recognition at Marriott and vice versa. You’ll be treated the same at a Ritz Carlton regardless of whether you’re a Marriott Platinum or Ritz Carlton Platinum. Note, however, that Platinum status gets you a better bang at Marriott as Platinums don’t even get access to the lounge at Ritz Carlton hotels.

Which Program Should You Choose?

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 Rewards® Credit Card looks more luxurious.

The downside is, some people say Ritz Carlton Rewards customer service is less consistent than Marriott Rewards customer service.

Marriott and Ritz Carlton Awards FAQ

Can you merge two Marriott and Ritz accounts?

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.

Can you switch from one account to another online?

No, you have to contact Guest Services by phone or email.

Are there limits to how many times you can switch?

There are no official limits.

If you have a Marriott account and want The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card – do you need to convert your account first?

No. You can sign up for The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card with your Marriott Rewards number if you want to keep your primary relationship with Marriott.

If you have a Ritz account and want the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card – do you need to convert?

No. You can sign up for the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card with your Ritz Carlton Rewards number if you want to keep your primary relationship with Ritz Carlton.


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