Posted by Chuck on January 17, 2020
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Published on January 17th, 2020 | by Chuck

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Chase Ritz-Carlton Terminates the $100 Visa Infinite Airfare Benefit Without Notice

Visa and Chase have suddenly removed the Visa Infinite $100 airfare benefit when buying 2+ tickets effective immediately on the Ritz-Carlton Visa Infinite card.

See: Visa Infinite Benefit: Save $100 On Round Trip Domestic Airfares 

On the Visa Infinite site it shows “Visa Discount Air Benefit will no longer be available to cardholders after 12/31/2019” and on the dedicated Chase Ritz-Carlton page of the site it shows:

Effective 1/15/20, your Ritz Carlton Visa Infinite card no longer offers the Visa Discount Air Benefit. Air itineraries booked via the Visa Discount Air Benefit prior to 1/15/20 will still be honored and valid for travel. For full Terms & Conditions and FAQs please visit www.visa.com/discountair. If you need servicing on your existing Visa Discount Air itinerary, please contact the airlines directly for assistance as Concierge will no longer have access to your itinerary. Thank you

The benefit was removed from the City National Bank Visa Infinite card effective 1/1/20 – they gave us advance warning on that. They’ve now suddenly removed the benefit on the Chase Ritz card as well effective 1/15/20.

There were some other Visa Infinite cards which had the bonus, including the UBS Visa Infinite and SunTrust Private Wealth Visa Infinite. The UBS card is showing as not having that benefit any more (I’m unsure when that change went into effect), while the Suntrust card seems to still have the benefit. 

It’s really surprising that they removed this benefit without notice. This is a big hit to the value of the Ritz card.

Hat tip to readers Kuku and Hari



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OazizpharmD
OazizpharmD

Really bad move by Chase to do this without notice. I wonder if anyone who recently paid their annual fee to keep this card for future bookings have any recourse to recover that fee. On another note I can’t recall any real benefits to this card outside of PP access now that this benefit has been removed, unless you want to use it a a weapon.

ranova
ranova

Its not just Chase, the entire benefit is gone from all Visas that had it:
https://usa.visa.com/pay-with-visa/cards/visa-credit-cards/discount-air.html

Elias
Elias

We are in the golden age of devaluation. So far I have closed my Citi Prestige, CSR, and now the Ritz. I only have the amex platinum left.

Aloha808
Aloha808

More like a dark age.

Kcihtred2
Kcihtred2

Everything is cyclical

C’mon cHaSe!
C’mon cHaSe!

Seriously. Haven’t seen a real benefit added to any card (don’t even try me on Lyft/DD). Just devalue, increase fee, hiding notice…

David
David

Never had Citi cards yet except for Costco. They seem to be shit anyway. Im keeping CSR. Dont have the Ritz.

Paolo
Paolo

I like Citi because of their extended warranty and price protection (rewind) perks. It was very easy to get $2,500 per card doing price protection. They even approved consumables. And you got signup bonus on top of all that. Good time!

Staradmiral
Staradmiral

Why close the Ritz? for just the $150 effective annual fee you are still getting priority pass with restaurant access for you AND EVERYONE in your extended family/friends you want because of the free authorized users. You still get other visa infinite benefits like excellent travel insurance

CongestionCharge
CongestionCharge

And free 50k night. Easily worth the $150. Disappointed but I’ll be keeping it

Celia
Celia

Those excellent travel benefits took a hit with losing insolvency as a covered benefit.

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

First I’ve heard of this benefit. How often does this happen?

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

What’s your reasoning for keeping Platinum card at this point? Just curious.

Tango
Tango

I am a bit hesitate about closing right away, although the devaluation (in addition to Marriott Bonvoy) was long time coming.

At least get the $300 travel credit back first for this calendar year.

JB SanDiego
JB SanDiego

You just got Bonvoyed!

BONVOY’D
BONVOY’D

You beat me too it!

Aloha808
Aloha808

That sucks.

AJS
AJS

Now I only wish they’d done it 3 months ago, when my fee hit.

Hari
Hari

Retention Offer mode!

Ross
Ross

*Absolutely nobody*
*Chase* “Lets remove all of our benefits and increase annual fees by adding useless credits”

Lrdx
Lrdx

You spelt AmEx wrong.

Paul
Paul

Another devaluation and loss of benefit. Come on Chase, you can do better.

Mike
Mike

WTF Chase… I just pc’d to this card like a month ago in part because of the existence of this benefit.

aubergine
aubergine

They’ve probably got a ton of people who’ve done that, solely for the benefit, and Visa knows those customers will destroy them. Booking a bunch of $59 basic fares x 2 less $100 means Visa loses money by the bucketload. And those new arrivals to RC aren’t going to be a random sampling of members who one can make some broader statistical assumptions. They’re likely coming for that lone unique benefit so will use it far more. Chase probably doesn’t object that much since they just collected an annual fee, and maybe they argue this isn’t a Chase benefit, but a network benefit and they may not owe a refund for such a change in T&C since it didn’t originate with them.

I was considering the effort to get a RC card – to get the VADB – but figured this would eventually happen. It just happened way faster than anyone expected. I would observe it has been stripped from all the other cards offering it a while ago, mostly private banking / HNW types of cards.

Mike
Mike

I in no way disagree with you but to do this with zero warning is just straight up shitty.

Sevillada
Sevillada

To be fair, banks are known to be shitty

qmc
qmc

> And those new arrivals to RC aren’t going to be a random sampling of members who one can make some broader statistical assumptions. They’re likely coming for that lone unique benefit so will use it far more.

Definitely this.

David
David

I really doubt Visa would be “destroyed” by keeping this. Like maybe a slight marginal percent dent on their quarterly returns, but far from destroyed.

aubergine
aubergine

I’m sure the product managers for Visa Infinite were looking at the suite of benefits they offered, and the VADB has always been a bit too good to be true. Now maybe they figured the high end cards that issuers opted to offer it on were going to be held by big spenders, and not chiseling churners, so they figured it would all even out, esp if they booked a few expensive 4 packs of transcons or Hawaii fares and had to pay out $100. But churning community quickly realized a hard dollar $100 discount – no matter what the fare was – could be gold. I think carriers shared some of the cost, since notably B6, which has lots of cheap fares, unplugged from the program.

RC card may still be worth it for some people if they can use that cert, and for some reason want lots of AUs to have PP access.

aubergine
aubergine

When I spoke to a CNB rep about the VADB, they stated this was all coming from Visa. Not their choice. The sudden termination of the benefit for the RC card suggests that was indeed true. It was a fantastic benefit and glad I got to use it 4 times last year.

Visa must have gotten destroyed with tons of sub $100 fares being used for this benefit. It was especially awesome for couples in hub cities who wanted to do weekend short hops on legacy carriers.

T-dawg
T-dawg

This was my second-to-last benefit that I expected to vanish once Discover got the ball rolling on stripping benefits in late 2017.

lenin1991
lenin1991

I particularly enjoy how they posted it in future tense — “will no longer be available” — making it sound like they gave notice ahead of time, despite using a date two weeks past.

Sevillada
Sevillada

Well, it won’t be available in the future (or in the present (. Technically correct

reventon04
reventon04

UBS Visa Infinite cardholder here. They gave out notice in 08/2019 and terminated discount air around 10/2019 for the reason, “Not many clients were using this benefit”.

It sucks big time. Visa Infinite cards now are much less powerful. When can they reduce annual fee as well?

aubergine
aubergine

I think more accurately, a small subset of clients were cleaning them out, and the airlines and VISA were sick of it. They figured the average cardholder didn’t understand the benefit or wasn’t positioned to maximize it. (Not in a hub city, solo traveler, not domestic cheap shorthopper etc.)

Phil
Phil

Is there any particular recourse or anything we can do due to the sudden removal of this? I’m 6 months into my last AF and this was a main selling point of me keeping the card. It’s incredibly shitty for them to remove without notice.

Steve L.
Steve L.

Don’t blame you one bit. I wanted to get this card after what they did to the Reserve but found out it is closed to new accounts. Now Chase has devalued two top cards in a matter of days…..good going Chase.

Jayson
Jayson

I tried. Talked to them for 30 minutes, but no dice. I also have 6 months into my last AF.

Sevillada
Sevillada

Talk to them. Else, file complaints

Geo
Geo

Tell them, and see if they actually listen. My bet is they don’t care. Chase has been voted Least Likely to Give Out a Retention Bonus for 3+ years running.

aubergine
aubergine

Yup, that’s one reason why I think there effective annual fees are much higher. Citi and Amex you typically can get something back, or a discount, assuming you use the cards a little.

Quango
Quango

UBS removed it too 🙁 That was my next card to get as I make SFO->LAX trips so often

reventon04
reventon04

My friend abused the shit out of discount air benefit on his CNB card for this route

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