Good morning everyone. As the end of the year quickly approaches, I wanted to remind those of you that have a JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Credit Card to max out your $300 travel reimbursement credit by December 31, 2015. I have talked about the travel reimbursement credit several times in the past (once, twice, and thrice), but you still have time to take advantage of the offer in 2015. If you are unsure how much of your $300 travel reimbursement credit you have left, call the number on the back of your Ritz Carlton credit card to find out. I called last week and was told that I had $36.53 left for 2015. Spoiler alert: I maxed out the travel reimbursement credit for 2015.
Here are the full terms of the Travel Credit on Chase’s website (link).
To request a statement credit to apply towards qualifying airline incidental Net Purchase(s) made with your Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card, you must contact J.P. Morgan Priority Services at the number on the back of your Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card within 4 billing cycles of the purchase date. Only the following types of non-ticket Net Purchases qualify for this offer: airline lounge day pass, or towards a yearly lounge membership of your choice; airline seat upgrades; airline baggage fees; in-flight internet/entertainment; in-flight meals; Global Entry fees. (“Net Purchases” are purchases of goods and services made by you or any authorized user on your account minus any returns or refunds, and do not include balance transfers, cash advances, cash-like charges such as travelers checks, foreign currency, and money orders, any checks that access your account, overdraft advances, interest, unauthorized or fraudulent charges, or fees of any kind, including an annual fee, if applicable.) We do not determine whether merchants correctly identify and bill transactions as being of a certain type. However, we do reserve the right to determine which purchases qualify for statement credits. Statement credit will post to your account within 5-7 business days and will appear on your monthly credit card billing statement within 1-2 billing cycles. Qualifying purchases made by authorized users on your account are eligible for statement credits; however, only the obligor on the account, not authorized users, may request statement credits. Maximum statement credit accumulation for this offer is $300 per calendar year. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards is not responsible for offer fulfillment or the provision of or a failure to provide the stated benefits and services.
“Airline seat upgrades” is one of the reimbursable options and I asked the JPMorgan rep if Southwest Airlines EarlyBird Check-In was considered a seat upgrade since you technically get a “better” seat when you check-in earlier. He seemed to agree with my logic. After that call, I decided to *splurge* and pay $12.50 for Southwest Airlines EarlyBird Check-In (link) for my Southwest Airlines flights over Christmas.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Southwest Airlines EarlyBird Check-In service, the Southwest Airlines reservation system will automatically check you in
24 hours 36 hours before your flight departs. Since you are checked in 12 hours before the “non-EarlyBird Check-in-ers,” you will get a better seat than if you checked in at the 24 hour mark. This is great if you want to sit near the front of the plane and have plenty of overhead bin space to choose from. The EarlyBird Check-In is $12.50 per person, per confirmation number, per day.
For example, if you booked SFO-LAS-DAL as one confirmation number, you will have EarlyBird Check-In for the entire one-way trip. If you booked a round trip flight from SFO to DAL back to SFO with a stop in DAL, you would need to pay for EarlyBird Check-In twice (if you wanted it twice). Aside from getting on the plane faster and having more overhead bin space to choose from, you do not receive any other service (no free drinks or in-flight perks).
After I returned home from my Southwest Airlines trip, I called the number on the back of the Ritz Carlton credit card and spoke to a very nice rep. I told her that I had a few travel purchases that I would like to get reimbursed. She happily applied the travel reimbursement credit to my account. The most she could apply was $36.53 since that was all that was left for 2015. I thanked her for her help and hung up. The following day, the travel reimbursement credit posted to my account. Pretty easy process.
What’s my plan for 2016?
I have a crazy 2 week EuroTrip planned for January 2016. I will be visiting London, Paris, Nice, Munich, Venice, and Dublin, and I am flying between all of those cities (see Great Circle Mapper). Since most flights in Europe do not let you pick seats for free, I am going to wait until January 1 and pay for assigned seating on most of these flights.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. Have a great day and safe travels everyone!