Ritz Carlton: The Ultimate Military Discount

The Ritz Carlton is arguably the best military discount (outside of those offered by major credit card companies). You can easily score 50% off the lowest rate available online just by following these steps:

Time needed: 15 minutes.

How to Get The Ritz Carlton Military Discount

  1. Decide what location you want to stay at:

    Ritz Carlton website

  2. Make a Free Marriott Bonvoy Account

    You can give them the account number over the phone when you book or when you check in. This allows you to earn 10 points per $1 spent.

  3. Check Availability for your location and desired date

    The Ritz is usually sold out during the peak summer season.

  4. Call the location and book the government rate.

    The discount is not available online. You will need to call to book at government (military) rate.

  5. Consider paying with a travel card to combine the perks.

    The Chase Sapphire has a $300 credit you can apply to the total cost.

  6. Give the check in desk your Marriott Bonvoy account number

    This will ensure you get points for the stay. A Marriott Bonvoy account is free and can be linked with the Chase Sapphire for special perks. If you haven’t made a free account, see the link below.

  7. Bring your military ID

    You will need to show this to the desk at check in.

Yes, these five star hotels frequented by movie stars and wealthy vacationers are incredibly friendly (affordable) for military customers. Let’s walk through my recent experience with the Ritz and then look at some tangible ways to benefit from their discount.

If you are interested in learning about another great military discount, check out our article on how to get a vacation townhouse in Key West for less than half the cost of the average hotel room.

Marriot Bonvoy

Earn points towards free stays while saving up to 50% off your Ritz Carlton stay with this free rewards program.

The Ritz Carlton is owned by Marriott.

Anniversary Getaway

I had heard time and again that the Ritz offers good military discounts but assumed that even with a discount it would be a lot. My anniversary was a great reason to check it out and see if it was really worthwhile. It was a three day weekend and I wanted to find a nice place to stay Saturday and Sunday night.

I called the resort at Amelia Island, FL and asked about their military rates. I wasn’t expecting much, their regular rates for that weekend were $550/ night. My jaw dropped when she said with the military discount it was only $260/ night.

Without any additional benefits they were offering me a $580 discount to the standard rate for those two nights. Also, the rate was less than other typical chain hotels on Amelia Island. All they asked was that I show my ID at check in.

I booked two nights using my newly opened Chase Sapphire Reserve (which I literally opened because of this article). The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a $300 travel credit so the total out of pocket cost was $220 for a weekend at the Ritz.

Being the off season, we had the whole place to ourselves. Because I booked with the Chase Sapphire Reserve which has Marriot Bonvoy status, our room was upgraded to a sixth floor ocean view room. It was sick.

When we got theirs we found champagne and chocolate waiting for us (on the house). That’s what happens when you tell the Ritz it’s your anniversary.

Needless to say the rest of the weekend was awesome. With the money we had saved booking, we didn’t feel guilty ordering a few drinks like this:

Best Old Fashioned I’ve Ever Had

We enjoyed the awesome bars, restaurants and bonfires on the beach. It was actually cold at night, and we finally got to break out this amazing Sherpa waterproof camping blanket that we have never been able to use in Florida. Being on the beach, under the stars and next to a fire was the perfect way to spend a weekend getaway.

And we did all of that while spending less than we would have at an average hotel.

A Couple of Pointers

The discount is not hard to get but here are a few pointers:

  • You need to call the location you are interested in. It’s not mentioned anywhere online.
  • Technically, what they’re giving you is the government rate. At most hotels the government rate is about the same as the standard which is why this discount is so impressive.
  • Your best bet is going in the offseason. Though this rate is always available, Ritz’s are usually booked during peak travel season.
  • They have tons of locations, and the rate does vary.
  • If you are planning on opening a Chase Sapphire Reserve or Amex Platinum consider the benefits they offer when booking your weekend at the Ritz. By combining benefits you will begin to save some serious money.

As crazy as it sounds, I would consider the Ritz if you are travelling on TAD. Per diem and lodging rates are going to be dependent on the area you are travelling to. The Ritz at the government rate could be very close to that rate.

It’s most likely you’ll find this during the off season in a location where the lodging rates are high. Obviously, you need to do your homework here. This might work in some places but will definitely not work in all.

The Ritz Carlton offers you the chance to have an awesome weekend getaway without paying much money. If you combine their rates with other travel card perks than you are well on your way to an almost free weekend.

Most importantly, Ritz Carlton’s are amazing and knowing that you paid half as much as everyone around you is an added bonus that allows you to relax and enjoy your time there.

Bonus: A Useful Tool for Planning Group Travel

The Ritz is ideal for CONUS unofficial or small group official travel. However, in the military is is not uncommon to find yourself planning travel for your unit anywhere in the world. I have found myself in this situation a few times and wanted to share a resource that works well for me. Oliver’s travel is like AirBnb; however it focuses on large homes and has location around the world.

This is the perfect resource for turning training and other funded travel into an awesome trip. Their customer service is impeccable and helps when dealing with last minute changes to plans. The rates are affordable if you plan on splitting it with others in your unit. Most importantly, these awesome homes will turn your training or port call into an unforgettable memory.

Here is an example Villa (that sleeps 6) near Souda Bay:

Note: They are British company so use your Amex Platinum or Chase Sapphire to pay and there will be no conversion fee.

Olivers Travels

Being tasked to plan unit travel can be a major pain. Fortunately, you can turn your training or port call into an unforgettable experience with Olivers Travel.

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