As a member of the Ritz Carlton Rewards program, you can EARN Ritz Carlton Rewards points. You can then USE these points for free travel. As a member of the program, you also have the opportunity to gain Ritz Carlton Rewards Elite Status by paying for stays at Ritz Carlton Resorts (or Marriott Resorts) or by using a Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card. Elite status offers additional membership perks and benefits.
Ritz divides its hotels into ascending tiers, in their case five. The tier is based on the location and the services and amenities the hotel offers. The Hotel Tier determines the number of points required for a complimentary night.