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Edited 8 June 2023: Amex has updated the welcome offer
American Express has just announced the release of the card_name which, as was strongly rumored, will sit between the cheaper consumer Bonvoy cards issued by Chase and the considerably more expensive card_name. Having now had time to digest all the information Amex has provided, I have to admit that I don’t really see the point of this card.
- annual_fees (rates & fees)
bonus_miles_full (more details).
Note: The welcome offer is not open to all applicants. Please see the specific terms reproduced at the end of this article.
Earning rates (terms apply):
- 6 points/dollar for all eligible spending with Marriott
- 4 points/dollar on up to $15,000 of combined spending at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets
- 2 points/dollar for eligible spending in all other categories
Key benefits (terms apply):
- Cardholders will earn 1,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points per eligible Marriott stay (must be booked directly with Marriott).
- Holders of the card are given complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status for as long as the card is open and in good standing.
- Cardholders will be given 15 elite night credits per year
- Cardholders can earn a free night award worth up to 50,000 points upon spending $15,000 on their card in a calendar year.
You’ll find all the benefits associated with the card_name on this page.
It’s hard to know where to start as my first and overriding thought was “I have no idea how Amex thinks it can charge annual_fees/year for this card”, and after spending some time wondering if I was missing something, I’ve come to the conclusion that I was not.
This isn’t a good credit card.
When you consider the fact that for $95/year you can have the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card from Chase which offers…
- The same earning rate at Bonvoy properties as the card_name
- A free night certificate worth up to 35,000 points
- 3 points/dollar on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year at grocery stores (everywhere), at gas stations (everywhere), and on dining (everywhere)
- 15 elite night credits per year
- 1 elite night credit for every $5,000 spent on the card
… you have to ask why would anyone pay an extra $155/year for what the card_name offers?
Are Gold Bonvoy elite status, 1,000 bonus points/Marriott stay, and an extra point/dollar in select spending categories worth an extra $155/year?
No. I don’t think they are.
Gold status isn’t actually worth very much (take a look for yourself), I value the 1,000 bonus points at no more than $6 (no, that isn’t a typo), and I value the extra point/dollar that the card_name offers in select categories at no more than 0.6 cents, so where’s the big incentive for anyone to choose this over the Boundless card?
The value of the card_name gets brought into further question when you remember that it doesn’t offer a free night certificate in return for the annual fee.
Holders of the card_name who want a free night certificate have to put $15,000 of spending on their card while holders of the cheaper Boundless card get a free night certificate thrown in as a standard benefit (although this is a certificate worth only 35,000 and not 50,000 points).
I genuinely don’t understand how a group of people sat around a table and decided that issuing a annual_fees/year consumer hotel credit card without a free night certificate as one of its benefits was a good idea.
Sadly, that’s what has happened and that means that there’s no escaping the fact that the card_name is little more than a colossal disappointment.
Unfortunately, it would appear that Amex has tried to shoehorn a mid-tier card into its Bonvoy lineup without actually giving the card any substantial mid-tier benefits and as a result, this isn’t a card that I can, currently, recommend.
For travelers who only stay at Marriott properties from time to time, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card is a better option and for travelers who stay with Marriott frequently, the refreshed card_name will almost certainly offer more value.
Welcome offer restrictions:
Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.
Welcome offer not available to applicants who (i) have or have had The Ritz-Carlton® Credit Card from JPMorgan, the J.P. Morgan Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card, the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy® Premier Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Bonvoy® Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 30 days, (ii) have acquired the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Credit Card from Chase the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days, or (iii) received a new Card Member bonus or upgrade offer for the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card from Chase in the last 24 months.
For rates and fees of the card_name, please visit rates & fees