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Up until a year ago, the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card was just another co-branded business credit card that offered a good earning rate at Marriott properties and a few good benefits too. Then, in late March 2020, came a small but key policy change that made the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card an invaluable tool for anyone seeking easy Marriott Bonvoy status.
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card is the only Marriott co-branded business card on the market and it’s issued by American Express. The cards key selling points are that it offers the best available earning rate at Marriott properties worldwide, it offers the best earning rate for spending at US restaurants and at US gas stations of any Bonvoy card, it offers cardholders a free night at select Marriott properties every year, and it’s the only card that when paired with one of a number of other Bonvoy cards, will give cardholders 30 elite night credits towards Marriott Bonvoy elite status every year.
Here’s what you need to know about the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card from American Express:
- $125 (rates & fees)
Cost of Authorised User Cards
- $0 (zero) for up to five additional cards (rates & fees)
Current Welcome Bonus
- Get 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $3,000 on your new card within 3 months of card membership (more details).
- Earn up to $150 in statement credits on spending made on the card in the first 3 months of card membership.
This welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product or the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express.
In addition, the welcome offer is not available to:
- Applicants who have or have had the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Rewards Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 30 days.
- Applicants who have acquired the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessT Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days.
- Applicants who have received a new Card Member bonus offer in the last 24 months on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase.
- 6 points/dollar at Marriott Bonvoy properties worldwide
- 4 points/dollar on spending at US restaurants
- 4 points/dollar on spending at US gas stations
- 4 points/dollar on spending on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
- 4 points/dollar on spending on US purchases for shipping
- 2 points/dollar on spending in all other categories
- Annual free night certificate valid at properties costing up to 35,000 points/night
- 15 elite night credits towards elite status every year
- No foreign transaction fees
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty
- Access to Amex Offers
The card also offers all cardholders Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status but that is not a “key” benefit.
Why This Is A Good Card
The Welcome Offer
The current welcome offer on the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card offers all successful new applicants up to $150 of statement credits to offset (in part or in whole) any eligible spending they make on the card in the first three months their account is open. As the annual fee on this card is just $125 (rates & fees), American Express is effectively paying new cardholders $25 in the first year just to try this card out.
The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card is also offering successful new applicants 75,000 bonus Bonvoy points after they spend $3,000 on their card in the first three months after they open their account. As I value Bonvoy points at 0.6 cents each (based on the value I know I can get out of them will ease), the welcome offer is worth $450 and that’s great considering the card is effectively free to hold in the first year.
The Earning Rates
Quite simply, no Marriott Bonvoy card (not even the $450/year Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card) earns more points per dollar at Marriott properties worldwide, and no Bonvoy card can match the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card’s earning rates at US restaurants and US gas stations which are two key spending categories for a lot of people.
If you’re in the market to add to your Marriott Bonvoy points balance, the earning rates that The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card offers are among the best rates that you’ll find but if you’re looking to maximize your effective return, other cards may be preferable. Based on my valuation of Bonvoy Points, the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card offers an effective rebate of between 1.2% and 3.6% (depending on the spending category) and you’ll do better than that with a variety of other credit cards that are readily available.
Elite Night Credits
The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card offers cardholders 15 elite night credits every year just as a number of other Bonvoy co-branded cards do, but the Business Card is the only Bonvoy card that can help cardholders do even better.
Back in March of 2020, Marriott brought back an old policy of awarding 15 elite night credits for a personal co-branded credit card and further 15 elite night credits for a business co-branded credit card.
As American Express is the only card issuer that has the right to offer new Marriott Bonvoy Business cards, anyone who doesn’t hold a legacy Bonvoy business card and who wishes to make the most of this policy update has to hold the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card. There is no other option.
30 elite night credits will get a Bonvoy member Gold status but, more importantly, it will get a member to within 20 elite night credits of valuable Bonvoy Platinum status and benefits like complimentary breakfasts, suite night awards, and 50% bonus points on all stays.
While cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Visa, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card, and the Ritz-Carlton Credit Card (no longer open to new applicants), all offer 15 elite night credits. No card pairing that doesn’t include the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card will earn the cardholder 30 elite night credits and a haul of elite nights as large as that can be incredibly important to anyone who stays at Marriott properties with any kind of frequency.
Annual Free Night Certificate
Every anniversary, holders of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card receive a free night certificate which can be used at properties costing up to 35,000 points/night. Even if you disregard the excellent welcome offer and the strong earnings rates at Marriott properties that this card offers, the free night certificate alone is enough to cover the card’s annual fee year after year.
The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card is a very solid card for anyone who’s looking to earn the maximum number of Bonvoy points on their spending and 15 elite night credits without splashing out on a $450/year credit card. It’s also the only card that can help a Bonvoy member earn 30 elite night credits every year without setting foot in a Marriott property.
The 75,000 bonus points from the welcome offer are enough to allow new cardholders to book a stay at some of Marriott better properties, the $150 statement credit will cover the card’s fee in the first year, while the yearly free night certificate should easily cover the annual fee every year after that. The bonus elite nights make earning status considerably easier than it may otherwise be and with the welcome offer’s spending requirement currently set at $3,000, it has never been cheaper to meet the welcome offer requirements and lock in 75,000 Bonvoy Points.