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Not long 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® American Express® Card an invaluable tool for anyone seeking easy Marriott Bonvoy status.
Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® 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® American Express® Card:
- $125 (rates & fees)
Cost of authorized user cards
- $0 (zero) for up to five additional cards (rates & fees)
Current welcome bonus
- 100,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after a successful new applicant spends $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months of card membership (find out more)
This welcome offer is 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 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 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.
Earnings (terms apply)
- 6 points/dollar at Marriott Bonvoy properties worldwide
- 4 points/dollar on spending at restaurants worldwide
- 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 eligible spending in all other categories
Key benefits (terms apply)
- Annual free night certificate valid at properties costing up to 35,000 points/night
- 15 elite night credits towards elite status every year
- Get a 7% discount off standard rates for standard room reservations at all Marriott Bonvoy properties
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
- 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 Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card is currently offering successful new applicants 100,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after they spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months of card membership. As I currently value Bonvoy points at 0.6 cents each (based on the value that I know I can get out of them with ease), the points on offer as part of the welcome bonus are, to me, worth $600.
The earning rates
Quite simply, no Marriott Bonvoy card (not even the high-end Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card) earns more points per dollar at Marriott properties worldwide, and no Bonvoy card can match the Bonvoy Business Card’s earning rates at restaurants and US gas stations which are 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® American Express® 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® American Express® 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® American Express® Card offers cardholders 15 elite night credits every year (terms apply) 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 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 US card issuer that currently 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® American Express® Card. There is no other option.
30 elite night credits are enough for Bonvoy Gold status but as the Business Card already offers cardholders Gold Elite status, this isn’t a big deal. What is a slightly bigger deal is the fact that 30 elite night credits will get a Bonvoy member to within 20 credits of valuable Platinum Elite status and benefits like complimentary breakfasts, suite night awards, and 50% bonus points on all stays.
While cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card, 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® American Express® Card will earn a cardholder 30 elite night credits and a haul of elite nights large enough to be incredibly important to anyone who stays at Marriott properties with any kind of frequency.
Annual free night certificate
On every anniversary, holders of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card receive a free night certificate which can be used at properties costing up to 35,000 points/night (terms apply). Even if you disregard the good welcome offer and the strong earnings rates at Marriott properties that this card offers, the free night certificate alone should be enough to cover the card’s annual fee year after year.
Amex refreshed the Bonvoy Business card in July 2022 and that’s when this card started to offer a 7% discount on the standard rate for standard room bookings.
It’s important to note that the standard rate offered by a property may not be the cheapest rate that a property is offering – early booking rates and rates like the AAA rate may be cheaper – but as standard rate bookings are usually flexible and some of the cheaper rates are often not, this discount may work for travelers who like to keep an element of flexibility to their plans.
The key thing to keep in mind is that cardholders should always explore all the available rates that a property offers and not assume that the rate discounted by 7% is the one to go for.
The Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card is an excellent 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 $650/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 100,000 bonus points from the welcome offer are enough to allow new cardholders to book a stay at a lot of Marriott’s better properties (especially now that dynamic pricing has been introduced) and the yearly free night certificate should easily help cover the annual fee every year so there’s a lot to like about the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card right now.