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American Express has refreshed the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card and the refresh sees the card improving in three separate ways as well as being given a boosted (limited-time) welcome offer that looks very attractive.
Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card (review) is the only Marriott co-branded business card on the market and is issued by American Express. The card’s key selling points are that in exchange for a $125 annual fee (rates & fees), it offers the best available earning rate at Marriott properties worldwide, it offers the best earning rate for spending at 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.
The new welcome bonus
- 125,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after a successful new applicant spends $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months (find out more).
As far as the bonus points go, I value the 125,000 points that the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card is currently offering at $750 (based on the fact that I know that I can get at least 0.6 cents of value out of each point with relative ease) but, more importantly, this is enough points to get a successful new applicant up to two free nights at some great Marriott properties around the world.
Note: Make sure you check the eligibility criteria for the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card before you apply (you’ll find them at the end of this post).
An improvement for restaurant spending
The smallest change that Amex has made to the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card is to remove a restriction it had imposed on points earned on restaurant spending – with immediate effect, this card now earns 4 points/dollar on restaurant spending worldwide where previously, bonus points were only available for spending made at restaurants in the United States.
This is what the card’s earning rates now look like (terms apply):
- 6 points/dollar at Marriott Bonvoy properties worldwide
- 4 points/dollar on spending at 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
Effectively, the card now offers double the number of points it offered before the refresh on foreign restaurant spending.
Boosted elite status
The Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card continues to offer cardholders 15 elite night credits per year, and it continues to be the only card that can be paid with another Marriott Bonvoy co-branded card to give a cardholder a total of 30 elite night credits per year, but it now also offers a better standalone elite status benefit than before.
Before the refresh, the Bonvoy Business Card only offered cardholders Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status (which is mostly worthless) while now, it offers cardholders Bonvoy Gold Elite status for as long as they hold the card.
Bonvoy Gold Elite status isn’t the most exciting of mid-tier hotel statuses (Hilton Gold status is more useful) but it still has its uses:
- 25% bonus points on all Marriott Bonvoy stays
- Access to room upgrades at check-in subject to availability
- Access to 2 p.m. late check-outs subject to availability
- A gift of 250 or 500 bonus points (depending on the property brand) upon check-in
Marriott room rate discount
With immediate effect, the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card offers cardholders a 7% discount when they pay the standard room rate on a standard room at properties that participate in the Bonvoy program.
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, package 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 here 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 annual fee for the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card has remained unchanged and the benefits that the card offers have been improved, so things are looking good for cardholders.
None of the changes that have been announced are hugely significant or groundbreaking but considering the last Marriott Bonvoy credit card change that Amex announced saw a great benefit of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card devalued, holders of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card a probably breathing a sigh of relief that their card wasn’t next in the firing line.
With immediate effect, the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card gives cardholders Bonvoy Gold Elite status (just for holding the card) as well as a 7% discount when the card is used to pay the standard room rate on a standard room at Bonvoy properties around the world. Also, cardholders will now earn 4 points/dollar on restaurant spending worldwide instead of having the bonus points restricted to spending made at restaurants in the US.
Are you eligible for the welcome offer?
This welcome offer is not available to applicants who:
(i) have or have had the Marriott BonvoyTM Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy BusinessTM Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Rewards® Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 30 days,
(ii) have acquired the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott BonvoyTM Premier Credit Card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days, or
(iii) received a new Card Member bonus offer in the last 24 months on the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott BonvoyTM Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase.
Make sure you check these restrictions carefully before submitting an application.