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The SPG Business Amex is now the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card — apply for it here and earn a 100,000-point welcome bonus after you spend $5,000 on your card within the first three months of card membership until April 24.

On Feb. 13, the Starwood Preferred Guest, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Marriott Rewards programs combined into the Marriott Bonvoy program. At the same time, American Express released the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card with a 100,000-point welcome bonus that’s only available for a limited time. You can also receive your first year’s annual fee waived and have a lower annual fee indefinitely if you apply before Mar. 28.

This card comes with many of the same features and benefits of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card for consumers, but also with generous bonus reward categories that are well suited to small business owners.

Who Is This Card For?

This card is ideal for small business owners who are loyal to the new Marriott Bonvoy program, which includes all of the previous Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton properties. Remember that virtually any size of business can qualify for a small business credit card, and that you can use your Social Security Number on your application if you haven’t obtained an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and you have a side hustle such as freelancing or running an eBay store.

This card would also complement an airline card or one that earns flexible rewards that can be transferred to airline miles. But since the features and benefits largely duplicate the consumer versions of the Marriott Bonvoy cards from American Express and Chase, and benefits like the 15 elite night credits toward status aren’t stackable, the business version might not make sense for those who already hold another Bonvoy card.

The rooftop pool at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort (Photo courtesy of Marriott)
The rooftop pool at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, a Marriott Bonvoy property. (Photo courtesy of Marriott)

Welcome Bonus

During this limited-time offer that’s valid until Apr. 24, you can earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on new purchases within three months of account opening. According to TPG’s most recent valuations, Marriott points are worth 0.9 cents each, making the welcome bonus worth $900. And if you apply before Mar. 28, you will have an annual fee of $95 that’s waived the first year. Applications after Mar. 28 will have a $125 annual fee that will not be waived the first year (see rates & fees).

Earning

This card offers you 6x points per dollar spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. You also receive 4x points per dollar spent at US restaurants, at US gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service and on US purchases for shipping. You earn 2x points on all other purchases. In contrast, the consumer version of the mid-tier Marriott Bonvoy Amex doesn’t offer any opportunities to earn bonus rewards, aside from 6x points at Marriott hotels. (Note that the personal $95-a-year Bonvoy Amex card is no longer open for applications.)

All Bonvoy Business Amex card members receive Silver elite status, meaning that you’ll earn a total of 17 points per dollar spent at Marriott Bonvoy hotels. This includes 6x from the card, 10x base points and 1 bonus point for elite status. Gold members will earn a total of 18.5 points per dollar spent and Platinum members will earn 21 points. Finally, top-tier Platinum Premier elites will earn a total of 23.5 points per dollar spent, which equates to a phenomenal 21.15% returns when factoring in TPG’s value of Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.9 cents each.

The Miami Beach Edition, a Bonvoy property where you’d receive 6 points per dollar spent. (Photo by Nick Ellis/TPG)

Redeeming

The Marriott Bonvoy program now has eight award tiers, and awards will soon be split into off-peak periods (between 5,000 and 70,000 points) and peak periods (ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 points). Dates for the peak and off-peak periods still haven’t yet been specified. However, Marriott has continued the old Starwood Preferred Guest policy of giving you the fifth night free on redemptions of four or more consecutive nights.

You can also transfer points to airline miles. There are currently 45 airline partners, and 42 of them transfer at a 3:1 ratio (equivalent to the 1:1 ratio under the old Starwood program). Even better, you receive a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points you transfer to those 42 airlines, reducing the ratio to 2.4:1. Transfer times vary greatly, from instant to nearly one week.

Benefits

One of the primary reasons to consider this card is for all of its card holder benefits. First, it offers you Silver elite status, and the chance to earn Gold when you spend $35,000 on purchases in a calendar year. Silver offers you a 10% points bonus on paid stays, priority late checkout and a dedicated reservation line.

You also receive 15 nights credit toward the next level of elite status and a free night award each year that’s good for properties at or under 35,000 points per night. Also, starting on Mar. 28, 2019, you can earn a second free night award (at or under 35,000 points per night), after using your card to spend $60,000 in a calendar year. Other benefits include premium on-property internet access and unlimited free Boingo Wi-Fi service.

The Villa Mutiara, another Bonvoy property. (Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton)
The Villa Mutiara, another Bonvoy property. (Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton)

Which Cards Compete With the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card?

Chase’s small business Marriott card is no longer offered to new applicants. And while it’s not a small business credit card, and no longer available to new applicants, the Marriott Bonvoy consumer card might be the Bonvoy Business Amex’s closest competitor. It offers nearly identical features and benefits, but it doesn’t include bonuses for restaurant, gas, wireless telephone and shipping charges. Nor does it include Boingo Wi-Fi membership or any of the features found on American Express small business cards.

Outside of the Marriott Bonvoy family, there aren’t many small business cards cobranded with hotels. Among the few are the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card. It offers new applicants 125,000 Honors points after spending $3,000 within three months of account opening. These points are worth $750 according to TPG’s latest valuations. It offers you Gold status plus 12x points at Hilton portfolio properties, 6x points at US gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchases directly from US service providers on US purchases for shipping, and at US restaurants, on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel and on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies. You earn 3x points on other purchases. This card has a $95 annual fee (see rates & fees) and offers a free weekend night award each year.

Another option is to go with the Business Platinum® Card from American Express. It offers you 5x bonus points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, and on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. Among its numerous other benefits and fee credits, you also receive Gold status with both Marriott and Hilton hotels. It has a $595 annual fee (see rates & fees).

Bottom Line

The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express card can be an excellent choice for those who want a small business card that offers the most possible benefits at over 6,700 Marriott Bonvoy properties around the world. By applying now, you now have the opportunity to waive the first year’s annual fee, and secure a lower annual fee for years to come. By offering a great welcome bonus, and better rewards and benefits than the consumer version, the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express might be the best hotel card available for small business owners.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Business Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum Card, please click here.

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Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 points with this card after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months. TPG values 100K Bonvoy points to be worth around $900. Aside from the huge welcome offer you'll earn  1 free night every year after cardmember anniversary and complimentary Marriott Silver Elite status.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Offer ends 04/24/2019.
  • 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping. 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status with your Card. Plus, earn Gold Elite status after making $35,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.99% - 26.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$125 (If application received before 03/28/19, $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95)
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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