It’s all about extra benefits: A review of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex Credit Card
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Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card overview
The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is a solid small-business card for Marriott Bonvoy fans. While it’s not the best overall travel card, it comes with useful perks such as an annual free night at hotels costing up to 35,000 points and helps to expedite your Marriott elite status by offering 15 elite night credits every year. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐½
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
Traveling in 2021 looks a little bit different. To prepare for a hotel stay now — or when you’re comfortable traveling again — you’ll want a card that provides benefits that you care about. This Marriott Bonvoy Business Card comes with most of the same features and benefits as the Marriott Bonvoy consumer cards. But it also includes generous bonus reward categories that are well suited to small-business owners.
A small (but important) benefit of this card is that as an Amex small-business card, it won’t show up on your personal credit report. That means it won’t add to your Chase 5/24 count — the general rule of thumb that you won’t be approved for a future Chase card if you’ve opened five cards from any issuer within the past 24 months.
On top of that, Marriott points are useful for more than just booking award nights, because you can also transfer Marriott points to 40+ different airlines. Let’s take a closer look at the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card to see if it’s right for you.
Who is this card for?
This card is ideal for small-business owners who are loyal to the Marriott Bonvoy program.
Remember, that virtually any size of business can qualify for small-business credit cards. You can use your Social Security number on your application if you haven’t obtained an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Plus, it’s good for those with side hustles 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. It even could make sense to hold the consumer version of the Marriott Bonvoy cards from American Express since the elite night credits can now be stacked together.
Anyone who has a Marriott Bonvoy small business credit card, and a Marriott Bonvoy consumer credit card is eligible to receive a maximum of 30 elite night credits per year.
Welcome offer: Worth $800
You can currently earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/12/21. According to TPG’s most recent valuations, Marriott points are worth 0.8 cents each, making the 100,000 points worth $800.
American Express only allows you to earn the intro bonus on a card once per lifetime, so if you’ve been waiting to apply for this card, now is a good time. The card has a $125 annual fee (see rates and fees).
Main benefits and perks
One of the primary reasons to consider this card is for the benefits. First, it offers you automatic Marriott Silver elite status, and the chance to earn Bonvoy 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 (which can be stacked with a Marriott Bonvoy consumer card) and a free-night award each card anniversary year. The free night can be spent at properties at or under 35,000 points per night. You can even 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. Also, keep in mind that Marriott is making it easier to earn elite status this year.
Other benefits include premium on-property internet access, access to Amex Offers, Amex’s baggage insurance plan, extended warranty, purchase protection and no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees).
How to earn points
This card offers you 6x points per dollar spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. You also receive 4x points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on purchases made from merchants in the U.S. for shipping. You earn 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
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. So, at a minimum, you’ll get a 13.6% return when factoring in TPG’s valuation of Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.8 cents each. But your return may be even greater.
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 18.8% return.
How to redeem points
With more than 7,000 properties across the world, there’s no shortage of Marriott properties you could redeem your points at. The Marriott Bonvoy program has eight award tiers, with peak and off-peak prices, ranging from 5,000 points per night to 100,000. Dates for the peak and off-peak periods will vary by property.
Marriott Bonvoy also has some underrated perks that can be extremely valuable. For instance, thanks to Marriott’s “Stay for 5, Pay for 4” you’ll get a complimentary night when you redeem for five consecutive nights. Also, Marriott offers a ‘Points Advance’ feature, which allows you to book awards in advance even if you don’t have all the points you need yet. So, if you’re eyeing a specific redemption, you can book immediately, and earn the points you need up until 14 days before check-in.
You can also transfer points to airline miles. Even better, you receive a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points you transfer. The transfer times for Marriott points vary greatly, from instant to nearly one week.
Marriott points can be especially useful for award flights because they transfer to airlines that don’t partner with other transferrable-points programs, such as Alaska Airlines, Japan Airlines, Asiana and Korean Air. This opens up all sorts of options for booking sweet spots with difficult-to-earn miles.
For example, you can use Alaska Airlines miles to book a one-way business-class award with Cathay Pacific from the U.S. to Asia with a free stopover in Hong Kong. If you’ve been dreaming of booking an Emirates award with credit card points, then Japan Airlines is a great transfer option. You could even transfer Marriott points to top off your American Airlines account if you’re just shy of enough to book an award flight.
Marriott Bonvoy Business card alternatives
While this is Marriott’s only small-business card available to new applicants, there are personal Marriott Bonvoy cards that offer similar (or better) perks.
For example, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card comes with automatic Gold status, an annual free night at Marriott hotels costing up to 50,000 points per night and up to $300 in Marriott credits every cardmember year. Those benefits can easily make the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant worth the annual fee even though it’s $450 (see rates and fees).
Outside of the Marriott Bonvoy family, there aren’t many small-business cards cobranded with hotels. Among the few is the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card. It offers new applicants a welcome offer of 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
These points are worth $780 according to TPG valuations. It offers you Gold status plus 12x points at eligible Hilton portfolio properties.
It also offers 6x points at U.S. gas stations and restaurants, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, U.S. purchases for shipping, flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel and car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies. You earn 3x points on all other eligible purchases. This card has a $95 annual fee (see rates and fees) and offers a free-weekend-night award each calendar year after spending $15,000.
Related: The best hotel credit cards
Another option is The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. It offers you 5x bonus points on flights and 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. To learn more about the card’s benefits take a look at our Amex Business Platinum card review for all the details on what can make it worth the $595 annual fee (see rates and fees).
It’s not the top of the heap in overall travel cards, but by offering a solid welcome offer and decent earning categories and perks, it’s one of the better hotel credit cards available for small-business owners. It’s also a great option for anyone who’s also interested in opening valuable Chase credit cards because as an Amex business card, it won’t add to your Chase 5/24 count.
Additional reporting by Jason Stauffer and Chris Dong
Featured image by The Points Guy.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Business Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum Card, click here.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/12/21. TPG values 100K Bonvoy points to be worth around $800. Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/12/21.
- 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. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards 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