A new 100,000-points offer: Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex Credit Card review

Apr 10, 2022

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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. It comes with useful perks such as an annual free night at hotels (up to 35,000 points) and the ability 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.

This Marriott Bonvoy Business Card comes with most of the same features and benefits as the Marriott Bonvoy consumer cards, but it happens to include generous bonus reward categories that are well suited to small-business owners.

With a reasonable annual fee of $125 (see rates and fees), this card also comes with plenty of extra benefits that make this a solid hotel business card option.

Currently, there’s a welcome offer of 100,000 bonus points, worth $800 according to TPG’s valuations. However, this offer ends May 18, 2022, so you’ll want to act fast.

Here’s everything you need to know about the only Marriott business credit card still open to new applicants.

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In This Post

Who is this card for?

This card is ideal for business owners who are loyal to the Marriott Bonvoy program. Remember that a business of virtually any size 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 transferable 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 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

Redeem your welcome bonus for a stay at The W Rome. (Photo courtesy of Marriott)

You can currently earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership. We value Marriott points at 0.8 cents each, making this full offer worth $800.

This represents a decent increase over the normal bonus on the card, so if you’ve been eyeing it for a while, now might be a time to put in an application.

Main benefits and perks

One of the primary reasons to consider this card is for all of the extra 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 you spend $60,000 in a calendar year.

Just note that Marriott did recently remove published award charts, so pricing for free nights can vary. However, there are still some ways to get solid value — and some higher-end properties that were previously out of reach with these certificates may now be available.

Other benefits include premium on-property internet access, access to Amex Offers and no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees).

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

How to earn points

This card offers 6 points per dollar spent at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program. You also receive 4 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 2 points per dollar 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 when you swipe the card. This includes 6 points per dollar from the card, 10 points per dollar spent as base points and 1 additional point for your elite status. So, at a minimum, you’ll get an effective return of 13.6% on your Marriott stays paid for with the card (based on TPG’s valuation of Marriott Bonvoy points).

But, your return may be even greater depending on your level of 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 Titanium and Ambassador elites will earn a total of 23.5 points per dollar spent, which equates to a phenomenal 18.8% return.

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

How to redeem points

In March 2022, the Marriott Bonvoy program switched from its award charts with set redemption rates to flexible point redemption — in other words, a dynamic pricing model. Marriott claims that the new redemption model will not be a drastic change, as hotels will generally retain current peak and off-peak pricing for the majority of the year.

Marriott is not the first hotel chain to ditch its award chart for dynamic pricing, as both Hilton Honors and IHG Rewards have already done so within the past few years. While Marriott claims that changes will be minimal, only time will tell.  Marriott’s senior vice president of global loyalty, David Flueck, stated the changes were “to make sure that our members have more flexibility and it’s more rational pricing.” The effects of the program have yet to be fully realized, but there are potential benefits from this change.

For example, this could help travelers who are looking to book during the off-peak season. However, it could make the Marriott program less valuable to those who travel during peak season, as the point prices are likely to reflect demand.

New York Marriott Marquis
New York Marriott Marquis, previously a Category 7 hotel. (Screenshot courtesy of Marriott)

The New York Marriott Marquis was previously a Category 7 hotel and would have cost 50,000 – 70,000 points depending on the season. It is currently 54,000 points a night for a weekend in May which aligns with Marriott’s claims of minimal changes in award pricing.

On a positive note, this change will add new flexibility to Marriott’s free night awards. The program is expected to launch the ability to top off your 35,000-point certificates with up to 15,000 points from your Bonvoy account. This means cardmembers will soon be able to redeem a free night at pricier properties where a 35,000-point free night may have not been previously available.

The same changes will apply to more premium Marriott cards — including the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card which features an annual certificate valid at up to 50,000 points.

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 when you pay with Marriott points. The lowest point-value night will be free.

Finally, you can also transfer your Marriott Bonvoy points to airline miles at a 3:1 ratio. Even better, you receive a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points you transfer. Marriott points can be especially useful for award flights because they transfer to airlines that don’t partner with other transferable-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 miles to book an award flight.

Emirates first class
Emirates first class suite on the 777. (Photo by Nicky Kelvin/TPG)

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 statement credits every cardmember year for eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program. Those benefits can easily make the Bonvoy Brilliant worth the annual fee, even though it’s $450 (see rates and fees).

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Outside of the Marriott Bonvoy family, there aren’t many hotel cobranded cards specifically for small businesses. 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 purchases on the card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, you can earn up to $130 in statement credits on eligible purchases made on the card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of Membership. Offer expires 7/6/2022.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)

These points are worth up to $780 according to TPG valuations. It offers you Gold status, plus 12 points per dollar at eligible Hilton portfolio properties.

It also offers 6 points per dollar 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 3 points per dollar 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 plus another one after spending a total of $60,000.

Ultimately, picking between these cards as a business owner will come down to which program works best for you and your employees, since they both have large global footprints that should make it relatively easy to find a participating property — no matter where you’re traveling.

(Photo courtesy of Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy)

Another option is The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. It offers you 5 bonus points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels booked on Amex Travel. Among its numerous other benefits and fee credits, you also receive Gold status with both Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required).

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 $695 annual fee (see rates and fees).

Bottom line

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card is a solid small-business card that offers the most possible benefits at more than 7,000 Marriott Bonvoy properties around the world. With a solid welcome offer and decent earning categories and perks, it’s one of the better hotel credit cards suited 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.

Apply here for the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card with a 100,000-point bonus.

Additional reporting by Stella Shon, Jason Stauffer, Chris Dong and Christina Ly.

Featured image by Wyatt Smith for 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.

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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.