Full Review of Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card
Outstanding rewards on Marriott stays and select spending
Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status
Bonus night on card anniversary
Dismal rates on non-Marriott redemptions
- Potentially Outstanding Rewards on Marriott Stays and Select Spending: While the number of points per dollar spent with the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express is comparable to those of many other hotel cards, the overall value of each point is higher than for many chains. We value Marriott points at an average of 1.11 cents apiece, which more than twice our valuation for points from Hilton and Radisson, to cite two examples. That value makes the 6 points you earn on every dollar spent at Marriott worth 6.66 cents, and the 4 points you receive for every dollar spent on dining, gas, cell-phone service, and shipping worth 4.44 cents. Those are fairly generous returns for a hotel rewards card.
- Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite Status: As a cardmember, you automatically enjoy Silver Elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program, which normally requires a minimum of 10 qualifying nights a year to earn. This feature allows you to immediately begin enjoying such benefits as members room rates and a 10% points bonus on stays.
- Bonus Night on Card Anniversary, and Another for High Spending: The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express provides one award night every year on your card anniversary. You can use the benefit for any room that requires up to 35,000 points, which is mid-range for standard Marriott stays, whose points requirements range from 7,500 to 85,000 per night. You can earn another such award night when you charge $60,000 to the card within a calendar year.
- Dismal Rates for Transfers and Non-Marriott Redemptions: As with most hotel cards, you'll get the most value when using your points for hotel stays. The reduced value of other options is especially pronounced with the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express. For example, a $100 Amazon gift card requires redeeming 30,000 points to redeem, making each point worth about 0.3 cents each--less than a fifth of its potential value when used for Marriott stays. The returns For most partners, points travel at a 3:1 ratio. JetBlue TrueBlue offers a 6:1 ratio while points transfer to Air New Zealand Airpoints at a 200:1 ratio. You can get a 10% mileage bonus when you transfer points to United MileagePlus through the RewardsPlus program. For every 60,000 points you transfer, you'll get 5,000 bonus miles. The minimum to transfer is 3,000 points per day and the maximum is 240,000 points per day. Points can also be transferred if you need to rent a car for a business trip. For car rentals, Marriott Bonvoy partners with Hertz. Marriott Bonvoy points can be transferred to more than 40 frequent flyer programs, most of which feature a transfer ratio of 3 to 1. Points can also be transferred to select rental car partners. Additionally, there's a special miles bonus that applies when you transfer an eligible amount of points to frequent flyer programs. While this card features a generous one-time offer, there are other cards that can help you unlock even more rewards up front. So it's important to consider which hotel brand you are most loyal toward, if any.
This Card is Best For
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
Seeks the recognition and perks of branded travel partner status
Flies often for business or leisure
Earning a primary or side income from a small business
The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express card is good for business travelers who are Marriott hotel fans and do a decent amount of spending each year. For example, booking 12 stays per year at Marriott for $1,000 each (at 6 points per dollar) would net 72,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Investopedia values Marriott points at an average value of 1.11 cents each when redeemed for Marriott stays. That makes those points earned worth approximately $799 in terms of award night value. If you're also using the card to pay for everyday business purchases, you could easily accumulate significant Bonvoy points each year.
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card Offer
This card currently features a one-time offer of 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. To qualify, eligible cardmembers must charge $3,000 within the first three months of account opening. That works out to $1,000 per month on average, which may not be a difficult target to hit if you routinely charge travel, gas, dining, shipping or other business purchases. Once you're ready to redeem, the bonus offer points would be worth $833 when booking award nights. You can also earn up to $150 in statement credits on eligible purchases made in the first three months.
Rewards Earning Details
The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express card features a tiered rewards program. That means some purchases earn more points than others.
Here's how the reward program stacks up:
- Earn 6 points per dollar at participating Marriott hotels.
- Earn 4 points per dollar at U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants and on U.S. shipping and wireless telephone services purchased directly from the provider.
- Earn 2 points per dollar on all other purchases.
Points are unlimited, with no spending caps to worry about. In terms of the number of points you can earn with this card, it's similar to what you'll find with other hotel credit cards. Again, there are other hotel cards that can offer a higher points yield. But if you like Marriott better than other hotel brands then getting 6 points per dollar on bookings makes this card a rewarding choice. In addition, being able to earn 4 points per dollar on select business purchases gives this card added value.
Rewards Redemption Details
Points earned with the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express card can be redeemed through the Marriott Bonvoy program. Your options for redemption include:
- Award nights at participating Marriott hotels and resorts
- Flights and car rentals from travel partners
- Cruises and travel packages
- Unique experiences
- Priority Pass
- TSA PreCheck
- Gift cards
- Charitable donations
- Gifts to other Marriott Bonvoy members
Generally, you're going to get the most value when using your points for Marriott hotel stays. For example, it takes 30,000 points to redeem for a $100 Amazon gift card. That makes each point worth about 0.33 cents each.
Being able to redeem points for Priority Pass is a nice perk if you'd like to escape to the airport lounge on business trips. And redeeming for TSA PreCheck fees means you can get through the airport faster. If you don't have any travel plans in the near future and you're considering gift cards for redemption, do the math on how much points are worth first.
This card offers some flexibility in how you use points since you can transfer them to Marriott Bonvoy travel partners. There are more than 40 airline frequent flyer programs to choose from, including:
- Aeromexico ClubPremier
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
- American Airlines AAdvantage
- British Airways Executive Club
- Delta SkyMiles
- FRONTIER Miles
- Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Korean Air SKYPASS
- Qantas Frequent Flyer
- Southwest Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
For most partners, points travel at a 3:1 ratio. JetBlue TrueBlue offers a 6:1 ratio while points transfer to Air New Zealand Airpoints at a 200:1 ratio.
You can get a 10% mileage bonus when you transfer points to United MileagePlus through the RewardsPlus program. For every 60,000 points you transfer, you'll get 5,000 bonus miles. The minimum to transfer is 3,000 points per day and the maximum is 240,000 points per day.
Points can also be transferred if you need to rent a car for a business trip. For car rentals, Marriott Bonvoy partners with Hertz.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Getting the most bang for your buck with this card all comes down to how you spend. Here are two examples of how you can maximize rewards with the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express card.
Assume that you book one business trip monthly and always stay at Marriott hotels. On top of that, you regularly charge all other business purchases to the card. Here's how many points you might earn based on annual spending:
- $12,000 in Marriott purchases = 72,000 points
- $24,000 in gas, restaurant, shipping and wireless telephone purchases = 96,000 points
- $10,000 in other business purchase = 20,000 points
Altogether, you'd earn 188,000 points. In terms of what's that worth when booking award nights, the minimum to redeem for a Category 1 hotel is 5,000 points. At the other end of the scale, the maximum for a Category 8 property is 100,000 points. So depending on where you want to book and whether you're booking an off-peak, standard or peak rate, you could have anywhere from roughly 2 to 37 award nights.
Now, let's assume your business spends more heavily and you have three employees, all of whom have employee cards. Your yearly spend looks more like this:
- $24,000 in Marriott purchases = 144,000 points
- $36,000 in gas, restaurant, shipping and wireless telephone purchases = 144,000 points
- $20,000 in other business purchase = 40,000 points
In that case, you'd have 328,000 to work with, which substantially increases the number of award nights you could book. And remember, if you redeem four nights consecutively in a booking you get a complimentary fifth night.
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card’s Outstanding Benefits
In addition to complimentary Silver Elite status and award nights, this card also comes with these premium benefits:
- Fast track your way to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status: You can unlock Gold Elite status benefits in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you charge $35,000 in eligible purchases to your card in a single calendar year.
- Elite night credit: Each calendar year, you can receive 15 nights toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status.
- Premium Internet: Enjoy complimentary in-room access to premium internet service at participating Marriott hotels.
- Baggage insurance plan
- Global Assist hotline
- Car rental loss and damage insurance
- Expense and account management tools
- Dispute resolution
- Amex Offers
American Express received a rating of 838 in J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. That put it second only behind Discover in terms of overall customer satisfaction.
Customer service is available via live chat or by phone. You can call 1-800-492-3344 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you need help or have questions about your account.
This card comes with the security features you'd expect to protect and manage your account. That includes chip technology, as well as secure online and mobile account access.
Fees to Watch Out For
There's no real fee to watch out for, other than the annual fee. The annual fee is a little higher than what you might pay for something like the Hilton Honors Business card, which charges $95. But otherwise, this card is light on fees if you avoid cash advances and pay on time to avoid late fees.
The Marriott Bonvoy Business card from American Express could be a good choice if you prefer Marriott hotels and you book stays frequently enough to enjoy the card's full range of benefits. You don't necessarily need to be a huge spender to glean value from this card but the more you spend, the more rewarding it ends up being.