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Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex review: Don’t sleep on multiple free night awards and status



Our take: With perks meant to attract business owners who make Marriott Bonvoy hotels their home away from home, and with a relatively low annual fee, the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card offers some compelling reasons to make room in your wallet for it. If you can meet the minimum required spend to earn the welcome bonus, the savings you could get from the welcome bonus can help you recover the annual fee cost manyfold.

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card

Intro Bonus

Earn 5 free night awards after you make $8,000 in eligible purchases within your first 6 months of card membership (offer ends 3/20/24). Redemption level up to 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points for each bonus free night award, at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® (certain hotels have resort fees).

Annual fee $125
Regular APR 20.99%–29.99% variable

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card Overview

Card type: Business, Hotel

The Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card is a rewarding card for those business owners who have sufficient expenses that can help them rack up Marriott Bonvoy points quickly through their spend and who could use the multiple free nights they are able to earn through the generous welcome bonus — plus an additional two nights, one earned after their account anniversary and a second one through spend. This is the most valuable benefit this card has to offer, as it can offset the cost of five to seven nights in the first year.

Additionally, the card grants you Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy, which comes with a few middle-of-the-road perks in the program (including late checkout, exclusive member rates, room upgrades when available and a welcome gift, among others) and offers a headstart on earning the next status level, Platinum, by granting 15 Elite Night Credits toward the 50 required.

Other fringe benefits cardholders receive include a 7% room rate discount when booking directly with Marriott, a generous earning scheme in some spending categories and several travel and consumer related protections.

Who is the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card good for? 

This card works well for those business owners who have a lot of expenses in this card’s bonus categories — that is to say, Marriott spending, dining at restaurants worldwide, and U.S. spending on gas, wireless telephone services purchased directly from providers and shipping.

Business owners who travel for work and regularly stay at Marriott hotels, and would like the perks that come with Gold elite status, like late checkout room upgrades (both subject to availability) and a 25% bonus points on stays, should consider this card as it can upgrade their hotel experience while helping them earn rewards redeemable toward future travel. The Marriott portfolio encompasses 30 hotel brands and 10,000 destinations worldwide.

Who shouldn’t get the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card? 

Business owners who don’t spend enough money in the card’s bonus categories, don’t travel often, don’t regularly stay at Marriott Bonvoy hotels or are trying to keep their business expenses low and simple, should probably rule out this card with its $125 annual fee.

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card: How to earn rewards

With this card, every purchase will help you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points, at the following rates:

  • 6X points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
  • 4X points on restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless phone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping purchases. 
  • 2X points on other purchases.

Additionally, the card comes with a significant welcome bonus of 5 free night awards after you make $8,000 in eligible purchases within your first 6 months of card membership (offer ends 3/20/24). These Free Night Awards can be redeemed for stays at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties priced at 50,000 points per night or fewer.

How to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points 

Marriott Bonvoy points can be used to redeem for hotel stays at numerous properties within the chain’s vast portfolio. You can choose to pay the total value of your stay with points, or a mix of points and cash, which comes in handy if you don’t have enough points. Marriott also runs the PointSavers program, which allows you to redeem fewer points than normal at select properties provided your dates are flexible.

Points can also be used to redeem for cruises, flights and car rentals, as well as merchandise from select retailers, as well as a TSA PreCheck membership or to book experiences like concerts and sporting events through the Marriott Bonvoy Moments program.

Marriott also partners with 39 airlines and lets you transfer your points to airline miles, but the transfer rate with most programs is 3:1, so it’s typically not a good deal to use your Marriott points this way.

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card rates and fees

  • Annual fee: $125.
  • Foreign transaction fee: None.
  • Purchase APR: 20.99%–29.99% variable, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening.

To view rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card Card, see rates and fees.

Additional benefits

  • Substantial welcome bonus of five Free Night Awards redeemable for free nights at properties priced at or below 50,000 points per night, potentially worth a few hundred dollars in savings on those stays.
  • 7% discount on eligible bookings as a benefit of being both a Marriott Bonvoy® member & a Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card Member when you book directly with Marriott through an eligible channel for a participating property under the Amex Business Card Rate
  • Additional two Free Night Awards annually for redemption at properties prices at or under 35,000 points per night — one earned after your card’s renewal month and another available after spending $60,000 in purchases within a calendar year.
  • Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, which comes with its own perks.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits towards the next elite status level within the Marriott Bonvoy program.
  • Baggage insurance to cover your luggage against loss, damage or theft for up to $1,250 for carry-on bags and up to $500 for checked bags when your trip is paid using the card (terms apply).
  • Secondary car rental loss and damage insurance to protect your rental vehicle against damage or theft when you use your card to reserve and pay for your rental and decline the collision damage waiver provided by the rental company (terms apply).
  • Extended warranty for items purchases with your card so they can be covered for up to an additional year if the original manufacturer’s warranty is five years or less
  • Purchase protection for your items against theft or accidental damage for up to 90 days after purchase date, limited to $1,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per calendar year.
  • Employee cards at no additional cost to your business. Manage how employee cards are used with purchase category alerts and spending limits.
  • Integration with QuickBooks to make it easier for you to keep your business expenses organized.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Air+Car transfer program lets you use your points to book rental cars and hotel stays with travel partners.

Credit cards similar to the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card

A welcome offer of multiple free nights is enticing, but if Marriott’s not your normal hotel chain, you might want to consider other brands that offer co-branded business credit cards for their own loyalists.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card vs. Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card

With a slightly lower annual fee of $95, the The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card also comes with a generous welcome bonus, but requires less spend to earn it. New cardholders can earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. But while it is a sizable bonus, it is unlikely that you will be able to stretch the bonus to get five nights for free. 

This American Express-issued card automatically confers Hilton Honors Gold status, and for those whose businesses can spend $40,000 every calendar year in purchases, it offers the ability to earn an upgrade to Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year. 

One distinguishing perk of the Hilton Honors Business card is that it comes with 10 Priority Pass Select (enrollment required) visits a year so you can spend some quiet time in an airport lounge before your flights.

IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card vs. Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card

For business owners who are more loyal to IHG properties rather than those in the Marriott portfolio, this Chase competitor card offers a similarly rewarding welcome bonus offer for a slightly lower annual fee of $99. New cardholders can earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Every year after your account anniversary, you will earn an Anniversary Free Night redeemable for a stay at a hotel priced at or below 40,000 points per night. Plus, when you redeem points to cover three nights during a stay at an IHG property, your fourth night in the same booking is free.

Additionally, you can earn a $100 statement credit and 10,000 bonus points after spending $20,000 on this card in a calendar year.

The card grants automatic Platinum Elite status with the IHG One Rewards program, which comes with benefits like complimentary upgrades when available, discounts on reward nights and a welcome amenity.

Is the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card right for you?

If you and your business can benefit from this card’s perks, such as automatic Gold status and a leg up toward the next status level, multiple Free Night Awards (from the welcome bonus) that can save you hundreds of dollars in stays, and even a room rate discount for your hotel stays, it’s certainly worth considering this card even when you factor in the $125 annual fee.

Frequently asked questions

Can I transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to other hotels?

Points you earn in the Marriott Bonvoy program cannot be transferred to other programs to book hotel stays, but you are able to use them to book rooms in the Marriott Bonvoy ecosystem of more than 30 hotel brands ranging from luxury stays to basic, functional rooms.

Where do I use my Free Night Awards?

You can earn several Free Night Awards during your first year with this card. Some are redeemable for night stays at properties priced at up to 50,000 points per night, while others are good for stays at properties priced at up to 35,000 points per night. 

Marriott Bonvoy prices award nights dynamically, so the cost in points to book a room varies up or down depending on seasonality and occupancy at different hotels — however, any night that goes over the cost of your Free Night Award can be supplemented with up to 15,000 additional points, which provides Marriott loyalists with points to burn some flexibility.

Do Free Night Awards expire?

Yes, Free Night Awards expire one year after they are issued and they cannot be extended past that date. The expiration date will depend on when you earned them through the minimum spend required. As long as your check-in date is within the validity of your award, you will be able to make use of the free night for your stay.

Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date, but are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the issuer. Please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits before applying.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefits guide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

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