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Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex card review: A great choice for small-business owners who prefer Marriott, with a 75,000-point bonus

Submitted by Tech Insider on June 23, 2022 - 3:25pm

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Review: Is the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business the best credit card for you?

If you're a small-business owner — even if you own a part-time business or have a side hustle — and like staying with Marriott, the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is a great pick. It's currently offering a substantial welcome bonus: Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.  

Aside from the intro offer, the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card can help you earn lots of Marriott points from your small-business expenses. It earns 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, 4x points on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. shipping purchases, and 2x points on all other eligible purchases. 

While the card does have a Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card annual fee Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - Rates & Fees, you can easily offset the cost (and then some) with a single card perk. Each year after your card renewal month, you'll receive a free night certificate, valid at Marriott Bonvoy hotels that cost up to 35,000 points per night

Cardholders also receive automatic Marriott Silver elite status (which gets you a 10% bonus on paid stays and priority late checkout), 15 elite night credits per year, and benefits like baggage insurance, car rental insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty.

Read more: The best Marriott credit cards

If you're looking for a Marriott card but aren't sure you can justify the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card annual fee, there are other options. The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card charges a Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card annual fee and offers the same type of anniversary free night certificate as the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card. It's currently offering Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card.

Or if you'd rather not pay an annual fee at all, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card has a welcome bonus of Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card — but doesn't come with a free anniversary night.


Comparison: Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex vs other Marriott credit cards

 

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Annual fee

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card - Rates & Fees

Rewards rate

6x points* on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program

4x points on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. shipping purchases

2x points on all other eligible purchases

6x points* on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels

2x points on all other purchases

6x points* on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program

3x points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines

2x points on all other purchases

Welcome bonus

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Card benefits

Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status

Annual free night award***

A second free night award if you spend $60,000 or more in a calendar year***

15 elite night credits each calendar year

Secondary car rental insurance

Baggage insurance plan

Global Assist Hotline

Purchase protection

Extended warranty

Access to discounts and bonus points through Amex Offers**

No foreign transaction fees Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - Rates & Fees

Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status

Annual free night award***

15 elite night credits each calendar year

Car rental insurance (secondary in the US, primary otherwise)

Lost luggage reimbursement

Trip delay reimbursement

Baggage delay insurance

Purchase protection

Extended warranty

Travel and emergency assistance services

Visa Signature concierge

No foreign transaction fees

Up to $300 annual Marriott Bonvoy statement credit (offer ends 9/22/22 and will be replaced with a benefit of up to $25 in statement credits per month for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide)

$100 Marriott Bonvoy property credit on eligible Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis stays

Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status

Annual free night award****

15 elite night credits each calendar year

Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership**

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit

Secondary car rental insurance

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance

Baggage insurance plan

Trip delay insurance

Travel accident insurance

Purchase protection

Extended warranty

Return protection

Premium Global Assist Hotline

No foreign transaction fees Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card - Rates & Fees

Review

 

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card review

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card review

**Bonus points at Marriott hotels are in addition to the points members would normally earn from a stay

***The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card and Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card offer an annual free night award each year after your card renewal month, for hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program that cost up to 35,000 points

****The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card offers an annual free night award every year after your card renewal month for participating Marriott Bonvoy properties that cost up to 50,000 points

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express vs other hotel credit cards

 

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Annual fee

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card - Rates and Fees

IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Rewards rate

6x points* on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program

4x points on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. shipping purchases

2x points on all other eligible purchases

12x points* on purchases made directly with hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio

6x points on eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations, U.S. shipping purchases, wireless telephone services purchases directly from U.S. service providers, U.S. restaurants, airfare purchased directly from airlines or Amex Travel, and on car rentals booked directly with select car rental companies

3x points on all other eligible purchases

10x points at IHG Hotels and Resorts (up to 26x points)*

5x points on travel and at gas stations, dining, social media and search engine advertising, and at office supply stores

3x points for all other eligible purchases

Welcome bonus

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Card benefits

Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status

Annual free night award***

A second free night award if you spend $60,000 or more in a calendar year***

15 elite night credits each calendar year

Secondary car rental insurance

Baggage insurance plan

Global Assist Hotline

Purchase protection

Extended warranty

Access to discounts and bonus points through Amex Offers**

No foreign transaction fees

Automatic Hilton Honors Gold elite status

Free weekend night award when you spend $15,000 or more in a calendar year

A second free weekend night award if you spend a total of $60,000 or more in a calendar year

Secondary car rental insurance

Baggage insurance plan

Global Assist Hotline

Purchase protection

Extended warranty

Access to discounts and bonus points through Amex Offers

No foreign transaction fees The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card - Rates and Fees

 

Automatic IHG Platinum Elite status

Diamond elite status after spending $40,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase each calendar year with the card

Annual free night award worth up to 40,000 points

An additional free night each year you spend $60,000 on purchases and make one additional purchase each calendar year

10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement credit after spending $20,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase each calendar year

Fourth reward night free when you redeem points for a stay of three or more nights

Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS application fee credit

Up to $50 in United TravelBank Cash each calendar year

Primary car rental insurance when renting for business purposes

Trip cancellation/interruption insurance

Travel and emergency assistance services

Purchase protection

Extended warranty

No foreign transaction fees

 

Review

 

Amex Hilton Honors Business card review

IHG Premier Business card review

**Bonus points at Marriott, Hilton, and IHG hotels are in addition to the points members would normally earn from a stay

***The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card offers an annual free night award each year after your card renewal month for hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program that cost up to 35,000 points

How to earn points from the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business card

The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is a solid choice for small-business owners because it earns bonus points on a wide variety of common business expenses. Cardholders earn:

  • 6 points per dollar on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program (this is in addition to up to 10x points for being a Marriott Bonvoy member and up to 1x point for having Silver elite status from the card)
  • 4 points per dollar on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. shipping purchases
  • 2 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases

Read more: The best hotel credit cards

How to use Marriott points

Marriott Bonvoy points are among the most versatile around, and they're useful even if you don't stay with Marriott. Not only can you redeem them for stays at over 7,000 hotels worldwide, but you can also transfer them to over 40 airline partners, including most major US airlines and dozens of international carriers.

Read more: How to earn, redeem, and maximize Marriott Bonvoy points — from luxury resort stays to dozens of airline partners, you can't beat the flexibility

Marriott recently eliminated its award charts and moved to dynamic pricing, which means the price of an award night varies based on demand, the paid price of the room, season, and other factors. Award nights at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program start at 5,000 points for off-peak redemptions at brands like Fairfield Inn and TownePlace Suites, and go all the way up to 120,000 points for a peak season night at luxurious hotels like St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton. 

I've had the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card for several years and usually redeem points at budget-friendly hotels. For example, I used 5,000 Marriott points on a family road trip at a brand-new Fairfield Inn in Cleveland. If I'd paid cash, the room would have cost around $120, so I got a value of 2.4 cents per point — well above average. You can also get outsized value by using points for stays at pricey properties like the Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa, where nightly rates can approach $2,000.

Read more: I redeemed my Amex Marriott card's free anniversary night for a boring reason to avoid wasting it — but ended up booking a hidden gem worth more than 3x the annual fee

If you decide to transfer your Marriott points to airlines, in most cases the ratio is 3 Marriott points to 1 airline mile. However, when you transfer increments of 60,000 points, you'll get a 5,000-mile bonus (so 60,000 Marriott points become 25,000 airline miles). Some Marriott airline partners — like Alaska Airlines — don't partner with any other major transferable points program, so if you need a few more miles for an award, transferring points from Marriott may be one of the only ways to help reach your goal.

Read more: You can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to over 40 airlines to book award flights, including first class on Cathay Pacific and Emirates

You can also redeem Marriott points in other ways (including non-travel redemptions), but typically you'll get a lower value:

  • Airfare, car rentals, or air and car packages
  • Exclusive events, experiences, concerts, tours, and more through Marriott Bonvoy Moments
  • Gift cards or merchandise through Marriott Shop With Points
  • Charity donations for disaster relief, including the American Red Cross and Unicef

Read more: I haven't paid for a hotel room in 10 years — here's how I stay for free

Benefits and features

The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card comes with an array of benefits and perks geared to travelers and small-business owners that can save you money and protect you when things don't go as planned.

Annual free night award

Each year after your card renewal month, you'll receive a free night certificate valid at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program that cost up to 35,000 points — many of which can cost $200 or $300 per night. And if you spend $60,000 or more on eligible purchases in a calendar year, you can earn a second free night award with the same maximum points limit.

Read more: The best ways to use a Marriott Bonvoy 35,000-point free night certificate — from upscale beach destinations to luxury international hotels

In April 2022, Marriott Bonvoy will add the option of topping up these certificates with up to 15,000 points from your account. That means you can potentially use your certificate at hotels that cost as much as 50,000 points.

I've consistently redeemed the free night certificate from my Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card at hotels where the paid rate is much more than the card's Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card annual fee, and that's one of the reasons I renew the card every year.

Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status

You'll receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status for as long as you have the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, which gets you modest perks like 10% bonus points on paid stays and priority late checkout.

However, if you spend $35,000 or more on eligible purchases in a card membership year, you'll get upgraded to Gold elite status. This level comes with additional benefits, including a 25% points bonus on stays, room upgrades, 2 p.m. late checkout (when available), and enhanced Wi-Fi.

15 elite night credits per year

Each calendar year, Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card cardholders automatically receive 15 elite night credits that can help toward qualifying for the next level of elite status.

Read more: How I used two Marriott Bonvoy benefits to save over $3,000 on a European vacation

You can earn one set of credits from a personal card and one from a small-business card each year, so if you also have a personal Marriott card (like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card or Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card) you'll earn 30 elite night credits a year.

Car rental loss and damage insurance

When you use your Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card to pay for your entire car rental and decline the rental company's collision damage waiver, you'll get secondary coverage for damage due to theft and collision. Some vehicle types and countries are excluded, so be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully.

Baggage insurance plan

If you pay for a covered trip with the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, you can be covered for baggage loss or damage, up to $500 per person for checked bags and $1,250 per person for carry-on luggage.

Read more: Amex cards from the Platinum to the EveryDay Preferred now offer coverage for trip cancellation and more — here's everything you need to know

There are exclusions for high-risk items and some states have different limits, so check the terms and conditions for specific details.

Purchase protection

When you pay for an eligible item with your Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, purchase protection can cover theft or damage that occurs within 90 days of purchase, up to a maximum of $1,000 per occurrence and $50,000 per account per calendar year.

Extended warranty

The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card comes with up to one additional year of extended warranty coverage for eligible new purchases in the US or its territories, on manufacturer's warranties of five years or less. 

Global Assist Hotline

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card cardholders can access Amex's Global Assist Hotline, which can help arrange things like passport replacement, medical referrals, and translation services when you're traveling. The service itself is complimentary, but you'll be responsible for any third-party costs incurred.

Read more: 6 lesser-known credit card travel benefits that can save you thousands of dollars if things go wrong on a trip

Amex Offers

American Express cards, including the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, come with targeted discounts and bonus rewards at participating merchants through Amex Offers**. Enrollment in the offer is required through your online account, then you'll receive your bonus or discount when you make a qualifying purchase.

The savings can really add up. Since opening the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, I've saved over $540 with Amex Offers — and that's not counting offers on my other Amex cards.

Screenshot of $542.69 in savings with Amex Offers on the Marriott Bonvoy Business card.


Small-business benefits

The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card also offers benefits specifically geared toward small-business owners, including:

  • Access to the American Express business app, which helps you manage receipts and expenses
  • Employee cards with spending limits that you can set up online or by calling American Express

Fees and costs

The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card has a Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card annual fee, but it's easy to make up that cost with perks like an annual award night certificate, travel benefits, and Amex Offers.

You won't pay foreign transaction fees with the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, so it's a good choice if your business makes a lot of international purchases or if you travel overseas.

Read more: The best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

Like most other cards, you'll pay fees for late payments, returned payments, and cash advances Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - Rates & Fees.

Marriott Bonvoy Business credit card — Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is the Marriott Bonvoy Business worth it?

If you're a small-business owner and stay with Marriott, even a couple of times a year, it could be well worth opening the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card. Its got great bonus categories for business owners, and the perks you'll receive can far outweigh the annual fee.

A lot of folks specifically keep this card for the free night award on each anniversary. It's possible to get a value two or three times the annual fee from this benefit alone.

What credit score do you need for the Marriott Bonvoy Business card?

To be approved for the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, you'll usually need at least a good to excellent credit score; that is, a FICO score of 670 or more, or a VantageScore of at least 700.

Read more: What is a good credit score? It depends whether you're asking VantageScore or FICO

Still working on your credit score? Be sure to read Insider's guides to improving your credit score and learn about how using credit cards can help boost your score.

Who is eligible for the Marriott Bonvoy Business credit card?

Because the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is a small-business card, you'll need to have some business activity to qualify. That doesn't mean you need to own a formal corporation or have millions in revenue — sole proprietorships and part-time side gigs like driving for Uber or freelancing can make you eligible.

Marriott cards are issued by both Amex and Chase, so there are a few additional rules to keep in mind if you're hoping to get approved for the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card. Firstly, you aren't eligible for the welcome offer if you already have, or had, the same card (or the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express).

Read more: Banks like American Express and Capital One have restrictions on how many cards you open — knowing the rules is key for anyone looking to earn rewards

In addition, you won't be eligible for the welcome bonus on this card if any of the following apply to you:

  • You're a current cardmember, or were a previous cardmember in the past 30 days, of the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Rewards® Business Credit Card from Chase
  • You've opened the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card or Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card in the past 90 days
  • You've received a welcome bonus in the last 24 months from the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit CardMarriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card, Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, or Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase

Is the Marriott Bonvoy Business card metal?

The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card isn't a metal card — it's made of plastic.

Read the original article on Business Insider