at U.S. restaurants
Annual Fee: $125
| Terms Apply.
Marriott Bonvoy has quite a portfolio of credit cards, thanks to having agreements with both American Express and Chase. For many people it can be overwhelming to decide which card makes the most sense.
While there are a few personal credit cards to choose from, there’s only one Marriott business credit card, so I wanted to take a closer look at it in this post. This is a particularly good time to get the card, since it’s currently offering what I’d consider to be its best bonus yet.
Marriott Bonvoy Business Card Basics For October 2020
The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is Marriott’s business credit card. Is this a card worth having, and under what circumstances? Let’s take a look at the welcome bonus, annual fee, and much more.
Limited-Time Welcome Bonus
The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card is offering a limited-time welcome bonus through January 31, 2021:
- Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months; I value Bonvoy points at ~0.7 cents each, so to me those points are worth ~$700
- Get up to $150 back in statement credits for eligible purchases on U.S. advertising in select media within the first six months of card membership
- Receive complimentary Platinum Elite status with your card for the 2021 status year
Given how many American Express and Chase Marriott cards there are at this point, there are some pretty complicated restrictions in place regarding eligibility for this card.
First of all, the welcome bonus isn’t available to those who have had this card, or who have had the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express.
On top of that, the welcome offer is not available to applicants who:
- have or have had 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 in the last 30 days
- have acquired the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Credit Card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days
- received a new card member bonus offer in the last 24 months on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase
General Amex Card Restrictions
For those with excellent credit, I find Amex business cards to be incredibly easy to be approved for. Anecdotally most people I’ve heard from have reported instant approvals on this card, so it really shouldn’t be very tough to be approved for, even if you haven’t gotten many business cards in the past.
Just make sure you know that:
- You can be approved for at most two Amex cards in a 90 day period
- You can have at most five American Express credit cards at any point (this doesn’t include charge cards)
The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex has a $125 annual fee (Rates & Fees). You can add additional cardmembers at no additional cost.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
The Bonvoy Business Amex has no foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees), so it could be a good option for purchases you make abroad.
One of the great features of Amex cards is access to Amex Offers, which gives members savings on purchases with all kinds of retailers. There’s huge value to be had in getting as many Amex cards as possible so that you can get these offers on multiple cards.
Earning Points With The Marriott Business Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card has some bonus categories that could prove useful for your business spending, though overall this isn’t a credit card that I’d recommend using for most of your business purchases. That’s because there are much more generous business cards out there in terms of the points offered.
6x Points At Marriott Hotels
The card offers 6x Bonvoy points for spending at Marriott hotels globally. For many businesses, this will be a worthwhile bonus.
Since I value Bonvoy points at ~0.7 cents each, that’s the equivalent of a ~4.2% return on hotel spending. Personally, I still prefer to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve® for my Marriott hotel spending, as it offers 3x Ultimate Rewards points.
Earn 6x points for stays at Marriott hotels
4x Points In Select Categories
The Marriott Business Card has some bonus categories that offer 4x points, including for purchases with:
- U.S. restaurants
- U.S. gas stations
- Wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
- U.S. purchases for shipping
Based on my valuation of ~0.7 cents per point, that’s like a ~2.8% return on spending, which is pretty good, but not amazing when you consider some of the other cards out there.
2x Points On All Other Purchases
The card offers 2x points on all other eligible purchases. Personally, I don’t consider 2x points per dollar spent to be especially compelling, since I value that at a return of ~1.4%, and there are better cards for everyday spending.
Marriott Bonvoy Business Card Perks
The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card offers a variety of perks that could more than offset the annual fee. For some small businesses, it could be worth picking up the card just for the perks, without actually spending money on it.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits offered by the card.
Annual Free Night Reward
The real perk that makes this card worthwhile is that you get a free night award every year on your account anniversary, valid for a one-night hotel stay at a property costing up to 35,000 points.
This is an exceptional deal and the reason that I think this card is worth having. Marriott is the world’s largest hotel chain, so regardless of what your preferred hotel program is, just about everyone may find themselves in a situation where this could come in handy.
I consistently redeem this certificate at hotels costing $250+ per night, more than double the card’s annual fee.
I used my free night award at the Marriott Kigali
Complimentary Platinum Elite Status
Typically, this card offers complimentary Silver Elite status, and offers the opportunity to spend up to Gold Elite, however, as a part of the current limited-time offer you’ll receive complimentary Platinum Elite status. Some Platinum Elite benefits include:
- 50% bonus points on hotel stays
- Enhanced room upgrades, including suites
- 4 PM late check-out
- Complimentary Premium Internet at Marriott Properties
- Complimentary breakfast and/or lounge access at many brands
Platinum Elite status will be valid between February 1, 2021, and January 31, 2022.
15 Elite Nights Towards Status
Another great status perk for having this card is that you get 15 elite nights towards status annually just for having the card. Note that several co-branded Marriott credit cards offer this, and you can only receive the benefit once on a personal card and once on a business card.
In other words, if you have three personal Marriott cards then you wouldn’t get 45 elite nights, but if you have one personal and one business, you can earn 30 nights!
This really makes it more attainable to earn Platinum Elite status long-term, which is where status really gets valuable. Platinum status requires 50 nights, so if you have this card you’d only need to earn an additional 35 elite nights, and if you also had a personal card, you’d only need to earn an additional 20 elite nights.
Platinum Elite members may receive suite upgrades
Is The Marriott Business Card Worth It?
There are lots of great small business credit cards, so is the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card right for your business? First, let me say that I wouldn’t be using this as a primary business credit card. That’s simply because the card doesn’t have a competitive rewards structure for business spending.
That being said, I absolutely think the card is worth having for the perks that it offers. More specifically, I value the annual free night award at significantly more than the card’s $125 annual fee, so that alone is enough reason to get the card, in my opinion. The icing on the cake is the Platinum Elite status for the 2021 program year, which is an offer we’ve never before seen on this card.
Let me cover a couple of other aspects of this card — how does this compare to Marriott’s personal card, and what other business cards should you be considering?
Marriott Bonvoy Personal Vs. Business Card
All else equal, if you’re trying to decide between the cards, which should you go for? There are a few primary differences:
- The business card has some bonus categories that earn 4x points, while the personal card doesn’t
- The business card’s annual fee is $30 higher ($125 rather than $95)
- The business card is significantly easier to be approved for, since I find Amex is much easier with approvals than Chase for those with excellent credit
- The welcome bonuses are significantly different, though both great
All else being equal, I’d get the personal card long-term, since you still get the free night award, and the annual fee is lower. That assumes you’re eligible for a Chase card, and not above the 5/24 limit.
However, at the moment the business card has such a phenomenal bonus that I would probably choose to get that card, since you’re looking at receiving Platinum Elite status as part of the offer.
It also could make a lot of sense to have both cards, so that you get 30 elite nights towards status annually, which will make it easy to earn Platinum Elite status in the future.
What Is The Business Credit Card?
If you’re looking for the single best business credit card out there, I highly recommend the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. The card has a great bonus (and these points are much more valuable than Marriott points), has a reasonable $95 annual fee, offers 3x points in useful categories, and more.
You simply can’t go wrong with this as your business rewards card.
Marriott Business Amex Summary
The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card is absolutely worth getting right now, given its huge bonus. Not only could you earn a lot of Bonvoy points and a statement credit, but you also receive Platinum Elite status, which is the most valuable perk.
Then the card is keeping long term for the 15 elite nights towards status (which can be stacked with a similar offer on a personal card), as well as an annual free night award. I value those perks at way more than the $125 annual fee.
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (Rates & Fees).