The new Marriott Bonvoy program features many of the same benefits of the classic Starwood program, such as its impressive range of airline transfer partners. The Starwood Preferred Guest business card was also rebranded as the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card and updated with new features and benefits, but not all of the changes are a good thing.
The predecessor to the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Credit Card had long been a top-notch card for business owners. With Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood and the changes made to all Marriott and SPG credit cards, how does the refreshed version of this card compete?
In this article, we’ll go over the features of the new Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card and help you figure out whether or not the card deserves a place in your wallet.
A Quick Look at Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Credit Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Credit Card currently offers a welcome bonus of 75,000 Bonus Points after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. This should be doable for most people, provided you intentionally use your card for most purchases. With no foreign transaction fees for this card, you can even use your card worry-free while abroad.
There are a number of benefits for Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Credit Card—some of which provide real value to business owners looking forward to growing and expanding.
One of the main benefits of the card is it includes Marriott Silver Elite Status. This gives you basic hotel benefits like late checkout and access to room upgrades, although those benefits do come at the lowest priority.
As of January 1, 2019, you’ll be rewarded with free Marriott Gold Elite status if you spend $35,000 or more on the card every year. Keep in mind that this benefit is included with cards like the Platinum Card from American Express and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card without an annual spend requirement.
Arguably the most valuable benefit is the card’s annual free night reward. Every year on the anniversary of your account opening, you’ll be treated to one free night at any Marriott property up to 35,000 points. This benefit can have significant value depending on the property you pick, so definitely make sure to use it annually.
On top of the aforementioned benefits, the card gives free premium in-room internet to all cardholders at Marriott hotels. On top of that, you’ll get free unlimited WiFi for up to four devices through Boingo, which has over one million hotspots worldwide. Enrollment is required ahead of time to access the Boingo hotspots.
The card earns points as follows:
- 6X Marriott points per dollar on purchases at Marriott and SPG hotels
- 4X points per dollar at US restaurants, US gas stations, US telephone service providers, and US purchases for shipping
- 2X points on all eligible purchases
The card has a $125 annual fee, but that fee is waived for the first year. After the first year, you can easily offset the annual fee by using the annual free hotel night. If your free night is worth more than $125, then the annual fee is guaranteed to pay itself back.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card Perks
Let’s look at some of the great perks that come with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card.
Taking your business on the road? The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card gives you access to the Roadside Assistance Hotline through American Express. With that, you can get emergency services like towing service, changing a flat tire or boosting a battery in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. Additional service charges may apply.
Rental car loss and damage insurance
When you use your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card to pay for the entirety of your rental car, you’ll get free secondary insurance on the entire rental—just make sure to decline the collision damage waiver offered by the car rental company. You will be covered in case the car is damaged or stolen.
Do note that coverage is not available for vehicles rented in Australia, Italy, and New Zealand.
For each Employee Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card that you open, there is a $0 annual fee. On top of that, every card earns rewards points to put towards business travel expenses. This is an easy way to give your employees spending power to help your business run more efficiently.
Other Business Tools
If you wish, you may appoint a trusted individual to be your official Account Manager. This individual can access and manage your business account while you are unavailable, ensuring that the business runs smoothly in any circumstance.
You will also have access to SpendManager, an American Express business and corporate feature. SpendManager allows you to add receipts and notes to every transaction to help you keep track of your business spending.
You may also link your American Express account to your QuickBooks account to seamlessly transfer transaction data to your books.
Additionally, you will be provided with a year-end summary which will categorize your purchases and track spending trends. All of these tools can help your business become frugal and profitable while keeping all of your documents together for tax preparation.
When you use your American Express Marriott business credit card to pay for your business purchases, you’ll be qualified for 120 days of theft and damage protection up to $1,000 per claim and $50,000 per year.
Do note that residents of New York, Indiana, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands are limited to 90 days of coverage.
Extended warranty for your purchases
American Express will extend the warranty of your purchases for an extra two years provided the warranty is a maximum of 5 years. American Express will match the manufacturer’s warranty and will cover up to $10,000 in claims per item and $50,000 per calendar year.
Residents of Indiana, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands have slightly more limited coverage. There, American Express will match the original warranty period for warranties of less than one year or provide one additional year if the product’s warranty is between one and five years.
What Are Marriott Points Worth?
Marriott miles transfer to many major airlines at a ratio of 3:1. This means that three Marriott points are worth one mile for every airline partner. The only exception to this is United Airlines, which transfers at a rate of 3:1.1, so it’s a slightly better transfer option. When you transfer in increments of 60,000 Marriott points, you’ll get a 5,000-mile bonus, so we always recommend saving up your points to take advantage of the transfer bonus.
Many Marriott room redemptions went up in price with the SPG merger, and many stayed the same price. But the changes aren’t done yet! Marriott has already introduced a higher category and quite a few of its hotels, especially its luxury hotels, have increased in price. Additionally, Marriott will introduce both Peak and Off-Peak pricing in 2019, which will cause hotels to vary in price depending on the time of year.
Before applying for a Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card, make sure to browse the Marriott website and make sure that you can use the free night certificate in your regular travels.
Should You Sign Up Now?
Are you planning to use the free night each year?
If so, then yes, consider signing up for the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card, assuming you are eligible for the welcome bonus. The free night will override the annual fee so long as your stay is over $95 per year.
Before you apply for the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card, you’ll want to double check that you are eligible for the welcome bonus. American Express has gotten pretty good at notifying people if they are eligible on the application page, but you’ll still want to think it through ahead of time! American Express operates on a once-per-lifetime bonus structure. That means if you have had the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Credit Card in the past, you won’t be able to earn the welcome bonus again.
American Express will also restrict your sign-up bonus eligibility if you have other Marriott co-branded credit cards with American Express AND Chase. You won’t be able to earn the bonus if you have had the any of the following:
- The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card or the old Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury Credit Card in the last 30 days,
- The Ritz-Carlton Credit Card in the last 30 days,
- The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, Marriott Bonvoy Premier from Chase, Marriott Bonvoy Premier Business from Chase in the last 90 days, or
- Received a bonus in the last 24 months from one of the following:
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless from Chase,
- Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase,
- Marriott Bonvoy Premier from Chase,
- Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase,
- Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business from Chase, or
- Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase.
Additionally, earning 6X points per dollar on Marriott hotels can be great for business travel, and 4X points on other business purchases can easily add up. Plus, Silver elite status can be a nice bonus for those without other Marriott status.
At the end of the day, the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Credit Card is a great option if you can make use of the free night and are eligible for the welcome bonus. If you are building your business, you can earn points for business purchases and have some beneficial business tools right at your fingertips.
The benefits overall are good and the sign-up bonus can help with that first business (or personal!) trip, so we recommend this card for growing and expanding businesses.
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