Marriott Bonvoy has quite a portfolio of credit cards, thanks to them having agreements with both American Express and Chase. So for many it can be overwhelming to decide which card makes the most sense.
While there are many personal credit cards to choose from, there’s only one business credit card that’s still accepting applications, so I wanted to look more closely at that card in this post.
Marriott Bonvoy Business Card basics for January 2020
With the launch of Marriott Bonvoy earlier this year, the benefits and rewards structures of Marriott’s credit cards have changed, and it can be tough to keep up with that.
The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is Marriott’s business credit card. So, is this a card worth having, and under what circumstances? Let’s take a look at the welcome bonus, annual fee, and much more.
The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card offers a welcome bonus of 75,000 Bonvoy points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months. I value Bonvoy points at ~0.7 cents each, so to me those points are worth ~$525.
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)
See this post for all major credit card application restrictions to be aware of.
The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex has a $125 annual fee (Rates & Fees). You can add additional cardmembers at no extra cost.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
This card 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.
Amex Offers could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can access these offers by logging into your account and scrolling down to the bottom of your account summary page.
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 business 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 1.4-1.6 cents per point, 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
Free Silver Elite Status
Just for having the card you receive Silver Elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program. Silver Elite status ordinarily requires 10 elite nights, and it’s Marriott’s entry level elite status, so don’t get too excited about the benefits:
- 10% bonus points on hotel stays
- Priority late check-out
- A dedicated reservations line
Gold Elite Status With $35,000 Spending
If you have this card you can earn Gold Elite status if you spend $35,000 on the card in a calendar year. This status ordinarily requires 25 elite nights. Gold Elite status gets you the following benefits:
- 25% bonus points on hotel stays
- 2PM late check-out
- A room upgrade
15 Elite Nights Towards Status
My favorite 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.
In other words, if you have three Marriott cards then you wouldn’t get 45 elite nights.
However, this really makes it more attainable to earn Platinum status, 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.
Platinum status gets you guaranteed late check-out, suite upgrades subject to availability at most properties, free breakfast and/or lounge access at many brands, and more.
Platinum Elite members receive suite upgrades
Premium Internet At Marriotts
Nowadays all Marriott Bonvoy members who book direct receive free in-room internet. However, if you have this credit card you receive free premium internet access while staying at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
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 your business spending.
That being said, I do think the card could be 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.
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 two 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
All else being equal, I’d get the personal card, 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.
But it could make sense to have both cards, so that you can get two free night awards every year.
Why You Shouldn’t Transfer Chase Points To Marriott
Marriott is transfer partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards, so you could transfer points at a 1:1 ratio. For example:
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review), which offers 3x points on dining and travel
- The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card (review), which offers 3x points on the first $150,000 spent annually on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
- The Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review), which in conjunction with one of the above cards earns 1.5x points on all purchases
In some cases this would be your best bet for earning Marriott points through credit card spending, since you can earn 3-5x points in select categories.
Even so, I wouldn’t recommend transferring Chase points to Marriott. Why? I value Marriott points at ~0.7 cents each, while you can instead transfer points at the same ratio to programs like World of Hyatt, where I value the points at ~1.5 cents each (more than times as much).
So while there are plenty of ways to earn Marriott points with credit cards, there aren’t many ways to do so at efficient or competitive rates.
There are better uses of Chase points than transferring to Marriott
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 bonus of up to 80K points (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 isn’t a card I’d be using for my everyday business spending, though it is a card that could be well worth it for the perks. In my opinion the annual free night award and the 15 nights towards status annually more than justify the $125 annual fee.
If you just want to get one card for your business then I’d look elsewhere, but I do think this is a great supplemental card.
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: Marriott Bonvoy Business Card From American Express (Rates & Fees).