A new “in-path offer” has arrived on one of Canada’s major credit cards.
The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card is already a great card for anyone looking to earn hotel rewards points. If you’ve been considering signing up, this new in-path offer could be an even better value proposition.
New In-Path Offer: 50,000 Bonvoy Points + $100 Statement Credit
The current public offer includes a welcome bonus of 50,000 Bonvoy points after spending $1,500 in the first three months, with an annual fee of $120.
The in-path offer available on the Marriott Bonvoy website includes a bonus of 50,000 Bonvoy points after spending $1,500 in the first three months, plus a $100 statement credit upon first purchase, making it more valuable than the public offer.
In addition, this $100 statement credit goes a long way towards offsetting the card’s annual fee of $120, so you’re only paying $20 to sign up in the first year.
(Indeed, if your goal is to keep your first-year costs low while racking up the points, this is one of the lowest first-year net fees we’ve seen on a Marriott co-branded American Express card that didn’t have a prohibitively high spending threshold associated with it.)
While these types of in-path offers (i.e., they show up during the booking path of a travel purchase) are common among the major US credit cards, we’re seeing them become increasingly more common among Canadian credit cards, such as the recent in-path offers on the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite.
To access the in-path offer, you simply need to visit the Marriott Bonvoy website and start booking a hotel using a cash rate. Once you’ve selected a hotel, you should see a banner below the price total with the in-path application prompt.
(The advertising clearly doesn’t play well with different currencies, but you get the idea.)
From there, you can click the Apply Here button to be directed to the dedicated landing page for the offer.
What’s the Best Amex Bonvoy Card Offer?
Both the public and in-path offers require you to spend $1,500 in the first three months to earn the welcome bonus of 50,000 points, and both have an annual fee of $120. Therefore, the only difference between them is the extra $100 statement credit when applying in-path.
Keep in mind that the Amex Bonvoy cards also have a refer-a-friend offer, in which you can earn 55,000 Bonvoy points upon spending $3,000 in the first three months.
We currently value Bonvoy points at 0.9 cents apiece, placing 5,000 Bonvoy points at a value of $45. Therefore, the $100 statement credit with the in-path offer outweighs the 5,000 extra Bonvoy points that you’d get from the refer-a-friend link.
In addition, the refer-a-friend offer also has a higher spending requirement of $3,000 vs. $1,500, which may be less ideal for those of you with limited spending capacity.
There is, however, one one additional consideration to the refer-a-friend option. If you’re collecting points in two-player mode or more, your spouse or partner can generate a referral link if they currently hold an Amex Bonvoy Card or Amex Bonvoy Business Card.
With the referral link from the business card in particular, your partner can earn an additional 15,000 Bonvoy points as a referral bonus, while you earn the refer-a-friend bonus of 55,000 points, for a total of 55,000 + 15,000 = 70,000 Bonvoy points gained in the household. Don’t forget that Marriott Bonvoy allows you to pool points between accounts up to 100,000 Bonvoy points per calendar year.
Referring back to our Points Valuations Page, the additional 20,000 Bonvoy points valued at 0.9 apiece would carry a value of $180, making it the best option to use a partner’s referral link if possible.
One final consideration is that the current range of bonuses from the Amex Bonvoy Card is lower than we’ve recently seen. Indeed, we’ve seen the welcome bonus go as high as 70,000–100,000 Bonvoy points (factoring in spend-based components) in late 2021.
If you aren’t in a hurry, consider waiting for a better offer to return in the future. On the other hand, if you need points now (perhaps to make some bookings before Marriott’s dynamic pricing starts in March 2022), then take either the in-path or referral offer over the public offer depending on your situation.
Amex Bonvoy Cards: 15 Elite Qualifying Nights + Anniversary Free Night Award
Despite upcoming unfavourable changes to the Marriott Bonvoy program, the Amex Bonvoy Card remains one of Canada’s best credit cards for earning hotel rewards points.
The card has the following earning rates:
- 5 Bonvoy points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels
- 2 Bonvoy points per dollar spent on all other purchases
Further benefits include the anniversary Free Night Award, which rewards you with one free night each year that you renew the card. These are worth up to 35,000 Bonvoy points, and easily outweigh the card’s $120 annual fee.
Soon, it’ll be possible to top-up this amount by up to 15,000 extra Bonvoy points, thus booking a night that costs up to 50,000 Bonvoy points.
In the past, points enthusiasts might’ve preferred to cancel their Bonvoy cards before the second year, with a view of reapplying in the future and trying to get the bonus again. But with this strategy becoming less reliable over time, many cardholders are choosing to keep their Bonvoy cards on an ongoing basis to maximize those Free Night Awards every year.
Additionally, the card offers 15 elite qualifying nights each year towards your Marriott Bonvoy elite status. Reaching Platinum Elite status gives you some very compelling perks on your hotel stays, such as free breakfast, lounge access, suite upgrades, and 4pm late checkout.
A total of 50 elite qualifying nights are required for Platinum Elite; with the 15 nights from the Amex Bonvoy Card, you’ll only need 35 more to get there.
If you’re earning Bonvoy points as a solo points collector, the in-path offer for the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card is currently the best value with a bonus of 50,000 Bonvoy points and a $100 statement credit, covering most of the cost of the annual fee of $120.
Meanwhile, the best option for those who earn points in two-player mode is to use a partner’s referral link from the Bonvoy Business Card for a total household gain of 70,000 Bonvoy points.
This in-path offer doesn’t have a published expiry date, so it’s subject to change at any time, and it’s best to apply as soon as you can if you’re interested in picking up the card for only a net $20 in the first year.