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Amex Bonvoy Cards: Up to 75,000 Points + Spending Bonuses!

As of today, we’re seeing two refreshed elevated offers on the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Card and American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business Card.

While not quite reaching the same heights as the spectacular Summer 2021 offers, these are still the best offers we’ve witnessed on the Bonvoy cards outside of the this past summer’s peak, hopefully setting a new standard for the welcome bonuses going forward. 

How big of a bonus are we talking? Well, there’s enough points on the table to earn a night at Marriott’s top-tier Category 8 hotels with a single signup bonus, so without further ado, let’s take a look through the details.

Amex Bonvoy Card: 70,000 Points + Spending Bonus

After falling back down to earth after a record-high summer offer, the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card has bounced back. You can earn up to 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, broken down as follows:

  • Earn 70,000 Bonvoy points upon spending $1,500 in the first three months
  • Earn a total of 5 Bonvoy points per dollar spent on gas and eligible travel for the first three months, up to 15,000 bonus points earned on $5,000 spend (i.e., 3x bonus points on top of the usual 2x earning rate)

Unfortunately, the spending bonus excludes dining this time. Still, if you have a lot of upcoming spending on travel or gas, you can capitalize on the temporary 5x earn rate on those categories.

The “eligible travel” category is a bit peculiar when you dig through the terms and conditions: lodging is explicitly excluded from the welcome bonus rate. I suspect this is because Marriott hotel stays always earn 5x Bonvoy points anyway, so hotel bookings had to be excluded for the “5x points” (which is actually 3x bonus points on top of the standard 2x earning rate) to make sense.

Based on our current valuations, we’d value Bonvoy points at 0.9 cents per point (CAD) apiece, meaning that 70,000 and 85,000 Bonvoy points are worth $630 and $765, respectively. But at these quantities, they can indeed be redeemed for much higher value than that!

70,000 and 85,000 Bonvoy points would be enough for a one-night stay at one of Marriott’s top-tier Category 8 hotels (including the JW Marriott Maldives, Al Maha Desert Resort Dubai, and the St. Regis Bali) at the off-peak and standard rates, respectively.

Earn enough points to book the JW Marriott Maldives!

If you’d rather redeem your points towards more modest accommodations, they’d also be enough for two nights at a Category 5 hotel, five nights at a Category 3 hotel (with the Fifth Night Free), or 17+ nights at a Category 1 hotel!

Alternatively, you’d also be able to convert 60,000 Bonvoy points into 25,000 airline miles in the program of your choosing, including Aeroplan, Alaska Mileage Plan, and 40+ other frequent flyer programs. 

No matter how you choose to redeem, 70,000 Bonvoy points is the highest single chunk of points we’ve ever seen as an immediate spending incentive on this product – even the unforgettable Summer 2021 bonus only delivered 65,000 points as the first chunk, followed by further second-year and spend-based incentives.

Amex Bonvoy Business Card: 75,000 Points + Spending Bonus

Meanwhile, the new offer on the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card is similar to the personal card’s welcome bonus, worth up to 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points:

  • Earn 75,000 Bonvoy points upon spending $5,000 in the first three months
  • Earn a total of 5 Bonvoy points per dollar spent on gas, dining, and eligible travel for the first three months, up to 15,000 bonus points earned on $7,500 spend (i.e., 2x bonus points on top of the usual 3x earning rate)

To earn 75,000 Bonvoy points, you’ll have to apply using a referral link; otherwise, you’ll only earn 70,000 points.

I’m happy to see dining included on the business card’s spend bonus. And like the personal version, lodging is again excluded from the “eligible travel” category.

Similar to the personal offer, in terms of the points earned upfront, this is one of the fastest ways ever to accumulate Bonvoy points. If you don’t want to fuss with category spending, it’s even better than the initial bonus of 65,000 points on the Summer 2021 offer.

In any event, I’m an advocate for applying for the Bonvoy cards at your earliest convenience. That’s because the anniversary Free Night Award doesn’t kick in until your second year with the card.

I view the Bonvoy cards as keeper cards, since the value of a 35,000-point free night will easily exceed the $120 annual fee on the personal card or the $150 annual fee on the business card. The sooner you get started with these cards, the better.

Outside of the referral channel, the Bonvoy Business Card’s publicly advertised offer is only 70,000 Bonvoy points plus the 5x spending accelerator for an extra 15,000 points, so using a referral link is definitely the best way to apply. 

Two-Player Mode: Enough for Five Nights at a Category 8 Hotel!

Of course, you don’t just want to visit a Category 8 hotel for one night – you want to make a memorable trip out of it!

Thanks to the Fifth Night Free benefit, it’s possible to rack up enough Bonvoy points for up to five nights at the Maldives’ overwater villas or at the ultra-luxurious Al Maha in the Dubai desert. 

Earn a five-night stay at the Al Maha Desert Resort Dubai in two-player mode

If you’re collecting points in two-player mode, applying for the personal and business Marriott Bonvoy cards as a household will net you at least 158,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per person once the $1,500–5,000 minimum spends have been completed on all four cards – even if we ignore the further spend-based bonuses. 

Remember, Marriott Bonvoy allows you to pool points between different accounts, up to 100,000 Bonvoy points per member every calendar year.

So over the course of 2021 and 2022, you’d be able to pool together all your earnings into a single account (preferably one that has elite status) into 316,000 Bonvoy points.

Throw in three sets of 15,000 Bonvoy points as a referral bonus on the business card, and you’ll have a total of 361,000 Bonvoy points – that would be enough to book five nights at a Category 8 hotel for 80,000 points per night with the Fifth Night Free!

Needless to say, there’s never been a better time than now to rack up the Bonvoy points through the Canadian-issued co-branded credit cards in order to book some truly memorable experiences once the world opens up again.

Amex Bonvoy Cards: 15 Elite Qualifying Nights + Anniversary Free Night Award

In terms of the cards’ earning rates, you’ll earn the following:

  • 5 points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels
  • Bonvoy Business Card only: 3 points per dollar spent on gas, dining, and travel
  • 2 points per dollar spent on all other purchases

Personally, I tend to use my Bonvoy cards purely for spending at Canadian Marriott hotels, as the 5x earnings are unbeatable there. However, I’d prioritize other cards with higher earning rates for my general purchases.

(Marriott hotels outside of Canada are also not ideal, thanks to the card’s 2.5% foreign transaction fee. I prefer to use my US-issued Bonvoy cards for my foreign hotel bills, where I don’t get dinged on the FX fee.)

Both the personal and business Marriott Bonvoy cards offer 15 elite qualifying nights towards your Marriott Bonvoy status every year. By holding onto one of them, you’d only need to complete 35 elite qualifying nights to reach a total of 50, where Platinum Elite status and all of its associated perks start to pay off.

Unfortunately, the two sets of 15 elite qualifying nights cannot be stacked into 30 – that’s only possible with the US-issued personal and business cards, not the Canadian ones.

If you hold the following combination of Marriott Bonvoy co-branded credit cards...

You will receive...

Canadian personal + Canadian business

15 elite qualifying nights

Canadian personal + US personal

15 elite qualifying nights

Canadian personal + US business

15 elite qualifying nights

Canadian business + US personal

15 elite qualifying nights

Canadian business + US business

15 elite qualifying nights

US personal + US business

30 elite qualifying nights

In my opinion, the most meaningful perk on the Bonvoy cards is the anniversary Free Night Award, which you’ll earn upon renewing the cards for a second year.

These are worth up to 35,000 Bonvoy points each, so a smart redemption here (either at a Category 5 hotel at the standard rate or a Category 6 hotel at the off-peak PointSavers rate) would easily outweigh the cards’ $120 and $150 annual fees.

Redeem your Free Night Award at the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver on an off-peak PointSavers rate.

Until a few years ago, points enthusiasts largely preferred to cancel their Bonvoy cards before the second-year annual fee comes due, with a view of reapplying in the future and trying to get the bonus again.

But with data points around this practice becoming more and more uncertain over time, many cardholders are choosing to keep their Bonvoy cards on an ongoing basis to maximize those Free Night Awards every year.

Conclusion

As a new welcome bonus for the fall of 2021, the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Card and American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business Card are offering up to 85,000 or 90,000 Bonvoy points, respectively. There’s no published end date on these offers, so they’re subject to change at any time.

The new bonuses allow a single household to rack up enough points for a five-night stay at some of the world’s best hotels – so if you haven’t picked up these cards yet, what are you waiting for?

7 Comments
  1. JamesBock

    I have the same question than Jay, but I think the answer is no

  2. David

    Does booking “travel” through Expedia or FlightHub such as flight or hotel count as a travel booking?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yes, those should count. Technically lodgings are excluded, but if it’s booked through Expedia etc. I don’t see how the system would be able to tell.

  3. Kristian

    Any mention from Amex of the end date of this new offer?

    1. Ricky YVR

      No end date, so it’s subject to change at any time. With how frequently Amex has been changing things up lately, I’d expect these offers to last through the end of the year, and perhaps some new offers to come after that.

  4. Jay

    Shall I get a sign up bonus again if I had that card in the past? It’s been over a year that I closed my first bonvoy card.

    1. Ricky YVR

      You aren’t entitled to the bonus if you’ve held the card before, so if you do apply, you run the risk of not getting the bonus.

Ricky Zhang

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