Bonuses and Fees
The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card offers up to 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points as its current signup bonus:
- Earn 70,000 points upon spending $5,000 in the first three months
- Earn 5 points per dollar spent on dining, travel, and gas in the first three months, up to 15,000 bonus points
Note that the 5x points includes the base earn rate. Technically, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent as per usual for those categories, plus 2 bonus points per dollar spent.
Also, lodging is excluded from the welcome bonus rate on travel, although charges at Marriott properties always earn 5 points per dollar spent anyway.
The card has an annual fee of $150.
Upon meeting the main spending requirement, you’ll have earned at least 70,000 Bonvoy points. To give you an idea of what 70,000 points within the Marriott Bonvoy program can get you:
- One free night at a Category 8 hotel at the off-peak rate, or a Category 7 hotel at the peak rate (retail cost: $1,000+)
- Five free nights at a Category 3 hotel at the standard rate (retail cost: $600+)
- 18 free nights at a Category 1 hotel at the off-peak rate (retail cost: $1,800+)
- Converting 60,000 points to any of 40 airline transfer partners, netting 25,000 airline miles, and redeem for flights (retail cost: $500+)
Those are just a few examples that come to mind, and you could also mix and match the options that best suit your needs.
The point is, the ultimate value of the Marriott program derives from its flexibility, and as a result of that, it’s almost difficult not to get multiple times’ return on your $120 annual fee when signing up for this card.
Finally, supplementary cards are free; as with all American Express cards, you’re allowed up to nine supplementary cards per card account.
In terms of the return on everyday spending, you’ll earn 5 Bonvoy points per dollar spent at all Marriott hotels, including room charges, food and beverages, and incidentals.
One perk of the Bonvoy Business Card that’s not available with the personal version is that you’ll earn 3 Bonvoy points per dollar spent on gas, dining, and travel purchases.
Meanwhile, you’ll earn 2 Bonvoy points per dollar spent on all other purchases.
While the old SPG cards used to be one of the most powerful cards in Canada for daily spending, nowadays the value proposition has decreased.
I’d only ever consider using the Bonvoy Business Card on the 3x category of gas, dining, and travel, and even then, there are better cards out there if you truly wanted to optimize (such as the American Express Gold Rewards Card for gas and travel or the American Express Cobalt Card for dining).
Perks & Benefits
The Amex Bonvoy cards also offer unique benefits to make your stays at Marriott hotels more memorable.
Cardholders are rewarded with 15 elite qualifying nights within the program, which gives you instant Silver Elite status and can go a long way towards helping you qualify for higher status tiers.
On top of that, cardholders can also enjoy an anniversary Free Night Award worth up to 35,000 points on each card anniversary date, which, if redeemed wisely, can easily outweigh the $150 annual fee.
The Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business Card offers practically identical insurance benefits to the personal version. Highlights include:
Travel accident insurance, up to $500,000, for you, your spouse, and any dependent children under 23
Flight delay insurance, up to $500, for hotel and restaurant expenses and other sundry items in the event of a flight delay
Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance, up to $500, against the loss of personal items if your hotel or motel room is burglarized
In addition, as a card geared towards small business owners, this card also offers coverage of up to $10,000 in case of permanent, total disability to you as a sole proprietor as the result of an accidental injury. Hopefully you’ll never have to make that particular claim!