New changes have been announced for the American Express US Marriott Bonvoy Business Card. Perhaps surprisingly, all the changes are quite positive.
With no change to the annual fee, the Amex US Bonvoy Business Card will now offer complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status for all cardholders, as well as a 7% discount on all standard hotel rates when booking directly with Marriott.
The welcome offer has also increased to 125,000 Bonvoy points upon spending US$5,000 in the first three months, which is a limited-time offer lasting until August 31, 2022.
Finally, the 4x Bonvoy points earnings on restaurants will now apply to all restaurants worldwide, rather than only restaurants within the United States.
Complimentary Marriott Gold Elite Status
All Amex US Marriott Bonvoy Business Card holders will now receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status. For existing cardholders, this should already be reflecting in your online account.
Note that just like the Canadian-issued American Express Platinum Card, you receive Gold Elite status without any elite qualifying nights, so this doesn’t automatically make your pathway to Platinum Elite status any easier.
(Of course, the 15 elite qualifying nights offered with the Amex US Marriott Bonvoy Business Card will remain a card benefit along with automatic Gold Elite status.)
In Canada, the only way to receive complimentary Gold Elite status is by holding the Platinum Card or the Business Platinum Card, both of which come with higher annual fees.
Therefore, if it’s purely Marriott Gold Elite status you’re after, the Amex US Bonvoy Business Card will be the most economical solution.
7% Discount on All Marriott Bookings
The Bonvoy Business Card will also now offer 7% off all Marriott bookings that are booked at the standard rate directly with Marriott, as long you pay with your Amex US Business Bonvoy Card.
If you have the card, this option shows up under your account’s “Rates” selection, and you must select and pay with the Amex US Business Bonvoy Card in order to take advantage.
Note that this only applies to the standard rate, and not off any other rate you may be eligible with, including prepaid rates, corporate codes, or special promotions.
This perhaps limits the value of this benefit for some travellers, such as those who travel for business using a company code or prefer to plan ahead and take advantage of cheaper prepaid rates.
For others who find themselves booking last minute or do not qualify for other rates, the 7% discount could be a lot more useful, and could certainly contribute towards paying off the card’s US$125 annual fee over a year of usage.
4x Bonvoy Points at Restaurants Worldwide
The Amex US Bonvoy Brilliant Card had previously offered 4 Bonvoy points per dollar spent at US restaurants as part of its earning structure. Going forward, this will now encompass restaurants worldwide.
This change is arguably the least impactful out of all three, as it’s almost never optimal to use this card for dining regardless of where it takes place.
For Canadians who might consider using the card for dining when you’re at home in Canada, you’d much rather be earning 5 MR points per Canadian dollar spent on the Amex Cobalt Card (which can then be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1.2 ratio) than 4 Bonvoy points per US dollar spent.
Even if we were to restrict our attention to US-issued credit cards, it’d be a better idea to earn 4 US MR points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide with the Amex US Gold Card instead, earning points that can transfer to Marriott Bonvoy but also to 20+ other transfer partners.
Elevated Welcome Offer of 125,000 Points
To celebrate the new benefits, the card is offering a limited-time welcome bonus of 125,000 Bonvoy points upon spending US$5,000 in the first three months. This offer is valid through August 31, 2022.
Previously, this offer was 75,000 points upon completing the same minimum spending requirement, so this is an improvement on all fronts.
However, historically, the all-time-high offer on the Amex US Bonvoy Business Card was 125,000 points + two Free Night Awards worth 50,000 points each, so the current elevated offer is still quite a ways off from the best-ever bonus.
Still, if you were planning to pick up the card soon for a welcome bonus, I’d definitely take advantage now, since the current offer still ranks quite good objectively.
Don’t Forget: 15 Elite Nights That Stack to 30 + Anniversary Free Night Award
Since the annual fee is not increasing, we can consider these new changes to the Amex US Bonvoy Business Card strictly positive.
However, despite these new additions, the core value proposition of the card remains the same as before: 15 elite qualifying nights per year, which stacks on top of a personal US-issued Marriott Bonvoy credit card’s 15 elite qualifying nights for a total of 30, and the anniversary Free Night Award worth 35,000 points.
Indeed, compared to these key benefits, this round of changes to the card don’t move the needle too much altogether.
A 7% discount off direct Marriott bookings is nice but not overly impactful. Meanwhile, Marriott Gold Elite status also doesn’t bring much to the table, as Platinum Elite status is where the notable benefits like free breakfast and suite upgrades kick in.
The Amex US Bonvoy Business Card is now offering complimentary Marriott Gold Elite status, 7% off standard Marriott rates when booking direct and paid with the card, and 4x points on restaurants worldwide.
To coincide with this, there’s also an elevated sign-up offer of 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, which ends on August 31, 2022.
I’d consider this round of changes very much an added bonus rather than a main incentive of getting the card. Instead, the most valuable offerings remain the 15 elite qualifying nights and the anniversary Free Night Award worth 35,000 points.
Since the elite nights can stack with a US-issued personal card like the Amex US Bonvoy Brilliant Card, this means that holding the Amex US Bonvoy Business Card makes the pathway to Marriott Platinum Elite status much easier.