Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card Review

We publish unbiased reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payments we receive from our advertising partners. Learn about our independent review process and partners in our advertiser disclosure.

If you and your employees spend a lot of time on the road, the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card could earn you free nights at popular hotels, as well as some nice business perks.

Marriott Bonvoy Business™American Express® Card

Overall Rating
3.0
Marriott Bonvoy Business™American Express® Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $125
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 4X points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. purchases for shipping, and 2X points everywhere else.
Cash Advance APR (%) 25.24%
Cash Advance Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.7
for Fees
2.1
for Rewards
3.3
for Credit
2.5
Current Offer

Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Earn up to $150 in statement credits within your first 6 months of Card Membership for all eligible purchases on your Card on U.S. Advertising in select Media. Plus receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status for one year (February 1, 2021-January 31, 2022). Offer ends 1/13/21.

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Entrepreneur Persona
    Is turning their passion into a money-making venture See more cards
    Entrepreneur
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    Savvy Saver
  • Avatar for Road Warrior Persona
    Hits the road often, whether for work or play See more cards
    Road Warrior

If you or your employees spend days at a time traveling for work, the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card can save you lots of money on hotel stays. You can rack up free nights quickly, and your choice of hotels is vast, from no-frills Fairfield Inn and Suites to mid-range hotels such as Courtyard Marriott, and more luxurious digs such as the Ritz Carlton.

The card is ideal for small-business owners with good to excellent credit. Regardless of your spending, you’re guaranteed one free night at some of the nicer participating hotels every year after the first year. You’ll earn another free night if you charge at least $60,000 in one calendar year.

Pros
  • Great point-earning potential

  • Free night each year you renew your card (and another for big spenders)

  • Bonus is a great value due to Marriott’s high-value points

  • Rebates on advertising purchases

  • Elite status benefits

Cons
  • Higher annual fee

  • American Express isn’t as widely accepted abroad

Pros Explained

  • Great point-earning potential: This card offers at least 2 points for every $1 that you spend, making it relatively easy to rack up enough for multiple award night stays with everyday spending. With bonus points for Marriott stays, as well as for gas and restaurant spending, this is a good card for Marriott hotel fans and those who drive or entertain guests frequently for work. 
  • Free night each year you renew your card: Each year, after you renew your card, you’ll get a free hotel night, without blackout restrictions. The competition offers a free weekend night, and only after you reach a spending requirement. You’ll also receive another free night’s stay if you charge at least $60,000 in a calendar year.
  • Bonus is a great value due to Marriott’s high-value points: The welcome offer includes a large cache of points, which, our research shows, are worth more than those of many competitors on average. So this bonus could go further than some other hotel cards’ bonuses.
  • Rebates on advertising purchases: For a limited time, new cardholders get up to $150 back on eligible U.S. advertising purchases. 
  • Elite status benefits: New cardholders get Platinum Elite status for the 2021 status year, as well as 15 Elite Night credits when you open your card and every subsequent year. Platinum status comes with room upgrades, late checkout, and extra point-earnings on stays.

Cons Explained

  • Higher annual fee: The annual fee is slightly more than on comparable hotel and general business travel cards. If you don’t take advantage of all the card’s benefits, including the free night hotel stay, it may not be worth the annual commitment. 
  • American Express isn’t as widely accepted abroad: You may run into merchants who don’t take American Express, especially if you try to use the card in other countries on your business travels. Although the number of merchants who accept Amex is growing, the card network still isn’t as widely accepted as Mastercard and Visa.

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card Welcome Offer

The welcome offer for this card is normally pretty good, but for a limited time (until Jan. 13, 2021), it’s even more generous. If you charge $5,000 within three months of opening your card, you’ll receive 100,000 bonus points. That may be enough to purchase three or four nights at a low- or mid-tier hotel such as the Fairfield Inn & Suites in New Orleans, or one night in a premium hotel like the St. Regis in New York City.

You’re not eligible for the welcome offer if you have or previously had the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card. You’re also excluded if you’ve had certain Marriott credit cards or received a bonus for new cardholders for Chase-issued Marriott cards in the last 24 months. Plus, you get $150 in statement credits to use for purchases of U.S. advertising in certain media during the first six months you have the card.

Earning Points & Rewards

The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card’s points earning system is generous. With this card, you’ll earn:

  • 6 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy Hotels
  • 4 points per $1 spent on U.S. restaurant, gas station, cellphone service, and shipping purchases
  • 2 points per $1 spent on everything else

This means you could earn a basic 7,500-point night’s stay for as little as $1,250 in Marriott charges. Even if you only use the card for gas, restaurants, shipping, or wireless services, you can earn those points by spending just $1,875 on the card.

There are opportunities to earn additional points with Marriott Bonvoy travel partners, like Hertz rental cars and cruise companies, too.

Purchases for gas, restaurants, telephone services, and shipping must be made within the U.S.—not internationally—to qualify for points.

The hotel brand earning rate is higher than competing hotel cards, and not many business cards earn you 4 points per $1 on gas, restaurants, wireless and shipping. Double points on everything else doesn’t hurt, either. 

Redeeming Rewards

You can redeem points in several ways, and unsurprisingly, we’ve found the best value is for hotel stays. Editors at The Balance determined that points on this card are worth an average of 1.11 cents when redeemed for stays at Marriott properties. 

Note that the points cost of a free night changes constantly depending on demand, location, and other factors. Hotels are grouped into eight tiers. However, wherever you’re staying, if you redeem four nights, you’ll get the fifth free.

You can also transfer your points to an airline loyalty program. In all, there are more than 40 frequent-flyer programs to choose from and you’ll get an additional 5,000 miles for every 60,000 rewards points you transfer. Partners include all the major domestic carriers and plenty of familiar international ones, too. If you’re a United MileagePlus member, you could get a 10% mileage bonus when converting Bonvoy points to MileagePlus miles. 

Unfortunately, the overall transfer ratio in most cases is 3 points to 1 mile, which is a terrible rate and will dramatically reduce the value of your points once transferred 

You can also redeem your points for concerts and sports events, a variety of merchandise, gift cards, and more. Keep in mind some redemptions will lower the value of your points. For gift cards or merchandise, for example, your points may only be worth a quarter of a cent to a half cent each.   

How to Get the Most Out Of This Card

Spend at least $5,000 in the first three months to qualify for the welcome offer, which is worth multiple free hotel nights. The sooner you meet the spending requirement, the sooner you’ll get your welcome offer. Add employees or business partners as authorized users—up to 99 are allowed at no cost—so that you can pool your points and quickly hit the $60,000 threshold for another free night.

Marriott often requires significantly more points for hotel stays in hip locations—even if you choose a budget hotel that costs less than $120 a night. Also consider booking longer trips when redeeming rewards for Marriott hotel stays to receive the fifth night free.  

Because the redemption options aren’t always a good value, we recommend pairing this card with another general travel, airline, or cash-back business card to maximize your rewards potential.

Excellent Perks

We think these are the card’s exceptional benefits:

  • Free annual hotel stay: No matter how often you use your Marriott card, you’ll earn a guaranteed free night’s stay on each renewal anniversary at a participating hotel that costs up to 35,000 points—the redemption level for many mid-range hotels. 
  • Automatic elite status: With Platinum Elite status in Marriott’s loyalty program, you’ll get access to free Wi-Fi, room upgrades, and late checkout and earn a 50% increase in points earnings on eligible hotel purchases. 
  • Insurance coverage for lost or delayed luggage: If you use your card for airfare and your luggage is lost, damaged or stolen, American Express will reimburse you up to $500 for checked baggage and $1,250 for carry-on. 

Other Features

  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy) 
  • Extended warranties 
  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
  • Roadside assistance hotline

Customer Experience

American Express is ranked first in J.D. Power’s 2020 credit card customer satisfaction survey and in its credit card app survey. Amex offers 24-7 help on the phone or online, and a mobile banking app that you can use to keep tabs on your credit card and easily pay your bill.

Security Features

American Express offers standard security features. One nice option is the ability to set up alerts to help keep tabs on employees’ spending and ensure that every purchase has been authorized. 

Fees

The card’s fees are fairly standard, though the annual fee is a little high for a card with these rewards and perks. It’s worth noting that there are no foreign transaction fees.

Next Steps
For Marriott Bonvoy Business™American Express® Card
Compare This Card
See how this card stacks up to the competition
CURRENT CARD
Marriott Bonvoy Business™American Express® Card
overall rating
3.0
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.74% - 24.74% variable
Annual Fee $125
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 4X points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. purchases for shipping, and 2X points everywhere else.
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Nilson Report, October 2019. "Global Brand Card Acceptance Worldwide." Page 1. Accessed October 21, 2020.

  2. American Express. "Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card." Accessed Oct. 21, 2020.

  3. Marriott Bonvoy. "How to Use Points/Certificates at Hotels." Accessed Oct. 21, 2020.

  4. Marriott Bonvoy. "Use Points When You Travel." Accessed Oct. 21, 2020.

  5. J.D. Power. "Customers Losing Faith in Credit Card Issuers as COVID-19 Pandemic Lingers, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Oct. 20, 2020.

  6. American Express. "Important Information Regarding Rates, Fees, and Other Cost Information." Accessed Oct. 21, 2020.