Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card review
Get an annual free night and earn solid rewards on hotels and everyday purchases.
finder.com’s rating: 4.4 / 5
- Get this card if you frequently stay at Marriott Bonvoy properties, or if you can take advantage of the card’s 4x-points categories.
- Pick something else if you want general travel rewards.
- Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Points as welcome offer
Up to 6x
15.74% to 24.74%
Purchase APR (variable)
|Welcome Offer||100,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months. Earn up to $150 in statement credits within your first 6 months on US advertising in select media. Plus complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite for the 2021 status year (Offer ends 1/13/21)|
|Rewards||6x points at Marriott Bonvoy, 4x points at US restaurants, US gas stations and on US wireless telephone and shipping services, 2x points on all other purchases|
|Purchase APR||15.74% to 24.74% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||N/A|
|Recommended minimum credit score||670|
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Business.com, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order by expertly navigating cutting-edge financial tools — including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is a $125-annual-fee card for small-business owners. In truth, it’s quite similar to the Marriott consumer card offerings, though with a few extra business trappings: It offers 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties. Until January 13, 2021, you’ll also earn 100,000 points after you make $5,000 in purchases with your card within the first 3 months, up to $150 in statement credits within your first 6 months, and a 25,000 point bonus on your first card anniversary.
According to our current valuations, 6x points translates to a 5.4% reward rate, which is excellent. The card’s bonus rewards on eligible dining, gas, wireless phone service and shipping are quite good as well, coming out to a 3.6% reward rate. These are good rates for the annual fee, especially considering the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant has comparable rates at a higher annual fee.
You’ll also enjoy expense management tools and free employee cards if you choose. Aside from that however, you’re looking at a fairly standard Marriott card. Like the consumer cards, you’ll earn complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status with this card. It’s not the most valuable elite tier, but one with late checkout based on availability and a 10% points bonus on bookings. New cardholders who sign up before January 13, 2021 however will enjoy a year of Platinum elite status starting on February 1, 2021 and ending on January 31, 2022.
That’s not all — you’ll also earn a Free Night Award after every card anniversary — worth up to $315 according to our current valuations.
On the whole, this card has grown substantially from its old form and is a worthy choice for business-owners invested in the Marriott brand.
How to apply for the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
- Go to the provider's site and click Apply now.
- Complete the application with details like your name, address, annual income, Social Security number and business information.
- Review and submit your application.
How long will it take to get my Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card?
Because conditional credit card approval is automated on the website, you may get a decision on your application within just a minute. If there are issues with your application, it may take a few business days to a few weeks to hear back.
After you’re approved, you’ll typically receive your card within 7 to 10 business days.
Welcome offer: 100,000 bonus points. Also earn up to $150 in statement credits over your first 6 months and a 25,000 point bonus on your first card anniversary.
To earn this welcome offer, make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. You can earn the statement credits on US advertising in select media, and your anniversary points are automatically deposited into your account following your anniversary date. This welcome offer package expires on January 13, 2021.
For the price of the card, this is a terribly strong welcome offer. With 100,000 Points, you can book a night at any eligible property, according to the Marriott Bonvoy website. Reward nights range in cost from 7,500 to 60,000 points. The anniversary points and statement credits are icing on the cake and help stretch out the value of the card for your business.
Rewards: Up to 6x points.
You’ll earn 6x points on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. This was the rate that existed before August 2018, and it’s still a strong rate.
The card’s new rewards tier is a pleasant surprise. You’ll earn 4x points at US restaurants and US gas stations as well as on eligible US wireless service and US shipping. This means you don’t have to travel often to squeeze significant rewards from the card.
You’ll earn 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
Redeem your points for rewards like nights at Marriott Bonvoy properties, as well as flights and car rentals through Marriott Bonvoy’s airline program. You can also transfer points to more than 40 frequent-flyer programs at a 3:1 ratio.
Complimentary Silver Elite status.
You’ll earn Silver Elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program. That means you’ll receive complimentary in-room Internet access, a 10% points bonus on eligible spending, priority late checkout and a dedicated Elite reservation line.
New cardholders who signup before January 13, 2021 will enjoy a complimentary year of Platinum Elite, starting February 2, 2021 and ending on January 31,2022. After this welcome offer period, your account will revert to Silver Elite status.
Free Night Award.
A great perk that helps you recoup the value of your annual fee. Every year after your card account anniversary, you’ll receive a Free Night Award. This is good for one night that costs 35,000 or fewer points.
You’ll also like
- Elite Night Credit. You’ll receive credits for 15 nights toward higher Elite status within 60 days from account opening. You’ll receive these credits every calendar year. With the combined Marriott Bonvoy program, it takes 25 to 49 nights a year to reach Gold Elite and 50 to 74 nights to reach Platinum Elite.
- Points boost for eligible point transfers. For every 60,000 points you transfer, Marriott International will add a 15,000-point bonus. On your transfer at a 3:1 ratio, that means you’ll receive 25,000 miles instead of 20,000.
- No foreign transaction fees. You won’t incur fees when you use your card abroad or at foreign websites. Typically, providers charge a 3% fee each time you use your card for an international transaction. It doesn’t sound like much, but it can add up over a trip spanning several days. Since the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card comes with no foreign transaction fees, it can be a good choice for vacations or business trips.
- Wi-Fi access. Receive complimentary in-room, premium Internet access at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. Also, receive free unlimited Wi-Fi at more than 1 million hotspots worldwide through the Boingo American Express Preferred Plan.
- Expense management tools. Add employee cards at no extra cost. If you’d like, you can designate an Account Manager that has administrative access to your account. Get access to the American Express® Business App, which lets you add notes and receipts to your transactions online, as well as Year-End Summaries of charges on your card.
To make recordkeeping easier, you can label your transactions and transfer them to QuickBooks.
- Travel benefits. When you purchase the entire fare of your eligible transportation ticket with your Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, you’re covered by the American Express Baggage Insurance Plan. This insures your bags against theft, damage or accidental loss according to American Express’s terms. Access the Global Assist Hotline when you’re more than 100 miles from home, which provides medical, financial, legal and other emergency services.
Lastly, you’ll enjoy travel benefits when you pay for a car rental with your Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card and decline the collision damage waiver, the vehicle is covered against damage or theft.
- Purchase benefits. You can access Amex Offers, from which you’ll receive extra rewards and discounts at select retail and dining partners.
What to watch out for
- Annual fee: $125. You’ll pay an annual fee of $125 to own the card (Terms apply, see rates & fees).
- No balance transfers. American Express doesn’t allow balance transfers to this card. However, there are many business credit cards that allow balance transfers.
- Penalty APR. American Express may apply a penalty APR for all balances of 29.24% variable if you make two or more late payments in a 12-month period, fail to make the minimum payment by the due date or make a returned payment. This penalty APR will apply to your account for at least 12 consecutive billing periods.
Compare business credit cards
Want to know how the Marriott stacks up against other business cards? Select your credit score below and click “Show Cards” to compare up to 4 cards side-by-side.
What size business is the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card good for?
This product is especially effective for businesses that often send employees on business trips. But with the new rewards structure, it can be a good pick even if you don’t spend much on travel. That’s because it offers accelerated points in more business categories: US restaurants, US gas stations and wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service providers.
What should I know before I apply?
To apply for the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, you must be:
- 18 years or older.
- A US resident.
Information you’ll need
- To complete the application, you’ll need to provide information about yourself and your business, including:
- Your name and residential address.
- Your Social Security number.
- Your email address, phone number and date of birth.
- Financial information like your annual income and your monthly rent or mortgage.
- The name of your business, its mailing address and its phone number.
- Your employee count, business type and business structure.
- Your years in business, annual business revenue and monthly business spending.
- Your business’s federal tax ID.
What credit score do I need?
You’ll have a better chance of being approved for the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher. If you have a healthy business and excellent credit, your likelihood of approval is strong.
Here are a few other factors that might affect your odds of approval:
- Hard pulls on your credit report. If you have several hard inquiries — or hard pulls — on your report, it could imply you’re having trouble managing your debt. American Express might think you’re desperate for credit and may be less likely to take you on as a customer.
- Factors that tie into your credit score. Your credit utilization is a major factor American Express considers. The bank prefers a customer with low balances relative to their credit limit. Having many new card accounts may be a red flag too, as it could indicate you’re desperate for credit. It may also give the impression that you’re a flighty customer who’s just hunting for welcome offers.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card reviews and complaints
The American Express Company has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 1948 and earns an overall A+ rating as of October 2020. However, 90% of its reviews are negative and it has nearly 3,400 customer complaints. Amex cardholders in general complain of rude customer service reps, missing statement credit and issues disputing charges.
The company earns a Trustpilot score of 2 out of 5 as of October 2020. Many negative reviews cite unhelpful customer service and inflexible company policies. Positive reviews say the company employs pleasant customer service representatives. Overall, your mileage may vary with American Express customer support.
I got the card. Now what?
- Register an account on the American Express website to pay your balance online. You can also enroll in autopay.
- Avoid interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of at least 25 days to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
- Avoid fees. Late and returned payments come with hefty fees up to $39.
- Contact customer service. Help documents aren’t easily accessible on the American Express website, but you can call 1-800-528-4800 to speak with a customer service rep. According to market research company JD Power, cardholders give American Express high marks in customer interaction.
With its new rewards structure, the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card has become a great choice for more businesses. Whether you frequently stay at Marriott Bonvoy hotels or simply want to save up for an occasional stay, this card can help you maximize your rewards.
Looking for other travel card options? Compare more business credit cards to find one that suits your business needs.
Frequently asked questions
Images: American Express
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