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Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card review
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards writer at finder.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and travel the world like a pro. He's taken an extended trip around Europe as a digital nomad, gaining firsthand experience with exchange rates, ideal (and not-so-ideal) credit and debit cards, foreign transactions and budgeting strategies. He earned his BA from UC Davis and has written across many niches at Finder, including cryptocurrency, personal loans, car insurance, real estate and money transfers.
Prior to August 2018, the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, formerly the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card was a strong choice mostly for SPG® regulars. Now, as SPG® has combined with Marriott Rewards® and Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card, the card is impressive for many more business owners.
Key is the card’s new rewards tier, which offers 4x points at US restaurants and US gas stations as well as on eligible US wireless service and US shipping. This means you can still earn significant rewards even if you don’t travel much. Of course, you’ll still earn a strong 6x points on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
Two new features arrive with the card’s revamp: You’ll receive complimentary Silver Elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program, and you’ll get a Free Night Award each year after your card account anniversary. These perks didn’t come with the previous version of the card, but they’re stellar additions to the new one.
Welcome offer: 75,000 bonus points.
To earn this welcome offer, make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
This is a strong welcome offer. With 75,000 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.
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.
You can also earn Gold Elite status with the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card after spending $35,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year.
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.
New changes to the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
Starwood Preferred Guest®, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® have combined into one loyalty program. For that reason, SPG® has converted each Starpoint you’ve earned before August 1, 2018 into 3 points.
There have also been changes to the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card‘s reward structure. Prior to these changes, you might earn points slowly if you don’t stay at Marriott Bonvoy properties often. With the new rewards structure, however, the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card becomes more attractive for other types of business spending.
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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.
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 Spend Manager, 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.
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. You’re also covered by Travel Accident Insurance, which provides accidental death and dismemberment coverage on eligible transportation.
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 while traveling by car. Call the Roadside Assistance Hotline if you have car problems on the road to receive help with towing, car battery charges and more. And 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.
On eligible items you buy with your card, you’ll receive extended warranties. You may also receive Purchase Protection, which covers your items against damage or theft.
Additionally, 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 (see rates & fees).
American Express may apply a penalty APR for all balances of 29.99% 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
Updated September 15th, 2019
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.
What do customers say about the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card?
The American Express Company has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 1948 and earns an overall A+ rating. However, as of June 2018, 90% of its reviews are negative and it has nearly 3,000 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 3 out of 10. 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.
How to apply for the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
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.
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.
Frequently asked questions
You’ll see your bonus points on your card statement 8 to 12 weeks after you reach the spending threshold.
No. Each employee card you add to your account comes with a $0 annual fee.
Yes. You can do so online or by calling the number on the back of your card.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to know your APR until your application is approved. Of course, the higher your credit score, the better your chances of receiving a favorable interest rate.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
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