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The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is one of the more lucrative hotel-branded credit cards in the travel rewards space. However, just because it has a high welcome bonus and strong bonus spending earning categories doesn’t mean it's automatically the right card for your wallet.
These are the most important issues for you to consider if you’re thinking about signing up for the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.
What's the welcome bonus?
One of this card’s strongest features is the welcome bonus: Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points & 2 bonus Free Night Awards after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Each bonus Free Night Award has a redemption level up to 50K points. Certain hotels have resort fees. Offer ends 11/3/2021. Terms Apply. Based on NerdWallet’s valuation of Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.7 cent each, this welcome bonus has a significant value that can offset the annual fee.
One of the most basic rules of travel rewards is that you need to earn more in value than you spend to accumulate your points. If you’re going to struggle to complete the spending requirement in that time frame — or if you’ll have to pay large interest charges on the money you do spend — then this card might not be worth it for you.
Also, keep in mind that the card has a $125 annual fee. Unlike some cards, it is not waived the first year. Terms apply.
What are the bonus spending categories?
After the welcome bonus, category bonuses are the second way to earn points. Savvy point collectors know you need to hit any applicable maximum spends in these bonus categories to maximize your value.
The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card offers 4 points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping purchases. Terms apply. For many people, these are high-use categories that can deliver a lot of value, but they won’t make sense for everyone.
If you ride your bike to work, love to cook at home and don’t have a big data plan on your phone, then you might want to look into other options, such as the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which provides 6% cash back on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets. Terms apply.
Being able to match your spending to your bonus categories is a crucial part of being a successful rewards collector.
What are your travel plans?
This card automatically qualifies you for Marriott Silver elite status and credits you with 15 elite-qualifying nights, which means you only need 10 more nights to move to Gold status. Terms apply.
Gold elite provides you with a wide list of benefits, including late checkout, member rates, room upgrades and a 25% bonus on all your point earnings.
The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card also offers 6 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott properties. This perk can be stacked with the 5-10 points per $1 earned through the Marriott Bonvoy program. Terms apply.
Get this card right before you know that you’ll be doing a lot of traveling involving Bonvoy properties, so you can qualify for Gold Elite quickly and rack up more points.
Is Bonvoy right for my needs?
Every hotel rewards program has different benefits and drawbacks that you should consider before you commit yourself to one. Marriott Bonvoy’s greatest strength is a massive portfolio of hotels. Their points are accepted at over 7,000 properties all over the world, ranging from extended-stay properties to luxurious resorts on white sand beaches.
» Learn more: Travel loyalty program reviews
But the program also has a few drawbacks. Tiered pricing means that hotels will vary their rates based on the most traveled dates. Depending on when you want to stay, you could be priced out of a desirable hotel.
» Learn more: Why I love the Marriott Bonvoy program
The bottom line
The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is potentially a very rewarding small business card that gives its users access to a huge number of hotels all over the globe, as well as multiple ways to earn bonus points.
To be sure this card is right for you, consider both the benefits and the drawbacks of the Bonvoy program and make sure that your spending habits match the card’s bonus categories.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
To view rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, see this page.
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: How to add money-saving travel offers to your AmEx card Marriott Rewards program: The complete guide Find the best travel credit card for you