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Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card review: a high rewarder for Marriott Loyalists

With a high hotel rewards rate and convenient bonus categories, this card makes a great business travel partner.

 /  11 min
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Snapshot

4.7

Bankrate rating
Info
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5

Bottom line

Thanks to complimentary benefits like a free anniversary night and Gold Elite status, this is a rewarding card for small business owners who regularly travel with Marriott.

Best for business owners who prefer Marriott hotels
  • Rewards value
    Rating: 5 stars out of 5
    5 / 5
    APR
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
    4 / 5
    Rewards flexibility
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
    4 / 5
    Features
    Rating: 3 stars out of 5
    3 / 5
Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Recommended Credit

Earn 5 Free Night Awards

Intro offer

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$1750

Offer valuation

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2x - 6x

Rewards Rate

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$125

Annual fee

20.99% - 29.99% Variable

Regular APR

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card Overview

If you frequently travel for business and are an avid Marriott fan, then the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card may be right for you.

It not only earns rewards on travel and select everyday purchases, but it also comes with valuable perks like an automatic free night stay when you renew your card (and get charged an annual fee) each year. You'll also get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card and 15 Elite Night credits to help you get to the next elite level faster. Since your rewards must be redeemed for travel, points can be used for hotel stays, upgrades and a variety of hotel experiences at over 7,000 hotels worldwide. They can also be transferred to one of Marriott Bonvoy’s airline or car rental transfer partners.

This is an impressive overall value for loyal Marriott guests, but the Bonvoy Business card may be hard to justify if you stay with a variety of hotel brands. Plus, like most hotel rewards cards, the value of your rewards isn't worth as much as the points you can earn with a general travel rewards credit card, which tends to offer greater flexibility and value, though you lose out on the hotel-specific perks.

What are the pros and cons?

Pros

  • Checkmark

    The card’s complimentary Gold Elite status unlocks a number of valuable features, such as late checkout, room upgrades and more.

  • Checkmark

    You can earn one Free Night Award (valued at 35,000 points or less) every year after your card renewal month, which could make up for the annual fee.

  • Checkmark

    The points you earn are transferable to 39 airline partners, giving you more options when redeeming rewards.

Cons

  • The $125 annual fee could be hard to justify if you don’t take advantage of the card’s best perks.

  • Some of its redemption options are far less valuable compared to what other rewards cards offer.

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels (up to 18.5X points through the Bonvoy loyalty program with Gold Elite status) and 4X points on worldwide restaurant, U.S. gas station, U.S. shipping and U.S. provider wireless telephone service purchases; 2X points on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: (Limited Time Offer) Earn 5 Free Night Awards, valued at up to 50,000 points each for eligible stays, after spending $8,000 of eligible purchases with the first six months of card membership. Offer ends July 10, 2024. Resort fees & terms apply.
  • Annual fee: $125
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 20.99 percent to 29.99 percent (variable)

Current welcome offer

This hotel card comes with a terrific limited time welcome offer, given its modest annual fee. You can earn five Free Night Awards after you make $8,000 in eligible purchases within the first six months of card membership. (Offer ends July 10, 2024.) Each night carries a redemption value of up to 50,000 points, giving this bonus a potential value of 250,000 points. Though the spend requirement is higher, this offer is a slight upgrade from its previous signup bonus: three Free Night Awards after you make $6,000 in eligible purchases within the same timeframe.  

While this offer carries solid potential redemption value, it's also much less flexible than some of the card's previous offers. Other Bonvoy Business welcome offers have granted points instead, which you could use more freely to book as few or as many stays as you could manage based on your preferences. 

Rewards rate

Provided you do some planning, you can make your Marriott Bonvoy rewards go a long way. What’s great about the Marriott Bonvoy® program is that you can earn unlimited points, though you will need to either earn or redeem points at least once every 24 months to ensure your points don’t expire.

The Bonvoy Business’ unlimited rewards are an excellent value considering the only other Marriott card to offer complimentary Gold Elite status and similar rewards rates is the consumer Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card. That card has a $250 annual fee and a yearly rewards rate spending cap on certain categories.

How you earn

You’ll earn the most points by staying at participating Marriott Bonvoy locations — 6X Marriott Bonvoy Points. You also receive Gold Elite status, a perk that could help you earn 25 percent more points than regular members on every eligible hotel purchase. This means you’ll earn 18.5X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels (the 6X base rate plus 10X points as a Bonvoy member and another 2.5X points with Gold Elite status), making the Bonvoy Business one of the most rewarding credit cards for Marriott hotel stays.

The Marriott card also offers 4X points on purchases in popular spending categories such as restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping purchases. All other purchases earn 2X points, so the Bonvoy Business can be a fantastic option for small business owners who want to build points quickly.

How to redeem

Points can be redeemed in several ways, though award nights at one of Marriott Bonvoy’s hotels could get you the best value, especially if you can take advantage of your elite status and get a room upgrade.

Marriott uses a dynamic pricing model, so the number of points you’ll need for a free one-night stay will vary based on a variety of factors, including where and when you book. If you have flexibility about when you travel, you can use Marriott’s PointSavers program to stretch your rewards. Just choose “flexible dates” when searching for a stay, and Marriott will show you discounted rates if available. If you don’t have enough points when booking a room, you can take advantage of the Points + Cash redemption option.

The Marriott Bonvoy Business card also comes with an extensive transfer program. This program allows points redemption for flights and car rentals across a global network of travel partners, giving you more options and flexibility that you’ll struggle to find with other hotel rewards cards.

But the overall value of your rewards will likely drop with these options. For example, your points transfer at a 3:1 ratio for most of Marriott Bonvoy’s airline transfer partners. This means 3 points earned with the Marriott Bonvoy business card are only worth a single airline point/mile when transferred to these loyalty programs. On the bright side, Marriott Bonvoy will add 5,000 bonus miles for every 60,000 points you transfer to select partners (excluding some partners, such as American Airlines, Avianca and Delta), which can make for a somewhat better transfer ratio of 2.4:1.

How much are the rewards worth?

Although Marriott Bonvoy points’ value can vary based on booking factors, Bankrate’s latest point valuations estimate that the median Marriott point value to be 0.7 cents each. 

They’re worth less than the standard credit card rewards point (1 cent per point), but they carry a decent value among hotel rewards programs. In fact, we calculate the only major hotel rewards worth more are World of Hyatt points and Wyndham Rewards points. Considering Marriott is the largest hotel brand in the world, there are plenty of opportunities to reap a solid value from your Bonvoy rewards.

Other cardholder perks

While this card comes with fewer benefits compared to a general travel rewards credit card, its hotel perks are so generous that you’ll easily make the $125 annual fee back if you’re a Marriott regular. This is great if you’re the type of business traveler who doesn’t fly frequently but still uses hotels as needed for your and employees.

Hotel benefits

  • Complimentary Gold Elite status: Receive 25 percent more bonus points on eligible purchases and priority late checkout on Marriott stays as well as a dedicated elite reservation line and other benefits.
  • 1 Free Night Award every year: Receive one free night award each year after your card renewal month to be redeemed at a Marriott property for a night costing no more than 35,000 points.
  • Earn an additional free night: Spend $60,000 on purchases with your card in a calendar year and earn a free night. This can add up quickly with business stays for yourself and your employees.
  • Elite night credits: Fast track to the next elite status level with 15 Elite Night credits. No matter what Elite status you’re at, these credits get you to the next tier quicker.
  • Premium Internet access: Get complimentary in-room internet access at participating locations. While Wi-Fi is generally standard in most hotels, this enhanced internet option is reserved for Marriott Bonvoy cardholders.
  • 7 percent Marriott Bonvoy Room Rate Discount: You can get a 7 percent discount on eligible bookings as a benefit of being both a Marriott Bonvoy member and a Bonvoy Business cardmember when you book directly with Marriott through an eligible channel for a participating property under the Amex Business Card Rate. A brand-specific discount like this can make a difference for frequent hotel guests over time. For instance, a small business that typically spends $2,000 on eligible hotel rooms each year will save $140 — which could be enough to cover an extra night.

These are great benefits for a business hotel card of its caliber, and the additional award night perks are particularly exciting. In fact, the Bonvoy Business is one of the best hotel cards for free nights. If you’re able to get the full 35,000-point value from the annual Free Night Award, Bankrate’s median point value shows you could potentially get a stay worth $245. That’s enough value to offset the annual fee almost twice over.

Protection and insurance

  • Lost, stolen or damaged luggage insurance: Receive coverage of up to $500 on checked bags and $1,250 for carry-on items. Although insurance coverage like this is typical on cards in this class, it’s always a welcome cushion in the uncertainty that comes with travel.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: Receive secondary coverage on car rental when you pay with this card.
  • Purchase protection: Up to 90 days and $1,000 per occurrence (up to $50,000 per account per calendar year), items purchased with your card are protected against damage, loss or theft (or up to $500 per covered natural disaster). Although this is another common perk, it adds to the comprehensive list of benefits available on the Marriott Bonvoy Business card.
  • Extended warranty: Includes warranty coverage for up to one additional year for eligible items with an original manufacturer warranty of five years or less (up to $10,000 per covered purchase and up to $50,000 per calendar year).

Although the Bonvoy Business card doesn’t carry coveted travel insurance perks like several general-purpose travel cards with a similar annual fee do, this card’s baggage insurance plan is a welcome addition to these other typical purchase protections.

Rates and fees

This card’s annual fee of $125 is steep for small businesses that don’t require frequent travel, but it’s possible to offset the fee with just the annual Free Night Award. Otherwise, you can recoup the annual fee by spending about $966 per year at Marriott properties or about $372 across your 4X categories per month.

The Bonvoy Business card’s other rates and fees are standard for a rewards card, and the card also has no foreign transaction fees. Many travel cards don’t charge foreign transaction fees, but this is still a notable perk if you often stay at international Marriott hotels.

Like many other premium travel rewards cards, the Marriott Bonvoy Business doesn’t offer a 0 percent introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers. Regular APRs for purchases range from 20.99 percent to 29.99 percent variable, which is on par with the current average interest rate.

How the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card compares to other business travel rewards cards

The Marriott Bonvoy Business card certainly has its perks, but if you prefer to stay with a different hotel brand or want a more versatile rewards card, you have options. Here are two alternative cards that could provide better value.

Image of Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on American Express's secure site

Annual fee

$125

Intro offer

Earn 5 Free Night Awards
Info

Rewards rate

2x - 6x
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on American Express's secure site

Annual fee

$195

Intro offer

Earn 130,000 Bonus Points
Info

Rewards rate

3X - 12X
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Bankrate Score
Apply now Lock
on Chase's secure site

Annual fee

$95

Intro offer

Earn 100,000 bonus points
Info

Rewards rate

1X - 3X
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card vs. The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

When it comes to choosing between the Marriott Bonvoy Business card and The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card , it’s likely just a matter of which hotel brand you prefer. They both have similar features, but there are a few key differences. For example, the Marriott Bonvoy Business card gives you an automatic free night every year after your card renewal month (and annual fee charge). 

Despite the lack of an automatic free night, the Hilton Honors business card has its own features that help it to be a standout card. It charges a slightly higher annual fee and offers higher rewards rates on its non-hotel purchases. Hilton Honors points aren’t as valuable as Marriott Bonvoy’s points, but the slight 0.6 cents versus 0.7 cents value difference may not matter much if the Hilton card’s rewards rates are more lucrative for your business’ particular expenses.

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card vs. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Although the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card doesn’t offer Marriott privileges or other hotel perks like free nights or property credits, it may make up the difference with its rewards and versatility. It’s a business card that earns points generously for travel purchases, and those points can be redeemed for travel through the Chase Travel℠ portal with a 25 percent bonus. You can also transfer your points to one of Chase’s travel partners, including Marriott Bonvoy.

With the right transfer partner, your Chase points’ value could jump from 1.25 cents (when redeemed for travel through the Chase Travel℠ portal) to an estimated 2 cents each. That’s more versatile and valuable than the points the Marriott Bonvoy Business card offers, which are only worth an estimated 0.7 cents.

Best cards to pair with this card

To optimize rewards for your business spending, pair your card with a cash rewards card with no annual fee, such as the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card. The Ink Business Cash earns remarkable cash back at office supply stores and on other popular expenses. It also allows you to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards to your Marriott Bonvoy account (although you may get more rewards value booking stays through Chase). This would be a great card to use to fill gaps in your spending that might otherwise earn you only 2X points with your Marriott Bonvoy Business card.

Pairing it with a flat-rate rewards business card like the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card might also be a wise option since you’ll be able to earn more rewards on expenses that fall outside your Marriott card’s bonus categories.

Bankrate’s Take — Is the Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card worth it?

From hotel perks to complimentary protections, the Marriott Bonvoy Business benefits and rewards make this card an excellent option for small-business owners who often stay at Marriott hotels. This card also has a good rewards rate on restaurants worldwide and gas stations, which can help you build up points even if you’re close to home.

However, a business travel card that isn’t chained to a specific hotel brand may be a better fit if you want higher-value rewards and flexible redemption options.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Business, please click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Written by
Garrett Yarbrough
Writer, Credit Cards

Bankrate expert Garrett Yarbrough strives to make navigating credit cards and credit building smooth sailing for his readers. After regularly featuring his credit card, credit monitoring and identity theft analysis on NextAdvisor.com, he joined the CreditCards.com and Bankrate teams as a staff writer to develop product reviews and comprehensive credit card guides focused on cash back, credit scores and card offers.

Edited by Senior Editor, Credit Cards
Reviewed by Former Editor, credit cards

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Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.