The Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card is a good small business credit card option if you stay at Marriott hotels at least a few times per year.
It comes with a free annual hotel night (up to 35,000 points), Marriott Gold elite status, and 6x points at Marriott Hotels and Resorts.
This article will cover everything you need to know about this card to determine if you should add this card or a different card to your wallet. Let’s dive right in.
The Marriott Bonvoy Business earns Marriott Bonvoy points at the following rate:
- 6 points per dollar of eligible purchase spent at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program;
- 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide;
- 4 points per dollar at U.S. gas stations;
- 4 points per dollar on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers;
- 4 points per dollar on purchases made from merchants in the U.S. for shipping; and
- 2 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases
Card Benefits and Perks
Annual Free Night Award
One of the biggest benefits of this card is that you get one free night award every year after your card renewal month.
This free night can be used at a property worth up to 35,000 points, and you use up to 15,000 points to top off the award to reach a hotel requiring up to 50,000 points.
Additional Free Night With Spending
You can also earn another free night award after spending $60,000 in purchases in a calendar year.
Marriott Gold Status
The Bonvoy Business card offers complimentary Marriot Bonvoy Gold status for just holding the card.
The benefits of Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status includes:
- 25% bonus points on stays;
- Room upgrades to enhanced rooms (when available);
- 2 p.m. late checkout (when available);
- A welcome gift of 250 or 500 points; and
- Free in-room Wi-Fi.
15 Elite Night Credits
The Marriott Business Amex also gets you 15 elite night credits towards higher elite status.
You normally need 50 elite nights for Platinum Elite status. With this card, you can achieve this status in only 35 elite nights.
You can also get more free nights by holding one of the personal (non-business) Marriott Bonvoy cards:
7% Marriott Room Rate Discount
This card also gets you a discount of 7% off standard rates at participating Marriott Hotels and Resorts.
This seems great in theory, but many times other rates such as AAA, AARP, and advance booking rates will be less.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
This card has no foreign transaction fees on purchases outside the U.S., which is helpful if you travel internationally to help you avoid paying a 3% fee on those international purchases.
Baggage Insurance Plan*
Baggage insurance covers the cost to repair or replace your luggage and the contents inside if your bag is lost or damaged during a covered trip.
You must purchase the trip with this card, and it will also cover immediate family members traveling with you.
Secondary Rental Car Insurance*
Secondary rental car insurance covers any damage to or theft of a rental car not covered by your primary insurance when you pay for the rental using this card.
Other credit cards offer primary rental car insurance, which pays before your insurance and saves you the hassle of filing multiple insurance claims.
You still need to maintain liability car insurance to cover damage to another person or property.
Credit card extended warranty protection adds up to an additional year of coverage for eligible purchases on manufacturer’s warranties up to 5 years.
For example, if you bought a TV with a manufacturer’s warranty of three years, this card would extend the warranty for free to the fourth year.
Purchase protection could save you a lot of money if you bought an eligible item that is damaged or stolen within 90-days.
For example, if you accidentally dropped your new phone or laptop and broke the screen, you could file a claim to get it replaced if the item was purchased within the last 90 days.
Access to Amex Offers
This card has access to Amex Offers, which are deals that are linked to your card, allowing you to save money or earn extra points on shopping, dining, and travel.
For example, there could be an offer such as spending $200+ at Marriott Hotels and Resorts and receiving $50 cash back as a statement credit.
You can find all of your Amex Offers by signing into your American Express account. You will need to “Add to Card” each offer to be eligible for the special offer.
Redeeming Marriott Bonvoy Points
There are many ways to maximize your Marriott Bonvoy points redemptions, including taking advantage of the free fifth night on award stays or booking a Points Saver rate.
Marriott award stays start at 5,000 points and can go all the way up to 100,000 points for top-tier properties.
Marriott also has a diverse group of 40+ airline transfer partners that you can convert 3 Marriott points to 1 airline mile for most partners, including my favorites of ANA, Iberia, and Avianca LifeMiles.
Plus, Marriott gives you a bonus of 5,000 airline miles when transfer 60,000 points, which effectively drops the transfer ratio to 2.4 Marriott points to 1 airline mile.
Pros and Cons
Here’s a quick overview of this card’s advantages and disadvantages:
- Annual free night award.
- Gold Elite status and 15 elite night credits.
- 2 Marriott points per dollar on all other purchases is not a great return on spending.
- Annual Fee.
Alternatives to the Bonvoy Business Amex
Now that you know about this credit card’s various benefits and pros and cons, it’s time to see its alternatives.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Better for Travel Spending
- 3X Points on Travel, Shipping, Advertising (Social Media and Search Engines), Internet, Cable, and Phone on the First $150,000 Each Account Year
- 25% Additional Points Value in Travel Redemption
- Primary Rental Car Insurance
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
- Cell Phone Protection
- Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- $95 Annual Fee
With this card, you’ll earn:
- 3 points per $1 spent on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines (up to $150,000 in combined purchases per account anniversary year).
- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases, with no limit on the number of points you can earn.
Beyond the rewards, the Ink Business Preferred provides valuable benefits, including:
- Primary rental car insurance (when renting for business purposes).
- Cell phone protection (up to $600 per claim against theft or damage, with a maximum of three claims per year and a $100 deductible per claim).
- Purchase and extended warranty protection.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Marriott Gold + Airport Lounge Access
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (review) is an outstanding choice for business owners who want airport lounge access including the American Express Global Lounge Collection, Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, Escape Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and more.
The Business Platinum card also offers several statement credits to offset the $695 annual fee:
- $200 Airline Fee: Annual airline fee credit of up to $200 on charges by the airline you select per calendar year.
- $400 Dell: Annual statement credit on all U.S. Dell purchases, up to $200 semiannually.
- $120 Wireless Phone Services: Annual statement credits for purchases made directly with any U.S. wireless telephone provider, up to $10 per month.
- $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR® Plus at 45+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per year on your membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Business Platinum Card.
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: Statement credits for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) every four years (4.5 years for PreCheck).
You can also earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1.5x points on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
The American Express Business Platinum comes with automatic Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold so that you can enjoy perks like room upgrades, late check-out, and a points bonus.
Additionally, the points you earn can be transferred to several Amex transfer partners such as Air Canada Aeroplan, Delta SkyMiles, and Marriott Bonvoy. This potentially increases the value of your points depending on how you redeem them.
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
If You Prefer Hilton Over Marriott
- Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status
- 12X Points at Hilton Properties
- 6X Points at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Restaurants
- 10 Complimentary Priority Pass Lounge Visits
- $95 Annual Fee (rates & fees)
For a low annual fee of $95, this business card earns 12x Hilton Honors points at Hilton properties and 6x points in several categories:
- U.S. restaurants
- U.S. gas stations
- U.S. shipping purchases
- Wireless phone services with U.S. service providers
- Flights booked directly with airlines or with amextravel.com
- Car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
The Hilton Honors Business card also offers a free night reward after spending $15,000 and a second free night reward after spending $45,000 per year.
Plus, you receive 10 free Priority Pass visits to airport lounges worldwide.
Is the Bonvoy Business Amex Worth It?
The Marriott Bonvoy Business is a good card to hold on for the long term with its free annual hotel night and Marriott Gold Elite status to easily cover the annual fee.