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Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card: Good for Marriott Regulars

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card review
KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • The Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card earns Marriott Bonvoy® points and comes with one free night certificate every year. 
  • What we think: For the business traveler who prefers to stay at Marriott, the Marriott Bonvoy Business card is packed with benefits. Its annual fee is a bit high, but the yearly free night certificate alone can offset that.
  • Earn more points when you book Marriott Bonvoy hotels or make purchases at gas stations and restaurants.
  • The Marriott Bonvoy Business includes free Gold Elite status if you’re a Marriott Bonvoy member.
  • This Amex card has an annual fee of $125 (see rates and fees).
SUMMARY

If you’re a Marriott loyalist and a frequent traveler, the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card could be a valuable addition to your wallet. This small business credit card includes an exceptional welcome offer, high Marriott Bonvoy® points earning potential and benefits that elevate your professional travel.

But are the perks worth the $125 annual fee?

In this guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex and cover essential details, including:

  • The rewards program
  • Hotel and travel benefits
  • Fees, interest rates and credit limit
PROS & CONS

Pros

  • Earn a free night award annually
  • Automatic elite status
  • Generous welcome offer

Cons

  • Has an annual fee
  • Limited redemption options
Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
Key Information
Earn 6X points per dollar on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program, 4X points at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on U.S. wireless telephone services purchased directly, and on U.S. shipping purchases, and 2X points on all other eligible purchases. $125 annual fee.

Is the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card worth it?

The Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card is a good option for small-business owners — but only if you’re a regular at Marriott properties.

This co-branded card includes Marriott-oriented perks that more than make up for the $125 annual fee: a generous welcome bonus, an annual free night award, Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and more. Because American Express isn’t universally accepted outside the US, you’ll get the most value from this card if most of your travels are domestic.

Pros and cons

Like any hotel credit card, the Marriott Bonvoy Business card comes with both pros and cons:

Pros
  • Elevated earnings rates for hotels, restaurants and gas stations
  • Free Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy
  • Free night certificate every year
  • Generous welcome bonus
  • No foreign transaction fees
Cons
  • Comes with an annual fee
  • Rewards are most valuable to regular Marriott customers

Learn more about Marriott Bonvoy Business card

Terms apply / Rates & fees

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card rewards

If Marriott is your preferred hotel brand, the Marriott Bonvoy Business card offers an attractive rewards program. Eligible purchases earn Marriott Bonvoy points, so you can charge business expenses to earn free nights.

Welcome bonus

If you spend $8,000 on purchases in six months from the date you opened the account, you’ll earn five Free Night Awards. Each of these nights is good for a hotel stay that’s worth up to 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Certain hotels have resort fees. Terms apply.

Earn rewards

The Marriott Bonvoy Business card comes with an excellent rewards earning potential, especially if your job takes you to hotels in the Marriott family on a regular basis. You’ll earn points with every purchase, and even more with eligible hotel stays. 

Here’s what you can earn in each spending category:

If you’re a Marriott Bonvoy member, you can earn even more — up to 10 Marriott Bonvoy points for every dollar you spend at qualifying properties with the Marriott Bonvoy Business card. Because the card comes with free Gold Elite Status, you’ll also get a 25% bonus. This applies to the room and anything you charge to it, including meals and spa treatments.

Redeem rewards

There are several ways to redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points. 

The most popular is to book hotel stays. You can use the points to pay for bookings at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program. This includes a mix of mid-tier and luxury properties, such as Delta, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft, St. Regis and Le Méridien.

You can also transfer your points to more than 40 different airlines. If you do, the transfer ratio is typically three Bonvoy points to one airline mile. Some carriers have different ratios. 

Alternatively, Marriott’s Air+Car Transfer Program enables you to use points to book flights and rental cars with hundreds of providers. However, keep in mind that many Marriott Bonvoy Business reviews note that this redemption option reduces the point value.

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card benefits

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex card has a slew of significant benefits. If your business requires a great deal of travel, these benefits can help you save money and enjoy a more luxurious experience.

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status

When you’re approved for the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business card, you automatically get Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy. In addition to the points bonus, you’ll be eligible for free late checkout until 2 p.m. and enhanced room upgrades where available. 

Free Night Award

For every year you have the Marriott Bonvoy Business card, you’ll get a Free Night Award for a hotel stay worth up to 35,000 points. If you charge $60,000 in one calendar year — an average of $5,000 per month — you’ll get another free night.

Marriott Bonvoy® room rate discount

Book a participating Marriott Bonvoy property with your Amex credit card, and you’ll have access to discounted room rates. Look for the “Amex Business card rate.” Combined with the standard Bonvoy member discount, it can save you up to seven percent off the regular rate.

15 Elite Night Credits

In addition to your annual free night certificate, you’ll earn 15 Elite Night Credits for every year you hold the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex card. These credits help you move up from your complimentary Gold Elite status toward more premium Elite tiers. Each new level comes with additional benefits. For example, Platinum Elite comes with a 50% point bonus, better upgrades and a welcome gift. 

Premium internet access

As an Amex cardholder, you don’t need to pay for upgraded internet access at Marriott Bonvoy hotels. Simply book an eligible rate, and you’ll get premium service for free.

Rental car insurance

Car rentals paid for with your Marriott business card include Amex loss and damage insurance. As long as you decline coverage through the rental company, you’ll be covered for up to $50,000 for damage to or theft of the car.

Baggage insurance

This insurance covers replacement costs if your baggage is damaged or lost. It only applies when you’re traveling with a common carrier on a ticket you paid for with your Amex card. Carry-on baggage is covered up to $1,250 per person. Checked bags are covered up to $500.

Purchase protection

Purchases you make with the Marriott Bonvoy Business card are covered for up to 90 days. If an eligible item is damaged by accident or stolen, you can get reimbursed for up to $1,000. This benefit maxes out at $50,000 per account, per year.

Extended warranty 

When you buy a covered item with a warranty of five years or less, American Express will extend the coverage up to one extra year.

Amex Offers

The Amex Offers Program is another way to increase your point earnings. When you apply, you can choose from a variety of offers from different brands; take advantage of the offer, and you’ll get the rewards between five and 90 days after the offer ends.

Global Assist Hotline

When you’re traveling, you can call the hotline for help as needed. Operators can help you get cash in an emergency, make referrals for passport problems, coordinate legal or medical assistance, and more. Any trip that’s more than 100 miles from your home qualifies.

*Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/​benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.

Fees, rates & limit

Whether you intend to use the Marriott Bonvoy Business card for general company expenses or hotel stays, it’s important to understand the associated fees and rates (see rates and fees).

Fees

The Marriott Bonvoy Business card has an annual fee of $125. If you’re a frequent Marriott customer, the fee is well worth the perks.  

The yearly free hotel night is usually worth more than the annual fee. Add in the complimentary Gold Elite status and the high Bonvoy points earning potential, and it adds even more value.

The card doesn’t have foreign transaction fees, which is convenient if you travel internationally for work — as long as you’re making purchases where Amex is accepted, that is. There is no balance transfer fee, but you will be charged the standard interest rate. If you need a cash advance, you’ll pay the greater of $5 or 3% of the advance.

Interest rates

Your annual percentage rate (APR) depends on American Express’ assessment of your creditworthiness. If you’re approved, you’ll pay a variable APR between 20.99% and 29.99%.

Here’s a look at the different variable APRs associated with this card:

Regular APR Purchase Intro APR Balance Transfer Intro APR Regular Balance Transfer APR
20.99% - 29.99% N/A N/A 20.99% - 29.99%

American Express also charges a variable penalty APR of 29.99%. 

You can be switched to this higher rate if you:

The penalty APR stays in place for at least 12 billing periods. It will be removed after you have at least 12 periods with no late or returned payments.

Credit limit

American Express sets your credit limit based on a variety of factors. Typically, these include your credit profile, existing debt, income and other financial factors

How the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card compares

Compared to other hotel-branded credit cards, the Marriott Bonvoy Business card is a solid option for small businesses and regular business travelers. 

It has a lower fee than traditional luxury travel cards, but you’ll still get plenty of value when staying at hotels that participate in the Bonvoy program. And with the included Gold Elite status and bonus earning categories, your Marriott stays will earn even more.

The main drawback with this card is the lack of flexibility in redeeming rewards. You can use them to book hotels, flights and rental cars, but Marriott redemptions offer the best redemption value. If your hotel stays and general travel needs tend to be more varied, a general travel credit card could be a better fit.

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card vs. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

While the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card offers Marriott-focused rewards and benefits, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a more general-use travel and business card. It earns American Express Membership Rewards® points instead of Marriott Bonvoy points, which gives you a wider range of redemption options.

The Amex Business Platinum card is a higher-tier product. For the $695 annual fee (see rates and fees), it includes perks such as statement credits for up to $150 at Adobe Creative Solutions and up to $400 at Dell. You’ll also get free access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection®, up to $200 in airline credits and up to $189 in CLEAR Plus credit. Both cards include Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy.

Read our full Amex Business Platinum card review

Is the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card right for me?

The Marriott Bonvoy Business card from American Express may be right for you if you run or represent a small business, travel often and prioritize Marriott properties for hotel stays. That’s because you’ll maximize reward earning potential and redemption value with stays at hotels that participate in Marriott Bonvoy. 

A business card also makes it easy to keep your professional expenses separate, all while earning rewards. The annual fee is reasonable, and it’s easy to recoup the cost with the card’s many perks.

If you’re looking for more flexible redemption options, these other Amex business cards may be a better fit for you:

American Express is more than just a credit card issuer

The first step in growing and maintaining consistent savings is to understand your personal finances through checking and savings accounts, credit cards, and more.

If you want to save and grow your money, consider the following Amex products:

How do I qualify for the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card?

You can learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® card and apply online.

Getting approved for the Marriott business credit card is possible if you run a business (or represent one) and have strong credit — usually, this means a score of 700 or more. You must also be a U.S. resident, at least 18 years old and have a Social Security number.

Keep in mind that American Express has specific eligibility requirements for the welcome offer. 

You aren’t eligible if you’ve had any of these Marriott credit cards from Chase within the 30 days before you apply:

The same applies if you’ve opened one of these Chase cards in the previous 90 days or received a bonus offer on one for being a new card member within the past two years:

FAQ: Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business card

Is the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card worth the annual fee?

The Marriott Bonvoy Business card from American Express is worth the $125 annual fee if Marriott is your preferred hotel brand. The card comes with one Free Night Award per year; when redeemed strategically, this alone is typically worth one to two times the annual fee.

Who is eligible for the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card?

To apply for the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business credit card, you must be a business owner, at least 18 years old and a U.S. resident with a Social Security number. You may also be able to get the card if you run a sole proprietorship, you’re a freelancer or you’re an authorized representative of your employer.

Is the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card metal?

No. This American Express card is not metal. It’s plastic.

How do I get the free night awards with my Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card?

There are a few ways to get Free Night Awards with the Marriott Bonvoy Business card, including meeting the spending threshold for the welcome offer. You’ll get an additional free night for every year you hold the card and every time you spend $60,000 or more in a year.

How can I upgrade to Marriott Platinum Elite Status?

To upgrade to Platinum Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy, you’ll need to stay for 50 qualifying nights per year. The Marriott Bonvoy Business card includes 15 annual Elite Night Credits, which means you need 35 additional stays.

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Elizabeth Smith is an experienced travel and finance writer who specializes in topics including credit cards, travel insurance, and personal finance. Travel insurance, in particular, has both professional and personal significance for Smith. She’s traveled to 73 countries, and has extensive experience choosing and using various policies — she understands how valuable the right plan can be in an emergency, and loves to help readers find the perfect fit.

Smith comes to the world of finance from a scientific and technical background. She spent more than 10 years writing about engineering, science, and technology for universities and private companies. When she’s not writing or traveling, Smith can usually be found hiking or Nordic skiing.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

All products or services are presented in this content without warranty. The information, including card details such as rates and fees, is accurate at the time of publish. Please visit each bank's website directly for the most current information.

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