In the world of small business credit cards, the Marriott Bonvoy Business card from American Express is worthy of strong consideration. For a $95 annual fee, this card has a lot of value for business owners who find themselves frequently staying at Marriott properties. One reason for this is the generous welcome offer which can allow cardholders to earn up to 100,000 bonus points if they make $5,000 of purchases on the card in the first three months.
Cardholders will also receive a free night on their anniversary date which more than covers the $95 annual fee. And the Bonvoy Business card offers nice reward tiers including 6x the Bonvoy points for every $1 spent at a Marriott property. Plus 4x the points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services (purchased directly from U.S. service providers) and on U.S. purchases for shipping. And after that, cardmembers receive 2x the points on all other purchases.
How Do Users Earn Points?
The Bonvoy Business card is designed for business travelers who frequent Marriott properties. As mentioned in the introduction, this card currently offers one of the more generous sign-up bonuses available. When cardholders spend $5,000 on the card in the first three months, they earn 100,000 bonus points. That award (which has a cash value of approximately $800) can be used immediately for one or more free nights depending on the property selected. And cardholders will also get a free night award after their anniversary date.
But one of the nice benefits of the Bonvoy Business card is the ability for cardholders to earn points through their spending. Of course, since this is a hotel rewards card, the richest benefit is for points earned by spending money at one of the participating 7,000 Marriott properties. Cardholders earn 6x the points per dollar on those purchases.
Unlike the personal Bonvoy credit cards, the Business card does provide some additional tiers. In this case, they can get 4x the points on U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and wireless telephone services that are purchased directly from the U.S. service provider). Plus, they can get the same 4x the points on U.S. purchases for shipping.
However, cardholders also get 2x the points on all other purchases they make with the card. This means they can find the card to be a useful everyday card as well as when they stay at a Marriott property.
How do Cardholders Redeem Points?
Naturally, cardholders can redeem their points at Marriott hotels. This is done in a tiered fashion depending on the hotel category (1 through 8) and the time of year (off-peak, standard, peak). For example, points can be redeemed for as few as 5,000 points for an off-peak stay at a Category 1 property. Or, it can be as much as 100,000 points for a peak night at a Category 8 property.
Cardholders can also combine points with cash to redeem for standard stays. This starts at $55 plus 1,500 points. When cardholders redeem four nights’ worth of points, they get the fifth night for free.
Users can also redeem points to cover additional charges during your hotel stay such as food and beverages or trips to the spa. Points are redeemed at a rate of 250 points per dollar.
Points can also be redeemed outside of a Marriott property. For example, points can be redeemed on travel expenses such as cruises and other travel packages. The exact number of points will vary based on the qualifying expense. Users can also use 25,000 points to cover the cost of a TSA Precheck.
And speaking of airlines, cardholders can transfer Bonvoy points to participating airline loyalty programs. This is typically at a rate of 3-to-1. Bonvoy will add an additional 5,000 miles for every 60,000 miles that users transfer.
Yet another way users can transfer points is by trading points for qualifying merchandise or gift cards.
What Other Member Benefits Are Included?
One of the best additional benefits of the Bonvoy Business card is that cardholders automatically qualify for Silver Elite status every anniversary year. This provides benefits such as:
Priority late checkout, based on availability
- 10% bonus on Marriott points earned through the hotel
- Access to exclusive phone lines for booking reservations
- Compensation if Marriott cannot honor your reservation
- The ability to get to Gold Status if they charge at least $35,000 in purchases every year
And although not as rich as some other credit cards, the Marriott Bonvoy Business card does offer additional member benefits that can easily make up for the $95 annual fee. For example, cardholders may get baggage delay insurance of up to $100 a day if a passenger carrier delays your baggage for over six hours. And if their bags are lost or damaged, they may get up to an additional $300 per passenger.
In addition to those benefits, Chase (the underwriter of the card) may reimburse up to $500 per ticket for unreimbursed expenses if a trip is delayed by more than 12 hours or requires the user to stay overnight.
And like most cards of this stature, cardholders have purchase protection of up to $500 per claim on new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft (this has a cap of $50,000 per account). And cardholders will pay no foreign transaction fees.
What is the Annual Percentage Rate (APR)?
The card comes with a current APR between 15.74%-24.74%. This is competitive with other cards in this category. This is a variable rate that fluctuates with the prime rate that is based on the federal funds rate set by the Federal Reserve.
Do You Qualify?
The Marriott Bonvoy Business credit card requires individuals to have a good to excellent credit. In this case, the recommended credit score is between 690 and 850. This is consistent with virtually any card in this category. Most applicants for this card will spend a considerable amount on travel and entertaining. This means they are likely to have a credit score that will be in the recommended range.
A potentially overlooked benefit of the Bonvoy Business card is that it will not show up on your personal credit report. While that may have some disadvantages, it also means the card will not count as part of Chase’s 5/24 rule. This simply means that Chase will be likely to deny an application if the applicant has applied for more than five cards in the prior 24 months regardless of credit score.
What Cards Are Similar to The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card?
Some small business owners, particularly sole proprietors may benefit from the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card. Like the Bonvoy Business card, this card features a $95 annual fee. Cardholders do not get as rich of an introductory offer. And users do not have three point-earning tiers like the Business card.
Another alternative is the Business Platinum Card from American Express. This card has a weighty $595 annual fee. However, it does offer 5x the points on flights and prepaid hotels made through amextravel.com which can be a more advantageous way to earn points for frequent flyers.
The Marriott Bonvoy Business card is an exceptional loyalty card for business owners who frequent Marriott properties. The ability to earn 6x the points on qualifying purchases at 7,000 Marriott properties in addition to the generous introductory bonus offer are the primary benefits of owning this card. And as an American Express business card, it’s a good way to get the premium benefits of a Chase credit card without having it count against the Chase 5/24 rule. Compare the Best Credit Card Offers Here