Marriott Bonvoy Business Review: Free Nights, Elite Status, and More [2020]

Earn free nights and redeem points for Marriott stays or other travel purchases.
Last updated Nov 2, 2019 | By Christy Rakoczy

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Looking for a great business card with an affordable annual fee that’s targeted towards travelers? This Marriott Bonvoy Business review will help you decide if the Marriott card is right for you.

Many business owners will love the chance to earn free nights at Marriott hotels; bonus points for purchases at U.S. restaurants, gas stations, shippers, and wireless service providers; and complimentary Silver Elite status at Marriott hotels. But if you aren’t a regular Marriott guest, this card likely won’t be as valuable to you — despite the fact that you can redeem your points for travel with over 250 airlines and rental car companies.

If you’re not sure if the Marriott Bonvoy Business card from American Express is right for you, read on to find out more about the card’s perks and to compare it to some other great business cards for travel.

Generous welcome offer

Benefits

  • 75,000 Bonvoy point welcome offer
  • 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 4X points at U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations
  • Free Night Award every year
  • Terms apply


Who should get this card?

Do you or your employees regularly stay at Marriott hotels? If so, the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card may be a good fit. This card is the ideal choice for regular Marriott guests who want a travel card with an affordable annual fee and valuable perks.

Business owners who want the benefits of Silver Elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program (without having to stay 10 or more nights in a Marriott hotel) will also love this card. As a Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express cardholder, you’ll be treated like a VIP guest with late check-out, a dedicated reservation line, free Wi-Fi, and other convenient perks.

Of course, if airline lounge access is more your thing, you’d need to look elsewhere for a travel credit card that provides it. You do get to use your Marriott card to book flights, though — if you prize flexibility in a travel card, this is another reason to keep the Marriott Bonvoy in your wallet.

Card basics

Annual Fee $125
Welcome Bonus Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months
Recommended Credit Score Excellent, Good
Foreign Transaction Fee None

Top card benefits

  • Generous welcome offer: Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. This bonus is generally worth about $600.
  • Free hotel stays: Get one free night on your cardmember anniversary annually. The free night can be redeemed at any participating hotel that charges 35,000 points or less for a room. You can also earn an additional free night if you spend at least $60,000 on purchases within a calendar year.
  • Special perks at Marriott hotels: Cardholders get automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status, which gives you extra perks, including late check-out, a dedicated line for making reservations, mobile or keyless check in, free Wi-Fi, and more. Non-cardmembers must stay 10 nights at a Marriott property to get Silver Elite status for the year. If you spend $35,000 or more on eligible purchases in a calendar year, you’ll get an upgrade to Gold Elite status, which comes with even more perks.
  • Bonus points for certain purchases: Earn 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; 4X points on U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, U.S. purchases on shipping, and wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. providers; and 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Flexibility in points redemption: You can transfer points to more than 40 different airline frequent flyer programs or redeem Bonvoy points to take flights on different airlines with the Marriott Bonvoy Air+Car Transfer Program. You can also redeem points for free nights at participating hotels.

Earning & redeeming

Best ways to earn

The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card offers ample opportunity to earn bonus points for each dollar spent. The table below shows the different bonus categories where you can earn up to six points for each dollar spent. There’s no limit on either the number of points you can earn or on bonus points you’re eligible to receive when shopping with your Bonvoy Business Card.

You can also obtain an employee card with no additional fees. This means you can maximize points you earn not just by shopping in bonus categories but also by obtaining a card for a trusted staff member to make purchases. And because you get free Silver Status, you also become eligible for a 10% bonus on eligible hotel purchases, which allows you to earn even more points if you pay for rooms, dining, spa visits, and other incidentals at Marriott hotels.

Categories Rewards rate
Marriott Bonvoy hotels 6X
U.S. restaurants, gas stations, wireless phone service providers, shipping services 4X
Other purchases 2X

Maximizing your redemptions

Points can be redeemed for rooms at participating hotels. It’s possible to combine points and cash to pay for your room, so you can score a room for as little as 3,500 points and $55.

Points can also be redeemed for cocktails, meals, spa visits, and anything else you can charge to your Marriott hotel room. This instant redemption makes it easy to take advantage of your Bonvoy points.

In addition to redeeming for hotel costs, you can also use the Marriott Bonvoy Air+Car Transfer Program to redeem for other types of travel. Marriott Bonvoy points can be transferred to more than 40 frequent flyer programs run by airlines, with most transferring at a ratio of three points per mile. If you transfer 60,000 points to a participating program, you can get a 5,000-mile bonus — so waiting to redeem a large amount of points at once can give you the most bang for your buck.

Common questions

How do I use my Marriott anniversary free night?

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express cardholders get one free night on their cardmember anniversary each year. You can use your free night at any hotel where a room costs 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points or less. To use your free night, simply log into your Marriott Rewards account, search for the hotel you want to stay at, and select the option to use your rewards points.

When you get to the page where you make your reservation, the option to use your e-certificate for a free night will be displayed. You can select it and continue booking your reservation as normal. There are no blackout dates for your free night, so you can use it at any time.

What is Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status?

The Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program allows you to earn special perks by becoming a Marriott credit card user or by staying a certain number of nights at Marriott hotels. There are different levels, including Member status if you stay zero to nine nights; Silver Elite status if you stay at least 10 nights a year; Gold Elite status if you stay 25 nights a year; and Platinum, Titanium, or Ambassador Elite status if you stay for more nights.

Each status offers different benefits. Silver Elite status entitles you to 10% bonus points on purchases made during Marriott stays, priority late check-out, a dedicated reservation line, an ultimate reservation guarantee, free Wi-fi, exclusive member rates, mobile check-in, and keyless room entry.

How do Elite Night Credits Work?

With the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card, you not only get free Silver Elite status in Marriott’s loyalty program — you also get Elite Night Credits to help you move up to the next level. Every calendar year, you get credit for 15 nights toward the next elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program. Since you need 25 credits for Gold Elite Status, 15 nights would get you more than halfway there.

How much are Marriott Bonvoy points worth?

Marriott Bonvoy points are generally worth around 0.8 cents each.

Other cards to consider

In addition to the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card, there are also other cards that provide access to the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program.

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card has a smaller annual fee — just $95 — and it also confers many of the same benefits, including Silver Elite status and a free night award. However, the earning rate lacks the key business categories the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express card offers: You'll get 6X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy and 2X points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, on the other hand, has a much higher annual fee of $450. But you get a $300 statement credit each year for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, as well as complimentary Gold Elite status.

Generous welcome offer

Special Offer

Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months

See how these cards compare:

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
  • 75,000 point sign-up offer
  • 6X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
  • One free night each year
  • No foreign transaction fee
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
  • 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy point welcome offer
  • 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • No foreign transaction fees