Best offer available via Great Canadian Rebates until March 27, 2019
- Signup bonus: 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points
- Minimum spending: $1,500 in the first three months
- Annual fee:
- Offset by $60 cash back from Great Canadian Rebates
- Nets to $90 for the first year
- Earning rate:
- 5 Marriott points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels
- 3 Marriott points per dollar spent on gas, dining, and travel purchases
- 2 Marriott points per dollar spent on all other purchases
- Perks & benefits: Silver Elite status, anniversary free night award
- Insurance: Good
The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business Card offers 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points as a signup bonus upon spending $1,500 in the first three months. The card has an annual fee of $150, which you can reduce to $90 for the first year by applying via Great Canadian Rebates for $60 cash back (offer valid until March 27, 2019).
You can also apply via a referral link, which would net you an extra 1,000 points (for 61,000 Marriott Bonvoy points in total), but you wouldn’t get the $60 savings from Great Canadian Rebates, and you’d be faced with a higher spending requirement of $3,000 rather than $1,500 as well.
Of course, if you already held a Marriott Bonvoy Card, then it’d be worthwhile to apply via that card’s referral link, since the 10,000 Bonvoy points you’d earn as a referral bonus would outweigh the savings you’d obtain via Great Canadian Rebates.
While the annual fee can be unpalatable, the bonus is more than worthwhile. 60,000 Marriott points could be used in the following ways, all of which would outweigh the $150 annual fee:
Redeem 60,000 Marriott points for a free night at a Category 7 hotel (retail cost: $500+)
Redeem 60,000 Marriott points for two free nights at a Category 4 hotel (retail cost: $400–500)
Redeem 60,000 Marriott points for five free nights at a Category 2 hotel (retail cost: $500–600)
Redeem 60,000 Marriott points for nine free nights at a Category 1 hotel (retail cost: $750+)
Transfer 60,000 points to any of 40 airline transfer partners, netting 25,000 airline miles, and redeem for flights (retail cost: $500+)
The world's largest hotel loyalty program
Those are just a few examples that come to mind, and you could also mix and match the options that best suit your needs. The point is, the ultimate value of the Marriott program derives from its flexibility, and as a result of that, it's almost difficult not to get multiple times' return on your annual fee when signing up for this card.
The Amex Bonvoy cards also offer unique benefits to make your stays at Marriott hotels more memorable. Cardholders are rewarded with automatic Gold Elite status within the program, and can also enjoy a free night certificate worth up to 35,000 points on each card anniversary date.
Finally, supplementary cards on the Bonvoy Business Card are subject to a fee of $50 per card; as with all Amex cards, you're allowed up to nine supplementary cards per card account.
American Express Credit Card Flowchart
The optimal Amex application strategy
In terms of the return on everyday spending, you'll earn 5 Marriott points per dollar spent at all Marriott hotels, including room charges, food and beverages, and incidentals.
One perk of the Bonvoy Business Card that's not available with the personal version is that you'll earn 3 Marriott points per dollar spent on gas, dining, and travel purchases. Meanwhile, you'll earn 2 Marriott points per dollar spent on all other purchases.
While the old SPG cards used to be one of the most powerful cards in Canada for daily spending, nowadays the value proposition has decreased.
I'd only ever consider using the Bonvoy Business Card on the 3x category of gas, dining, and travel, and even then, there are better cards out there if you truly wanted to optimize (such as the Gold Rewards Card for gas and travel or the Cobalt Card for dining).
The Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business Card offers practically identical insurance benefits to the personal version. Highlights include:
Travel accident insurance, up to $500,000, for you, your spouse, and any dependent children under 23
Flight delay insurance, up to $500, for hotel and restaurant expenses and other sundry items in the event of a flight delay
Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance, up to $500, against the loss of personal items if your hotel or motel room is burglarized
In addition, as a card geared towards small business owners, this card also offers coverage of up to $10,000 in case of permanent, total disability to you as a sole proprietor as the result of an accidental injury. Hopefully you'll never have to make that particular claim!
The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business Card is quite easy to get approved for, with no minimum income requirements. As with the other business credit cards, anyone can apply, not just registered small business owners.
Applying via Great Canadian Rebates will get you the public offer of 60,000 Marriott points after spending $1,500 in the first three months, together with $60 cash back that reduces your net outlay to $90:
You also have the option of applying via a referral link, where you’ll get an extra 1,000 Bonvoy points (for 61,000 in total), but you’ll have to contend with a higher minimum spending requirement of $3,000 in the first three months. If you’d like to go this route, I’ve included my referral link below, which you can use to support Prince of Travel:
Any questions? Contact me.