Credit Card Review: American Express Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card (2022)

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The American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card is one of the more useful hotel travel cards in the market place today. It offers some standard features that add the most value to the card, whereas the actual earning benefits are not as exciting as they could be. It also offers the ability to transfer to thirty eight different frequent flier programs, a great feature to stave off point devaluation.


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Credit Card Review: American Express Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card (2022)


“A Leading Hotel Credit Card in North America, the value from this card has been lessened in recent years, due to a lower point earning rate and a weaker reward posture at Marriott Bonvoy”

The Marriott Bonvoy American Express used to be the ultimate hotel travel card. It started it’s stays as the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card by American Express. Over the past several years, it has lost it’s flagship position, but still delivers some value that makes the card useful.

The Best offer is available below through a referral link.
Offer ends October 26, 2022

American Express Marriott Bonvoy (CANADA)
70,000 Marriott Bonvoy Point Welcome Bonus with $3,000 minimum spend + 10,000 Additional Points on eligible eats & drinks purchases in Canada for the first 3 months

The credit card is issued through American Express and is issued directly from American Express. You may also want to take a look at the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card as it offers slightly better category bonuses; assuming you qualify as a business card holder.

This is a credit card that’s been in my wallet for more than ten years now and is well worth the annual fee. It offers a leading hotel credit card position and allows for redemption at Marriott Bonvoy hotel properties, in addition to the useful ability to transfer it’s points to one of 25 different airline frequent flier programs.

The Basics at a Glance:

The Best offer is available below through a referral link.
Offer ends October 26, 2022.
Signup bonus:

70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points upon spending $3,000 CAD in the first three months.

You can also earn a total of 5 points for every $1 on eligible eats & drinks purchases in Canada for the first 3 months of Cardmembership (up to 10,000 points)

Annual fee:

$120

Earning rate:

Earn 5 points for every $1 in eligible Card purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy.

Earn 5 points for every $1 on eligible eats & drinks purchases for the first 3 months of Cardmembership (up to 10,000 points).

Earn 2 points for every $1 in all other Card purchases.

Referral bonus:

15,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points per referral, up to a maximum of 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points per Calendar year.

Perks & benefits:

Annual Free Night Award

Marriott Silver Bonvoy Status; upgraded to Marriott Bonvoy Gold after $30,000 annual spend

Elite Night Credits – Receive 15 Free Night Credits in the Marriott Bonvoy program

A Room Upgrade – Where Available

A Late 2 PM Check Out, Subject to Availability at Conference and Resort Hotels.

Insurance:

Average

Card type:

Charge card

Let’s check out the detailed benefits of this particular airline credit card…

Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card Sign Up Bonus:

The current sign up bonus for this credit card is 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you spend $3,000 CAD within the first 90 days of opening your account. This is higher than it has been in the past within the Canadian Market and we’ve previously seen lower sign up bonuses around 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

Enjoy Your Sign Up Bonus by Redeeming at the St Regis Bal Harbour Miami, USA

Since Marriott Bonvoy points convert to many airplane frequent flier programs at a 3:1 ratio, this is similar to a sign up bonus of 25,000 of your favourite airline frequent flier miles.

Marriott Bonvoy Annual Fee:

The American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit cards annual fee is $120 CAD, which places it in the lower range of an airline travel card.

Unlike in Canada, this base level version of The American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit cards annual fee isn’t offered anymore in the United States. You will need to upgrade to the more expensive and “not available in Canada” premium level Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card which has an annual fee of $450 USD.

Globally, the annual fee is on the average side for a hotel travel card and offers value in comparison to others that are currently in the market. If you are aiming for a travel airline credit card, you’re going to be paying somewhere between $125 – $150 CAD for an annual fee.

Earn 5 Marriott Bonvoy Points per Dollar at The St Regis Mauritius

American Express Marriott Bonvoy Rewards:

The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card offers:

Earn 5 Marriott Bonvoy Points on every $1 in eligible Card purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy.

Earn 5 Marriott Bonvoy Points on every $1 on eligible eats & drinks purchases in your first 3 months (up to 10,000 points)
Earn 2 Marriott Bonvoy Points on every $1 on all other eligible purchases

There are no other category earning bonuses with this credit card.

This card is terrific to use if you happen to be travelling for business, or spend a lot of time staying at Marriott properties in your personal life. The ability to earn 5 points per dollar at Marriott Bonvoy properties is a pretty strong earn rate.

However, the regular earn rate of 2 Marriott Bonvoy points for all other purchases is pretty weak compared to other travel cards in this category. It is like earning 0.66 of an airline mile for every dollar spent on the card. Quite frankly, it’s at the bottom in class when it comes to comparable credit cards within North American markets. As a result, has become the last card that I pull when it comes to every day spending.

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Marriott Bonvoy Annual Free Night Award:

The card comes with a Marriott Bonvoy Annual Free Night Award. This is the main reason I continue to keep this card.

The Marriott Bonvoy Annual Free Night Award is applied to your card between 8 – 10 months after your annual fee. It can be used on properties under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. New this year, you are allowed to compliment this redemption by topping up to an additional 15,000 Marriott Bonvoy points from your account; to total a 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy point redemption.

I typically get outsized value by redeeming these certificates against properties where the nightly rate is above the credit card’s annual fee. This alone makes up the value of the card.

A Great Free Night Award Redemption – Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

I have had terrific redemptions on this at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Honolulu in Hawaii, the Sheraton Kauai Resort, the Marriott Curaçao Beach Resort and even inner city urban locations like the JW Marriott Miami.

Another Great Redemption – Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort

Admittedly though, I have also had to burn off the redemptions at a Fairfield Inn when no other hotels were available under this lower award category. As a result, it’s not a completely perfect and fool proof set up.

I have also used the Marriott Bonvoy Free Night Award at airport hotels during the weekday when a regular paid rate is astronomical. I’ve seen value to be had at these business oriented types of locations when I have been through for personal reasons.

Admittedly, you can’t use it every where, but with a little research, you can get some value out of this feature.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy Benefits:

The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card offers a reasonable suite of benefits for an airline travel card.

These include the following, some of which were mentioned above:

  • Enjoy an Annual Free Night Award after your Card anniversary each year: Get an annual free night award to use at any Marriott Bonvoy hotel under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
  • Enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status: Upgrade to Gold Elite status after you charge $30,000 in net purchases to your Card each year, or when you combine 10 qualifying paid nights within one calendar year with the 15 Elite Night Credits from your card
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits: Enjoy 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year to use towards attaining the next level of Elite status with your Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
  • Refer a friend and earn bonus points: As an eligible Basic Cardmember, you could earn up to a maximum annual referral bonus of 150,000 points for approved referrals
  • Redeem points for free nights with no blackout dates at over 30 hotel brands and 7,000+ of the world’s most desired hotels
  • Transfer points to frequent flyer miles with a wide selection of over 38 airlines
  • Receive 15,000 bonus points from the Marriott Bonvoy® program when you transfer 60,000 points to a frequent flyer program

Overall, this suite of benefits offers among the largest and more comprehensive set of benefits for a mid level hotel travel card. It offers a free night that offsets the annual fees, in addition to allowing the points to be transferred to over thirty eight different airline frequent flier programs. This is a great method to stave off award devaluation, as you can move your points to a program that offers greater value.

It’s also worth noting that fifteen elite qualifying nights that come with the credit card do not stack between the personal and business versions of the card in Canada. This is unlike in the United States where these two entitlements can be combined for a total of 30 elite qualifying nights. In Canada, unfortunately, you get a maximum of 15 nights; even if you pay two annual fees.

In terms of American Express Marriott Bonvoy redemption opportunities, we’ve had some pretty over the top redemptions over the years.

We have redeemed points to stay at the Westin Europa Venice, and found ourselves in a wonderful suite.

The Sun Setting on the Westin Europa Venice
Westin Europa Regina – Lobby Bar

We have redeemed points to stay at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort in the middle of high season.

Redeeming at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort

I could easily go on. We’ve also redeemed at The Hotel Park City, an Autograph Collection Hotel at Park City, Utah, USA

Redeeming Points on a Week of Skiing at Park City, USA is Terrific Value

There are over 7,000 hotels in the Marriott program, so you’re bound to find a Marriott property almost anywhere you go.

Credit Card Earning Potential:

It’s possible to take a conservative look at how you can earn by using this card.

Using publicly available data from various government agencies can be used to determine both baseline income and spending averages across various categories, which we can use to compile the aggregate rewards potential for various credit cards.

Canadian Credit Card Holder Scenario:

Using Canadian data from the 2021 Census, the average income in Canada is $51,300, with a two income household at $102,600. Assuming deductions for 40% income tax, this leaves a household with $61,650 in net income.

With 40% of such expenses being charged to this credit card, $24,624 would be spent on this card, which would bring in 16,414 Marriott Bonvoy Points annually.

If you add a $1,000 travel staying at Marriott Bonvoy Hotels, earning 5 points per dollar, you’d add another 5,000 Marriott Bonvoy points an annual potential return of 21,414 Marriott Bonvoy points.

Unfortunately, this is where the card’s weak earning power really starts to show. This amount is substantially lower than if you placed all of your spending on an American Express Platinum Card, or an Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Mastercard by as much as 5,000 points per year less.

How to Apply:

Best offer is available below through a referral link

The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card is available to Canadian residents who are of the age of majority in your province/territory of residence and have a valid credit file. There is no minimum annual income required.


American Express Marriott Bonvoy (CANADA)
70,000 Marriott Bonvoy Point Welcome Bonus with $3,000 minimum spend + 10,000 Additional Points on eligible eats & drinks purchases in Canada for the first 3 months

My Thoughts on the Value of the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card:

The American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card used to be the first card that I would pull when using a card for every day spend.

I used to chase the Marriott Bonvoy Gold level by putting thirty thousand dollars of annual spend on this credit card. Ever since Marriott Bonvoy rendered the Gold level pretty anemic, it hasn’t really represented a lot of value and my credit card spend has gone mostly somewhere else.

Unfortunately, the weaker earn rate on the credit card has made this one the last one that I use lately, unless I’m staying at a Marriott property for business or pleasure. If you are staying at Marriott Hotels on a regular basis, this is definitely the card for you as you”ll do well with earning 5 points per dollar spent.

Despite this, I still find some value for the free night award certificates and the fifteen elite credit nights that the card offers. As a result, I continue to keep this card in my wallet.

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The Bottom Line: The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card

The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card offers some value for those that are staying at Marriott Bonvoy hotel properties.

The annual free night award certificate and the fifteen elite night credits offer a good reason to keep the card and off set the $120 annual fee. I usually find a way to come out ahead with this, making this card’s expense zero by the end of the year.

It’s also a great feature to be able to transfer your Marriott Bonvoy points to over 38 different airlines in order to fight off point devaluations.


If you have any questions about this card, please feel free to ask them in the comments section below!

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