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Which Marriott Bonvoy business credit card is right for you?

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 10/22/2020 Eric Rosen
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

The lineup of Marriott credit cards has evolved following the launch of the Marriott Bonvoy program. There are now two personal credit cards available to new applicants — a sub-$100-annual-fee option from Chase and a premium credit card from Amex — and one business credit card: the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.

You might want to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex in particular if you already have one or more of the Marriott Bonvoy personal credit cards. Having a business credit card can help keep your personal and professional expenses separate; it opens up new and different bonus earning categories; and it does not affect your personal credit score in the same way that having a regular consumer credit card does. Not only that, but this is also one of the best all-around business credit cards for travel rewards currently available.

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In This Post

Which card do you have?

Thanks to the creation of the Marriott Bonvoy program, both American Express and Chase have shuffled their cobranded credit cards, with some discontinuations, some evolutions and some simple renaming.

On the personal credit card roster, that means travelers have a choice between the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card and the premium Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card.

But there are also two distinct Marriott Bonvoy business credit cards: The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card and The Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business Card from Chase. The latter is no longer available to new applicants, but if you had the card from before, you can still hang onto it for now.

Here’s a quick side-by-side overview of the cards and their benefits.

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card   Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase  
Welcome Offer/Sign-up Bonus Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after using your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Earn up to $150 in statement credits within your first 6 months of Card Membership for all eligible purchases on your Card on U.S. Advertising in select Media. Plus, receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status for one year (Feb. 1, 2021-Jan. 31, 2022). Offer ends Jan. 13, 2021. No longer open to new applicants
Annual Fee $125 (see rates & fees) $99
Earning 6x points at Marriott; 4x at U.S. restaurants, gas stations, wireless phone & shipping; 2x on everything else 6x at Marriott; 4x at restaurants, gas stations, shipping, internet, cable & phone; 2x on everything else
Annual Free Night Certificate Free night worth up to 35,000 points; another after spending $60,000 in a calendar year Free night worth up to 35,000 points; another after spending $60,000 in a calendar year
Elite Status Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status for one year (Feb. 1, 2021-Jan. 31, 2022); then Automatic Silver thereafter. Offer ends Jan. 13, 2021. Automatic Silver; Gold with $35k calendar year spend
Foreign Transaction Fees Waived (see rates & fees) Waived
Discount Programs Amex Offers Visa SavingsEdge
Travel Benefits Premium in-room internet; trip delay insurance; trip cancellation/interruption/insurance; $100K travel accident insurance; $100 Marriott Bonvoy property credit after booking a two-night stay at the Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis; Priority Pass Select membership; fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck; car rental loss and damage insurance; and baggage insurance plan. Primary rental car insurance; trip cancellation/interruption up to $5,000; lost luggage up to $3,000; trip delay up to $500
Purchase Protection Up to $10,000 per occurrence, $50,000 per calendar year $10k per claim up to $50k per year
Extended Warranty 1 extra year 1 year

Now let’s look at how the two compare and which one might be right for your needs.

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card

a close up of a device: (Photo by The Points Guy) © The Points Guy (Photo by The Points Guy)

The only Marriott business credit card that’s available for new applicants, this one has several compelling benefits that should keep it on your radar. You can read our full card review, but here are the main details:

  • Current welcome offer: Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after using your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within your first three months of card membership. Earn up to $150 in statement credits within your first six months of card membership for all eligible purchases on your card on U.S. advertising in select media. Plus, receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status for one year (Feb. 1, 2021-Jan. 31, 2022). Offer ends Jan. 13, 2021.
  • Annual fee: $125 (see rates and fees)
  • Earning: 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping; 2x points on everything else.
  • Free award night: Each year after your account anniversary, get an award night that can be used at properties costing up to 35,000 points. Plus, earn an additional free night award after spending $60,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year.
  • Complimentary Silver Elite status: Cardholders receive 15 nights of elite credit each year, enough for Silver status with Marriott Bonvoy and just 10 short of Gold status. Upgrade to Gold status after spending $35,000 on the card in a calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees)
  • Premium on-property internet access: Enjoy complimentary in-room, premium internet access at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • Amex Offers savings: Enjoy percentage and dollar discounts at participating merchants through Amex Offers.
  • Employee/Additional cards: Add up to five for free.
  • Travel benefits: Travel accident insurance up to $100,000. Up to $1,250 for lost luggage.
  • Purchase benefits: Purchase protection of up to $10,000 per incident and $50,000 per year. Warranty extension of up to two years.

Related: 6 great uses of Marriott 35,000-point free night certificates

Eligibility

Now for some fine print. While the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card is available to new applicants, you will not qualify for the welcome offer if you currently have or have had any of the following cards in the last 30 days:

  • The Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card from Chase (now the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business Card)
  • The Marriott Rewards® Business Credit Card from Chase (now the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card)

Or have acquired any of the following cards from Chase in the last 90 days:

  • The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase (now the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card)
  • The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase (now the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Card)

Or have received a welcome bonus for any of the following Cards from Chase in the last 24 months:

  • The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase (now the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card)
  • The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase (now the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Card)

Basically, you will not be eligible for the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card if you were a cardholder of either of the Marriott personal or business credit cards from Chase within the last 30 days or if you applied for any of the Chase Marriott personal cards within the last two years. Those are some stringent limitations. But if you haven’t been dabbling extensively in the Marriott card market lately and were waiting to see how the Marriott-Starwood merger played out, you might be eligible for this card sooner than you think.

Check your account histories and ages using a resource like Credit Karma to see where you fall on this timeline.

Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business Card from Chase

As mentioned, this card is not available to new applicants anymore. However, if you already have it, you should review its benefits to analyze whether it might be worth holding onto or canceling before another high welcome bonus comes around on the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card.

  • Sign-up bonus: No longer available
  • Annual fee: $99
  • Earning: 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; 4x points at restaurants, gas stations, shipping, internet, cable and phone services; 2x points on everything else.
  • Free award night: Each year after your account anniversary, get a free award night that can be used at properties that cost up to 35,000 points. Plus, earn an additional free night award after spending $60,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year.
  • Complimentary Silver Elite status: Cardholders receive 15 nights of elite credit each year, enough for Silver status with Marriott Bonvoy and just 10 short of Gold status. Upgrade to Gold status after spending $35,000 on the card in a calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee/Additional cards: Free
  • Visa SavingsEdge: Cardholders can enjoy discounts at participating merchants.
  • Travel benefits: Trip cancellation/interruption insurance up to $5,000 per trip. Trip delay reimbursement up to $500 per ticket. Up to $3,000 for lost luggage. Primary rental car insurance on most cars in the US and abroad.
  • Purchase benefits: Purchase protection of up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year. Warranty extension of up to one year.

Now for a quick comparison of how the two cards stack up.

Related: Which Marriott Bonvoy credit card is right for you?

Comparison and takeaways

a close up of a device: Which Marriott Bonvoy business credit card is a better fit for you? (Image by The Points Guy) © The Points Guy Which Marriott Bonvoy business credit card is a better fit for you? (Image by The Points Guy)

As you can see, the cards are actually quite similar in terms of their benefits. They have a few major differences, though.

First, only the American Express card is available to new applicants and is offering a sizable welcome offer, including upper-tier Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status. Its annual fee is also $125 versus the Chase card’s $99 fee.

Ostensibly, the cards have the same earning rates, but there are two important distinctions to point out. The Amex card’s 4x bonus category is only for merchants in the U.S., while those on the Chase card are available worldwide. Second, the Chase card earns 4x points on shipping, internet, cable and phone services. Meanwhile, the Amex only earns that on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. shipping purchases. So depending on where you’re making business-related expenditures and which services you actually spend money on, your earning could look very different.

Frequent travelers should appreciate the Amex version’s Boingo Wi-Fi access and premium in-room internet, neither of which the Chase card offers.

As for savings, the Chase card participates in Visa SavingsEdge, which is a discount program at participating merchants. There are just a handful of current offers, including 2% off at Texaco and Chevron gas stations, 5% off Mail Chimp and 5% off La Quinta Inns & Suites.

Amex cardholders are eligible for account-specific Amex Offers. Bargains for this specific card have included $100 back when spending $350 or more on Silvercar, 10% back up to $1,000 total at FedEx Office or 25% back up to $1,000 on FedEx Shipping, 10% back up to $1,500 on dell.com, $100 when spending $175 or more on AT&T Wireless for Business up to two times, among dozens of others.

The Chase card’s travel and purchase benefits also seem to be more comprehensive, and if you rent a car often for business, its primary auto coverage can come in handy. That said, Amex’s two-year warranty extension could save you a lot of headaches if you intend to use it for equipment purchases.

Related: How to earn lots of Marriott Bonvoy points

Bottom line

As with all credit card considerations, look at which card offers the best return on your spending. If you already have the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business Card from Chase, you might want to consider hanging on to it a while longer since it earns slightly different bonuses, which also apply to international purchases. Just keep in mind that continuing to carry it might preclude you from welcome bonuses on other Marriott Bonvoy cards in the future.

For its part, the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card is offering a strong elevated welcome offer that might make it well worth applying…if you meet the eligibility requirements. With an annual free night award worth up to 35,000 points and the opportunity to spend your way to Gold status and an additional award night, plus decent bonus earning opportunities, this card is a solid choice both for Marriott loyalists and general travelers looking to put some hotel points up on the board.

That said, if this high of a welcome bonus comes around again, you can look at your other credit card accounts to see if you might need to cancel one of them to apply for this product at that time.

Benji Stawski contributed to this post.

For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Business Amex, click here.

Featured image of the Ritz-Carlton Cancun by Zach Griff / The Points Guy.

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free. 

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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