Credit Card Review: Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express

The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express card replaced the Starwood Preferred Guest Business American Express personal card. All previous cardholders were transferred to the new card.

The SPG Business AMEX was one of the best cards out there, but there’s no need to relive the past. Those days are gone and the Marriott Bonvoy Business AMEX is what’s left. The question is now, what benefits does the card provide and it is worthwhile keeping?

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What’s Your Favorite Hotel In San Francisco?

I’m starting to look at travel plans for 2020 and one of the places to go that’s on our list is San Francisco.

We’ve visited many times before. The first few times in town we stayed at bed and breakfast places which were nice but weren’t cheap. The last time we visited, I was able to book a points & cash rate with Starwood at The Palace Hotel, part of the Luxury Collection.

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While it was a very nice hotel, we’re always looking for new places to stay.

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Marriott Bonvoy Just Wants To Make Sure You’re Really Loyal With Their Current Promotion

I’m always interested in hotel promotions. For starters, it costs nothing to sign up for them and if a hotel chain is going to offer bonus points, I’m going to take them. On a more intellectual level, I think hotel promotions can give an insight into which customers a hotel is trying to convince to stay at their properties. They also can show which customers a chain really doesn’t care much about.

To use some current examples, Hilton’s current promotion awards double points for every stay and triple points if you pay with a Hilton co-brand AMEX card. They just want more people to stay at their hotels and hopefully for some people to sign up for their credit cards.

IHG’s current promotion doesn’t pay off for a single stay and only starts to get valuable after your third or fourth and subsequent stays.

So what about Marriott Bonvoy’s promotion?

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How I Realized Marriott Bonvoy Killed The Value Of Their Co-Brand Credit Cards

Way back in ancient times, circa 2010, the SPG American Express was my go-to card for all non-bonused spending. It earned a whopping 1 Starpoint per dollar. Those points could be used for stays at Starwood brand hotels. You could also transfer points at a 1:1 ratio from SPG to over 40 airlines and if you transferred 20,000 points you’d receive a 5,000 point bonus. So if you’d maximize the bonus, non-bonused spend would earn you 1.25 airline miles per dollar spent, which at the time was great as almost all other co-brand cards would earn 1 point per dollar.

When Marriott purchased Starwood, the exchange ratio for Starpoints to Marriott was set at 1:3. Spending money on the SPG AMEX still made sense since you could still redeem points at SPG or Marriott hotels. Up until 2018, it only took 12,000 Starpoints to stay at a hotel like the Sheraton New York Times Square and if you booked 4 nights, the fifth night was free (A free night at that hotel now costs 40,000 to 60,000 Bonvoy points).

Then we all got #Bonvoyed.

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The Cards I Am Now Using For Travel Expenses

I have a quandary. I’m no longer sure what card to use for my travel expenses. It used to be pretty clear cut. There was the card I used when I wanted to get travel protection. I had a card that earned the most points for expenses that other cards didn’t cover. I even had a card to use for my tolls and UBER expenses.

Well, things change. Some cards devalue while others become more valuable. So where do I sit right now when it comes to travel charges?

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