Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card

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Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card

Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Brand

Earning rate: 6X Starwood and Marriott Properties ⚬ 2X everywhere else

Big spend bonus: Marriott Gold Elite with $30K annual spend (note this threshold will increase to $35K on January 1, 2019)

Noteworthy perks: 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary up to 35K points (subject to resort fees) ⚬ Receive free premium internet at Marriott properties.

See also: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide

Rewards

Marriott points can be redeemed for free night awards, travel packages, airline miles, or experiences. 5th Night Free Awards: When redeeming points for free nights, the 5th night within a single reservation is free. Airline miles: Points can be converted to airline miles at a rate of 3 points to 1 mile. A bonus is added on when you transfer 60,000 points at a time, such that 60,000 points transfers to 25,000 miles. Also, you'll get a 10% bonus when transferring points to United Airlines.

Everything you need to know about Marriott's rewards program, Bonvoy, can be found here: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide

Perks

  • Annual free night award: Each year, after renewal, you will receive one Free Night Award. The Free Night Award can be redeemed for a one-night stay at Marriott hotels with a redemption level at or under 35,000 points.
  • Automatic Silver Elite status: Offers a 10% point bonus on points earned from hotel stays.
  • Gold Elite status with $35K spend: Spend $35K within a calendar year to get Gold Elite status good for the rest of that year and all of the next year. Gold elite status offers 2pm late checkout, 25% point bonus on points earned from hotel stays, points-only welcome gift, chance of a room upgrade, and complimentary enhanced internet.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits: This is now a standard perk with all currently available Marriott cards. These elite nights count towards your total towards elite status each year. For example, if you stay 35 nights in Marriott properties, you will earn 50 night Platinum status thanks to these 15 elite nights adding to your actual stays. Unfortunately the 15 elite nights do not stack across cards.

How to Meet Spend Requirements

In order to meet minimum spend requirements, people often look for options to increase spend in ways that result in getting the money back. These techniques are often referred to as "manufacturing spend". American Express has terms in their welcome offers that exclude some manufactured spend techniques from counting towards the minimum spend requirements for the welcome bonus. For example, most new cardmember bonuses have terms like this:
Eligible purchases to meet the Threshold Amount of this offer do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchase of travelers checks, purchase or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments, or other cash equivalents.
That said, many techniques for meeting minimum spend are perfectly fine. Here are some techniques that are safe for meeting Amex minimum spend requirements (click each link for more information):

Keep or Cancel?

This card is not particularly rewarding for spend. In my opinion, the decision as to whether to keep the card past the first year should be based on how much you value the annual free night. If you value the free night significantly higher than this card's annual fee, then keep the card. Otherwise, cancel when the annual fee comes due.

Related Cards (Marriott Bonvoy)

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
75K Points
75K points after $3K spend in the first 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)

$125 Annual Fee

Last updated on February 13th, 2019

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Erick
Guest
Erick

October 31, 2018, I applied for the 100,000-point Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card. Before I applied, I called AMEX and spoke to Customer support and asked if I was eligible. The AMEX representative reviewed the terms and conditions with me and looked at my past records and stated I would be eligible. I told him I had had the Chase VISA Marriott Rewards Premier 80k points in Jun 2016 and AMEX SPG in July 2015 and the Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Business credit card 80k in August 2015. I was told I am eligible because I have not had the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card which has a $450 annual fee. I applied online and was approved instantly (there was no warning message during my application I was not eligible). A called AMEX a couple of weeks after I received my card and they assured me again if I spent 5K in 3 months I would receive 100,000 Marriott points. I called AMEX after approximately 75 days and AMEX confirmed I had met the $5K spending requirements and would receive the 100,000 bonus points in a couple of weeks. A month passed so I called AMEX for a status. I was rudely told I have a “Welcome offer history” and would not explain any details. I spoke to a supervisor and they stated AMEX can deny for any reason and this is what they exercised. I was told it could be because I abused points or took points and cancelled the card. I told her I have always try to follow the rules and even called in ahead of time to ask AMEX if I was eligible.
I asked appeal and asked for their corporate office address and process to appeal. A few minutes later I called AMEX again in hopes to speak to a more courteous supervisor. I spoke to another supervisor Matt. He was very nice and could not figure out why I was declined either but could only speculate. The only thing he could think of is AMEX and Chase have recently got together on the Marriott/SPG merger and are trying to root out churners. He went on to say this is a new policy only in the past couple of months and AMEX is trying to work out the details on how to stop churners. He stated he would file a case on my behalf but stated he has never seen one overturned. He agreed I did everything right. This is contrary to what I have read about AMEX “warning” users if they are not eligible. The same thing happened to me back in Sep 2016 when I applied for the AMEX Delta Gold SkyMiles card 50k for $2k spend. Only “after” I spent the $2k was I told the limit is once per lifetime and never received the bonus. Any ideas what options I have in this case?