Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card provides big time value with its limited time best ever welcome offer

 Back in June American Express revealed the best ever welcome bonuses on their co-brand cards with Aeroplan and Marriott. These offers are extremely lucrative and we've already taken a look at how the Aeroplan offers can provide enormous value (read that post here) and now it's time for us to take a look at what can be had from the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card .

The current offer on the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card  and it's business card brethren the Marriott Bonvoy™ Business American Express® Card offers up to 105,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. That bonus is split into three as follows:

  • New Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Cardmembers, earn 65,000 welcome bonus points after you charge $3,000 in net purchases to your Card in your first 6 months of Cardmembership. The Marriott Bonvoy™ Business American Express® Card offers the same points but requires $5,000 in spend in the first 6 monhts
  • Plus, earn a total of 5X the points on eligible eats & drinks purchases in Canada for the first 6 months of Cardmembership, up to a maximum of 25,000 points  
  • You can also earn 15,000 points when you make a purchase between 14 to 17 months of Cardmembership 
  • Apply by August 3, 2021 to take advantage of these incredible offers

In this post we are going to focus solely on the 80,000 points you can earn as the welcome bonus and not the accelerated earn rate bonus. Also, all calculations are based on the consumer card and its $120 annual fee. If you want to consider the business card simply subtract $30 per year from the valuations we provide below.

What this welcome bonus means on the consumer cards is that after14-17 months you have spent $240 in annual fees to receive the 80,000 points from the welcome offer. Plus you should have no less than 6,000 points from the $3,000 spend requirement in the first six months. Hopefully it is much more than that thanks to the 5x points on eats and drinks you had in the first six months as well. It doesn't end there however - since you've had the card for a year you'll also now have a free award night that can be used for a hotel up to 35,000 points in value.

We value Marriott Bonvoy points at 1 cent a piece - so those 80,000 points are worth at least $800 but take away two annual fees and you have no less than $560 value + your free night that can easily be used for hotels costing $200 or more so in the end we are looking at $760 in value after the annual fees. But that's a minimum value, let's see if we can extract even more value:

Let's look at a stay at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto on Friday October 1, 2021:

The Ritz-Carlton Toronto runs 60,000 points for that one night and you don't pay any taxes and fees:


To pay cash for the same room is $723 including taxes and fees

With this redemption you have a value of 1.2 cents per point. Making the 80,000 point bonus worth $960 or $720 after taking into account the two annual fee payments. Already you can see how there is more value now from those points.

How about a stay at the brand new AC Hotel by Marriott Maui Wailea in October?

One night here at the AC Hotel by Marriott Maui Wailea (I know you most likely won't spend just one night here but this one night redemption could be utilized to save some cash for one night if you pay for the other nights)

It runs 50,000 points for that one night and you don't pay any taxes and fees:


To pay cash for the same room is US $1064 including taxes and fees


 US $1064 is approximately C$1335 which means you have redemption you have a value of 2.67 cents per point. Making the 80,000 point bonus worth $2,136 or $1,896 after taking into account the two annual fee payments. Already you can see how there is more value now from those points. 

Technically speaking if you did spend enough on Eats and Drinks with the card in those first 6 months you could have over 100,000 points to cover 2 nights at this location!

Stay for 5, pay for 4 Benefit! 

Now we  look at what could be considered a more standard award night booking that many Canadians would redeem for. Utilizing Marriott Bonvoy's 5th night free benefit to make sure you extract over 1 cent per points at a mid-level hotel in the program. This is a five night stay at Four Points by Sheraton Vaughan in September

The hotel  is 17,500 points per night so five nights should be 87,500 points but thanks to that 5th night free benefit you only pay 17.5K for four nights so 70,000 points in total.


 



To pay cash for the same room is $742 including taxes and fees

With this redemption you have a value of 1.06 cents per point - so basically right at our minimum valuation. Tnis the 80,000 point bonus worth $848 or $608 after taking into account the two annual fee payments. Already you can see how there is more value now from those points.

Value in the Anniversary Free Night benefit

I could go on and on with many more examples but I think by now you should be able to see what the welcome bonus on this card can provide you. And all our examples do take into account keeping the card into your second year. In fact this is one card that pays you well to keep it. Not only do you get automatic Silver Elite status, 15 nights credit towards elite status every year and no fees on supplementary cards - it also gives you that anniversary free night benefit each and every year upon your card renewal.  That anniversary free night is good for a one night stay at a hotel up to 35,000 points.  This means any hotel between Category 1 and 5 at the standard award night level and even Category 6 if you can find a PointSavers Off-Peak rate! So let's get back to an example for this one!

Here's one night at Westin Wall Centre, Vancouver Airport at the end of August:

The points rate is 35,000 points so you could use your Free Night Award for this night (and still pay no taxes and fees):

 
To pay cash for the same room is $274 including taxes and fees


Not a bad deal to get each and every year with the card when you simply pay your annual fee of $120. If we take this valuation of the free night at $274 and $2,136 in points value if we look at above Hawaii redemption then subtract two years of annual fees and you have $2,170 in value! And this doesn't take into account the 5x points earning on Eats and Drinks for those first 6 months. I will clarify if you do get the card over the next 10 or so day you won't have the anniversary free night award to use this August but you will anytime after August 2022. 

Recommended reading: 10 great Marriott Hotels in Canada to use your anniversary free night award from the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

Wrapping it up

Up until late June we had never seen this big of bonuses on Marriott co-brand cards and I think this post speaks for itself in the value that can be had from them. I don't need to rehash it all here in the conclusion, just remember you only have until August 3, 2021 to apply for these cards to get in on these valuable bonus offers!
 

 

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