Once known as the SPG Credit Card in Canada, the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card is now the official credit card for Marriott in Canada. In case you didn’t know, Marriott Bonvoy is the new name of Marriott Rewards which merged with Starwood Preferred Guest a few years back. Yes, I realize that it may be a bit confusing, but that’s what happens when one major hotel chain buys another and then there are two loyalty programs that need to be integrated.

What likely matters to you is how you can earn more Marriott Rewards – I mean Marriott Bonvoy points. Read my Marriott Bonvoy Amex review now and find out why it’s one of the best travel rewards cards in Canada and how you can earn up to 51,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you apply for the card.

Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card Review

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card features

  • $120 annual fee
  • 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points welcome bonus or 51,000 with a referral link
  • Earn 5 Marriott Bonvoy points for every $1 on eligible card purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • Earn 2 Marriott Bonvoy points for every $1 on all other purchases
  • Free annual night award that can be redeemed at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties worldwide, with a redemption value up to 35,000 points
  • 15 Elite Night credits each calendar year
  • Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status when you spend $30,000 on your card each year
  • Complimentary in-room, premium internet access while staying at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • Some travel insurance

The old SPG Credit Card was popular, but the good news is that the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Canada is also impressive.  The welcome bonus of 50,000 points is enough for 5 nights at a category 2 hotel when you factor in Marriott’s book 4 nights on points and you’ll get the 5th-night free promotion. Note that you can get 51,000 points as your signup bonus when using a referral link but you need to spend $3,000 in the first three months instead of $1,500 with the regular offer. To give you some context, I’ve been able to get more than $600 in value out of 51,000 points.

Since this is the official Marriott co-branded credit card in Canada, you’ll earn an amazing 5 Marriott Bonvoy points for every $1 on eligible card purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties. Eligible card purchases usually refer to your nightly room rate, restaurants on-site, in-room dining and even spa treatments. All other purchases made on your card earn you 2 points per $1 spent. There’s simply no quicker way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points. 

What’s nice about this card is that you start at Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status which gives you additional benefits such as 10% bonus points on stays and priority late checkout. In other words, if you pay for your stays with your Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card at participating properties, you get 5.5 points per $1 spent.

Gold status is given when you spend $30,000 on your card each year. If status is important to you, you may want to consider the American Express Platinum Card instead since you automatically get Gold status with it. 

At the start of every calendar year, you’ll also get 15 Elite Night credits which means you’ll only need 10 additional nights to reach Gold Status (if you don’t spend $30,000 before then). This is clearly handy for people who stay at Marriott hotels occasionally. 

There is an annual fee of $120, but every year on your card anniversary, you’ll get a free night certificate which is good up to 35,000 points at any participating Marriott property. The value of those points are easily worth more than the annual fee so that’s an incredible bonus.

How Marriott Bonvoy works

Since Marriott has 7,000+ hotels in more than 120 countries, Marriott Bonvoy is the largest hotel loyalty program in the world. Fortunately, the program itself is quite good and is easily one of the best travel rewards programs available.

I’ve written a detailed Marriott Bonvoy review so you can check that out if you want the full details, but I’m going to quickly highlight a few things about the program.

As you likely know, there are different status tiers with Marriott Bonvoy. Your status goes up as you spend nights at participating Marriott properties. With every status increase, you get additional benefits such as an increased earn rate for Marriott Bonvoy points, early check-in, late check-out, room upgrades, free breakfast, and more.

The points you’ve earned can be used to redeem free nights. Depending on the season and hotel you’re trying to book, it could cost you as little as 5,000 Marriott Bonvoy points or as much as 100,000 points for a free night. As you can see, there’s also peak and off-peak pricing to consider.

CATEGORYSTANDARDOFF PEAKPEAK
17,5005,00010,000
212,50010,00015,000
317,50015,00020,000
425,00020,00030,000
535,00030,00040,000
650,00040,00060,000
760,00050,00070,000
885,00070,000100,000

How you use your Marriott Bonvoy points is up to you, but I find the best value for your points is in the low categories or the high categories.  For example, a category 2 hotel costs 12,500 points for a free night, but thanks to Marriott’s book 4-nights, get the 5-th night promo, you can get 5 nights for 50,000 points. At the category 2 hotels I’ve stayed at, the regular room rate is about $120 a night, so that’s $600 in value. But sometimes, the mid-tier hotels can be a good value. I was looking at a category 6 hotel in London where one night during standard times is 50,000 points. This was still a good deal since the nightly rate was about $64o. 

Generally speaking, if you’re getting at least 1 cent in value per point, it’s a decent deal. In other words, do some basic math before you book your room. These great redemption rates are part of the reason why my Marriott Bonvoy Amex review is positive. 

Marriott Bonvoy airline partners

Another reason Marriott Bonvoy points are popular is that you can transfer your points to more than 40 airlines.

Since this card is aimed at Canadians, you might be thinking about converting your Marriott Bonvoy points to Aeroplan. The regular transfer rate is 3 Marriott Bonvoy points get you 1 Aeroplan point, however, for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points you transfer, you’ll get an additional 5,000 Aeroplan Miles. That means 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points can be transferred for 25,000 Aeroplan Miles.

Admittedly, it’s quicker to earn Aeroplan Miles with one of the best Aeroplan cards in Canada, but at least you have another option to earn Aeroplan Miles. Transferring your points to Marriott Bonvoy airline partners is best used when you’re trying to top up your airline miles for a redemption.

Beyond hotels and flights, you can also use your points for moments which is why my Marriott Bonvoy Amex card review is positive. These moments include things such as suite access to some of the best sporting events around the world, VIP access to major music concerts such as Coachella, and even private dining experiences with celebrity chefs.

Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card travel insurance

  • Travel accident insurance – $500,000
  • Car rental theft and damage insurance – 48 days/$85,000
  • Flight delay insurance – $500
  • Baggage delay insurance – $500
  • Hotel/motel burglary insurance – $500

If you’re wondering about the Marriott Bonvoy Card travel insurance, you’ll likely be disappointed to find out that it doesn’t have travel medical or trip cancellation which is why the card didn’t make my list of the best credit cards with travel insurance

You do get travel accident insurance of $500,000 which sounds good but this is something you never want your loved ones to collect on. American Express does offer generous car rental theft and damage insurance since you’re covered for car rentals with an MSRP of $85,000 on trips up to 48 days. Your flight delay insurance kicks in after 4 hours while baggage delays require 6 hours. Note that the $500 in coverage for both types of insurance is an aggregate amount.

Finally, the hotel/motel burglary insurance gives you $500 in coverage. Remember, you need to charge your travel expenses to your credit card for your travel insurance to apply. One strategy I recommend is to use your Marriott Bonvoy Amex Canada Card for your hotel stays since you’ll earn extra Marriott Bonvoy points and you’ll get hotel/motel burglary insurance. However, when paying for your flights, use of the best credit cards with travel insurance such as the BMO World Elite Mastercard since it includes trip cancellation.

Final thoughts

My Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card review is positive. It’s still one of the best travel credit cards in Canada and one of the best American Express credit cards. It’s a must-have card for anyone who stays at Marriott properties on a regular basis. If you want to earn an extra 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for a total of 51,000, please use my referral link below. Keep in mind that when using my referral link you need to spend $3,000 instead of $1,500 in the first three months. If you prefer the regular offer, just signup directly via the Amex website.

Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card Review | Canada

8 Comments

  1. Spunky on April 10, 2019 at 8:19 AM

    Excellent article. I had no idea that my Amex Bonvoy card had NO TRAVEL INSURANCE. I guess I won’t be holding this card as long as I thought (thank God, the lowly President’s Choice mastercard still gives me 10 days travel insurance for free).

    • Barry Choi on April 10, 2019 at 10:15 PM

      Spunky,

      The card does come with an annual free night certificate worth up to 35K points which is a good reason to keep the card.

  2. Chrissy on April 19, 2019 at 4:48 PM

    Hi Barry – just wondering if you know: if I was an SPG Amex cardholder several years ago, does this disqualify me from getting the bonus points on this new card?

    • Barry Choi on April 19, 2019 at 5:01 PM

      Technically yes, but 99% of people who had the card years ago report that they’ve been able to get the sign up bonus. That being said, Amex is within their rights to deny you them.

      • Chrissy on April 19, 2019 at 5:06 PM

        Ah, I’ve heard this too! Well I’m glad to hear from a Canadian expert. I think I’ll give it a shot. Thanks so much Barry!

  3. Jeff on October 21, 2019 at 12:02 PM

    If you have a family, this card sucks because none of the rooms we fit in are included in the points redemption. Marriott will let me acquire points by booking suites and other rooms that sleep my 5 family members, but none of those rooms are available for us when we try to use points. USELESS!!!! TERRIBLE CARD if you can’t spend the points you’ve accumulated!!!!! And there’s no flexibility, no humans who can override their inflexible computer system. It’s terrible!!

    • Barry Choi on October 21, 2019 at 3:24 PM

      Jeff,

      You could just try lowering the # of people when making a reservation.

  4. Jeff on October 21, 2019 at 3:43 PM

    Well that wouldn’t help us book the type of room we need so we all have beds to sleep in. I can book rooms to fit us when I pay for the rooms, but if I want to use the points I’ve collected, I cannot book the very same type of room that we always pay for. Case in point: a 2 bedroom suite that has 2 queens and a sofa bed in Bloomington. I can pay $174/night but it’s not available AT ALL using points or even points plus cash. It’s a useless “reward” system for my family as it is currently structured.

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