Once known as the SPG Amex, 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 earlier. 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 Card review now and find out why it’s still one of the best travel rewards cards in Canada.

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 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. 

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.

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. 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.

(Coming 2019)

Transfer your Marriott Bonvoy points to airlines

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 points. That means 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points can be transferred for 25,000 Aeroplan points.

Admittedly, it’s quicker to earn Aeroplan points with one of the best Aeroplan cards in Canada, but at least you have another option to earn Aeroplan points.

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 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 generous 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. If you have a credit card with better travel insurance e.g. it comes with travel medical and trip cancellation, use that when booking flights. Your Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card is best used for your actual hotel stays since you’ll earn extra Marriott Bonvoy points and you’ll get hotel/motel burglary insurance.

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.

Apply Now for the Marriott Bonvoy American Express