Here’s my Marriott Bonvoy Amex Canada review. I’m a sucker for credit cards with great travel rewards. I had this card back when it was the Starwood Preferred Guest card (it was one of my favourite credit cards of all time), then they changed the name of the program to the Marriott Bonvoy program and charged an annual fee. I can’t recall whether I signed up for the credit card or if I just used remaining Bonvoy points that I had because I was scared off from the annual fee. I remember using Marriott Bonvoy points in 2019 right before the pandemic for a hotel stay on the big island of Hawaii.
With prices of hotel stays going through the roof (astronomically through the roof) and AirBNB going up even higher than hotel prices, I thought it would be a good idea to join the Bonvoy program for the annual free night certificate. $120 ‘per night’ for a Marriott class hotel is pretty good if you ask me, considering there are motels these days for more than $250 a night.
Here’s my Marriott Bonvoy Amex Canada review:
Table of Contents
Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card Welcome Bonus
There is a generous welcome bonus of 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points if you spend $1500 in the first three months of card membership. 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points could get you two nights at a lower category hotel.
The earning structure for Bonvoy points is simple with this card. You can also 5x points for every dollar spent at specific Bonvoy hotel locations, otherwise, it is 2 points per dollar spent on all other purchases.
That means you’ll earn Marriott Bonvoy points on all purchases.
Marriott Bonvoy Amex Card Benefits
The biggest benefit is an annual free night award for any worldwide hotel stay with a redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. You will receive every card anniversary (about 8-10 weeks after your anniversary).
This makes the annual fee less painful to pay because you’ll get a hotel stay that can easily be over $200 a night (depending on the location you choose).
If you travel overseas to Asia for example, there are some fantastic hotels for 35,000 points per night. If you have a Business Bonvoy card as well that’s two nights (and if your spouse has both cards as well that’s four nights for $540 in annual fees). $135/night hotels (well let alone MOTELS) are hard to find these days.
This card also gives you Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status, and if you spend $30,000 in purchases on the card, you can get an upgrade to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status. This is an automatic upgrade to Marriott Bonvoy gold elite.
What does Silver Elite status get you?
- 10% more points on Marriott hotel stays
- Discounted member room rates
- Complimentary in room Internet
- Priority Late Checkout
The late checkout is at 2pm if it’s available… and an automatic room upgrade at check-in if it is available as well.
Finally the last benefit is 15 Elite Night credits, these can be used towards the next level of Elite status in the Bonvoy program.
You can also transfer your Marriott Bonvoy points to frequent flyer programs. You can receive 15,000 bonus points when you transfer 60,000 Bonvoy points to a frequent flyer program.
Hotels Participating in Marriott Bonvoy
If you want to redeem your points at eligible hotels and resorts worldwide, it is straight forward and easy. There are 29 different brands under the Marriott Bonvoy properties umbrella, including:
- St. Regis
- JW Marriott
- Marriot Hotels
- Le Meridien
- Renaissance Hotels
- Four Points
- Residence Inn
Points can be redeemed for hotel stays at these properties.
The great thing is if you redeem four nights using your Bonvoy points, you can get your fifth night free.
Marriott Bonvoy Amex Canada Travel Insurance
The travel insurance coverage that comes with this card is pretty good.
Here some of the insurance benefits:
- Buyer’s Assurance Protection Plan (extends manufacturer’s warranty for up to one year on purchases on your card)
- Purchase Protection Plan
- Baggage Delay Insurance
- Hotel/Motel Burglarly Insurance
- Flight Delay Insurance
- Travel Accident Insurance
There is $500,000 Travel Accident Insurance (Accidental Death and Dismemberment) if you charge your ticekt to your Marriott Bonvoy American Express card.
There is also car rental theft and damage insurance for car rentals up to $85,000 in MSRP if you charge you rental to the card.
You can receive up to $500 in coverage for baggage delay if your checked in baggage for your outbound trip is delayed for more than six hours (you have to charge your airline ticket to the Bonvoy American Express card though).
There’s also hotel/ motel burglary insurance of up to $500 for your personal items if you charge your accommodations to the Marriot Bonvoy American Express card.
Theres no travel medical coverage for this card so you will have to wary of that.
Other Cards in Canada: American Express Cobalt Card, CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite
Other travel credit cards in Canada inclue the American Express Cobalt card. The welcome bonus isn’t very exciting for the Cobalt card because it’s just 1250 American Express Membership Rewards Points per month if you spend $750, but the Cobalt card offers 5 times points on food and drink purchases “eats and drinks”. For the Cobalt card, groceries, liquor stores, restaurants all have 5x points per dollar spent (as long as they are coded in these categories).
It doesn’t sound like much but if you have $1500 per month on groceries and dining out, that’s 7500 Membership Rewards points each month. Over one year that’s 90,000 MR points, with the first year bonus, you’ll get 105,000 points by the end of the year. That’s enough for a flight to Asia, or almost enough for four return tickets to Los Angeles from Vancouver.
The beauty of Membership Rewards points is that they are very flexible, you can transfer your points 1:1 to frequent flyer programs for example transfer 100,000 Membership Rewards points to 100,000 Aeroplan points.
A visa card that is a great travel card is the CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite card. That is flexible and gives you a points you can use to pay for travel that you can redeem yourself on your credit card statement.
Unfortunately this card has an annual fee. The annual fee of the Marriott Bonvoy American Express is $120.
If paying an annual fee is too painful for you, you can a portion of this annual fee as ‘cash back’ for your first year if you apply for this card through Great Canadian Rebates. They will give you $60 cash back, which makes your first year annual fee $60.
You can get supplementary cards for free, there is no annual fee for supplementary cards.
Card Details: Income Requirements
There are no specific income requirements for the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Canada.
To apply you have to be a Canadian resident in your province or territory.
I really do not like paying annual fees for credit cards but this is ‘worth it’ for the annual free night award. If you can’t find any free nights to use there are also options locally or a road trip away since there are so many options for stays at Marriott properties.
If you pair it with the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express card you can get two free nights. And as mentioned if your spouse is on board and they have both cards you can get four free nights.
One thing to note is that there is a foreign transaction fee on purchases made outside of Canada or in a different currency. The foreign transaction fee is standard, 2.5%.
The other downside is that there is no travel medical insurance included in this card.
I hope you found this Marriott Bonvoy American Express card review useful.
American Excpress credit cards are some of the best rewards credit cards out there, but the downside is that not everyone takes American Express. Nonetheless we plan on holding this card and paying the $120 annual fee regularly.
Do you have the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Canada card? What is your Marriott Bonvoy Amex Canada review?
You may also be interested in:
- American Express Gold Rewards Card Review
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GYM is a 40 something millennial writing about personal finance since 2009 and interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for a free dividend yield spreadsheet and the free Young Money Bootcamp PDF.