American Express has launched a bonus points offer for anyone who holds the Marriott Bonvoy American Express credit card.
After some of the generous offers we’ve seen to encourage spending on other American Express cards, you might be getting a little excitted. Don’t.
The offer is underwhelming, although it might still be good enough to encourage you to move spend away from other American Express cards for a few weeks.
What is the new Marriott Bonvoy American Express spend offer?
Until 12th August, you will 500 bonus Marriott Bonvoy for every £500 you charge to your Bonvoy Amex.
There is a cap of 1,500 points.
You MUST opt-in to this offer, via the link you find under the ‘Offers’ tab on your Bonvoy Amex online statement page or in the American Express app.
What is the bonus worth?
Not much, to be honest.
HfP values a Marriott Bonvoy point at 0.5p. This means that you are getting a whopping 0.5p of extra value per £1 you spend.
Anyone who had the card when it was branded as the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express will also ruefully note the earning rate.
Putting the rate back to an effective 3 Marriott Bonvoy points per £1 on your next £1,500 of spending simply returns the rate to what it was until February 2020. The rate was cut from 3 points per £1 to 2 points per £1 when the card was rebranded as Bonvoy.
That said …. 3 Marriott Bonvoy points per £1 spent, up to £1,500, is a 1.5% return on your spending which isn’t bad.
In my case, this is the same return as I get from my British Airways Premium Plus American Express assuming I value an Avios at 1p. As I am top-heavy with Avios at the moment, I am happy to move £1,500 of spending to my Bonvoy American Express and pick up points there instead.
Using the Marriott Bonvoy American Express to earn airline miles
As we’re on the topic of the Bonvoy Amex, I wanted to remind you about one benefit of this card which no other UK credit card can match.
The Marriott Bonvoy Amex lets you earn miles with 41 different frequent flyer schemes.
For many of these schemes, the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card is the ONLY way of earning their miles via a UK credit card.
Here is the full list of Marriott Bonvoy airline partners now (you can also see it online here) and the transfer rate:
- Aegean Airlines 3:1
- Aer Lingus AerClub 3:1
- Aeroflot Bonus 3:1
- AeroMexico ClubPremier 3:1
- Air Canada Aeroplan 3:1
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue 3:1
- Air New Zealand Airpoints 200:1
- Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 3:1
- Alitalia MilleMiglia 3:1
- American Airlines AAdvantage 3:1
- ANA Mileage Club 3:1
- Asiana Airlines Asiana Club 3:1
- Avianca LifeMiles 3:1
- British Airways Executive Club 3:1
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 3:1
- Copa Airlines ConnectMiles 3:1
- Delta SkyMiles 3:1
- Emirates Skywards 3:1
- Etihad Guest 3:1
- FRONTIER Miles 3:1
- Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club 3:1
- Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles 3:1
- Iberia Plus 3:1
- InterMiles 3:1
- Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank 3:1
- JetBlue TrueBlue 6:1
- Korean Air SKYPASS 3:1
- LATAM Airlines LATAM Pass 3:1
- Multiplus Fidelidade 3:1
- Qantas Frequent Flyer 3:1
- Qatar Privilege Club 3:1
- Saudia Alfursan 3:1
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 3:1
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 3:1
- TAP Air Portugal 3:1
- THAI Airways Royal Orchid Plus 3:1
- Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 3:1
- United MileagePlus 3:1.1
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 3:1
- Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer 3:1
- Vueling Club 3:1
For the 28 airlines in bold, the Marriott Bonvoy American Express is the ONLY UK credit card partner. The others either have their own card or are an American Express Membership Rewards or HSBC Premier transfer partner.
(If we are being very picky, you can earn Qatar Privilege Club miles by getting an American Express International Currency Card, which is available to UK residents. This card also allows transfers into the Malaysia Airlines scheme, which Marriott Bonvoy does not partner with.)
You could earn miles in some of these airlines via obscure routes, such as the IHG credit card or moving American Express points to Radisson Rewards and then onwards, but the rate is so poor it isn’t worth considering.
How many miles does the Marriott Bonvoy American Express earn?
I am obliged to remind you at this point that the representative APR on this card is 38.8% variable, including the £75 annual fee, based on a notional £1,200 credit limit. The interest rate on purchases is 22.2% variable.
The earning rate is, unfortunately, worse than it was when the card was Starwood-branded.
Ignoring the current short-term bonus points promotion, you would normally earn 2 Marriott Bonvoy points for every £1 you spend, with triple points for spending in Marriott hotels.
These transfer to airline miles at 3:1, as the list above shows, so you are getting 0.66 miles per £1 spent.
If you move 60,000 Bonvoy points at once you get a 5,000 miles bonus. 60,000 Marriott points will therefore get you 25,000 airline miles. This is 0.812 airline miles per £1 spent on the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card.
For someone collecting American Airlines miles, Air Canada miles, Qatar Airways miles etc this is a straightforward way of picking them up.
Is there a sign-up bonus?
Yes. The sign-up bonus is 20,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. This converts to 6,666 airline miles.
You must spend £3,000 within three months to receive the bonus.
Of course, you can also use them for Marriott hotels where 20,000 points should get you at least £100 of value.
However, eligibility for the bonus is restricted. You only qualify if you have not held ANY personal American Express cards in the previous 24 months.
You CAN still apply for the card, of course. You will receive all of the other benefits, including the 15 free elite night credits, but not the initial sign-up bonus.
If you have the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card, you should immediately register for the bonus 1,500 points offer. You shouldn’t have any trouble making £1,500 of spending before the end of August.
If you don’t have the card already, the ability to earn miles in 41 different frequent flyer schemes at a decent rate is a semi-secret benefit of getting one.
I also recommend it if the 15 free Marriott Bonvoy elite night credits – which is an annual benefit – are useful to you.
My full review of the Marriott Bonvoy Amex credit card is here. You can apply for the card here.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (September 2021)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.
You can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
Until 2nd November 2021, The Platinum Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points. This converts into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)