I’m sure you can imagine how many reader emails I receive each week saying ‘Do you know if Marriott is planning to add more brands, because 30 simply isn’t anywhere near enough?’ …..
Well, good news. Marriott Bonvoy now has 31 brands.
Marriott International has announced the $100 million acquisition of City Express. You may not have heard of the brand, but it comprises 152 hotels, primarily in Mexico.
The deal makes Marriott the largest hotel group across the Caribbean and Latin America, with another 17,356 rooms added via this transaction.
The purchase price is low because City Express is a purely franchised business, with minimal assets. Franchise fees are approximately $10 million per year so the company is being sold for 10x revenue. Once folded into Marriott, overheads can be stripped out and that $10 million will be mainly profit.
The chain will be rebranded ‘City Express by Marriott’. Marriott believes that it fills a gap in its portfolio for an ‘affordable midscale’ brand (really?! none of the existing 30 brands fits the bill?!) and it is likely that it will be rolled out internationally.
Marriott followed a similar model with AC Hotels, originally a purely Spanish business, and Delta Hotels, originally a purely Canadian business.
In the unlikely event that you have a City Premios loyalty account, it will be folded into Marriott Bonvoy.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (December 2022)
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 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 Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (10,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.
(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.)