The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Canada is the best hotel credit card you can get as a Canadian! It should be a staple in every traveller’s wallet.
Today we’re going to dissect the card and give you all the information you need to decide whether or not you should apply of the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Canada card.
Hint: I think nearly every traveller can benefit from the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Canada card, and it is more a matter of adding it to your wallet at the right time rather than deciding whether or not you want to get the card at all!
The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Canada gives you 50,000 Bonvoy points as a sign-up bonus, a free night’s stay on your anniversary each year, and lets you earn 5x points on every $1 you spend at Marriott properties. It is the quickest way to earn free hotel stays with a Canadian credit card. The sign-up bonus alone is worth up to 3 free nights! The Marriott Bonvoy Amex Canada is a no-brainer for anybody who travels at least once a year!
I love the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Canada card. It is a keeper card for me, and I recommend it to all my family and friends as an essential travel credit card they should consider getting.
The Marriott Bonvoy Amex Canada is your standard hotel credit card. You see a lot of hotel credit cards on the US market, but not many in Canada.
That is why the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Canada is such a special credit card.
There are a number of awesome perks that come along with this credit card, and here are just a few of my absolute favourites:
- 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points as a sign-up bonus
- Free night’s stay awarded on your anniversary each year
- Automatically awarded 15 night’s worth of stays applied to your Bonvoy profile to help you reach new reward levels
- 5x points on every Marriott purchase
- Receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status (all the rewards that come along with that)
- Hotel burglary insurance, which isn’t found on many credit cards
Pros and Cons of the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Canada
- The best hotel credit card in Canada
- Easy to redeem points and can transfer points to a few partner programs
- Good insurances and protections
- Limited to Marriott hotels
- Some hotels are very expensive to redeem at
- Not every vendor accepts American Express
You earn and redeem Marriott Bonvoy points with this card.
The most common way to redeem points is for hotel stays, but you can also transfer points to a partner airline program.
This isn’t the best way to use your points, and I recommend you stick to using your Marriott Bonvoy points for hotel stays.
The Marriott Bonvoy program allows you to redeem points for stays at over 7,000 hotels across every continent expect Antartica. Because, well, it’s Antarctica.
As a side note: there have been numerous studies on how tourism and the increasing number of tourists visiting Antarctica every year is damaging the fragile ecosystem and environment. I know it is a super cool bucket list adventure but stick to getting your Antarctic fill by watching documentaries!
Anyways, back to what you’re actually here for.
The sign-up bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Canada is quite generous. Especially considering they have basically no competition in the hotel credit card space and could have easily justified being stringent on the sign-up bonus.
You earn 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you spend at least $1,500 on the card in the first three months of holding it.
That is enough points for a three 3-night stay at a category 2 hotel!
Category 2 is one of the lowest categories in the Marriott Bonvoy rewards system, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t nice!
There are countless gorgeous hotels that fall into category 2.
It may take a little bit of searching to find the best use of your points, but no matter what hotel you use your sign-up bonus points on, it’ll be a nice stay!
If you travel multiple times per year, I recommend looking through the hotels in all the cities your visiting and picking the hotel with the most value to be the one you redeem your points at!
The points earning categories on the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Canada are really easy to remember.
Your purchases fall into one of two categories:
- 5x points on Marriott Bonvoy purchases (including dining and spa services at eligible hotels)
- 2x points on every other $1 spent
It doesn’t get any easier than that!
In the whole big scheme of things, those are really good earning categories!
You can wrack up an impressive number of points if you consistently stay at Marriott properties.
Bonus tip: Marriott gift card purchases count as a Marriott purchase and are eligible to receive 5x the points! A sneaky way to get the most out of your credit card is to spend the $1,500 minimum spend requirement on Marriott gift cards to use on your future travels.
You earn 7,500 Marriott Bonvoy points on top of the 50,000 point sign-up bonus if you do that!
That’s some travel hacking magic right there!
Marriott makes it super easy to redeem your Bonvoy points!
It is all done through their website. All you have to do to redeem your points is check the “use points” box before searching for your hotel, and you are shown the price in points.
You select the hotel you want to stay at, and your points are withdrawn from your account.
It is as easy as that!
The other way you can redeem points is by transferring them to a partner airline program. This isn’t recommended because you lose a lot of value per point, and you get better value when you redeem your points for hotel stays.
If you do choose to transfer your Bonvoy points to an airline partner, you receive 15,000 Bonvoy points back as a bonus when you transfer 60,000 points to a partner program.
You can easily transfer your Bonvoy points to a partner program through your Marriott Bonvoy program, and the transfer will be complete within 24 hours in most cases.
There are literally dozens of airline partners. Instead of listing all of them here, you can go to the Marriott website and check it out for yourself.
Best Way to Redeem Points
The only way you should be redeeming your Marriott Bonvoy points is for free hotel stays.
It is the best use of your points hands down.
In terms of what hotel you should redeem your points at, that requires a little bit of investigative work.
I like to look around the Marriott website and search for hotels in each city I know I’ll visit that year.
I compare all the different hotels and find the most expensive hotel in whatever category I’m looking to book.
For me, I like don’t need anything fancy and normally book a category 2 or 3 hotel, but you may prefer something more luxurious and want a category 7 or 8 hotel.
Whatever suits you and your travel style the best!
Once you find the most expensive hotel in whatever category you want to stay in, go ahead and book that hotel through the Marriott website.
It is super easy to redeem your Bonvoy points through the Marriott website! You simply search for a hotel as you normally would but check off the “use points” button before you press “search”.
The search will show you the price in points rather the price in fiat currency, and you can book from there!
Worst Way to Redeem Points
The worst way to redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points is transferring them to an airline partner.
You lose a lot of value when you do that. If you want to redeem points for flights, then get a flight-specific travel credit card.
The American Express Aeroplan card, RBC Westjet World Elite, and MBNA Alaska Airline World Elite Mastercard are all great options.
The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Canada is a hotel credit card, and you should use it to redeem for free nights at a hotel.
It can be tempting to transfer your Marriott Bonvoy points to a partner airline program because you get 15,000 Bonvoy points back when you transfer 60,000 points to a partner program.
But it isn’t worth it!
Even with the “bonus” points you get back, you’re still losing value on each point you transfer to a partner program.
The annual fee on the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Canada card is $120.
American Express doesn’t offer a first-year annual fee waiver, so you’re stuck paying the annual fee every year you hold the card.
I think this is a very reasonable annual fee considering all the perks you get with the card. You receive a free night’s stay every year you hold the card, so you’re making up the cost of the annual fee with that free stay.
American Express is one those lovely (and rare) credit card issuers who don’t have a minimum income requirement.
I love and appreciate this because it makes their cards accessible to more people unlike many other Canadian travel credit cards on the market.
I’m looking at you BMO and MBNA who have outrageously high minimum income requirements.
The only requirements to get the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Canada card are:
- Be the age of majority in the province you live in
- Be a Canadian resident
- Have a Canadian credit file
That’s it! It doesn’t get easier than that!
American Express doesn’t post a required credit score, but, in most cases, you need a pretty decent credit score to be approved for one of their cards.
I suggest having a credit score of at least 650 before you apply for the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Canada card.
The higher the credit score, the better chance you will be approved!
With that being said, American Express is pretty reasonable when it comes to approving people, and as long as you have a decent credit score, you should be fine.
But I can’t make any promises so try your best to have a good credit score!
Who Should Get the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Canada
I honestly think everybody who travels at least once a year will benefit from having the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Canada card in their wallet.
The card comes with so many perks that even a casual traveller will benefit from the card.
It is super easy to earn and redeem points, the sign-up bonus is incredible, and you get a free night’s stay every year you hold the card.
There is basically no down side to the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Canada card!
With an annual fee of $120, as long as you redeem your free night every single year you hold the card, you’re getting value out of the card!
Who Should NOT Get the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Canada
This isn’t the credit card for people who are very loyal to other hotel brands.
If you’re a die hard fan of a non-Marriott hotel chain and won’t get much use out of the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Canada card, then I don’t recommend you add it to your wallet.
The American Express Platinum may be a better fit for you in this scenario. It gives you upgraded status at many hotel chains like Hilton, and you can even transfer your MR points to Hilton Honors points if you’re a Hilton fan.
No matter what hotel chain your loyal to (or perhaps you hate all chains and only stay in small, local hotels), if you’re not interested in Marriott properties, this card isn’t for you.
For everybody else, I think you can get a lot of value out of the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Canada card!
Alternative Credit Cards
The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Canada card isn’t the most versatile travel card in Canada, but it does hotel rewards perfectly.
This is hands down the best hotel credit card in Canada, and no other credit card comes closing to knocking it out of first place!
You earn points so fast when you use the card at Marriott hotels, and the earning rate for everyday purchases isn’t too shabby either.
The 50,000 Bonvoy point sign-up bonus and free night’s stay awarded every year on your anniversary are just the icing on top of an already great card.
I’m pretty impressed American Express offers this card to Canadians. It helps fill a gaping hole in the Canadian travel credit card market.
Here’s hoping American Express introduces more hotel credit cards in Canada. I really want to see a card similar to the Hilton card offered in the United States.
But until American Express offers more hotel credit cards, the Marriott Bonvoy Amex Canada is a great option to earn free hotel nights quickly.
As I said at the start of this post, this is the type of credit card everybody can get use out of, and it is more of a question of when you’ll add it to your wallet not if you’ll add it to your wallet.