Amex is running a rare promotion for their Marriott Bonvoy card: 63,000 Bonvoy points sign-up bonus (up from 23,000). The points are worth between £300-£600 depending on redemption. This is for a card whose fee is £95/year. To apply you need a Marriott (hotel) account number. Create it before applying for the card, for free, on the Marriott site if you don’t already have one. Then use the link below to apply for the credit card

Points can be redeemed against hotel stays. The exact rate varies but ranges from more than 1p/point (a really good rate) to less than 0.5p/point (bad). Perhaps surprisingly, good rates are available at hotels ranging from modest to luxurious. All the screenshots below are for a 5 day stay, and the cash value is per night.

Going from left to right, the Amex sign-up bonus is 1000 points short of a five night stay at the Four Points in Siena, a beautiful medieval city in Tuscany. The same 5 night stay costs €485.

A Christmas break in Bucharest, at the amazing Marmorosch hotel, smack down in the city’s Old Town, costs either 65,000 points or €750.

And for the luxury-inclined, five days at the luxurious St. Regis Rome cost either 322,000 points or a whopping €4,850 (£4,200 or 1.3p/point).

Points can also be transferred but that usually offers lower value.

The Amex Bonvoy Card

The UK Amex Bonvoy card is less popular than the Amex Gold, Platinum or BA cards. But it does have two unique benefits besides the sign-up bonus. The first benefit is 15 Marriott Bonvoy night credits per year, which count towards your status progression in the Marriott loyalty program. The second is 6 points/£ spent at Marriott hotels.

Without going into all the details (which we’ve discussed in this previous article), the 15 night credits are seriously valuable when combined with 35 nights stayed at hotels (or less when taking advantage of promotions). When they add up to 50 nights, the loyalty program benefits start to become significant. This alone is enough reason for me to own the card.

The Caveat

There’s one caveat. Only people who’ve had no personal Amex cards in the past two years are eligible for the sign-up bonus. Business and supplemental cards are fine. There’s also a spend threshold of £3,000 in the first 3 months to get the bonus.

Pro tip: the order in which you apply for Amex cards matters for sign-up bonus eligibility. Marriott Bonvoy first, Platinum second makes you eligible for both bonuses. Platinum first, Marriott Bonvoy second and you’re eligible just for the Platinum bonus. Of course, that assumes you start with no personal Amex cards.

Conclusion

This is an extremely generous points offer which is worth taking advantage of if eligible. It also comes at a time when the hotels.com loyalty program value is being reduced by about 80% with the introduction of One Key later this year in the UK.

Not a Marriott Bonvoy member?

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