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In this week's episode of “How to Keep Cardmembers Engaged“, Marriott and American Express want to reward your next road trip.
As air and cruise travel aren't options, many people have turned to road trips and ‘staycations' to fend off the monotony of being stuck at home. For card issuers, this presents both a problem and an opportunity. The problem is that travel-oriented credit cards have become far less relevant. The opportunity is that if card-issuers can re-align bonuses and incentives to meet the circumstances, they can get their cards back to the top of your wallet.
New Marriott 10X Offer on Amex Cards
Not missing a beat, Amex and Marriott have announced new ways for co-branded cardholders to earn points. Thanks to three new Amex Offers, Marriott Bonvoy cardholders can earn 10X Marriott Bonvoy points at U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants, and at participating Marriott properties through October 31, 2020.
This move mirrors the increased earning structure offered to Chase Marriott Bonvoy cardholders. However, where Chase limits cardholders to a combined $3,500 in total spending, Amex provides 10X points on up to $7,500 in spending for each category. That's up to 225,000 Marriott Bonvoy points if maximized!
- Eligible cards include the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card, Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, and the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.
- There are three separate Amex Offers:
- Earn 10X at U.S. gas stations
- Earn 10X at U.S. restaurants, and
- Earn 10X at participating Marriott properties
- Amex caps each category bonus at a maximum of $7,500 in spending (75,000 points)
- You must first enroll your card for each offer, either in your online account or using the Amex mobile app (Apple, Android)
- Once activated, this applies to purchases made between August 3, 2020 and October 31, 2020
- Eligible cardmembers will receive an email detailing these offers, as well as terms and conditions
As all of the eligible cards have different standard point-earning structures, the Amex Offers will vary for each. For example, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card normally earns 6X points for Marriott purchases and 3X points at U.S. restaurants. That means that the promotional Amex Offers for this card will provide an additional 4X points for Marriott purchases (10X total) and an additional 7X points for U.S. restaurant purchases (10X total).
These new offers come right on the heels of Marriott's last promotion that offered 6X Bonvoy points at U.S. supermarkets. That opportunity ended on July 31, 2020.
Amex continues to offer higher bonus caps for their limited-time offers compared to Chase. This is good news for those whose spending habits allow them to maximize each category. As I mentioned above, maximizing this promotion would net 225,000 Bonvoy points. That's worth ~$1,575 using my valuation of 0.7¢ per Bonvoy point.
Additionally, it's clear that every eligible card should be able to earn these increased rates. This is different from a standard Amex Offer, where you're required to (carefully) choose which card you activate the offer on. Consequently, people who hold multiple Marriott Bonvoy American Express cards should be able to activate these offers on all of them.
Finally, it's possible to buy Marriott-branded gift cards from Marriott's online store. One of the first things I wondered was whether the 10X bonus category for Marriott purchases would apply to these. As it turns out, the terms specifically mention that purchases of Marriott-branded gift cards from Marriott-branded online stores do qualify! If nothing else. that info is worth logging away in case you have any upcoming Marriott cash stays.
With my conservative Bonvoy point valuation of 0.7¢, this offer delivers a 7% return on each of these spending categories. That's among the best you can currently do in all cases. Point being: you might want to go get these cards out of your sock drawer.
Is 10X Bonvoy points enough to earn a spot in your wallet?
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