Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card Review
The Marriott hospitality family is big. It has more than 7,000 hotel and resort properties worldwide, many of which don’t have “Marriott” in the name. I only travel a few times each year, but more often than not, I find myself staying at one without really meaning to.
Which means, at least on paper, I’m a good candidate for the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card. I’ve resisted the temptation thus far because I’m happy with my current travel credit card lineup, but whenever friends ask me to recommend a brand-specific hotel card, I’m quick to mention it.
Bonvoy Bevy isn’t for everyone. It only makes sense for regular Marriott guests who can extract enough value from its generous rewards and perks programs to offset the annual fee. If that describes you, this review has everything you need to know to decide whether to apply.
What Is the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card?
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy American Express Card is a premium travel credit card from American Express. It’s designed for frequent travelers who regularly stay at Marriott properties.
The Bonvoy Bevy card occupies a middle ground between the super-luxe Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, a Chase product.
In terms of its rewards program and perks for Marriott loyalists, Bevy is less generous than Brilliant and more generous than Boundless. It has an annual fee to match: $250, compared to Brilliant’s $650 and Boundless’ $95.
What Sets the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy American Express Card Apart?
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy American Express Card has four features sure to appeal to frequent Marriott guests:
- Generous Welcome Offer for New Cardmembers. Welcome offers come and go, and there’s no guarantee this one will stick around in its current form forever. But as it currently stands, it’s unusually generous and also attainable.
- Excellent Rewards on Restaurant and U.S. Supermarket Purchases. This card earns 4x bonus Bonvoy points per $1 spent, up to $15,000 in annual combined eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide (including U.S. takeout and delivery) and U.S. supermarkets. Few hotel cards treat nonhotel spending so generously.
- Automatic Gold Elite Status and Elite Night Credits. If you’re a Bevy cardmembers in good standing, you automatically become Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite member. You also get 15 free Elite Night Credits each year toward higher status levels.
- Annual Free Night Award With Eligible Spend. Spend $15,000 in eligible purchases on your Bevy card in a calendar year, and you get a free night award redeemable at any Marriott property requiring fewer than 50,000 points per night for award stays. Simple.
Key Features of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy American Express Card
If you like what you’ve heard about the Bevy card so far, dive into the details of its most important features and benefits.
Earn 125,000 bonus Bonvoy points after spending at least $4,000 in eligible purchases during your first 3 months of cardmembership. Terms apply.
Earning Rewards on Eligible Purchases
The Bonvoy Bevy card earns bonus Bonvoy points on all eligible purchases:
- 6x points on eligible purchases (including bookings) at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties worldwide
- 4x points on eligible restaurant purchases worldwide, takeout and delivery purchases in the U.S., and U.S. supermarket purchases, up to combined eligible purchases of $15,000 per year — then 2x points on purchases in these categories after that
- 2x points on all other eligible purchases
Your point earnings are much higher on eligible Marriott purchases. You can earn up to 18.5x points on these purchases:
- 6 points per $1 spent as a Bevy cardmember
- Up to 10 points per $1 spent as a Bonvoy member
- 2.5 points per $1 as a Gold Elite status holder, which is automatic and complimentary with your Bevy cardmembership
The best way to redeem your accumulated points is for award nights at participating Bonvoy properties.
Enter your destination and stay dates on Marriott’s booking tool and select the “use points/awards” option to see the number of points required per night at each hotel.
Per-night point requirements generally rise with the nightly cost in dollars, but it’s not a 1-to-1 correlation. So if you can afford to be flexible on location within a city or metro area and aren’t in love with a particular Marriott hotel brand, it pays to shop around for options that stretch your points farther. Look for the “Points Saver” label under locations that temporarily require fewer points than usual.
If you don’t have enough points for a full free night, or you don’t want to use that many right now, you can combine cash and points to reduce the cost of your stay. Cash + Points redemptions, as they’re known, start at $55 plus 3,500 points.
Complimentary Gold Elite Status
As long as your account remains open and in good standing, you qualify for complimentary Gold Elite status in the Bonvoy loyalty program. Gold Elite benefits include:
- Get 25% more points on eligible Marriott purchases, including incidentals — that’s 2.5 bonus points per $1 spent
- Check out as late as 2pm after eligible stays, subject to availability
- Upgrade to a better room upon arrival if one is available
- Get a welcome bonus of points at check-in — up to 500 points per stay, depending on the hotel brand
Free Night Award With Eligible Spend
Spend at least $15,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year and you’ll earn a free award night at participating Bonvoy properties. Generally, you can redeem your reward at any property that requires 50,000 or fewer points per night, so this is one situation where you don’t have to be especially economical with your redemptions.
Annual Elite Night Credits
As long as you remain a cardmember in good standing, you’ll earn 15 complimentary Elite Night Credits each year.
These credits accumulate on top of your Gold Elite status (worth 25 Elite Night Credits every year) and count toward qualification for Platinum Elite status (worth 50 Elite Night credits). So as a Bonvoy Bevy cardmember, you only need to stay another 10 nights at participating Bonvoy properties to qualify for Platinum Elite.
It’s worth the effort. Platinum Elite has a slew of benefits well beyond Gold Elite’s already-generous menu:
- 50% bonus points on eligible Bonvoy purchases, including bookings
- Super-late checkout (as late as 4pm) when available
- Your choice of an additional annual benefit, such as five bonus Elite Night Credits, five award nights in eligible suites, or 40% off the purchase of your favorite hotel brand’s box spring and mattress
- Full hotel lounge access with complimentary breakfast where available
- Dedicated 24/7 customer support for Platinum Elite members
Bonvoy Bonus Points With Each Stay
Every time you log a paid stay at a Marriott property, you’ll earn 1,000 bonus points, regardless of stay length. “Paid stay” means paid in dollars or local currency, so award nights aren’t eligible, unfortunately.
The Bonvoy Bevy Card has a $250 annual fee. There’s no foreign transaction fee.
This card requires good to excellent credit. Amex doesn’t disclose a minimum credit score required to qualify for this card, and it’s not even clear if one exists, but applicants with FICO scores above 740 have the best odds of qualifying.
Remember, your credit score isn’t the only factor that could affect your application. Your debt-to-income ratio is also critical — too high and you might not qualify, even if your credit is otherwise good.
Advantages of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy American Express Card
These are the top advantages of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy American Express Card. If you like what you see here, you’re a good fit for this card.
- Excellent Welcome Offer. Bonvoy Bevy has an excellent welcome offer — one of the best in the hotel rewards card category.
- Earn Up to 18.5x Points on Eligible Marriott Purchases. The 6x rate doesn’t do this card’s Marriott earning power justice. As a Bevy cardholder, Bonovy member, and Gold Elite status holder, you can earn up to 18.5 points per $1 spent on eligible Marriott bookings, meal bills, and incidental purchases, including spa passes and treatments.
- Strong Earn Rate on Restaurant and U.S. Supermarket Purchases. Bonvoy Bevy’s hidden superpower is its 4x earn rate on eligible restaurant and U.S. supermarket purchases (on up to $15,000 in combined annual purchases). No other hotel card matches this rate in those categories.
- Automatic Gold Elite Status. Gold Elite status is like compound interest. It won’t make you rich today, but its value really adds up over time. And as a Bevy cardmember, it’s yours automatically.
- Automatic Bonus Points With Every Paid Marriott Stay. Every time you pay U.S. dollars or local currency to stay at a participating Bonvoy property, you get 1,000 bonus points simply because you’re a Bevy cardmember. Another “it adds up” feature.
- Elite Night Credits Toward Higher Status Levels. You’ll earn 15 Elite Night Credits every year you remain a Bevy cardmember, getting you most of the way from Gold Elite status to Platinum Elite status. Platinum Elite benefits include double bonus points on Bonvoy purchases and super-late checkout, so it’s totally worth the effort to earn those 10 extra Elite Night Credits.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees. No matter where you go or how much you spend, you don’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees on your Bevy card.
- Thousands of Eligible Properties Across Dozens of Brands. The Marriott family is extensive. From the Ritz-Carlton to Residence Inn, you’ll have no trouble finding a place to call home when you’re away from home here.
Disadvantages of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy American Express Card
Bonvoy Bevy has a few clear disadvantages. Understand them before you apply.
- Hefty Annual Fee. The Bonvoy Bevy card has a $250 annual fee. That’s worth it if you’re a heavy spender who regularly stays at Marriott properties, but it’s steep otherwise.
- Annual Free Night Requires $15k Annual Spend. Unlike some co-branded hotel credit cards, Bevy’s annual free night reward comes with a minimum spend requirement. If you spend less than $15,000 in a calendar year, you won’t get it. This threshold is certainly doable, but it might mean designating your Bevy card as your primary credit card.
- No Airline or Airport Benefits. Bevy offers tons of value within the Marriott ecosystem, and its rewards program rewards some everyday purchases too. But it doesn’t have many perks for travelers otherwise. Bonvoy Brilliant, its Amex stablemate, offers complimentary airport lounge access (Priority Pass Select) and a credit up to $100 against eligible TSA PreCheck or Global Entry applications.
How the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy American Express Card Stacks Up
The Bonvoy Bevy card shares the American Express nameplate with another co-branded Marriott card: the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card.
Bonvoy Brilliant is much more generous and has a higher annual fee to match. It might be too much for you — or maybe Bonvoy Bevy isn’t enough. See how the two compare.
|Bonvoy Bevy||Bonvoy Brilliant|
|Welcome Offer||Earn 125,000 bonus Bonvoy points after spending at least $4,000 in eligible purchases during your first 3 months of cardmembership. Terms apply.||Earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months. Terms apply.|
|Marriott Earn Rate||6 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels||6 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels|
|Other Rewards Categories||4 points per $1 spent on restaurants worldwide and on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $15,000 combined annual spend); 2 points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases||3 points per $1 spent on restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines; 2 points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases|
|Loyalty Status||Complimentary Gold Elite status (terms apply)||Complimentary Silver Elite status (terms apply)|
|Elite Night Credits||15 per year||25 per year|
|Other Benefits||1,000 points bonus on every paid stay; free award night with $15,000 minimum annual spend||Complimentary airport lounge access through Priority Pass Select (enrollment required); $300 annual dining statement credit at restaurants worldwide (terms apply)|
Alternatives to Consider
Not sold on Bonvoy Bevy or Bonvoy Brilliant? Consider one of these alternatives, all of which offer generous benefits for regular hotel guests.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card has a couple notable drawbacks, like the minimum spend requirement to earn an award night each year and the lack of real benefits outside the Marriott hospitality ecosystem.
But, all in all, it’s a very good hotel credit card. And because Marriott is one of the biggest hospitality companies around — with around 7,000 properties in more than 100 countries worldwide — frequent travelers should have no problem getting their money’s worth out of it.