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Monday, 29 October 2018

The AMEX Bonvoy is Still TOTALLY Worth Getting

While Marriott WAS giving 3x the points for SPG points earned in any way (credit card transactions with the SPG card or for paid stays at SPG properties), until August of last year, now they're only offering double the points under the new "Bonvoy" banner.  Be it that it's the only way to directly earn Bonvoy (previously known as SPG/Marriott points, whether it's for business or personal needs, it still comes with a 51K welcome points bonus after spending $3K in 3 months.
The good news is that tons of properties have gone down in category numbers for using points to stay there, while the number of points for a category have gone a little bit.  For example, the Residence Inn Amherst (NY) and the Residence Inn New Rochelle (just outside NYC) both used to be a category 5 (25K points per night) and are now a category 3 (which used to mean 15K, but now is 17.5K, still 7.5 points less per night!). I've found MANY hotels in southern Florida that used to be higher categories and have moved down as well.  With an AMEX Platinum Business card, you get Gold status that makes you eligible for upgrades, including to a 2 bedroom suite with 2 bathrooms, based on availability.
51K Welcome bonus plus the $3K of spending will score you 57K points.
With the 5th night of any stay free, be it booked on points or cash, a 5 night stay at a category 3 will cost you 68K points.  That is still 12K points short of a 5 night stay at a category 3, but if you refer someone to the card, you'll get 10K points and if it's your life partner, they are eligible for the 51K welcome bonus points as well.  57K x 2 plus the 10K point referral bonus will earn you 124K, enough for a week's stay as you can call Marriott after booking a stay and ask to have the points transferred over to your account to cover that stay.
It comes every year with a free certificate to for one night at any Marriott property, up to a 35K (around category 5).  That's a phenomenal certificate, and better than it used to be when the Chase Marriott Canada card would offer it.
While it does charge a forex fee when using it outside Canada, it does, in a sense, give you more points than even the US version of the card.  The US version gives 2 Bonvoy point per US dollar spent, while our card gives you the same for each CDN dollar spent, about 35% better.  This is noticeable if you use the card outside Canada.
If you need ideas on how to spend $3K on an AMEX card in 3 months, see below.
  • hardware stores
  • pharmacies
  • Metro & Sobeys
  • online purchases, that include Masterpass (A mastercard pay system that accepts AMEX)
  • car rentals
  • any type of travel expense
  • groceries through (click here) Yesodei Hatorah (to credit the Lindo family towards how mich they need to spend on grocery card would be nice but YOU get them.  Either you can pick them up from the school or I've heard that for a minimum purchase, they deliver it to your home for free).

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