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Update: As announced 5/1, the Amex cards are offering this bonus at US Supermarkets (not international) and with a higher cap (see this post for a lot more on Amex updates); no word on whether or not Chase works at foreign grocery stores. Chase is also offering grocery-related bonuses on many more cards (see this post for the full list).
Today it has been announced that all US Marriott Bonvoy credit cards (except the Amex business card) will earn 6x on groceries from May 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020. Interestingly, Marriott tells us that this applies to all US Marriott Bonvoy cards, even those no longer available apart from the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express card. Earlier this afternoon, Greg published a post pegging the current value of Marriott points at 0.7c each (See: What are Marriott points worth?). If you agree with his valuation, this is like 4.2% back on grocery spend, which can be a solid deal depending on what other options you have in your wallet.
I was particularly excited to hear that this offer is valid even for the credit cards that are no longer available. Greg received the email from Chase regarding his Ritz card confirming that it will earn 6x on groceries with no registration required. That’s good news since it confirms what we were told about the fact that even cards no longer available to new applicants are eligible for this offer automatically. Official word from Marriott is as follows:
With exception of the currently avaiable AMEX business card, the 6X applies to all cards including those currently not marketed or available for acquisition, or what we back book.
My thoughts had first turned to ways to spend toward elite status at the grocery store when we received this news. For example, with the Ritz-Carlton credit card, one can earn Marriott Platinum status with $75K spend in a calendar year. The value proposition of that aside for a moment, earning 6x on the way there sounded potentially interesting. Potentially better yet, I thought about my old Chase Marriott Bonvoy credit card — the one that awards an annual 25K free night certificate and only earns 1 point per dollar spent. That card earns 1 elite night for every 3K spent. I’ve argued in the past that it probably isn’t worth spending $3K on that card given the fact that it only earns 1x — but if you’re able to both earn 6x and one elite night on every $3K spent, it could make a lot more sense (one elite night plus 18K points for $3K spend sounds much better).
Unfortunately, the email from Chase about this promotion indicates that it will be limited to $5K in spend. I assume that total is per Chase Marriott credit card, so if you have multiple Chase Marriott cards I assume you could spend $5K on each and earn up to 30K points per card this way.
Interestingly, this is not limited to the Chase cards, but also includes the Amex cards apart from the currently-available Amex Marriott business credit card. In other words, both the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant and the no-longer-available Marriott Bonvoy American Express card (the old SPG card) will also earn 6x on groceries from May 1st to July 31, 2020.
No word yet on whether there is a cap on the Amex side or how much it is.
Update: This offer is capped at $7500 spend on the Amex Marriott Bonvoy cards. See this post for more information.
If this is capped on all cards, I am less excited than I otherwise would be. However, I wouldn’t mind beefing up my Marriott Bonvoy stash a bit with this offer. While I wouldn’t take 6x Marriott instead of 4x Membership Rewards via the American Express Gold Card (which earns 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25K spend per year, then 1x), I intend to max that out this year anyway, so I’ll be happy to take a side of 6x Marriott points through the end of July. At that point, I’ll be just about ready to shift grocery spend to the Citi Premier for 3x. Keep in mind also that Marriott allows you to combine points with another member, moving up to 100K points per year. This means that my wife could also use her Marriott Premier card and we could later combine points.
It’s great to see issuers continue to be nimble in reacting to economic changes. That said, since this applies to both Chase and Amex cards and we at Frequent Miler got this news from Marriott, I’m tempted to think that this was a Marriott initiative to keep people spending on these cards and earning points that ultimately lead to some revenue for their program. It’s a smart play that also keeps them near the top of mind when travel becomes reasonable again.
My love-hate relationship with Marriott will certainly continue for the time being. While I’ve been frustrated with plenty of things, I generally find a lot of opportunities to redeem points north of 1c each, so I’ll be happy to spend towards this one despite my disappointment in the cap.
[…] 6x groceries on almost all US Marriott Bonvoy credit cards for a limited time (Expires 7/31/20) […]
[…] Marriott Bonvoy cards (6x through the end up July up to $5K in spend on Chase cards or up to $7.5K in spend on Amex cards) […]
[…] 6x groceries on almost all US Marriott Bonvoy credit cards for a limited time. […]
[…] 6x groceries on almost all US Marriott Bonvoy credit cards for a limited time […]
Is the 6x on grocery stores, only limited to US grocery stores?
The Amex cards is US Supermarkets only (official word on that came out today) with a $7500 cap. The Chase cards don’t specify. Since most Chase bonus categories are worldwide, I assume they will trigger for international groceries stores assuming those stores normally trigger grocery category bonuses (like on the Freedom card this quarter).
what about the discontinued Ritz C card?
See the second and third paragraphs of the post as well as the quote between them.
[…] cards and Chase Ultimate Rewards cards and is automatic (no registration / activation required). We reported yesterday that the Marriott Bonvoy cards were adding groceries as a bonus category today and just this morning Amex announced a huge overhaul focusing on […]
[…] night, the news broke about Bonvoy credit cards getting a bonus on groceries. This morning, Amex announced a major overhaul bonusing US Supermarkets on many cards and making […]
How do Shipt orders code for AmEx? Elderly parents are using Shipt for all grocery and household needs but just started doing that and are not internet savvy. Thank you!
According to the Doctor of Credit Payments workshop, yes — not not the Shipt (delivery?) fee or tip.
No spending on cards ever gets me excited as it is so small compared to sign up bonuses at 10-50x.
Which card bonuses are you spending towards right now and which cards do you intend to open that you’ll be spending on in July?
Just finished up Barclays AA and Amex Green, and will be applying for Citi AA in a few days. I definitely have spending outside of the bonuses, I’m just saying that by focusing on the bonuses I don’t necessarily maximize every other category fully but I try to within reason / effort required.
I don’t know if this is a distinction without a difference, but Chase calls the bonus category grocery stores and AMEX calls it supermarkets. We are using an on-line service that boxes up fruits and vegetables and ships to us (no physical store), and we just earned 5x on Chase Freedom Unlimited. Will be trying with other grocery delivery services in the future on Chase, but wondering if anyone knows whether AMEX will only provide the bonus if it is a real supermarket.
I used the word grocery store here because that’s the word that Marriott Bonvoy’s corporate communications team used when they told us — they specifically said that this applies to grocery stores for Marriott Bonvoy cards from both Amex and Chase. As to how things will code, I can not say for sure. But I thought it was interesting that Amex hadn’t insisted upon wording it as “US Supermarkets” (or at least not insisted forcefully enough for the communications team to put it that way – guess maybe we’ll find out tomorrow).
I don’t know how your service will code, but I’ll say this: I was surprised recently that an order from BJ’s Wholesale (warehouse club) that was placed through Instacart did indeed trigger the 4x category bonus on the Amex Gold card since Instacart is coded as US Supermarket with Amex. I think it’ll just depend on how your grocery delivery service is coded. Not sure whether or not it’ll count. If you have an Amex card that bonuses US Supermarkets, I’d place an order with your service (maybe they can even run a small charge for you?) and wait a few days. You can look at the recent activity like 3 or 5 days later in your Amex online account to see how it’s coding.
Anybody know whether the Lowe’s grocery stores code as groceries for this (or any other groceries bonus)?
I’m not positive, but I would expect they do. It’s clearly a grocery store. (for anyone unfamiliar, he’s not talking about the hardware store, it’s a grocery store chain)
will GCs count for chase cards? I know AMEx doesnt.
All issuers have some line in their terms saying that you may not earn points for buying cash equivalents, but apart from the fact that Amex stopped awarding points earned on GC spend at Simon Mall, I’m not aware of any issuer (including Amex) that hasn’t awarded points on GC purchases day to day.
I’ve got the old SPG Amex card which was converted to the Mariott Bonvoy. No email from them. And I see no mention of this when I log in to either Amex or Mariott. So where should I expect to see news of this benefit that validates I actually have it?
This news came directly to us from Marriott Bonvoy’s corporate communications (before emails were sent out to cardholders). So far I think it’s only Chase that has notified cardholders (and even then they must not be finished sending because I didn’t get an email on my Chase Marriott cards yet). I think this wasn’t originally meant to be live info until tomorrow, so I expect Amex probably wasn’t planning any official info until tomorrow. I don’t doubt Marriott on this, I’m sure it’ll apply on your old SPG card starting tomorrow.
Okiedokes, will look for something in the morning. Thanks for the reply.
I know Walmart and Target do NOT credit as a grocery/supermarket for AMEX bonus category purposes. However, is it possible to earn 6X (Or 4X w/ Amex Gold, etc) w/ an Amex Bonvoy card at Neighborhood Walmart’s?
Yes, in my experience Neighborhood Walmarts code as grocery stores for Amex.
The issue is that grocery is a crowded category this quarter
1) Priority 1 is Chase Freedom for $1,500 – 5x UR points
2) Amex Gold is great for groceries – 4x MR, 5 cents cash back via Schwab
3) Now Marriott is offering 6x Bonvoy points – however, it should really last all year
For those that don’t do MS, it is hard to take advantage of all of these grocery bonuses. Other ideas should include big box stores and drug stores, online shopping in general, mobile wallet, utilities, Paypal/Amazon, etc.
even without doing MS, you can buy visa/master giftcards using 5x UR chase Freedom (everyone should have this no annual fee card, no excuse) and use that to buy something else. 5x UR valued at conservative 1.5c will give you 7.5% cashback. Buy a $500 visa card with $6.95 fee, you will still earn $38 cashback on it ($506.95 x 7.5%), deducting $6.95 fee, your net cashback comes out to be about 6.2% on everyday purchases. If you value your UR points higher than 1.5c per point then this is no brainier. No one has any excuse not having this no annual fee card and not able to maximize this quarter’s category.
Totally agree. I should give them credit for trying, but really prefer your categories (especially utilities). Would also add insurance or maybe medical bills.
Does the 6X points also apply to grocery stores internationally or is this promo limited to US-based grocery stores?
Just saw the update that it only applies to US supermarkets. Too bad. Hopefully Chase’s promo is so restrictive.
*Hopefully Chase’s promo is NOT so restrictive.