| Last updated on October 26th, 2023
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
- 20.99% to 29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Regular Purchase APR
- 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate Cash Advance APR
At a Glance
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card adds a sizable dose of luxury to your wallet with generous rewards and ample perks for your travels. If you feel as though you spend more time in a Marriott Bonvoy hotel room than anywhere else, this card can help you make the most of it with free stays, upgrades and points for days (and nights).
- Best Benefits
- Rates & Fees
- Why Should You Apply?
- Earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you stay 6 eligible paid nights at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy through 1/31/24. Offer ends 8/9/2023.
- $300 Brilliant Dining Credit: Each Card renewal year, get up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
- With Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, you can receive room upgrades, including enhanced views or suites, when available at select properties and booked with a Qualifying Rate.
- Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® program. 3 points at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
- Marriott Brilliant Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
- Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases made on their Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, Card Members are eligible to select an Earned Choice Award benefit. You can only earn one Earned Choice Award per calendar year. See https://www.choice-benefit.marriott.com/brilliant for Award options.
- $100 Luxury Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85 through a TSA PreCheck official enrollment provider) and pay the application fee with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy® member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
- Enroll in Priority Pass™ Select, which offers unlimited access to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
- You can be reimbursed for your costs to repair or replace your damaged or Stolen cell phone for a maximum of $800 per claim with a limit of 2 approved claims per 12-month period when your cell phone line is listed on a wireless bill and the prior month's wireless bill was paid by an Eligible Card Account. A $50 deductible will apply to each approved claim. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company. Additional terms and conditions apply.
- $650 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- Regular Purchase APR: 20.99% to 29.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
- Penalty APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Annual Fee: $650
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
- Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
- You book the majority of your hotel stays at Marriott Bonvoy properties
- You travel frequently for work or pleasure and want to rack up more points on your Marriott Bonvoy loyalty membership
- You often incur incidental charges such as room service or spa service during your hotel stays
- You're looking for a luxury travel card with massive rewards for every purchase and no foreign transaction fees
In-Depth Review: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
The flagship entry in the Marriott Bonvoy suite of credit cards, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card puts a priority on points. No other Bonvoy card can quite compare to the level of rewards you can achieve, not to mention the complimentary Gold Elite status, statement credits and other benefits it brings. If you’re ready to go Bonvoy-big or go home, this could be the rewards card you’ve been waiting for.
At first glance, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant credit card doesn’t look much different than its sister card, the Bonvoy Boundless™. Both earn six points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, and double points on everyday purchases.
The distinction is that the Brilliant also earns three points for each dollar spent at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines. This extra boost makes it even easier to rack up rewards, since you can earn for your flights as well as your hotel stays. If you really want to maximize your earning potential, you’ll want to book with Marriott Bonvoy often.
Another way of netting points quickly is through the card’s welcome offer. A large number of bonus Bonvoy Points are yours once you spend a minimum of $6,000 within your first six months as a cardmember. That puts you at about $1,000 per month, which isn’t unreasonable considering that the welcome offer amount can net you up to 7 free nights at qualifying hotels in the off season.
Naturally, an abundance of bonuses comes at a price, and with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® it’s charged as a $650 annual fee. However, this isn’t a surprising figure among luxury hotel credit cards, and the points alone already offset a nice chunk of it.
Luxury Travel Comparison
Credit cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant are ideal for travelers that enjoy the finer things in life. The card provides exceptional benefits for the frequent traveler, but how does it hold up against two of the most popular luxury card options?
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant®
The Platinum Card®
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
|Rewards||Earn 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy®, 3 points on US dining and flights booked with airlines, and 2 points on all other purchases||Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Earn 1X on all other purchases||Earn 5X on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 10X on hotels and car rentals through Ultimate Rewards, 10X on Chase Dining, 3X on all other travel purchases, 3X on dining, and 1X on all other purchases|
|Lounge access||Priority Pass Select||Global Lounge Collection, Priority Pass Select||Priority Pass Select|
|Credits||CLEAR, TSA, Marriott property credit, free night||Digital entertainment, airline, hotel, Saks Fifth Avenue, Uber, Walmart+, CLEAR, Equinox, TSA||Annual travel, CLEAR, TSA, Lyft, DoorDash, GoPuff, Instacart|
|Annual fee||$450 annual fee||$695||$550|
As with the other Marriott Bonvoy cards, the Bonvoy Brilliant you can redeem your points in a large variety of ways, including for additional award night stays. How far your points go depends on the time of year and the hotel you select, as the rewards program labels eligible hotels with varying values.
You can use your points for free nights at either standard or discounted rates, as available, or pay for a portion of the room and use your points for a discount. During off season, some standard rooms are available for as few as 5,000 points a night. If that’s not enough, anytime you book four nights, you receive a complimentary 5th night to extend your rewards even further.
Redeeming for free nights at your favorite Marriott Bonvoy locations is usually considered the best choice for value. However, you can also redeem for:
- Airline tickets
- Gift cards from top retailers
- Tickets to local events
- Upgrades to your hotel stay, including spa access and room service
- Donations to your favorite nonprofit
Marriott Bonvoy Bold®
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless®
Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant®
|Rewards||Earn 3X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®, 2X points on eligible travel purchases and 1X points on all other purchases||Earn 6X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®, 3X points on gas, groceries, and dining (up to $6,000/year), and 2X points on all other purchases||Earn 6X at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, 4X at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (up to $15,000 in combined purchases per calendar year, then 2X points), and 2X points on all other eligible purchases||Earn 6X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®, 3X points on U.S. dining and flights booked with airlines, and 2X points on all other purchases|
|Elite status||Silver Elite||Silver Elite||Gold Elite||Gold Elite|
|Payment Network||Visa||Visa||American Express||American Express|
VIP Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® Credit Card Benefits
On top of your ability to earn free nights through point accumulation, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card also grants a Free Night Award every year after your cardmember anniversary. This benefit can be cashed in for a hotel room valued at up to 35,000 points. Unfortunately, the award expires at the end of the year so you can’t save up your free nights for a longer stay, though you can combine it with nights you redeemed from points.
If you’re looking for extra perks during your stay, this card delivers in a big way. When you become a cardholder, you gain complimentary Gold Elite status and receive benefits like late checkout and 25% additional points on rooms. If you keep your card on speed dial and manage to spend $75,000 in a calendar year, your status will be bumped up to Platinum Elite. This level includes:
- 50% more points when you book Marriott Bonvoy hotel rooms
- A welcome gift of your choice, such as a breakfast, points or other amenity
- Enhanced room upgrades, such as Select Suites
- An annual gift of choice, which includes gifting a family member or friend with Silver Elite status
On the other hand, you don’t really need to meet this massive spending requirement if you take advantage of your 15 Elite Night credits, which this card automatically provides as well. When combined with your complimentary Gold Elite status, you’re only 10 nights away from the 50-night requirement to reach Platinum. The cost of 10 nights is well under $75,000, so this way you can avoid breaking the bank to make use of this perk.
As the cherry on top of your VIP rewards, the Bonvoy Brilliant brings with it several opportunities for statement credits. When you pay with your card, you’re eligible for:
- An annual $300 statement credit for eligible hotel incidentals
- An annual $100 credit to cover charges when you stay at Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis properties
- A $100 credit to enroll in Global Entry every four years, or $85 to enroll in TSA Pre✓® every 4.5 years
Marriott Bonvoy Ratings
Should You Apply for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card?
As with most luxury credit cards, the Brilliant’s annual fee is the biggest downside is the $450 annual fee. However, making use of as many of the card’s features as possible can quickly offset it. For instance, a maximized $300 incidental statement credit plus the potential value of the anniversary Free Night Award could easily surpass $450, thereby ensuring that the card pays for itself.
Nonetheless, if you aren’t ready for such a hefty card, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ credit card from Chase is a great option with comparable rewards. For only a $95 fee you earn similar points, the 15 Elite Night credits, and the Free Night Award, along with the same ability to redeem for additional free stays. The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express® Card is another option if you travel mostly on business, with many of the same benefits at a $125 fee.
Which card is right for you depends on just how frequently you pay Marriott Bonvoy hotels a visit. If your lifestyle makes sense for the Bonvoy Brilliant, you’ll have no trouble putting the card – and all of its VIP perks – to good use.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.
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