- If you frequently stay at Marriott hotels, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is a great opportunity to make your stays more luxurious and accelerate your rewards.
- It earns 6 points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels, 3 points per dollar spent on airline tickets and at US restaurants, and 2 point per dollar spent everywhere else.
- You’ll also earn a free night certificate every year after your account anniversary and an annual $US300 credit toward hotel purchases.
- The Bonvoy Brilliant card also provides some helpful protections, including baggage insurance, rental car protection, and a host of purchase protections.
- Read more personal finance coverage.
If Marriott is your hotel brand of choice and you know you’ll be spending at least $US300 on Marriott stays each year, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex could improve your stays. Not only do you get a $US300 annual credit toward hotel purchases including room rates, but you also get complimentary Marriott Gold status, 6x points on Marriott stays, and a slew of travel and purchase protections.
Keep reading to see if this card is right for you.
Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.
When you’re working to earn credit card rewards, it’s important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically,
treat your credit card like a debit card
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card details
Annual fee: $US450
Welcome bonus: 75,000 points when you spend $US3,000 on purchases in the first three months
Points earning: 6 points per dollar spent at participating Marriott properties; 3 points per dollar spent at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines; 2 points everywhere else
Foreign transaction fee: None
Welcome bonus and points earning
You’ll earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points when you use the card to make $US3,000 in purchases during the first three months of cardmembership.
In addition, you’ll earn 6 points per dollar spent on purchases at participating Marriott hotels; 3 points per dollar spent at US restaurants and on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline; and 2 points per dollar spent everywhere else.
Annual fee and other charges
The Bonvoy Brilliant card has a $US450 annual fee. While that may seem high, it’s easy to get a ton of value out of the card for even occasional Marriott guests. It also has no foreign transaction fees, so using this card is a great way to avoid extra charges when travelling abroad.
Free nights and credits at Marriott hotels
Every year after your account anniversary, you’ll receive a free night award valid at properties charging up to 50,000 points per night. Depending on when you travel, that could get you a night at up to a Category 7 property (Marriott’s second-highest tier of hotels).
You’ll also receive a $US300 credit every year valid for eligible purchases made directly at Marriott hotels, including room rates and incidentals. This benefit starts as soon as you open the card, so as long as you spend at least $US300 per year at Marriott hotels, this alone offsets most of the card’s annual fee.
Holding the Bonvoy Brilliant card also gives you access to an exclusive rate for stays of two nights or more at The Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis hotels and resorts, which includes a $US100 credit toward room service, spa treatments, and other qualifying purchases.
Redeeming your Marriott Bonvoy points
You can redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points and free night rewards at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels in cities around the world. Award nights start as low as 4,000 points per night, and if you use your points to book a night of 5 nights or more, you’ll get the least expensive night for free. This discount is automatically calculated when you search for a stay of 5 or more nights on marriott.com.
Additionally, Marriott Bonvoy allows you to transform your points into frequent flyer miles with over 40 partner airlines – more than any other loyalty program. You’ll receive 1,000 airline miles for every 3,000 miles transferred, with a 5,000 mile bonus for every 60,000 points (so 60,000 points becomes 25,000 airline miles). Transfers to United Airlines MileagePlus get an extra 10% bonus.
Marriott Bonvoy elite status
As long as you are a Bonvoy Brilliant cardholder, you’ll receive automatic Gold elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program, which includes the following benefits:
- 25% bonus points on stays at Marriott properties
- Enhanced room upgrades
- A welcome gift of 250 or 500 bonus points at check-in
- Late checkout, subject to availability
- Complimentary enhanced in-room internet access
The card also helps you climb toward higher levels of elite status, providing 15 qualifying nights every year just for having the card. You can also obtain complimentary Platinum elite status by spending $US75,000 on the card in a calendar year.
Other travel benefits
Priority Pass Select
Sign up for complimentary access to Priority Pass’ network of over 1,200 airport lounges in more than 120 countries.
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck enrollment credit
The primary cardmember and each authorised user receives a credit toward enrollment in Global Entry ($US100) or TSA PreCheck ($US85), making your travel experience easier. This credit can be used once every five years (exact dates vary by program) so as long as you have the card you’ll never have to pay to maintain your membership in these trusted traveller programs.
Car rental loss and damage insurance
When you use your Bonvoy Brilliant card to reserve and pay for a car rental, you may be covered against loss or damage of the vehicle. This coverage is secondary, and does not provide liability insurance.
Baggage Insurance Plan
When you purchase a ticket on an airline or other common carrier with your Bonvoy Brilliant card, you’ll be covered for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen baggage up to $US3,000 per trip.
Travel accident insurance
If the unthinkable happens to you or a loved one on a trip you booked with your Bonvoy Brilliant card, you’ll be eligible for up to $US500,000 in death and dismemberment insurance for you and each of your additional cardmembers, the spouse or domestic partner of each cardholder, and any of their children under age 23.
The Bonvoy Brilliant card offers a host of valuable benefits for purchases made with your card. If you try to return an item purchased with the card within 90 days of purchase and the merchant won’t accept it, American Express provides coverage of up to $US300 per purchase and $US1000 per year.
Your purchases are also covered against accidental damage or theft for 120 days, up to $US10,000 per claim and up to $US50,000 per account. And if you buy something with a manufacturer’s warranty of less than 5 years, American Express will double it (up to 2 additional years), with the same dollar limits.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card can be a great deal for frequent Marriott guests. The $US450 annual fee may seem steep at first, but it’s easily offset by the $US300 annual credit and the annual free night award, before even considering the value of the elite status and other benefits received from the card.