The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ™ American Express® map (Review) has a high annual fee, although for many people the perks should more than justify it, especially with the current welcome bonus.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Limited Time Bonus
Until May 12, 2021 the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card offers an improved welcome bonus:
- Earn 125,000 Bonvoy Reward Points after spending $ 5,000 in the first three months
- Earn $ 200 in credit for eligible purchases at US restaurants within the first six months
This is a phenomenal bonus between the value of Bonvoy Points and up to $ 200 in bank statement balances that should be easy to use.
Why the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant is worth it
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card has an annual fee of $ 450 (Prices & Fees). I can totally understand how some people on the surface might say, “Well, I don’t want to pay $ 450 for a card if I don’t have to.”
This is a card that I have, and in this post I wanted to explain how oh so much this card was worth it for me and why I think so is so for many others.
In no particular order, the benefits of this card have impacted me as follows:
$ 300 Marriott Travel Credit
Personally, I see that Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card The cost is actually $ 150 per year, not $ 450 per year. Why? Because the card offers a hassle-free Marriott annual travel credit of $ 300.
This couldn’t be easier to use and there are no hoops to jump through. Receive statement credit for the first $ 300 that you spend on the card at a Marriott family hotel each year of card membership:
- This applies to virtually all real estate in the US and abroad, as well as a wide variety of brands, from Four Points to Ritz-Carlton
- This applies to practically all hotel expenses, from room prices to food and drink purchases to wellness treatments
The $ 300 travel credit will be booked automatically
If you spend at least $ 300 a year at Marriott hotels, it should be worth plain and simple face. And I think, to turn it around, unless you are spending at least $ 300 a year in Marriott hotels (even on incidental expenses), this card is probably not for you.
You can use the credit towards food and drink purchases at Marriott hotels
Free night bonus worth up to 50,000 points
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card offers a free night reward for your account anniversary each year, valid in accommodation that costs up to 50,000 points per night. This has a significant advantage over the free night on some other Marriott credit cards, which are only valid for accommodations with a price of up to 35,000 points.
For example, I used this over Thanksgiving 2019 for a free night at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. We decided to celebrate the vacation there with the family (it came in handy for my mom, and it was her first time ever actually leaving the house after an operation a few months ago) and we had a great time.
Coincidentally, the hotel cost 50,000 points a night so I could use a certificate for one night if the price paid including tax had been over $ 350.
As for me, by this point I’ve already brought out the card, between the $ 300 travel credit and the night in a hotel that would have cost more than $ 350.
I redeemed my free night award at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota
Additional $ 300 credits in 2020
There are the published benefits of cards, and then there are the unpublished and promotional benefits of cards that come up from time to time. This is one area that Amex is particularly good at, thanks in large part to the Amex range of offerings.
In 2020 alone, I received over $ 300 in additional credits with this card.
At the beginning of 2020, my account was set up for an offer of $ 25 in credit for spending $ 25 or more at a Marriott hotel. That was easy and I took advantage of it.
Additionally, I received an offer of $ 100 credit to spend $ 1,000 on the card regardless of what the spending was on, and I took advantage of it.
After all, there were three offers on my account in 2020 alone to save money when I spend a certain amount at Marriott hotels:
- I got an offer back for $ 75 back in the spring when I was spending more than $ 250
- I got an offer back for $ 50 back that summer when I was spending more than $ 200
- I got an offer back for $ 75 back in the fall when I was spending more than $ 250
Between those five offers, that’s another $ 300 in my pocket. Not bad, right?
I received an additional $ 300 in statement credit with the card
Additional $ 240 credits in 2021
American Express introduced temporary card benefits in 2021 in view of the coronavirus pandemic. Each month of 2021, those with the Bonvoy Brilliant can receive monthly food credit of $ 20 worth up to $ 240.
Note that this only applies to those who register and you must have had the card prior to January 1, 2021 to use this (so new card members cannot use this). The point is to illustrate how valuable this card has proven to be for existing card members as well. So this isn’t just a card to consider for the bonus.
15 elite nights towards Bonvoy status
The Bonvoy Brilliant Card offers 15 elite nights a year towards status. There I have it Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card and the Marriott Bonvoy business cardI get a total of 30 elite nights a year for the status between the two cards.
For many people, this will make Platinum Elite status quite achievable as it requires 50 nights per year. So if you have these two cards, in the long run, you are 60% on the way to get there.
Having the card makes it easier for you to earn the status
The Bonvoy Brilliant perks that I didn’t take advantage of
In addition to the benefits listed above, there are a few other Bonvoy Brilliant Card benefits that others may benefit from but which I personally don’t:
- A Priority Pass Select membership that gives you access to 1,300+ lounges around the world. Personally, I get this benefit from multiple cards, so one incremental member doesn’t do me much
- Premium in-room Internet at Marriott hotels; Since I have a status with Marriott, I still get this benefit
- A Global Entry or TSA pre-check credit once every 4-4.5 years, which typically costs $ 85-100; That might be valuable, but I get that advantage on so many cards
The card gives you access to the airport lounge
Personally, I think so Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card be extremely worthwhile. While the card has an annual fee of $ 450, Marriott’s annual $ 300 travel credit is more or less worth its face value. So for me, the card only costs me ~ $ 150 a year.
Then there are any additional statement credits I received (beyond the annual statement credit of $ 300), including $ 300 in 2020 credits and a minimum of $ 240 in 2021 credits, plus a free night in a hotel that is up to Costs 50,000 points. and much more.
If you don’t already have the Bonvoy Brilliant and are eligible, I would highly recommend that you apply using the current listing as this is a card that can more than pay for itself.
If you have the Bonvoy Brilliant how was your experience?
The following links will take you to the prices and fees for the American Express cards mentioned. These include: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ™ American Express® Card (Rates and Fees).