Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex review: A premium credit card that offers plenty of value for Marriott loyalists

�Summary List PlacementMarriott Bonvoy Brilliantâ„¢ American
Express® CardTable of Contents: Masthead StickyReview: Is the
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant the best card for you?

If you frequently stay at Marriott hotels, the Marriott Bonvoy
Brilliant Card is a great option for making your stays more
luxurious and accelerating your points earning toward the next
award stay.

It has a $450 annual fee (See Rates), which means it’s geared
toward Marriott Bonvoy loyalists who stay at the chain’s properties
several times a year. If that describes you, it’s not hard to get
significant value from this card.

You’ll earn 6 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases 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, which you can redeem at Marriott Bonvoy
properties that cost up to 50,000 points per night. Especially if
you use this free night at an expensive Marriott hotel, you can get
some great value from this benefit alone.

The card also offers an annual credit of up to $300 toward
Marriott Bonvoy hotels. It applies to room rates as well as on-site
purchases like room service or spa treatments. If you max out this
annual credit, you’re effectively reducing the card’s annual fee to
$150.

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card also provides some helpful
protections, including baggage insurance, rental car protection,
and a host of purchase protections.

Until January 13, the card is offering its best-ever welcome
bonus: 100,000 Marriott points after you spend $5,000 in the first
three months, plus another 25,000 points after your first
cardmember anniversary. Plus, you’ll get a year of Platinum elite
Marriott status (an upgrade from the Gold status that comes with
this card), starting in February, if you apply by January 13. This
makes the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card an especially great option
right now.

Bottom line: If Marriott is your hotel brand of choice and you know
you’ll be spending at least $300 on Marriott stays each year, the
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card can help you save money — and
improve your stay, thanks to Marriott Gold status and lots of
opportunities to earn additional points. Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant
versus other Marriott credit cards

  Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card Marriott Bonvoy Boundlessâ„¢ Credit Card Marriott Bonvoy Boldâ„¢ Credit Card
Annual fee $450 $95 $0
Earning rewards

6x points on eligible purchses at participating Marriott Bonvoy
hotels

3x points at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with
airlines

2x points on all other purchases

6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels

2x points on all other purchases

3x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels

2x points on other travel purchases

1 point per dollar on everything else

Welcome bonus Earn up to 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Earn 100,000 bonus
points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your
first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after
your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires
1/13/2021.
Earn 5 free nights** after your spend $5K in the first 3
months
Earn 30K points after you spend $1K in the first 3 months
Marriott perks

$300 annual Marriott Bonvoy statement credit

Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status for one year
(February 1, 2021-January 31, 2022). Offer ends 1/13/21

Annual free night award*

15 elite night credits each calendar year

Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status

Annual free night award***

15 elite night credits each calendar year

15 elite night credits each calendar year
  Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card Marriott Bonvoy Boundlessâ„¢ Credit Card Marriott Bonvoy Boundlessâ„¢ Credit Card

*the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card offers an annual free night
award each year after your account anniversary for participating
Marriott Bonvoy properties that cost up to 50,000 points

**each free night from the the Marriott Bonvoy Boundlessâ„¢
Credit Card welcome bonus can be redeemed at participating Marriott
Bonvoy properties that cost up to 50,000 points

***the Marriott Bonvoy Boundlessâ„¢ Credit Card offers an annual
free night award each year after your account anniversary for
participating Marriott Bonvoy properties that cost up to 35,000
points

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant versus other premium credit cards

  Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card The Platinum Card® from American Express
Annual fee $450 $450 $550
Earning rewards

6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels

3x points at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with
airlines

2x points on all other purchases

14x points at Hilton hotels

7x points on flights booked with the airline, car rentals booked
with select rental companies, and at US restaurants

3x points on all other purchases

5x points on flights purchased from airlines or Amex
Travel**

5x points on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel 

1 point per dollar on all other purchases

Welcome bonus Earn up to 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Earn 100,000 bonus
points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your
first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after
your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires
1/13/2021.
150,000 points after you spend at least $4,000 in your first 3
months of account opening
60,000 points after your spend at least $5,000 in your first 3
months of account opening
Hotel perks

$300 annual Marriott Bonvoy statement credit

Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status

Annual free night award*

15 elite night credits each calendar year

$250 annual Hilton resort statement credit

Automatic Hilton Honors Diamond elite status 

Annual weekend night award 

 

Complimentary Gold elite status with Hilton Honors and Marriott
Bonvoy

Access to the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program

  Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card Hilton Honors Aspire Card Platinum Card

*the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card offers an annual free night
award each year after your account anniversary for participating
Marriott Bonvoy properties that cost up to 50,000 points

**starting January 1, 2021, the Platinum Card earns 5x points on
up to $500,000 spent on eligible flights per year

Using 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 five
nights or more, you’ll get the least expensive night for free. This
discount is automatically calculated when you search for a stay of
five 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.

You’re best off using your points to book Marriott stays,
though, since you don’t have to worry about odd transfer ratios,
and you can score some real deals — especially when you can lock
in off-peak travel dates at high-end hotels that would cost
hundreds of dollars a night if you paid in cash.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card features Welcome bonus

You can currently earn 100,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points when
you use the card to make $5,000 in purchases during the first three
months of cardmembership. Once you hit your first cardmember
anniversary, you’ll get another 25,000 points, for a total of
125,000.

 

There’s a second element to the welcome bonus, and it involves
elite status. New cardholders who apply by January 13 can get an
upgrade to Platinum status in the Marriott Bonvoy program, starting
in February 2021 and lasting for a year. Then, you’ll be downgraded
back to the card’s standard complimentary Gold status. 

Platinum Marriott status gets you a handful of useful perks,
including late checkout, enhanced Wi-Fi, and 50% more points on
paid Marriott stays.

This welcome offer is only available until January 13, and it’s
the highest offer we’ve ever seen on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant
Card — so don’t wait to apply if you’re interested in this
card.

Complimentary Gold elite status with Marriott Bonvoy

As long as you have theMarriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, 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 $75,000 on the card in a calendar year.

And don’t forget: If you apply for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant
Card by January 13, you can get a year of Platinum elite status,
starting in February.

Other Marriott benefits

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is all about perks that can
improve your Marriott stays, both by helping you save money and by
adding benefits through elite status.

  • Annual free night award: Every year after your
    account anniversary, you’ll receive a free night award valid at
    Marriott Bonvoy 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).
  • Annual $300 statement credit: You’ll also
    receive a $300 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 $300 per year at Marriott hotels, this alone offsets
    most of the card’s annual fee.
  • $100 Marriott Bonvoy property credit: Holding
    the Marriott 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 $100 credit
    toward room service, spa treatments, and other qualifying
    purchases.
  • 15 elite night credits each calendar year: As
    mentioned above, in addition to offering complimentary Gold elite
    status in the Marriott Bonvoy program, the Marriott Bonvoy
    Brilliant Card comes with 15 night credits each year. If you’re
    working toward Platinum elite status, which requires 50 night
    credits, these credits will get you 15 nights closer. 

Travel benefits

While most of the perks on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card
are for Marriott stays, there are a handful of benefits that can
come in handy for other aspects of your trips.

  • Priority Pass membership: The card includes a

    complimentary membership to the Priority Pass network of airport
    lounges
    , with more than 1,200 locations around the world.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck enrollment credit:
    The primary cardmember and each authorized user receives a
    credit toward enrollment in Global Entry
    ($100) or TSA PreCheck
    ($85), 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 traveler programs.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: When you
    use your Marriott 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 Marriott
    Bonvoy Brilliant Card, you’ll be covered for eligible lost,
    damaged, or stolen baggage up to $3,000 per trip.
  • Travel accident insurance: If the unthinkable
    happens to you or a loved one on a trip you booked with your
    Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, you’ll be eligible for up to
    $500,000 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.
  • Purchase protection: 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 $300 per purchase and $1000 per year. Your purchases are also
    covered against accidental damage or theft for 120 days, up to
    $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 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.

All of these benefits can provide some extra peace of mind when
you’re traveling or making a big purchase, but the Marriott Bonvoy
Brilliant Card can’t compete with cards like the Chase Sapphire
Reserve® when it comes to
trip protection benefits
. The Sapphire Reserve offers trip
cancellation and trip delay coverage, among other comprehensive
perks. 

 

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® CardMarriott Bonvoy
Brilliant costs and fees

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card has a $450 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 traveling abroad.

Beyond that, you can avoid most other fees on the Marriott
Bonvoy Brilliant Card by paying your balance in full each month so
you don’t accrue any interest. If you do carry a balance, you’re
looking at a 15.74% to 24.74% variable APR on purchases.(See Rates)
That adds up quickly, so consider a
balance transfer credit card
or a
card with an intro APR offer
if you need some time to pay off
your credit card balance.

Other Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card fees include:

  • Cash advances: 5% of the amount of each cash
    advance, with a minimum charge of $10 (See Rates)
  • Cash advance APR: 25.24% (See Rates)
  • Late payment fee: Up to $40 (See Rates)
  • Returned payment fee: Up to $40 (See
    Rates)
  • Penalty APR for late payments and payments returned by
    your bank:
    29.24% (See Rates)
  • Related Content Module: More Credit Card Coverage


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Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex review: A premium credit card
that offers plenty of value for Marriott loyalists