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Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card Review

Last updated: August 26,2023
Originally Published: December 27,2021
by Jestan Mendame

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The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is one of Marriott’s four co-branded cards. While it may have a hefty price for an annual fee of $650, it’s packed with premium perks and benefits that many travelers and staycationers will enjoy(Rates & Fees).

Some of the major benefits that the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card has are the annual free night certificate at participating Marriott hotels, automatic elite status, and travel credits.

Many people think that the card is only for people with deep pockets but it’s actually not. There are many ways to compensate for the $650 annual fee as long as you know how to maximize the card’s benefits. Let’s find out below!

Read More: Latest Marriott Bonvoy Welcome Offers

Key Details

  • Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $6,000 within the first 6 months of card membership
  • Earn up to 6x points per dollar on Marriot purchases, 3x points per dollar on direct flights booked with airlines and worldwide restaurants, and 2x points per dollar on all other purchases
  • Automatic Marriott Platinum elite status 
  • One annual free-night award 
  • $300 Dining Statement Credit Each year, get up to $300 (up to $25 per month) in statement credits for eligible purchases made on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card at restaurants worldwide.
  • Get property credits of up to $100 for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book directly using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
  • Complimentary Priority Pass lounge access(enrollment required).
  • 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®
  • Application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck 
  • Elite night credits

Marriot Bonvoy Brilliant Bonus Offer

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card bonus offer is currently 95,000 points after spending $6,000 within the first 6 months of account opening. Marriott Bonvoy points are worth around 0.7 cents apiece so the bonus offer alone is worth $665 although it may vary depending on how you redeem your points.

How To Earn Marriott Bonvoy Points

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card has a solid earning structure because it covers three common categories that you’d normally spend on during trips.

  • 6x points per $1 on eligible purchases at participating hotels in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 3x points per $1 on direct airline flight bookings
  • 3x points per $1 at worldwide restaurants
  • 2x points per $1 on all other purchases

What’s great about this card is that it earns 2x points on all other purchases which is a pretty high rate compared to other premium travel cards like the Amex Platinum Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve which only earn 1x points on non-category spending.

Get Automatic Marriot Elite Status

Cardholders will automatically get Marriott Platinum status just by actively owning the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card. Platinum status is the 3rd highest tier among the 5 tiers in the Marriot Bonvoy program.

Here are some of the exclusive perks that you’ll get with Platinum status:

  • 50% bonus points when staying at participating hotels in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • Enhanced room upgrades such as better views, floor selection, room selection, special amenities and more (depends on availability)
  • 4 p.m. late checkout (depends on availability)
  • Welcome gift of points upon checking in

Read More: Is Hotel Or Airline Elite Status Worth It?

Use your annual night certificate from your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card and book a night at the Ritz-Carlton Bali hotel.
Use your annual night certificate and book a stay at the Ritz-Carlton Bali Hotel and experience these gorgeous at Bali, Indonesia.
(Image courtesy of Envato Elements)

Annual Free Night Award

The annual Marriott Bonvoy award night certificate is the Brilliant card’s main selling point. It’s given to cardholders every year after their card renewal month. The certificate is worth up to 50,000 points which can get you a stay at participating hotels like The Ritz-Carlton, Bali, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, and the JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach (certain hotels have resort fees).

Just make sure that you’re booking off-peak or standard prices for these hotels because the prices can shoot up to 60,000 points during peak season. You can check out the complete list of award points prices for Marriott participating hotels here.

Annual $300 Marriott Dining Statement Credit Each year

You will get $300 worth of Dining Statement Credit Each year whenever you use our card on eligible purchases at participating hotels in the Marriott Bonvoy program. Specifically, you can receive up to $25 per month in credits for spending at eligible restaurants worldwide.

Property Credit Of Up To $100

Booking a 2-night stay at any Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis hotel will give you a $100 property credit. Just makes sure to book directly with the hotel using the rate called “$100 Property Credit, Luxury Credit Card Rate.”

You can use this property credit towards spa services, dining at restaurants, and even purchases within the hotel.

Priority Pass Lounge Access

To get year-round access to Priority Pass lounges, you need to have a Prestige membership that costs $429 per year. However, the Marriott Bonvoy Priority Pass Select membership is available on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card and it gives you unlimited access to more than 1,200 participating airport lounges around the world.

You can even bring two guests with you who will also get unlimited access. Extra guests will costs $32 per visit and enrollment is required.

Priority Pass Vs Priority Pass Select Membership

A regular Priority Pass membership is available to all people who buy any of the three membership accounts which are:

  • Standard ($99 per year)) – 1 free visit, then $32 per succeeding visit; $32 per visit for every additional guest
  • Standard Plus ($249 per year) – 10 free visits, then $32 per succeeding visit; $32 per visit for every additional guest
  • Prestige ($429 per year) – Unlimited visits

Meanwhile, a Priority Pass Select membership is only offered to people who hold certain cards such as the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Amex Platinum Card, Amex Business Platinum Card, Hilton Honors Aspire Card, and Hilton Honors Surpass Card.

Travel And Purchase Protection

Just like most travel credit cards, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card also comes with basic travel and purchase protection benefits such as:

  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Lost baggage reimbursement
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Extended warranty coverage
  • 90-day return protection

You need to book round-trip flights and pay using the card to be eligible for these benefits.

Global Entry and TSA PreCheck Statement Credit

If you apply for Global Entry, you could get a $100 credit towards your statement, which is like a refund. Alternatively, if you go for TSA PreCheck, you could receive an $85 credit. With TSA PreCheck, you can get through security checks faster, while Global Entry can help you skip the lines at U.S. Customs in specific airports. Just keep in mind that you’ll only get one credit within four years for Global Entry or 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck, based on whichever application fee you pay first using your card.

Elite Night Credits

Elite night credits are status tier requirements that allow you to move from one elite tier to another. The Marriot Bonvoy Brilliant card gives you 15 elite night credits every card anniversary so you can boost your way to Platinum and Titanium status faster.

Remember that Platinum status requires 50 elite nights and Titanium status requires 75 elite nights so the 15 bonus elite night credits is a big help.

Marriot Transfer Partners

Marriott points can be transferred to more than 40 different airline partners although it’s not at a 1:1 ratio compared to Chase and Amex.

You typically get a 3:1 ratio plus 5,000 bonus miles for every 60,000 points transferred. For example, if you transfer 180,000 points to AeroMexico Club Premier, you will get 75,000 miles in total.

Here are some of the Marriott Bonvoy transfer partners:

  • Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus
  • Aer Lingus Aeroclub
  • Aeroflot Bonus
  • AeroMexico Club Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air China PhoenixMiles
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Air New Zealand
  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  • Alitalita MilleMiglia
  • ANA Mileage Club
  • American Airlines AAdvantage
  • Asiana Airlines Asiana Club
  • Avianca Airlines LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club
  • Copa Airlines ConnectMiles
  • Delta Airlines SkyMiles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club
  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
  • Iberia Plus
  • Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank
  • InterMiles
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • LATAM Airlines Multiplus Fidelidade
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • South African Airways Voyager
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
  • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer
  • Virgin Australia Velocity
  • Vueling Cub

Read More: Is The Chase New World Of Hyatt Business Credit Card For You?

Who Is The Card For?

Ideally, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is perfect for travelers who are frequently staying at Marriott hotels and can make use of Marriott-specific benefits such as the Platinum Elite status and $300 restaurant credit.

However, you can still get the card as long if your only purpose is to make use of the annual free night certificate. This perk alone is enough to compensate the annual fees when redeemed at 50,000-point award stays.

Alternative Cards

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card has two major competitors, one also from American Express which is the Amex Platinum Card, and the other one from Chase which is the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Platinum Card from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has a lower welcome offer of 80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 within 6 months of card membership. It also has similar benefits such as Gold Elite Status and Priority Pass access.

However, the card doesn’t offer a status boost towards Platinum Status and it also doesn’t come with an award night certificate. Plus, the Amex Platinum has a higher annual fee of $695.

If we base on perks alone, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is the better option but if we include redemption flexibility, then the Platinum card is better.

The Platinum card has multiple transfer partners where you can get a 1:1 ratio. This means more value for your points and more redemption options

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is an all-around travel credit card since it covers a lot of areas that consumers need the most.

If you’re looking for a more well-rounded premium travel credit card then the Chase Sapphire Reserve card could be a perfect option.

Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

While the card does charge a $550 annual fee, when you consider the up to $300 travel credit, Priority Pass membership, travel insurance protections, Lyft Pink membership, and DoorDash credits, it certainly makes for a compelling option.


The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is a premium card that’s perfect for Marriott loyalists, luxury travelers, and business owners. With solid earning categories, bonus offers, travel credits, and an annual night certificate, paying for the $650 annual fee wouldn’t be a big deal!

Advertiser Disclosure

  • Earn 75,000 Bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 2X miles on everyday spend.
  • Earn 10X miles on hotels and car rentals, and 5x on flights booked on Capital One Travel
  • Receive 10,000 bonus miles every account opening anniversary.
  • Get a $300 credit to use on Capital One Travel each year.
  • Unlimited Access to Capital One Lounges and Priority Pass lounges internationally.
  • $395 annual fee.
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