Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant vs Bonvoy Boundless: Which is Best?

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The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card and Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card are both good options if you want benefits at Marriott Hotels & Resorts.

The Bonvoy Brilliant is Marriott’s top-tier credit card offering automatic Platinum Elite status, an annual free night up to 85,000 points, and up to $25 in statement credits each month when you use your card at eligible restaurants worldwide.

The Bonvoy Boundless is a mid-tier Marriott card offering a free anniversary night certificate up to 35,000 points, Marriott Silver elite status, and 6x points at Marriott Hotels & Resorts.

This article will compare each card based on several factors to help you make an informed decision on which card is the best to add to your wallet.

Overview: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant vs Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
  • bonus_miles_full
  • 6X Points at Marriott Hotels & Resorts
  • Up to a $300 Statement Credit for Eligible Purchases at Restaurants Worldwide Each Year ($25 Per Month)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite Status
  • 25 Elite Night Credits Each Year
  • Free Anniversary Night Award (Up to 85,000 Points)
  • Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access
  • $650 Annual Fee and No Foreign Transaction Fees (Rates and Fees)
Learn More Our Review
American Express is a Deals Points advertiser. Terms Apply; Enrollment is Required for Some Benefits

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
  • Earn 5 Free Night Awards valued up to 250,000 Points (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months.
  • 6x Points at Marriott Hotels & Resorts
  • 3x Points on Groceries, Gas, and Dining on the First $6,000 in Combined Purchases Each Year
  • One Annual Free Night Award (Up to 35,000 Points Every Year After Account Anniversary)
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status + 15 Elite Credits
  • Trip Delay, Baggage Delay, and Lost Luggage Insurance
  • $95 Annual Fee
Learn More Our Review
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Welcome Bonuses

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant

The Bonvoy Brilliant Amex currently offers the following welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

The Bonvoy Boundless currently offers the following welcome bonus:

Earn 5 Free Night Awards valued up to 250,000 Points (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months.

Earning Rewards

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant

The Bonvoy Brilliant Amex earns Marriott Bonvoy points at the following rates:

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

The Bonvoy Boundless® earns Marriott points at the following rates:

Winner:

Tie. Both cards offer very similar earning rates. The Bonvoy Brilliant Amex is better on spending on flights and the Bonvoy Boundless is better for spending at gas stations and grocery stores.

Card Benefits and Perks

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant

The Bonvoy Brilliant Amex offers the following benefits and perks:

  • $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;
  • Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month for one night up to 85,000 points;
  • $100 Luxury Property Credit:  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;
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum elite status;
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®;
  • Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access;
  • 25 elite night credits;
  • Cell phone protection;*
  • Trip delay insurance;*
  • Trip cancellation / interruption insurance;*
  • Baggage insurance plan;*
  • Return protection;*
  • Secondary rental car insurance;* and
  • No foreign transaction fees.

* Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions, and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

The Bonvoy Boundless® offers nice benefits to justify its $95 annual fee, including: 

  • Anniversary free night certificate (up to 35,000 points)
  • Marriott Silver Elite Status
  • 15 elite night credits to help you reach Gold and above.
  • Baggage delay insurance ($100 a day for five days for a delay over 6 hours).
  • Lost luggage reimbursement (up to $3,000)
  • Trip delay insurance ($500 per ticket for 12+ hours or overnight delay).
  • 120-Day purchase protection ($500 per claim capped at $50,000 per account).
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Winner:

Bonvoy Brilliant Amex since it offers higher elite status, airport lounge access, more elite night credits, a better free night award, and dining credit.

Value of the Annual Fees

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant

The Bonvoy Brilliant Amex has a $650 annual fee (rates & fees), which you can offset with restaurant statement credits, free annual hotel night, Platinum elite status, and more.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

The Bonvoy Boundless® comes with an annual fee of $95, but it can be offset by utilizing the free annual hotel night. 

Winner:

It depends. For most people, the Bonvoy Boundless’ annual fee is a better deal because it is easily offset with the annual free night award. Whereas, the Bonvoy Brilliant has a higher potential value if you maximize all the benefits.

Redeeming Rewards

Both Cards

The Bonvoy Brilliant Amex and Bonvoy Boundless cards earn Marriott Bonvoy points.

There are many ways to maximize your Marriott Bonvoy points redemptions, including taking advantage of the free fifth night on award stays or booking a Points Saver rate.

Marriott award stays start at 5,000 points and can go all the way up to 100,000 points for top-tier properties.

Marriott also has a diverse group of 40+ airline transfer partners that you can convert 3 Marriott points to 1 airline mile for most partners, including my favorites of ANA, Iberia, and Avianca LifeMiles.

Plus, Marriott gives you a bonus of 5,000 airline miles when transfer 60,000 points, which effectively drops the transfer ratio to 2.4 Marriott points to 1 airline mile.

Marriott Hotels Marriott Bonvoy Points Transfer Partners
Marriott points transfer at a rate of 3 Marriott points to 1 airline mile with a transfer bonus of 5,000 airline miles when you transfer 60,000 Marriott points.
Aegan Airlines Aegean Miles+Bonus Aer Lingus Aer Lingus AerClub
AEROMEXICO LOGO Aeromexico ClubPremier Air Canada Air Canada Aeroplan
Air China Air China PhoenixMiles Air France Air France/KLM Flying Blue
Air New Zealand Air New Zealand [200 to 1 Ratio] Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
American Airlines American Airlines AAdvantage* ANA ANA Mileage Club
Asiana Airlines Asiana Airlines Avianca Avianca Lifemiles*
British Airways British Airways Executive Club Cathay Pacific Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
China Southern China Southern Airlines Copa Copa Airlines ConnectMiles
Delta Air Lines Delta SkyMiles* Emirates logo Emirates Skywards
Etihad Etihad Guest Frontier Frontier Miles
Hainan Airlines Hainan Airlines Hawaiian Airlines logo Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
Iberia logo Iberia Plus Intermiles InterMiles
Japan Airlines Japan Airlines Korean Air Korean Air*
LATAM Airlines LATAM Airlines Qantas Logo Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qatar Airways logo Qatar Airways Privilege Club Saudia Airlines Saudia Alfursan
Singapore Airlines Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Southwest Airlines Southwest Rapid Rewards
TAP Portugal TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go Thai Airways logo Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
Turkish Airlines logo Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles United Airlines logo United MileagePlus®
Virgin Atlantic logo Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Virgin Australia logo Virgin Australia
* Transfer Bonus Does Not Apply

The Verdict

Both the Bonvoy Brilliant and Bonvoy Boundless cards are great options.

But if you want the best perks and benefits, the Bonvoy Brilliant Amex is your best option. The card offers a top-tier Platinum status, a free award night worth 85k points, airport lounge access, and several annual credits.

The Bonvoy Boundless is also a great pick, but only if you want to earn Marriott points without the fancy benefits.

Which card are you going to choose?

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
  • bonus_miles_full
  • 6X Points at Marriott Hotels & Resorts
  • Up to a $300 Statement Credit for Eligible Purchases at Restaurants Worldwide Each Year ($25 Per Month)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite Status
  • 25 Elite Night Credits Each Year
  • Free Anniversary Night Award (Up to 85,000 Points)
  • Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access
  • $650 Annual Fee and No Foreign Transaction Fees (Rates and Fees)
Learn More Our Review
American Express is a Deals Points advertiser. Terms Apply; Enrollment is Required for Some Benefits

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
  • Earn 5 Free Night Awards valued up to 250,000 Points (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months.
  • 6x Points at Marriott Hotels & Resorts
  • 3x Points on Groceries, Gas, and Dining on the First $6,000 in Combined Purchases Each Year
  • One Annual Free Night Award (Up to 35,000 Points Every Year After Account Anniversary)
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status + 15 Elite Credits
  • Trip Delay, Baggage Delay, and Lost Luggage Insurance
  • $95 Annual Fee
Learn More Our Review
Non-Affiliate Link

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