Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card Review

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The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is a good choice for travelers who frequent Marriott Hotels and Resorts.

The Bonvoy Brilliant card offers nice perks like Marriott Gold Elite status, a free hotel night award on every card anniversary of up to 50,000 points, Priority Pass airport lounge access, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, and much more.

We have a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in.

Free Night Award and Priority Pass Select
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
  • Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points After $3,000 in Eligible Purchases in the First 3 Months
  • 6X Points at Marriott Hotels & Resorts
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status
  • Free Anniversary Night Award (Up to 50,000 Points)
  • $25 Monthly Restaurant Credit (After 9/22/2022)
  • Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access
  • $450 Annual Fee and No Foreign Transaction Fees (Rates and Fees)
Learn More
Terms Apply

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card Benefits

Benefits for Marriott Hotels & Resorts

$300 Marriott Statement Credit– You receive a $300 statement credit for purchases at Marriott hotels each cardmember year. However, effective September 22, 2022, the $300 Marriott Bonvoy credit will be replaced by a $25 per month restaurant credit.

One Free Hotel Night– This card gets you a free hotel night every cardmember anniversary, which can be used at hotels with a redemption level of 50,000 points or less. 

Marriott Gold Elite Status– Marriott Gold Elite Status gets you a 2 p.m. late checkout, room upgrade if available, 12.5 Marriott points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels, and welcome points bonus for each stay.

15 Elite Night Credits- This card awards you 15 free night credits for Marriott Elite Status in addition to Gold Status. To reach higher elite levels, you would need 35 nights for Platinum Elite (50 nights without credit), 60 nights for Titanium Elite (75 nights without credit), or 85 nights plus $20,000 in qualifying spending for Ambassador Elite (100 nights without credit).

$100 Marriott Property Credit– You can get a $100 credit each time you book direct with a special rate for 2+ nights at the Ritz Carlton or St. Regis.

Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access

A Priority Pass membership gets you to access to 1,200 airport lounges all around the world. However, the American Express’ version of Priority Pass does not get you access to Priority Pass Restaurants, unlike the Chase Sapphire Reserve version.

Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Credit

This card offers a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit.

TSA PreCheck is a membership program offering dedicated airport security lines and faster security screening (typically 5 minutes or less) at more than 200 airports across the United States and includes over 81 airlines.

With TSA PreCheck, you do not need to remove your shoes, laptop, small liquids, belts, or light jackets.

Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck and expedited immigration upon arrival from an international trip back to the United States.

TSA PreCheck and Global Entry require an interview and background check, but TSA PreCheck is typically faster and easier to obtain. 

If you already have Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, you could use the card to purchase Global Entry for a family or friend or use it when your membership needs to be renewed. (Some TSA PreCheck enrollment centers require the credit card name to match the applicant’s name, whereas Global Entry doesn’t have the same requirement.)

Card members are eligible  to receive one statement credit every 4 years for the application fee for either Global Entry or every 4.5 years for the application fee for TSA PreCheck.

TSA Precheck

Trip Delay Insurance

You should always buy flights with a credit card that offers trip delay insurance, which reimburses you for things like hotels, food, transportation, and other necessary items.

Flights are increasingly delayed or canceled, and it is too risky to not use card that offers free trip delay insurance. Plus, airlines frequently blame delays on weather or an external factor to get out of paying compensation to passengers.

This benefit can really come in handy during a delay. While other passengers are worried about where to sleep and eat, you can book a nice hotel of your choice and enjoy some nice meals, without worrying about the cost.

Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance

When you’re planning a trip, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your travel plans will be covered if something goes wrong. That’s where credit card trip cancellation and interruption insurance comes in.

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance reimburse you for non-refundable expenses if your trip is interrupted or canceled for a covered reason such as illness, severe weather, or an accidental injury. 

To be eligible for trip cancellation and interruption insurance, you’ll need to pay for your travel expenses using this card.

Travel is crazy enough without having to worry about being out of pocket if something goes wrong, so I always suggest booking all travel with a card that offers travel protections.

Lost Luggage Reimbursement

Lost luggage reimbursement covers the cost to repair or replace your luggage and the contents inside if your bag is lost or damaged during a covered trip.

You must purchase the trip with this card, and it will also cover immediate family members traveling with you.

Coverage is also secondary to any reimbursement from the airline or common carrier. For example, if your bag and its contents were worth $1,000 and the airline gave you $200, you could file a claim for $800.

Return Protection

American Express offers return protection which allows you to return an item purchased in total with an eligible card when the retailer refuses to accept the item under its return policy.

Some items are excluded, such as jewelry, plants, perishable items, software, books, formal wear, tickets, and seasonal items.

This coverage is up to $300 per item with a maximum of $1,000 per cardmember year.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

This card has no foreign transaction fees on purchases outside the U.S., which is helpful if you travel internationally to help you avoid paying a 3% fee on those international purchases.

Secondary Rental Car Insurance

Secondary rental car insurance covers any damage to a rental car not covered by your primary insurance when you pay for the rental using this card.

Other credit cards offer primary rental car insurance, which pays before your insurance and saves you the hassle of filing multiple insurance claims.

But there are situations where this secondary insurance becomes the primary insurance, including when renting a car outside the U.S. and your personal car insurance does not cover you in that country, or if you don’t have collision insurance.

You still need to maintain liability car insurance to cover damage to another person or property.

Rental Car Insurance
Photo: Hertz

Alternatives to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant

Now that you know about the pros and cons of this card and its benefits, it’s time to review the alternatives.

Or, if you are like me, who loves to maximize my rewards, here are other cards you should add to your wallet: 

Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

3 Free Nights
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless
  • Earn 3 Free 50,000-Point Nights Certificates for Spending $3,000 in the 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
  • Free Anniversary Night Award (up to 35,000 Points)
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status + 15 Elite Credits
  • Trip Delay, Baggage Delay, and Lost Luggage Insurance
  • $95 Annual Fee

Click Here to Learn How to Apply

The Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless is a good option for travelers who want benefits at Marriott for a reasonable annual fee of $95, which is offset by a free night award for each card anniversary of up to 35,000 points. 

The Bonvoy Boundless card also offers Bonvoy Silver status, 15 elite night credits, 6x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3x points at grocery stores, gas stations, and on dining on the first $6,000 in combined purchases each year.

Plus, the card offers benefits such as baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement, purchase protection, and no foreign transaction fees.

Platinum Card from American Express

100,000 Points
Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards Points After $6,000 in Eligible Purchases in the First 6 Months
  • 5x Points on Flights Booked Directly With Airlines (up to $500,000 in purchases each calendar year)
  • $1,000+ in Credits ($200 Airline Fee, $200 Uber Cash, $240 Digital Entertainment, $189 CLEAR, $155 Walmart+, $100 Saks, $200 Hotel via Amex Travel)
  • Airport Lounge Access (Centurion, Delta SkyClub, Priority Pass, Escape, and Plaza Premium)
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • $695 Annual Fee (Rates & Fees)
Learn More Our Review
Terms Apply. Enrollment is required for some benefits.

The Platinum Card® from American Express is the best premium travel rewards card for travelers who want airport lounge access to international lounges, including Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), Escape Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and more. 

The American Express Platinum has a $695 annual fee, but you’ll get a slew of yearly statement credits, including a $200 hotel credit, $240 digital entertainment credit, $200 airline fee credit, $200 Uber credit, and $155 Walmart+ credit.  (Enrollment is required to activate credits.)

You also earn 5x Membership Rewards points when booking flights directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year) and 5x Membership Rewards points when booking prepaid hotels with American Express Travel. 

On top of that, you automatically earn Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold statuses, which offer points bonuses, room upgrades, late check-out, and other premier benefits. 

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

75,000 Miles
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
  • Earn 75,000 Bonus Miles for Spending $4,000 in the First 3 Months
  • $300 Travel Credit for Bookings via Capital One Travel
  • 10,000 Points for Each Account Anniversary
  • Hertz President’s Circle Elite Status
  • Airport Lounge Access (Priority Pass, Capital One, & Plaza Premium)
  • 10X Miles on Hotels and Rental Cars, and 5x Points on Flights Booked with Capital One Travel
  • Trip Delay and Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • $395 Annual Fee
Learn More Our Review

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a premium travel rewards card that’s perfect for travelers who want outstanding travel perks like annual travel credits, worldwide airport lounge access, and travel and purchase protections. 

The Venture X earns 2x miles on all purchases helping you maximize every dollar of your spending. Plus, you can earn 10x miles on hotels and rental cars, and 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One.

The card has a $395 annual fee, it is completely offset by an easy-to-use $300 annual travel credit for bookings via Capital One Travel and 10,000 points (worth at least $100) each account anniversary.

Plus you get airport lounge access at Priority Pass, Capital One, and Plaza Premium Lounges, Hertz President’s Circle elite status, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, rental car insurance, trip and luggage insurance, cell phone insurance, and purchase protection.