American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Credit Card Review

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The American Express Bonvoy Brilliant card has a $450 annual fee, but offers a $300 Marriott credit, 6x points at Marriott, Gold Elite Status, Priority Pass airport lounge access, 15 elite night credits, and trip delay insurance.

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American Express marriott bonvoy brilliant credit card

Bonvoy Brilliant Card Information

Application Link: American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant.

Current Welcome Bonus: Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy Bonus Points + 1 Free Night Award (up to 85,000 points) after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer Ends 5/18/2022.

Bonus Eligibility: The eligibility for the bonus is very complicated due to American Express and Chase both issuing Marriott cards, so be sure to read these first two paragraphs if you currently have or previously had a Marriott card in the past 24 months.

Annual Fee: $450

Earning Rewards:

  • 6x points at Marriott
  • 3x points on flights and U.S. restaurants.
  • 2x points everywhere else.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card Benefits

$300 Marriott Statement Credit– You receive a $300 statement credit for purchases at Marriott hotels each cardmember year.

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).

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 comes with a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit for expedited airport security. If you already have it, you could always use the card to purchase it for a family or friend.

$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.

Trip Delay Insurance– This coverage will reimburse you up to $500 for hotels, food, and transportation for each eligible traveler if you flight is delayed 6 or more hours. This is a great benefit because it covers delays due to weather, which airlines do not. 

Trip Cancellation Insurance– This coverage will reimburse you up to $10,000 per trip in nonrefundable expenses in the event that you cannot travel due to a covered reason.

Lost Luggage Protection–  If your bag is lost, stolen, or damaged, you are eligible for up to $2,000 in compensation for a checked bag and a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on luggage.

90-Day Return Protection– If the merchant won’t accept your return within 90 days of purchase, you are eligible for compensation up to $300 per item and $1,000 per calendar year.

Other Benefits: No foreign transaction fees, Amex Offers, extended warranty, secondary rental car insurance, and ShopRunner.

Battle of the $450 Amex Hotel Cards: Bonvoy Brillant vs. Hilton Aspire

American Express offers two hotel credits cards with a $450 annual fee: the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant and the Hilton Aspire.

Marriott points are worth slightly more than Hilton (0.8 vs. 0.6 cents per point), but the Hilton Aspire is a better overall card due to its much higher rewards earn rate, top-tier status, a free weekend night at any Hilton hotel, and a $250 Airline credit.

The Bonvoy Brilliant’s hotel credit is better than the Aspire’s credit because it can be used at almost every Marriott Hotel. Whereas, the Aspire only works at Hilton Resorts.

American Express marriott bonvoy brilliant credit card Bonvoy Brilliant American-Express-Hilton-Honors-Aspire-Credit-Card Hilton Aspire
Points at Hotel 6 Points Per $1 14 Points Per $1
Extra Points 3x on Flights and U.S. Restaurants 7x Points on Flights, U.S. Restaurants, and Rental Cars
Elite Status 4th Tier (Gold) Top Tier (Diamond)
Free Night Yes, Up to 50,000 Points Yes, Anywhere on Weekends
Hotel Credit $300 $250 (Limited to Hilton Resorts)
Airline Credit None $250
Priority Pass Yes Yes

Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards Comparison

Marriott has four different credit cards by American Express and Chase due to the Marriott and Starwood Hotels merger in 2018. 

Each card comes with 15 elite night credits, which is enough for Silver Elite Status, and no foreign transaction fees.

Marriott Hotels Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards
Card Top Benefits Fee
American Express marriott bonvoy brilliant credit card American Express Bonvoy Brilliant 6x Points at Marriott; 3x Points on Flights and U.S. Restaurants; $300 Marriott Credit; One Free Hotel Night (Up to 50,000 Points); Gold Elite Status; Priority Pass; Trip Delay Insurance; and Global Entry Credit. $450
Chase Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card Chase Bonvoy Boundless 6x Points at Marriott; 2x Points Everywhere; Free Night (Up to 35,000 Points); 15 Elite Night Credits, Silver Elite Status, and Trip Delay Insurance. $95
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold Chase Bonvoy Bold 3x Points at Marriott; 2x Points on Travel; 1x Points Everywhere; 15 Elite Night Credits; Silver Elite Status; and Trip Delay Insurance. $0
Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex Credit Card American Express Bonvoy Business 6x Points at Marriott; 4x Points at U.S. Restaurants and Gas; 2x Points Everywhere; Free Hotel Night (Up to 35,000 Points); 15 Elite Night Credits; and Silver Elite Status. $125

Redeeming Marriott Bonvoy Points

There are several ways to use Marriott Rewards points. You can use them towards hotels, where you can book a Category 1 hotel during the off-peak for 5,000 points and Category 2 during the off-peak for 10,000 points. Plus you get a fifth night free when you redeem points for four nights.

Marriott Bonvoy Points can also be transferred to airlines at a 3 to 1 ratio with a 5,000 point airline bonus when you transfer 60,000 Marriott Points (60,000 Marriott points would equal 25,000 airline points).

The three exceptions to the 3 to 1 ratio are United Airlines (10% extra bonus, which equals 3 to 1.1), JetBlue (6 to 1), and Air New Zealand (200 to 1).

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.
Airline Points Program Transfer Time
Aegan Airlines Aegean Airlines 3 days
Aer Lingus Aer Lingus 3 days
Aeroflot Aeroflot 20 days
AEROMEXICO LOGO AeroMexico 4 days
Air Canada Air Canada Aeroplan 4 days
Air China Air China 5 days
Air France Air France/KLM Flying Blue 3 days
Air New Zealand Air New Zealand [200 to 1 Ratio] 24 hours
Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines 4 days
Alitalia logo Alitalia 7 days
ANA ANA 4 days
American Airlines American Airlines 48 hours
Asiana Airlines Asiana Airlines 4 days
Avianca Avianca Lifemiles 24 to 48 hours
British Airways British Airways 3 days
Cathay Pacific Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 5 days
China Eastern China Eastern Airlines Unknown
China Southern China Southern Airlines 7 days
Copa Copa Airlines 3 days
Delta Air Lines Delta SkyMiles 24 hours
Emirates logo Emirates 3 days
Etihad Etihad 3 days
Frontier Frontier Airlines 6 weeks
GOL GOL 8 days
Hainan Airlines Hainan Airlines 24 hours
Hawaiian Airlines logo Hawaiian Airlines 24 hours
Iberia logo Iberia 24 hours
Japan Airlines Japan Airlines 48 hours
JetBlue jetBlue [6 to 1 Ratio] 24 hours
Korean Air Korean Air 48 hours
LATAM Airlines LATAM Airlines 48 hours
Lufthansa Lufthansa Miles & More 3 days
Qantas Logo Qantas 48 hours
Qatar Airways logo Qatar Airways 3 days
Saudia Airlines Saudi Arabian Airlines 5 days
Singapore Airlines Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 48 hours
South African Airways South African Airways 3 days
Southwest Airlines Southwest Airlines 24 hours
TAP Portugal TAP Air Portugal 48 hours
Thai Airways logo Thai Airways 4 days
Turkish Airlines logo Turkish Airlines 3 days
United Airlines logo United [3 to 1.1 Ratio] 7 days
Virgin Atlantic logo Virgin Atlantic 24 to 48 hours
Virgin Australia logo Virgin Australia 24 to 48 hours