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 Platinum Elite status, a free hotel night award on every card anniversary of up to 85,000 points, Priority Pass airport lounge access, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, and much more.
This article will cover everything you need to know about this card to determine if you should add this card or a different card to your wallet. Let’s dive right in.
- 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)
Marriott Credit Card Eligibility
Both American Express and Chase issue Marriott credit cards, which can cause some complicated restrictions on the eligibility for Marriott credit cards.
For the Bonvoy Brilliant, you are not eligible to get this card if you:
- have or have had The Ritz-Carlton® Credit Card from JPMorgan or the J.P. Morgan Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card in the last 30 days;
- have acquired the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days;
- received a new Card Member bonus or upgrade offer for the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card from Chase in the last 24 months.
Earning Marriott Bonvoy Points
The Bonvoy Brilliant Amex earns Marriott Bonvoy points at the following rates:
Credit Card Benefits
$300 in Restaurant Credits
Cardmembers receive up to $25 in statement credits each calendar month when they use their card at eligible restaurants worldwide, for a total of up to $300 in statement credits.
This should be an easy credit to maximize without any hoops to jump through. Just use the card at a restaurant, and get up to $25 each month as a credit.
Free Annual Night Award (up to 85,000 Points)
One of the best perks of this card is a free-night award worth up to 85,000 points each year after your card renewal month.
If you maximize this free night award, you could book a $500+ dollar a night room at a luxury hotel.
Platinum Elite Status
The Brilliant card offers automatic Marriott Platinum Elite status, which is Marriott’s mid-tier status that normally requires 50 nights per year.
Platinum Elite status comes with a 50% points bonus, 4 pm guaranteed late checkout, a welcome amenity, room upgrades including suites, free breakfast, and lounge access.
25 Elite Night Credits
This card can help you reach Marriott Titanium or Ambassador elite status with 25 elite night credits.
This benefit stacks with the 15-night credits with Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, for a total of 40 free-night credits. This stack allows you to reach Titanium elite status in only 35 nights (40 nights from the two cards and 35 nights from hotel stays).
$100 Property Credit
When you use your Brilliant card to book a paid stay of at least two nights at participating Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis properties with the special “Luxury Credit Card Rate,” you’ll receive a credit of up to $100 for incidentals.
Choice Award with Spending
If you spend $60,000 on eligible purchases using your Brilliant card, you will be eligible to earn an Earned Choice Award benefit, which gives you the option of either:
- Five Suite Night Awards, which can be used to confirm a suite upgrade for one night up to five days prior to arrival.
- A free night award, valid at a Marriott property costing up to 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
- $1,000 off a bed from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques.
Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access
This card comes with Priority Pass airport lounge access, which gets you access to over 1,300 airport lounges.
Nothing is better than escaping the hustle and bustle of the airport and to escape the crowds to get free food and drinks.
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Credit
This card offers a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit like many other travel cards.
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.
Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck and expedited immigration upon arrival from an international trip back to the United States.
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.
Access to Amex Offers
This card has access to Amex Offers, which are deals that are linked to your card, allowing you to save money or earn extra points on shopping, dining, and travel.
For example, there could be an offer such as spending $200+ at Marriott Hotels and Resorts and receiving $50 cash back as a statement credit.
You can find all of your Amex Offers by signing into your American Express account. You will need to “Add to Card” each offer to be eligible for the special offer.
Complimentary ShopRunner Membership
This card offers a complimentary membership to ShopRunner, giving you free two-day shipping and free returns at 100+ online retailers.
Eligible stores include Bloomingdales, Under Armour, American Eagle, Saks Off 5th, Cole Hann, Fanatics, Vera Bradley, Jockey, Kate Spade, NFL Shop, NBA Store, MLB Shop, and Coach.
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.
Travel and Purchase Protections
Trip Delay Insurance*
This card offers trip delay insurance when you purchase your flight with this card.
This reimburses you for reasonable expenses things like hotels, food, transportation, and other necessary items.
Flights are increasingly delayed or canceled, and it is too risky to not use a card that offers free trip delay insurance.
Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance*
Trip cancellation and interruption insurance reimburses 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 when you pay for your travel expenses with this card.
Lost Luggage Reimbursement*
Baggage insurance 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.
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.
Cell Phone Insurance*
Breaking or losing your cell phone is never a pleasant experience, especially when cell phones cost over $800+ to replace.
You can avoid paying these steep costs when you pay your cell phone bill with this credit card.
There is no cost for cell phone insurance saving you about $10 per month per phone, but you will have to pay a small deductible if you make a claim.
Secondary Rental Car Insurance*
Secondary rental car insurance covers any damage to or theft of 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.
You still need to maintain liability car insurance to cover damage to another person or property.
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 in addition to this card:
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
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card (review) 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 of up to 35,000 points after each account anniversary.
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.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express (review) is a great premium travel rewards card for travelers who want airport lounge access, including Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), Escape Lounges, Priority Pass lounges.
The American Express Platinum has a $695 annual fee, but you receive many annual statement credits when you enroll your card to offset the fee, including:
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Card.
- $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
- $200 Uber Cash Credit: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Benefit renews annually.
- $155 Walmart+ Credit: Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) and receive a statement credit that covers the full cost each month.
- $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR® Plus at 45+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per year on your membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®.
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
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card (review) 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, completely offset by a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, and 10,000 points (worth at least $100) for each account anniversary.
Plus, you get airport lounge access via 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.
Is the Bonvoy Brilliant Worth It?
The Bonvoy Brilliant Amex is worth it if you stay at Marriott Hotels several times per year to take advantage of the Platinum Elite status and can utilize the $300 statement credits for eligible purchases at restaurants.