Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card relaunches with a large welcome bonus and a slew of new benefits — and a higher annual fee

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Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card changes

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar spent on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide Restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases on the card within the first 3 months.

  • Annual Fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • 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.
  • One free night award every year after your card renewal month (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and certain hotels charge additional resort fees) at a participating hotel.
  • $100 property credit on a two-night minimum stay at the Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis®
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit of up to $100 every four years

Cons

  • High $650 annual fee
  • No introductory 0% APR
  • Estimated points earned after 1 year: 50,955
  • Estimated points earned after 5 years: 254,775

Rewards totals may incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

Annual hotel credit shifts to dining

The card’s first change was announced in July, and it’s that the up to $300 Marriott Bonvoy hotel statement credit is being swapped for a dining credit that can be redeemed at any eligible restaurant worldwide. Although it still adds up to the same total, you’ll now only be reimbursed up to $25 per month over the course of 12 months, as opposed to being able to redeem the entire credit at once. Overall, this should give cardholders greater flexibility as they’re not locked into Marriott purchases to earn the statement credit. However, you’ll have to make sure you’re putting at least $25 a month worth of dining purchases on the card to ensure you’re getting maximum value.

Free night award becomes more valuable

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card previously offered an annual free night award worth up to 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Now, the award can be used towards rooms costing up to 85,000 points, potentially allowing you to book higher-end hotels.

Improvements to elite status benefits

Cardholders now get Platinum Elite status instead of Gold Elite status, unlocking perks like free breakfast at some brands and upgrades to suites. Additionally, those chasing a higher tier of status now get 25 Elite Night Credits each year instead of 15.

Opportunity to earn choice benefits

Along with the enhancements listed, the card is introducing the opportunity to earn an “Annual Card Choice Award” by spending $60,000 on the card in a calendar year (starting January 2023). You’ll have the choice of five suite night awards, an additional free night award (worth up to 85,000 points) or $750 off a bed from Marriott Bonvoy® Boutiques.

New welcome offer

To celebrate the refresh, now through Jan. 11, 2023, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card will offer new cardmembers an elevated welcome bonus of 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after they spend $5,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first three months.

Higher annual fee

As you might expect, the new benefits come at a cost. The annual fee on this card is now $650 (see rates and fees), up from $450. If you opened your card before Sept. 22, 2022, the new annual fee will take effect on your first renewal date on or after Jan. 1, 2023.

Still, the annual fee can be offset if you take full advantage of all the benefits, with the new or enhanced perks bolded:

  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite Status
  • One Free Night Award each year after Card renewal month that can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 back per month) for dining purchases at restaurants worldwide
  • 25 Elite Night Credits each calendar year to use toward achieving your next level of elite status
  • Up to $100 property credit when staying two nights or more at the Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® properties
  • Annual Earned Choice Award: Each calendar year (starting January 2023), after making $60K in purchases, Card Members can select an Earned Choice Award benefit
  • Airport lounge access with Priority Pass Select Membership (enrollment required)
  • Up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee
  • Various travel protections
  • *Purchase and return protection

Same earning rates

There are no changes to the card’s earning rates:

  • 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • 3X points at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2X points on all other eligible purchases

Other Marriott Bonvoy credit cards

There’s no question that the annual fee is high, and you should never put yourself in financial constraint just to hold a credit card. If you prefer a card with a lower (or no) annual fee, Marriott Bonvoy has plenty of other options:

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

  • Rewards

    Earn up to 14X total points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy® hotels, 2X points on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains) and 1X point on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Limited Time Offer! Earn 60,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    18.24% – 25.24% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

  • Rewards

    Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining; 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 spent; earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card, and 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    18.24% – 25.24% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar spent on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program, 4X points for each dollar of eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping, 2X points on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy; 4X Marriott Bonvoy points on up to $15,000 in combined purchases per year at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets (then 2X points); 2X Marriott Bonvoy Points on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points after they spend $4,000 in eligible purchases on their card within the first three months

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card

Information about the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

  • Rewards

    6X Marriott Bonvoy Points on purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy; 4X Marriott Bonvoy Points on up to $15,000 in combined purchases per year at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets; 2X Marriott Bonvoy Points on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after they spend $4,000 in eligible purchases on their Card in the first three months

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    18.24% to 25.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Bottom line

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express Card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, click here.

*Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply.  Please visit americanexpress.com/ benefitsguide for more details.  Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.



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