The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card comes with a $650 annual fee, but it also has a long list of excellent benefits. From a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application credit to multiple Marriott Bonvoy statement credits and an annual free night award, you may be able to find value with little effort if you maximize the offers on the card.
Marriott Bonvoy statement credits
With the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, you can earn a couple of Bonvoy-specific statement credits that could provide long-term value:
- Annual dining statement 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. This benefit alone covers almost half of the card’s annual fee. Since the credit comes in $25 monthly increments, you’ll need to remember to use the card every month.
- $100 Marriott Bonvoy property credit. You can receive a $100 statement credit for qualifying charges when booking a special rate for a minimum two-night stay at The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis. Unfortunately, you can’t use this credit with any other Marriott properties. When you book online or by phone, you must select or ask for the “$100 Property Credit, Luxury Credit Card Rate” and pay with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card.
If you stay at Marriott’s luxury properties often, you can leverage the latter statement credit to your advantage. You can use this credit for charges such as dining, spa services, room service and hotel recreational activities that aren’t managed by a third party. This credit cannot be applied to the actual cost of your room. Again, this card is best suited for luxury travelers, as there’s no limit to how many times you use this credit.
Automatic Platinum status
With the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, you’ll receive automatic Platinum status, plus 25 elite night credits each calendar year to expedite your way to the next level of elite status. Some of the valuable features of Platinum Elite status include a 50% bonus on stays, an annual choice benefit when you reach 50 Elite Night credits, 4 p.m. late checkout and more. If you frequent Marriotts and take advantage of the status benefits, then you can justify the annual fee.
As a refresher, here are the Marriott Bonvoy elite status requirements:
Here’s what you can expect from being a Platinum Elite member or a Titanium Elite member, which is the next tier up:
Free hotel night at qualifying Marriott properties
Cardholders of Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card will receive one free night award every year on their renewal month. This credit is redeemable for award stays at properties worth up to 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points at participating hotels.
Since Marriott Bonvoy points cost $0.009 each and you can use up to 85,000 points, then this benefit can be worth up to around $765 — which more than justifies the annual fee.
Be aware that some hotels have resort fees, which may not be covered with your free night award.
Earned Choice Award benefit
If you spend $60,000 on eligible purchases with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, you can choose from one of several valuable awards. The award options include:
- 5 Suite Night Awards: These awards allow you to request a room upgrade in advance for free.
- 1 free night award: You can redeem a free night up to 85,000 points. Keep in mind some hotels have resort fees. If you earn this and use the free night award that originally comes with the card, you can receive a value of up to $1,530.
- $1,000 off a bed from Marriott Bonvoy boutiques: Receive a promotional code valued at $1,000 off Marriott retail brand mattresses and box springs.
You can only redeem one award per calendar year.
Premium travel benefits
From the tangible benefits like the Priority Pass Select™ membership (enrollment required), to the extensive list of available travel coverage options, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card comes with other great premium travel perks. It rivals other luxury cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card or The Platinum Card® from American Express.
- $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit. When applying for Global Entry every four years (or TSA PreCheck every 4.5 years), you’ll receive up to a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or up to an $85 statement credit for TSA PreCheck.
- Complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership. With Priority Pass Select™, you’ll have access to over 1,200 airport lounges across the world (enrollment required). The Priority Pass membership level that gets you 10 free visits, then goes to $35 per visit after, costs $329.
- Car rental loss and damage insurance. This protection offers secondary coverage in a covered territory when you use your card to reserve and pay for the entire rental.
- Premium Global Assist hotline. In the event of an emergency, you can receive 24/7 medical, legal, financial and other assistance when traveling more than 100 miles from home.
- Baggage insurance plan. When paying for your entire fare on this card, you can receive reimbursement for your carry-on or checked baggage in the event of loss, damage or theft.
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance. By paying for the entire round-trip with this card, you can receive reimbursement for your non-refundable travel expenses under a covered reason resulting in trip cancellation or interruption.
- Trip delay insurance. By paying for the entire round-trip with this card, you’ll receive reimbursement for a covered reason that delays your trip for more than six hours.
- No foreign transaction fees. When traveling internationally, you won’t pay any foreign transaction fees.