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Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card Review 2024

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card review
KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card gives you 6X on all eligible Marriott purchases, making it one of the best hotel credit cards available.
  • Although the card has an annual fee of $650, it’s worth it if you travel frequently and stay at participating Marriott properties.
  • Bonvoy Brilliant cardholders receive 3X points on flights booked directly through airlines, 3X points on restaurant purchases and 2X points on all other spending categories.
  • Once you have enough Marriott Bonvoy Points®, you can redeem them for flights, cruises, hotel stays, gift cards or products from major brands. American Express also allows you to transfer your points to your favorite airline loyalty program.
  • The annual Free Night Award entitles you to a one-night stay at any participating property that has a redemption value of no more than 85,000 points per night.
  • You won’t pay any foreign transaction fees if you use the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant outside the United States.
SUMMARY

Marriott International owns nearly 9,000 properties, making it a popular choice for business and leisure travelers.

Whether you love to stay at the Ritz-Carlton or need a suite at a Residence Inn, getting the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is a great way to earn rewards on each stay. We created this guide to help you understand the benefits of opening a Bonvoy Brilliant account. 

Get answers to your most important questions, such as:

  • How much does it cost?
  • What benefits do you receive?
  • How do you redeem Bonvoy Brilliant points?
  • What kind of credit score do you need?
  • Is the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant worth the annual fee?
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Extensive perks
  • Generous rewards rate
  • Many eligible properties worldwide

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • Few redemption options
  • Large spending requirement for welcome offer
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
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Key Information
Earn 6X points per dollar spent at participating hotels, 3X points at restaurants worldwide, 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines, and 2X points on other eligible purchases. $650 annual fee.

Is the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card worth it?

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is worth it if you travel frequently and always stay at Marriott, and if you dine out often enough to earn a statement credit of up to $25 per month on your restaurant spending.

The card has a steep annual fee, so it’s not worth it if you plan to use it for everyday purchases instead of maximizing your hotel and dining benefits. 

We’ve listed out the main pros and cons for this card below.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Pros & Cons

  • Platinum Elite status at Marriott hotels
  • Monthly statement credit based on your restaurant spending
  • Free anniversary night every year
  • High annual fee ($650)
  • Limited redemption options
  • Restrictions on the use of your Marriott property credits

Learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

Terms apply / Rates & fees

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card benefits

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant comes with these benefits:

*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.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card rewards

Every time you make an eligible purchase, you earn Marriott Bonvoy Points. Here’s how to earn points and use them toward travel, shopping and special experiences.

Earn Marriott Bonvoy points

One of the easiest ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy Points is to qualify for the welcome bonus.

If you spend $6,000 on your card within your first six months of membership, you’ll receive 185,000 points. The value of Marriott Bonvoy Points changes from time to time, but you can usually get 0.7 to 0.9 cents per point, making the welcome bonus worth $1,295 to $1,665.

You can also earn a significant number of points by using the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant to book stays at participating hotels. Every qualifying stay is worth 6 points per dollar. For example, if you spend $1,000 on a hotel stay, you’ll earn 6,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points. When you pair your American Express points with the points you get from Marriott Elite membership, you may earn as much as 21 points per dollar.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant cardholders also earn 3 points per dollar on restaurant purchases, 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points per dollar on all other purchases.

Redeem Marriott Bonvoy points

As a Bonvoy Brilliant cardholder, you have access to the following redemption methods:

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant rewards potential

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card has a steep annual fee, so it’s helpful to see an example of how you can use your benefits to earn it back.

An Example of Marriot Bonvoy Brilliant Points Earning Potential

Spending Category Points Per Dollar Annual Spend Annual Earning Potential
Airfare 3X $6,220 18,660 points
Dining 3X $4,850 14,550 points
Hotel stays 6X $4,375 26,250 points
All other purchases 2X $21,487 42,974 points

In the example above, you’d earn 102,434 Marriott Bonvoy points. At a rate of 0.7 to 0.9 cents per point, that’s $717 to $922, well above the $650 annual fee.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card fees, rates & limit

Before you sign up for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant, take time to familiarize yourself with the card’s rates, fees and credit limit.

Bonvoy Brilliant fees

American Express charges the following fees:

Bonvoy Brilliant interest rates

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant interest rates include:

Bonvoy Brilliant credit limit

Like other credit card companies, American Express doesn’t advertise the minimum score required to open a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant account. However, the card is for customers with good to excellent credit.

How the Bonvoy Brilliant compares to other Marriott cards

Let’s compare the Bonvoy Brilliant to another popular Marriott credit card: the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card.

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant is one of the best travel credit cards, while the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy is ideal for consumers who want to maximize rewards on their everyday purchases.

Both hotel cards give you 6X points on Marriott hotel stays, but the Bonvoy Brilliant is better for people who fly frequently, as it gives you 3X back on airfare. In contrast, the Bonvoy Bevy prioritizes dining and grocery purchases, giving you 4X points on up to $15,000 in combined restaurant and U.S. supermarket spending each year. Bevy cardholders get 2X back on all other purchases, including flights (see rates and fees.

Another difference between the two rewards credit cards is that you can earn a little more by combining your Bonvoy Brilliant benefits with your Marriott Elite benefits. With Bevy, you get complimentary Gold Elite Status, which gives you access to 25% bonus points on Marriott hotel stays. Bonvoy Brilliant comes with Platinum Elite Status, increasing the bonus to 50%. Therefore, you can earn up to 18.5X with Bevy and 21X with Brilliant.

Both cards come with plenty of perks, but the best credit card for you depends on your spending habits. If you travel frequently, stick with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant to maximize your earnings on flights and hotel stays. If you’re a homebody, the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy is ideal for earning rewards on your everyday purchases.

Is the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card right for you?

The Bonvoy Brilliant card is best for people who travel frequently and prefer to stay at Marriott properties rather than booking with other hotel brands. You’ll earn the most points by staying at participating Marriott hotels, using your card at restaurants and purchasing airfare with your Bonvoy Brilliant card.

If you don’t travel much, you may not earn enough points to make the $650 annual fee worthwhile. In that case, consider applying for the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy, which gives you 4X points on restaurant and U.S. supermarket purchases. The Bevy may also be a better fit for consumers who prefer to take road trips rather than fly all over the world. You can still get 6X points on Marriott stays, but you won’t have to worry about earning points on airline purchases.

Apply for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

The Bonvoy Brilliant card is designed for consumers with good to excellent credit scores.

American Express doesn’t advertise its minimum score requirements, but you should have at least a 690 before you apply for this card. It’s even better if you have a score in the 700s or 800s. Remember that your credit score isn’t the only factor that affects your eligibility for credit cards and loans. Even if you have a high credit score, you may be denied based on your income or the amount of debt you have.

If you’re confident you qualify, you can learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card and apply online.

Once you’ve opened the application, follow these steps:

  1. Fill in your name, annual income and total assets.
  2. Add your Marriott Bonvoy member number, if you have one.
  3. Review the terms and conditions.
  4. Submit your application.

In some cases, American Express provides instant approval or denial. However, you may have to wait for a letter explaining the company’s decision.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

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FAQ: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

What is the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant annual fee?

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant has an annual fee of $650.

What credit score do you need for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card?

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant is for consumers with credit scores in the good to excellent range. American Express doesn’t publish its minimum score requirements, but we recommend that you have a FICO® score of at least 690 before applying.

Does Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant have lounge access?

Yes. The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant comes with a Priority Pass Select membership, which gives you access to more than 1,200 airport lounges.

What is the credit limit for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card?

American Express doesn’t publicize its minimum and maximum credit limits, but some Marriott Bonvoy users report having limits higher than $20,000.

How much are Marriott Bonvoy points worth?

Marriott Bonvoy points are usually worth 0.7 to 0.9 cents each.

Leigh Morgan
Leigh Morgan Personal Finance

Leigh Morgan is a seasoned personal finance contributor with over 15 years of experience writing on a diverse range of professional legal and financial topics. She specializes in subjects like navigating the complexities of insurance, savings, zero-based budgeting and emergency fund development.

In the last 5 years, she’s authored over 300 articles for credit unions, digital banks, and financial professionals. Morgan is also the author of “77 Tips for Preventing Elder Financial Abuse,” a book focused on helping caregivers protect the elderly from financial scams.

In addition to her writing skills, she brings real-world financial acumen thanks to her previous experience managing rental properties as part of a $34 million real estate portfolio.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

All products or services are presented in this content without warranty. The information, including card details such as rates and fees, is accurate at the time of publish. Please visit each bank's website directly for the most current information.

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