Guide to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card [Review]

Guide to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card [Review]

This card rewards big spenders with Marriott-branded perks and travel benefits around the world.

A rewards credit card is ideal for those who spend a lot of money in their day-to-day lives, but want to earn points and enjoy countless benefits on their trips around the world. Said differently, a rewards card is oftentimes built for people who want to turn their spending into experiences. In the pantheon of rewards credit cards, there are many cards with multiple layers of brands built into the name, but this one perhaps stands alone. Despite its rather kludgy name and high $495 annual fee, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card does a great job of rewarding big spenders with lovely experiences at Marriott properties around the globe.

Card Benefits

Despite the high annual fee associated with this card, the benefits, credits, and services that Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant cardholders receive can eliminate or exceed the annual cost of the credit card.

First, if you’re a frequent Marriott patron, with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card, you’ll enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of card membership for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

A generous signup bonus is also offered when you are approved for the card. You’ll earn 100,000 bonus points after you make $5,000 in eligible purchases on your card within the first 3 months of having the card. Plus, you earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after your first anniversary of card membership.

One of the more alluring benefits associated with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card  is the possibility of winning one free night every year after your card account anniversary. The award night can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel.

Event Access

As a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant cardholder, you are also granted exclusive access to several events. Stay in the know with exclusive access to ticket presales and cardholder-only events in a city near you.

For instance, in New York City you’ll be able to check out Broadway shows and concert tours, family and sporting events, and more. So, if you are one of those people who loves to walk around the cities you visit and attend various events, this card can help you have great experiences.

Earning Points

The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card accumulates points in the following way:

  • 6x Bonvoy points from spend in branded hotels
  • 3x points in restaurants and flights booked directly with an airline
  • 2x points on everything else

If you find yourself staying in hotels regularly, this card offers one of the richest rates of earning points we’ve ever seen.

Interest Rate

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card has a variable APR of 15.74% to 24.74%. Unfortunately, unlike many other rewards cards, it does not have an introductory period of 0% for balance transfers.

American Express Benefits

Because this is an American Express card, as a cardholder you’ll also benefit from a raft of additional Amex perks and that company’s legendary customer service. Some of the additional Amex perks you’ll receive as a cardholder are:

  • Fraud protection: If a fraudulent charge appears on your statement, simply notify American Express by calling the number at the back of your card.
  • Year-End Summary: Get access to a Year-End Summary of charges so you can review your annual spending.

The card also has the Pay It Plan It service, which consists of two easy ways to control how you pay.

  • Pay It: Tap a purchase under $100 in the app to quickly make payments throughout the month.
  • Plan It: Select purchases of $100 or more and split them up into monthly payments with a fixed monthly fee and no interest.


If you often stay at Marriott properties, the  Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express shines against its competitors’ offerings. This card can easily be in our pocket year after year and the annual cost will be zero if our consumption pattern is aligned with the benefits it offers. As a personal or business traveler who wants the ease of building loyalty points with one hospitality provider, look no further than this card as the launching pad for a more fruitful relationship with Marriott properties.

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