American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card Review
The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is a rewarding luxury travel card for frequent travelers partial to the Marriott brand. Travelers can earn up to six points per dollar on Marriot hotel stays and tiered rewards for flights, dining and other purchases.
If you’re looking for a travel card with premium perks, the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card benefits are often enough to offset the $450 annual fee. You can earn 6x points for every dollar spent on Marriot hotel stays, 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines and 3x points for dining. You also get 2x points for all other eligible purchases. These perks plus a $300 annual statement credit for eligible Marriott purchases make this card worth considering if you travel frequently and like to stay at Marriott properties.
Card Details to Know Up Front
- Bonus, Fee or FeatureHas or Not
- Has Annual Fee
- Has Balance Transfer Offer
- Has APR Offer
- Cash Back Rewards
- Travel Rewards
American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card at a Glance
Like most co-branded cards, you will get more of the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card benefits if you stay and make purchases at Marriott hotels and resorts. However, this card also earns you generous points on flights, dining and other travel purchases and has no foreign transaction fees so it can also serve as an all-round travel card. If you’re already a member of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty rewards program, you can use the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card to boost your rewards.
- American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card
American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card Pros & Cons
- Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
- $450Annual Fee
- 2–6 Points per $1*Rewards Rate
- 6xRewards Rate at Hotels
- 3xRewards Rate on Dining
Pros & Cons Explained
The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is a great choice for those looking for a luxury travel card. Here are some of its key pros and cons to consider before signing up.
- Generous rewards on Marriott purchases and staysAt 6x reward points per dollar for Marriott hotel stays and purchases, this card makes it easy to earn points for being loyal to the Marriott brand.
- Annual statement creditsAs an American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Cardholder, you can receive up to $300 annually in statement credits. These credits can be earned with eligible Marriott Bonvoy purchases.
- Airport lounge accessThe American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card gives you a Priority Pass Select membership meaning that you (and up to two guests) get access to more than 1,000 airport lounges across the globe at no extra charge.
- No foreign transaction feesThis card does not have any transaction fees for overseas use.
- High annual feesCompared to other travel cards, the $450 annual fee for the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is relatively expensive.
- No introductory APRThis card does not give you an introductory APR for balance transfers or purchases. All your purchases and transfers will have a regular APR of 15.74%–24.74%.
The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is not on MoneyGeek’s list of the best travel credit cards. You can have a look at our recommendations to find out which cards offer the most value for frequent travelers looking for generous rewards and travel perks.
Bonuses & Rewards Explained
If you are a frequent traveler loyal to the Marriott brand, you will get great value from the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card which comes with the following rewards program.
New cardholders can earn 75,000 Bonvoy bonus points if they spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months.
The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card allows you to earn unlimited rewards based on a tiered reward structure that awards you points as follows:
- 6x points per dollar spent on Marriott hotel stays and purchases
- 3x points per dollar for flights booked directly with airlines and for purchases at U.S. restaurants
- 2x points per dollar for all other eligible purchases
You can also earn additional Bonvoy points with Marriott Bonvoy travel partners, including cruise companies and car rentals. You can also earn points when you transfer points to an airline miles partner at a rate of 5,000 bonus points for 60,000 points transferred.
You can redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points for reward nights at Marriott hotels and resorts. You need a minimum of 7,500 points for a night in a “Category 1” property and at least 85,000 points for a “Category 8” property.
Bonvoy points can also be redeemed for flights, rental cars, room upgrades, gift cards and shopping.
Maximizing Your Rewards
You can get the most out of your American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card in the following ways
- Spend $3,000 within the first 90 days to get 75,000 bonus points
- Take advantage of the luxury travel perks including airport lounge access
- Apply for TSA Precheck or Global Entry to get credits
- Get flights by using your points with airlines
Other Features Explained
The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is a luxury travel card that offers great value for frequent travelers partial to the Marriott brand
- Card FeatureDescription
- Standard featuresThe American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card comes with the following standard benefits: Car rental collision damage waiver, Access to a global assistance hotline, Purchase return protection, Extended warranties, Baggage insurance, Trip delay insurance
- Customer ServiceAmerican Express has a J.D. Power score of 838 out of 1,000 and is ranked first according to J.D. Power's 2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. The cardholder experience is enhanced by online and mobile access to customer service, live chat options and a 24/7 hotline.
- Security FeaturesThe American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card comes with enhanced security features including EMV chip technology. You can also set up a digital wallet and account alerts to enable you to access your account securely and get notified in case of suspicious card activity.
Frequent travelers who stay in Marriott properties will find it easy to rack up points with the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card. However, how you redeem your points can impact the value you get from your card. For instance, you get more value for your points if you redeem them for standard or off-peak nights as opposed to peak nights.
Understanding the Fine Print
Before signing up for the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, here are the key fees and penalty charges you need to be aware of.
- Card FeatureAmount or Rate
- Annual Fee$450
- Cash Back Rewards
- Rewards Rate2–6 Points per $1*
- Airline Benefits
The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card has a variable APR of 15.74%–24.74% based on factors such as creditworthiness. It is important to note that this card does not have an introductory APR.
The annual fee for this card is $450. This rate is higher than the annual fee charged by most travel cards but it can be offset by the annual statement credits you get with the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card.
APR for cash advances
Cash advances have a 25.24% APR which may vary depending on the prevailing prime rate.
Cash advance fees
Cash advances are charged $10 or 5% of the amount, whichever is greater.
Penalty APR and fees
Late payments and returned payments attract a penalty fee of up to $40. The penalty APR for late and returned payments is 29.99%. Once the penalty APR is applied to your account, it will apply for at least six months.
Foreign transaction fees
This card has no transaction fees for any transactions made outside the U.S., so you can use the card globally at no extra charge.
You can get useful information about the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card by checking the card issuer's website. Your latest billing statement will also include updated information on your card so you can also get important updates. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also maintains a credit card agreement database that contains important information that you may find useful when comparing and reviewing credit cards.
Who Should & Shouldn’t Consider American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card?
Other Considerations for American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card
MoneyGeek’s American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card review highlights the features you need to know about to understand whether this travel card is a good fit for you. These considerations will help you decide whether this can be your primary or secondary travel card.
Things to Consider if This Will Be Your First or Only Credit Card
If you plan to have the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card as your primary travel card, you need to keep the following considerations in mind.
If you are looking for an all-around travel card, the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card may not offer the most value since it is a co-branded card that will offer the most value to regular Marriott hotel clients.
This offers generous rewards on hotel stays and purchases at Marriott properties at a rate of six reward points per dollar. However, for most other purchases, the reward rate is two points per dollar, so you can get a travel card with a better reward structure if you do not frequently stay at Marriott hotels or resorts.
Comparatively, the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card has a high regular APR that ranges from 15.74%–24.74%. You will also not get an introductory APR with this card.
Things to Consider if This Will Be an Additional Card in Your Wallet
If the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is a secondary travel card in your wallet, you can use it to complement your primary travel card.
Use this card for all your Marriott hotel stays and purchases since it offers generous rewards for this category at six points per dollar spent.
You can get three points per dollar for booking flights directly from airlines and for dining in U.S. restaurants. If your primary card does not offer similar or better rewards, you can use the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card for these spending categories.
MoneyGeek’s methodology and comprehensive review process help us to determine the best credit cards for different consumer profiles based on card fees, interest rates, rewards, benefits and more. We use a comprehensive process that involves collecting credit card information, standardizing data point weights, establishing the cards' value and ranks for different categories, reviewing data monthly and other key rating factors.
How American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card Compares to Other Cards
Hefty annual fees are typical for luxury travel cards and the $450 annual fee for the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card can be offset by the generous rewards you get with this card. However, for travelers who may not be partial to the Marriott brand, there are better all-around travel cards that will earn you generous rewards for hotel stays and purchases, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
QUICK COMPARISON OF American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card
American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card
- Annual Fee: $450
- Purchase APR: 15.74%–24.74% variable
- Foreign Transaction Fee: None
- Rewards Rate: 6x points per dollar for Marriott purchases, 3x points per dollar for flights and dining, and 2x points otherwise
- Redemption Options: Marriott hotel stays, flights, rental cars, room upgrades, gift cards and shopping
- Mini Verdict: Best for travelers who frequent Marriott properties
Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Annual Fee: $550 (plus $75 for each user)
- Purchase APR: 16.99%–23.99% variable
- Foreign Transaction Fee: None
- Rewards Rate: 1x–10x points per dollar split among six reward tiers
- Redemption Options: Chase Ultimate Rewards, cash back, gift cards, Amazon.com orders and Apple purchases
- Mini Verdict: Best for travelers looking for an all-around travel card with generous rewards for all travel purchases
Other Helpful Decision-Making Q&As
To find out more about the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, here are the answers to some of the commonly asked questions about this travel card.
Still not sure about this card? Consider these options.
The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card offers great value for travelers loyal to Marriott hotels with plenty of perks and reward benefits. However, depending on your travel preferences, you may want to compare this card with other travel cards to find an option that best suits your needs.
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