MoneyGeek's Take

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card Review

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® 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.

Advertising & Editorial DisclosureLast Updated: 11/21/2022
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Last Updated: 11/21/2022

If you’re looking for a travel card with premium perks, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® 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 Feature
    Has or Not
  • Has Annual Fee
  • Has Balance Transfer Offer
  • Has APR Offer
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • Travel Rewards
Click to see this card’s rates, fees and how they compare to other cards in our dataset.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card at a Glance

Like most co-branded cards, you will get more of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® 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 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card to boost your rewards.


  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

    A great card for frequent travelers who are Marriott Bonvoy members


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $450Annual Fee
    • 2–6 Points per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 6xRewards Rate at Hotels
    • 3xRewards Rate on Dining

    Terms, rates and fees apply

    Compare this credit card with other top-rated cards from our partners.

Pros & Cons Explained

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® 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.

Pros

  • Benefits
    Description
  • Generous rewards on Marriott purchases and stays
    At 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 credits
    As an Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Cardholder, you can receive up to $300 annually in statement credits. These credits can be earned with eligible Marriott Bonvoy purchases.
  • Airport lounge access
    The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® 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 fees
    This card does not have any transaction fees for overseas use.

Cons

  • Drawbacks
    Description
  • High annual fees
    Compared to other travel cards, the $450 annual fee for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is relatively expensive.
  • No introductory APR
    This card does not give you an introductory APR for balance transfers or purchases. All your purchases and transfers will have a regular APR of 19.49%–28.49%.
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LOOKING FOR THE BEST CREDIT CARDS OF 2022?

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® 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 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card which comes with the following rewards program.

1

Welcome Bonus

New cardholders can earn 150,000 Bonvoy bonus points if they spend $5,000 in purchases within the first three months.

2

Rewards Programs

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® 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.

3

Redeeming Rewards

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.

4

Maximizing Your Rewards

You can get the most out of your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® 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 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is a luxury travel card that offers great value for frequent travelers partial to the Marriott brand

  • Card Feature
    Description
  • Standard features
    The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® 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 Service
    American 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 Features
    The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® 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.
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MONEYGEEK QUICK TIP

Frequent travelers who stay in Marriott properties will find it easy to rack up points with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® 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 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, here are the key fees and penalty charges you need to be aware of.

  • Card Feature
    Amount or Rate
  • APR
    19.49% – 28.49%
  • Annual Fee
    $450
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • Rewards Rate
    2–6 Points per $1*
  • Airline Benefits
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    Regular APR

    The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has a variable APR of 19.49%–28.49% based on factors such as creditworthiness. It is important to note that this card does not have an introductory APR.

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    Annual fee

    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 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card.

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    APR for cash advances

    Cash advances have a 28.99% APR which may vary depending on the prevailing prime rate.

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    Cash advance fees

    Cash advances are charged $10 or 5% of the amount, whichever is greater.

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    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.

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    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.

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WHERE TO FIND THIS INFORMATION?

You can get useful information about the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® 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 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card?

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Other Considerations for Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

MoneyGeek’s Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® 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 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card as your primary travel card, you need to keep the following considerations in mind.

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    Co-branded card

    If you are looking for an all-around travel card, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® 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.

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    Spending categories

    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.

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    High APR

    Comparatively, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has a high regular APR that ranges from 19.49%–28.49%. 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 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is a secondary travel card in your wallet, you can use it to complement your primary travel card.

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    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.

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    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 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card for these spending categories.

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WHY TRUST OUR REVIEWS

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 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card Compares to Other Cards

Hefty annual fees are typical for luxury travel cards and the $450 annual fee for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® 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 Card.

QUICK COMPARISON OF Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

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Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Purchase APR: 19.49%–28.49% 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
creditCard1

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

  • Annual Fee: $550 (plus $75 for each user)
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% – 26.99% 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 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® 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 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® 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.

Learn more about credit cards in general

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*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity.
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