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Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Review: A Long Lineup of Luxurious Perks

Refreshed Review Updated Jan. 24, 2023
Lyle Daly
By: Lyle Daly

Our Credit Cards Expert

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

Hotel credit cards don't get much more feature-packed than the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. Marriott's most luxurious card offers a rich welcome offer, spending credits, a free night award, and much more (terms apply). However, this card also comes with a hefty annual fee (see rates and fees). Decide if it's worth the cost with our Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card review.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
Apply Now for Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

Great for: Marriot Bonvoy benefits

Apply Now for Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00 stars
Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor

Credit Score:
Good/Excellent (670-850) Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Apply Now for Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

Intro APR

Purchases: n/a

Balance Transfers: n/a

Regular APR

19.99%-28.99% Variable

Rewards Circle with letter I in it. Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy® points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at Worldwide Restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.

2X - 6X points

Annual Fee

$650

Welcome Offer Circle with letter I in it. Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.

95,000 bonus points

  • This card has a hefty annual fee, but taking advantage of the big offer and litany of perks it offers can easily make it worth it for the right type of cardholder.

    • Big Marriott Bonvoy bonuses
    • Travel credits
    • Free night award
    • Automatic Gold Elite status
    • Airport lounge access
    • Annual fee
    • Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
    • 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.
    • A Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite member will earn 50% more points on eligible purchases at participating hotels for each U.S. dollar or the currency equivalent that is incurred and paid for by the member.
    • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at Worldwide Restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
    • Marriott Brilliant Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
    • Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases, Card Members are eligible to select an Earned Choice Award benefit. Benefit options include: Five (5) Suite Night Awards, 85K Free Night Award, and mattress and box spring $750 discount from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques. Certain hotels have resort fees.
    • $100 Luxury Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
    • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership through any Authorized Enrollment Provider for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85) when you pay the application fee with an eligible Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
    • Each calendar year you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
    • Enroll in Priority Pass Select, which offers unlimited access to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.
    • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
    • Cell phone protection: You can be reimbursed for your costs to repair or replace your damaged or Stolen cell phone up to $800, subject to a $50 deductible, for 2 approved claims per 12-month period when your prior month's wireless bill was paid utilizing an Eligible Card Account. Terms and conditions apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
    • $650 Annual Fee.
    • Terms Apply.

Full Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant review

This credit card is a good fit for: Frequent guests of Marriott hotels who want a luxury card with perks to cover both hotel stays and air travel.

Top perks

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is one of the most feature-packed hotel cards.

95,000 bonus points

You can earn 95,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points when you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first three months.

Marriott Bonvoy points are worth about $0.005 to $0.01 each, depending on where you redeem them. Based on that valuation, the welcome bonus is worth $475 to $950.

CHECK OUT MORE BIG BONUSES: Best Sign-Up Bonus Credit Cards

Up to 6 points per $1

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card earns:

  • 6 points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 3 points per $1 at restaurants worldwide
  • 3 points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2 points per $1 on all other eligible purchases
  • Terms apply

Those points are in addition to the points you already earn as a member of the Marriott Bonvoy program. You also earn 50% more points on hotel purchases with Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, which is a complimentary perk of this card. Terms apply.

COMPARE TO OTHER TOP OPTIONS: Best Hotel Credit Cards

$300 annual dining statements credit

Each cardmember year, your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card covers $300 in eligible dining statements (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide. You receive this as a statement credit. Terms apply. Assuming you use the credit every year, it effectively brings this card's annual fee down to $350.

$100 property credit

When you use your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card to book and pay for a stay of two nights or longer at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® using the "$100 Property Credit, Luxury Credit Card" rate, you receive a credit of up to $100 to redeem towards qualifying purchases at the property. The property credit appears as a credit on your bill at checkout, not as a statement credit on your credit card. Terms apply.

Annual free night award

After your card renewal month each year, you receive one free night award. You can redeem this for one night at a participating Marriott Bonvoy hotel with a redemption level at or under 85,000 points.

Complimentary Platinum Elite status

This card offers complimentary Platinum Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy. Platinum Elite status unlocks perks like enhanced room upgrades (when available), late checkout, and extra Marriott Bonvoy points on each stay. You also receive 25 Elite Night Credits each year. Terms apply.

Airport lounge access

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card includes a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. Once you enroll in this benefit, you get unlimited lounge visits for you and up to two guests in the more than 1,200 Priority Pass lounges. Terms apply; enrollment required.

Most premium travel credit cards offer airport lounge access, but this is still a useful feature for frequent flyers.

SEE MORE OPTIONS: Best Credit Cards With Airport Lounge Access

Entry/TSA PreCheck credit

Your Marriott card covers your membership fee to Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, two Trusted Traveler programs. You can get either a $100 statement credit for Global Entry every four years, or an $85 statement credit for TSA PreCheck every 4.5 years. Terms apply.

Global Entry is the superior choice, and not just because it's the larger credit. A membership to that program also automatically enrolls you in TSA PreCheck, so you get both programs' benefits for the price of one.

LEARN MORE: TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and CLEAR: Which Program Is the Best?

Travel and purchase protections

American Express cards tend to have top-notch protections, and this one is no exception. It offers (and here, too, terms apply):

No foreign transaction fee

Like just about all the best travel credit cards, this card doesn't charge you extra for international transactions in a foreign currency. This can easily save you 2% to 3% on every transaction in non-U.S. dollars versus cards that charge foreign transaction fees. (see rates and fees)

READ MORE: Best Airline Credit Cards

Alternatives to consider

If you want a less expensive Marriott Bonvoy card: The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card has a much more affordable annual fee. Even though it costs less, it isn't lacking in benefits, as it offers a great welcome bonus and extra points on Marriott Bonvoy stays.

If you want more flexible travel perks: The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers premium benefits that just about any traveler can use. Those include a $300 annual credit on bookings made with Capital One Travel, and a massive sign-up bonus.

For more options, take a look at our picks for the best rewards credit cards.

As of Jan. 24, 2023
Image for
Image for
Image for
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00 stars
Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
4.00 stars
Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
4.50 stars
Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
Apply Now for Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

Rates & Fees

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Excellent (740-850) Circle with letter I in it. Falling within this credit range does not guarantee approval by the issuer. An application must be submitted to the issuer for a potential approval decision. There are different types of credit scores and creditors use a variety of credit scores to make lending decisions.

Welcome Offer: Circle with letter I in it. Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.

95,000 bonus points

Welcome Offer: Circle with letter I in it. Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!

Earn 3 Free Night Awards

Welcome Offer: Circle with letter I in it. Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

75,000 miles

Rewards Program: Circle with letter I in it. Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy® points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at Worldwide Restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.

2X - 6X points

Rewards Program: Circle with letter I in it. Earn up to 17x total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™; Earn 3X Bonvoy points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining; Earn 2x Bonvoy points per $1 spent on other purchases.

2x - 17x points

Rewards Program: Circle with letter I in it. Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel, plus unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases

2x - 10x miles

Intro APR:

Purchases: n/a

Balance Transfers: n/a

Intro APR: Circle with letter I in it. N/A

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Regular APR:

19.99%-28.99% Variable

Regular APR:

20.24% - 27.24% Variable

Regular APR:

21.24% - 28.24% (Variable)

Annual Fee:

$650

Annual Fee: Circle with letter I in it. N/A

$95

Annual Fee:

$395

Highlights:

  • Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
  • 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.
  • A Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite member will earn 50% more points on eligible purchases at participating hotels for each U.S. dollar or the currency equivalent that is incurred and paid for by the member.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at Worldwide Restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Marriott Brilliant Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases, Card Members are eligible to select an Earned Choice Award benefit. Benefit options include: Five (5) Suite Night Awards, 85K Free Night Award, and mattress and box spring $750 discount from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • $100 Luxury Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership through any Authorized Enrollment Provider for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85) when you pay the application fee with an eligible Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Each calendar year you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Enroll in Priority Pass Select, which offers unlimited access to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • Cell phone protection: You can be reimbursed for your costs to repair or replace your damaged or Stolen cell phone up to $800, subject to a $50 deductible, for 2 approved claims per 12-month period when your prior month's wireless bill was paid utilizing an Eligible Card Account. Terms and conditions apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • $650 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Highlights:

  • Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases.
  • Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
  • Earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
  • 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year, and path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Highlights:

  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
Apply Now for Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

Show More Arrow graphic to expand and collapse content Show Less Arrow graphic to expand and collapse content

What could be improved

There is one downside to know about with this Marriott card.

Annual fee

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card certainly doesn't come cheap at $650 per year. However, that annual fee can be justified if you visit Marriott properties often.

Remember that the $300 dining statement credit can bring this card's annual cost down to a more reasonable $350. There's also the annual free night credit (which has a redemption value up to $500), Platinum Elite status, airport lounge access, and many other perks. Assuming you take advantage of its benefits, this card's value more than makes up for its annual fee. If that's not likely, you're better off checking out other credit card reviews.

Have a business? Then you should check out The Ascent's Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card review.

Find the best credit card for your needs

Compare credit card rewards, fees, APRs, and more using our side-by-side comparison tool.

Suggested credit score

We recommend a FICO® Score of 670 or higher to apply for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. It generally takes a good or excellent credit score to get approved for this card.

As with any credit card application, your credit score isn't the only factor that matters. American Express reviews your entire credit history as well as your income when evaluating your application. You can get approved with a lower score or denied with a higher one.

GET THE CREDIT CARD YOU WANT: How to Increase Your Credit Score

The Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant is right for you if:

You book stays at Marriott properties several times per year and want the card that will get you the most benefits there.

If you visit Marriott often, you're just about guaranteed to get your money's worth from the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. It offers a spectacular list of features, rivaled only by the best credit cards. Not only can you save a substantial amount of money on your Marriott stays, but the complimentary perks can result in a better hotel experience

FAQs

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