Link: Apply now for the refurbished Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ™ American Express® paper
Massive changes have been made to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ™ American Express® Card (review), which is Marriott’s premium personal credit card. The card adds a number of great new benefits, including Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status with no spending obligations … wow! As you would expect, the annual fee will also increase.
The annual rate of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card increases to $ 650
Let’s start with the bad news. The annual rate of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card increases from $ 450 to $ 650 (Rates and commissions). This immediately applies to those applying for the card now.
For those who opened their account before September 22, 2022, the new annual fee will take effect from the renewal dates starting January 1, 2023. So, for a short time, existing cardholders will be able to enjoy the new benefits without paying a higher annual fee.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card gets great new benefits
While the annual fee on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card will be increasingly substantial, the card will also receive several new benefits. There are positive changes when it comes to the ability to earn elite status, the value of free night awards, and more. Let’s cover the details of what’s changing.
Free Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card now offers Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status for as long as you are a cardholder. This is huge, given the benefits of Platinum Elite status, which include room upgrades (up to standard suites), breakfast or lounge access at most brands, bonus points, and more.
This is where Marriott Bonvoy status really starts to become valuable, and this is the easiest path we’ve ever seen to reach Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status. This will understandably affect many. Even if you’re not a Marriott loyalist, Marriott has a huge footprint, so status with the group is worthwhile.
25 Marriott Bonvoy elite nights towards status per year
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card now offers 25 elite nights per year (previously the card offered 15 elite nights). Now, of course, you already receive Bonvoy Platinum Elite status just for having the card, but you don’t earn the elite nights that go with it.
So, if you want to earn Marriott Bonvoy Choice benefits (such as Suite Night Awards) or choose Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite or Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite status, this might come in handy.
With this change, you can now earn up to 40 elite nights per year just for having two Marriott credit cards, as you can earn them from a personal business card and a business card – you can earn 25 elite nights from this card and 15 elite nights from the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® card (review).
If you are an existing cardholder, you may have noticed that 10 elite nights were posted to your account overnight. This is due to this new advantage, as you go from 15 elite nights to 25 elite nights.
Marriott Free Night Reward up to 85,000 Bonvoy Points
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card now offers a free anniversary night certificate each year, valid at a property that costs up to 85,000 Bonvoy points. Plus, you can always complete the free night award with up to 15,000 points, which can be redeemed at a facility that costs up to 100,000 points.
This is an extraordinary change, as previously the card’s free night certificate was valid at a property that cost up to 50,000 Bonvoy points – it’s a significant difference and means you’ll be able to redeem it at far more premium properties.
Spend $ 60,000, Earn More Marriott Bonvoy Choice Benefits
Starting January 2023, there will be a nice additional incentive to spend money on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card. If you purchase $ 60,000 with the card in a calendar year, you will be able to select an earned Choice Rewards benefit. In particular, you can choose one of the following options:
- Five Suite Night Awards, each of which can be used to confirm a suite upgrade for one night up to five days prior to arrival
- A free night award, valid at a Marriott property costing up to 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points
- $ 750 off a bed from Marriott Bonvoy boutiques
This is in addition to the choice perks you would normally earn by going through 50 or 75 elite nights in a year. This could be a real incentive to spend money on the card, especially when you consider getting a free night certificate worth up to 85,000 points.
Up to $ 300 per year in restaurant credits
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card now offers up to $ 300 in calendar year reporting credits for restaurant purchases at restaurants around the world. This comes in the form of a $ 25 credit each month. This replaces the card that previously offered a $ 300 annual Marriott credit. Ultimately, this restaurant credit should be easy enough to maximize.
What does not change in the card
While the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is changing a lot, there are also many things that aren’t changing:
- The accumulation structure of points on the card remains unchanged, as you can earn 6 Bonvoy points on purchases at Marriott hotels, 3 Bonvoy points at restaurants around the world and on flights booked directly with airlines, and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
- You can receive a Priority Pass Select subscription (subscription required)
- You can get the registration fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry waived once every 4-4.5 years
Earn 150,000 points with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card
If you are interested in collecting the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, there is a limited time welcome offer. Through January 11, 2023, the card offers a bonus of 150,000 Bonvoy points after spending $ 5,000 in the first three months.
I personally rate Bonvoy points at 0.7 cents each, so that bonus is worth $ 1,050 to me. And, of course, you can take advantage of Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite benefits when you redeem those points.
My opinion of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card changes
Wow, the changes to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card are huge. It is really significant that you can now earn Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status only if you hold a credit card.
Even with the annual fee on this card now being $ 650, I personally think the value here is a dunk. Just to do some basic “bookkeeping” here:
- Most people should be able to fully utilize the $ 300 annual dining credit; this could be as simple as spending $ 25 a month at Starbucks
- I am thrilled that the free annual award night is now valid at a facility that costs up to 85,000 Bonvoy points per year, with the ability to use up to 15,000 Bonvoy points to top it all off and redeem it at a facility that costs up to 100,000 Bonvoy points; I easily rate this certificate at $ 350, and that’s very conservative
As I see it, these two benefits alone justify the annual fee. This doesn’t even take into account the value of Platinum Elite status, 25 elite nights towards status, Priority Pass membership, and more.
As a lifetime Platinum Elite member of Marriott Bonvoy, Platinum Elite status as such doesn’t add much for me. However, I welcome the 25 Elite Nights to Status every year. Since I also have a Marriott corporate credit card, that means I’m earning 40 elite nights per year without actually staying overnight. This brings me closer to earning Choice Benefits, which I appreciate immensely.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card has been completely renewed. While the card’s annual fee has increased by $ 200 (to $ 650), the card also offers all kinds of new benefits. Cardholders now receive Platinum Elite status for as long as they are card holders, one free award night valid at a property costing up to 85,000 Bonvoy points, 25 Elite status nights per year, and more.
On top of that, Marriott Bonvoy is also launching two new credit cards today, which I mentioned in a separate post.
What do you think of these changes to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card?
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees of the American Express cards mentioned. These include: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ™ American Express® Card (fees and commissions).