Home Credit Cards Amex The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™️ American Express® Card gets a big refresh (new...

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™️ American Express® Card gets a big refresh (new annual fee and new benefits)


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Note: I’m still waiting for some of my links to update so don’t worry if you don’t see the new welcome offer when you click through – it will appear very shortly. If you love what you see so much that you can’t wait for the links to update, you’ll find a non-affiliate link here.

Amex has been busy with Bonvoy business today. It has increased the welcome offer on the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, it has unveiled the new Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card and as I’m going to discuss here, it has also made some very significant changes to the most premium of Marriott co-branded credit cards – the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™️ American Express® Card.

Changes to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™️ American Express® Card

A new look

Up until now the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™️ American Express® Card has looked like this.

Going forward, all new cards that are sent out will look like this:

As far as I’m aware (Amex hasn’t commented), this card will still be made of metal and not plastic.

New annual fee

The annual fee for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™️ American Express® Card is increasing from $450 to $650. Successful new applicants will be charged the new fee immediately while for existing cardholders, the new annual fee will go into effect on their next renewal date on or after 1 January 2023 (rates & fees).

New elite status benefit (terms apply)

Holders of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™️ American Express® Card now get complimentary Platinum Elite status as part of their benefits package. There is no spending requirement for this status and it is held for as long as the card is open and in good standing.

More elite night credits (terms apply)

Not only does the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™️ American Express® Card now offer cardholders Platinum Elite status but it also now offers them more elite night credits per tear than any other card – 25 in total (up from 15).

This means that anyone holding the Brilliant Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card will now start each calendar year with a total of 40 elite night credits already in the bank.

Improved annual free night certificate (terms apply)

Historically, the Bonvoy Brilliant card has offered cardholders a free night certificate valid at properties costing up to 50,000/night. Going forward, the free night certificate issued by this card will be valid at properties costing up to 85,000 points/night.

New “Earned Choice” award (terms apply)

Starting from 1 January 2023, cardholders who spend $60,000 on their Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™️ American Express® Card will be allowed to select a new benefit (from a choice of three) – the Earned Choice award.

The choices may evolve with time but as things stand, this is what cardholders will have to choose from in 2023:

  • Five Suite Night Awards™
  • $750 Off a Bed from Marriott Bonvoy® Boutiques
  • Free Night Award with a redemption value of up to 85,000 points

Only one Earned Choice award can be earned in a calendar year and based on the wording in the terms and conditions, it would appear that any spending in excess of the $60,000 needed to trigger the award will not roll over into the next calendar year. Full details of the Earned Choice award can be found here.

The dining credit is now in effect

As we were warned earlier in the year, Amex has now removed the $300/year Marriott credit that the Brilliant card offered and has now replaced it with a monthly dining credit worth up to $25.

A new welcome offer

Alongside the change to its annual fee and all the changes to its benefits, the Bonvoy Brilliant card has now also got a new welcome offer.

Specifically, successful new applicants can now earn 150,000 bonus Bonvoy Points after they spend $5,000 in eligible purchases on their new card in the first three months following the opening of their new account (terms apply).

More details here.

Note: the welcome offer is not open to all applicants. Please see the specific terms reproduced at the end of this article.

Things that haven’t changed

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™️ American Express® Card will continue to offer the same earning rates as before:

  • 6 points/dollar on spending made with Marriott
  • 3 points/dollar on dining (includes takeout and delivery)
  • 3 points/dollar on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2 points/dollar for spending in all other categories

And all the following benefits remain in place:

  • A $100 Marriott Bonvoy property credit valid on 2-night bookings at Ritz-Carlton or St Regis properties
  • Priority Pass Select Membership (excludes PP restaurants)
  • Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership credit
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance*
  • Trip delay reimbursement*
  • No foreign transaction fees

*Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

Bottom line

Amex has unveiled a much changed Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™️ American Express® Card and alongside a significantly increased annual fee comes a new look and new benefits. Cardholders are now given complimentary Platinum Elite status, more elite night credits, a more valuable free night certificate, and the opportunity to choose another benefit (out of a menu of three) once a spending target is reached.


Welcome offer restrictions:

Per Amex:

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product or the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.

Welcome offer not available to applicants who (i) have or have had The Ritz-Carlton® Credit Card from JPMorgan or the J.P. Morgan Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card in the last 30 days, (ii) have acquired the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days, or (iii) received a new Card Member bonus or upgrade offer for the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card from Chase in the last 24 months.

One Of The Best Amex Cards Around

The American Express® Gold Card offers the best earnings rates for spending at US supermarkets and on dining out of any American Express Membership Rewards card, and it offers credits for Uber/Uber Eats and dining which help offset the $250 annual fee (rates & fees).

Currently, the American Express® Gold Card is offering successful new applicants 60,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points after they spend $4,000 on their new card in the first 6 months of card membership.

The Great Benefits (Terms Apply)

  • Earn 4 points/dollar on spending at U.S Supermarkets (up to $25,000 in spending/year)
  • Earn 4 points/dollar on dining and takeout (including Uber Eats)
  • Earn 3 points/dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel
  • Get $120/year in dining credits (at select eateries)
  • Get $120/year in Uber Cash credits
  • Get $100/year Hotel Collection credit

Click for more details on the American Express® Gold Card

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