Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card: Worth $450? (Calculator)

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant AMEX has a $450 annual fee, but comes with over $1,000 in value from card benefits. Calculate points and cash value.

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is Marriott's premium credit card. It has a $450 annual fee, but comes with a bunch of benefits that can easily give you more than $1,000 in annual value including a $300 Marriott statement credit, a free annual night worth up to 50,000-points, Priority Pass Membership, unlimited savings at St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton hotels, and more. Overall, it's the best credit card to have for anyone devoted to the Marriott Bonvoy program.

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The Marriott Brilliant AMEX Card features three bonus categories that earn additional Marriott Bonvoy Points. Those bonus categories are Marriott Properties, restaurants, and airfare booked directly with the airline. There is no limit to the amount of bonus points you can earn spending in these categories and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with the card.

  • 6x Marriott
    • Applies to paying for hotel stays directly with Marriott and making on-property/site purchases that are categorized as being Marriott (such as a Marriott owned coffee shop or general store).
  • 3x U.S. Restaurants
  • 3x Airfare Booked Direct
    • You will not earn 3x on 3rd party booking; AMEX Travel site will not earn at the bonus rate.
  • 2x Non-Category

Perks & Benefits

The Marriott Brilliant AMEX Card is packed to the brim with benefits. This includes annual credits, free night awards, and much more.

  • Annual $300 Marriott Statement Credit
    • Triggers on Marriott purchases including the room rate.
  • Annual 50,000-Point Free Night Award
    • Received annually around card anniversary date.
    • Free night can be used at any hotel that costs 50,000 points or less at the time of booking.
    • Free nights can be stacked with free nights earned with other Marriott credit cards.
  • 15 Elite Nights
    • Applies towards Marriott Elite Status.
    • Credits can be stacked with elite nights earned from a Business Marriott Credit Card (for a total of 30 elite nights) but cannot be stacked with other Personal Marriott credit cards.
  • Marriott Gold Elite Status
  • Spend To Platinum Elite Status
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit
    • Global Entry is for speeding through customs when re-entering the states; also grants TSA PreCheck if approved.
    • TSA PreCheck is for expedited screening through TSA checkpoints.
  • $100 Property Credit
    • Applies when booking a 2-night or longer stay at a St. Regis or The Ritz-Carlton property.
    • Must use your Brilliant Card to pay and you must book through the special rate which is only visible when you own this card or the Chase Ritz-Carlton Card.
    • The special rate matches the standard rate.
  • Priority Pass Select Membership*
  • Complimentary In-Room, Premium Wi-Fi
  • ShopRunner Membership*
  • AMEX Offers*
  • AMEX Entertainment Access
  • Travel & Purchase Coverage

*Enrollment required.

Card Review

The benefits that are offered on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant AMEX makes up for the high annual fee. In my opinion, the 50,000-point free night award alone can easily offer hundreds in value. For example, here's some hotels in Miami that cost 50,000-points per night in which you would be able to stay in for free thanks to this certificate:

miami 50000 points

As you can see, using your complimentary free night at these hotels would give your certificate $371 to $474 in value which is fantastic. And while I do recommend using the free night certificate at 50,000-point hotels, there are many hotels that cost 35,000 points per night that still offer $200 to $300 in value. Combine that with the annual $300 Marriott statement credit and you should easily be able to offset the annual fee of the card. And this does not even include all the other benefits that comes with the card such as Priority Pass membership, the unlimited $100 property credit at St Regis and The Ritz-Carlton properties, complimentary elite status, and more.

Is The Card Worth It?

Yes. The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant AMEX Card is a great fit if you enjoy staying at Marriott brand hotels and want to go a step beyond the basic benefits that Marriott's other cards offer. Even if you only stay at the hotel a handful of times per year, you should easily be able to squeeze out more than $450 in value from the card's many benefits. On top of that, the increased earnings across general travel categories will help you to build your points slightly faster than other Marriott credit cards.

Rewards Calculator

You can use the rewards calculator to calculate how many points, miles, or cash back you can earn based on your spend per category. This calculator will also give you the dollar value of the card based on the value of the rewards earned and how much each benefit is worth to you, minus the annual fees. You can click the Compare A Card button to compare this card side by side any other card featured on the site within the same calculator.

Note! All category spend entered in the primary card's column (first column when comparing cards) will carry over to all credit card calculators on the site. This means you will not have to re-enter the same information again and again when browsing during the session.

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CardMatch™

Unsure of what type of rewards card you're looking for? Use CardMatch™ to get matched with offers, which may include special and/or prequalifed offers, on cards you're more likely to qualify for. You never know what great offers you might receive!
Updated 2021-03-22 By Robert Flowers III

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