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20.49% - 29.49% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee
Good - Excellent
If you’re a keen Marriott customer and want to use a credit card that offers great travel benefits and Marriott reward earning opportunities, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card could be a good card choice for you. The Bonvoy Brilliant credit card has a higher redemption cap compared to other Bonvoy cards, which means that you can get a lot more value out of your annual free night award.
The card has a tiered reward structure and you can earn up to 6 points per dollar. Additionally, you’ll earn 25% more points on your Marriott stays, due to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status being an included perk of this card.
Additionally, since this is an American Express card, you can also access exclusive Amex perks. This makes this a high end Marriott Bonvo credit card that is ideal for frequent travelers, Bonvoy super fans, and big spenders. Although there is a fairly steep annual fee, people in the above categories are likely to easily recoup the fee and enjoy some excellent benefits
- Annual Marriott Bonvoy Credit
- Gold Elite Status
- Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Property Credit
- Free Night Award
- Airport Lounge Access
- Purchase and Travel Protections
- Annual Fee
- Limited Elite Status
- Specialized Rewards
What Are The Top Reasons Not To Get The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant?
If you’re not a keen Marriott Bonvoy visitor, you are unlikely to get the best rewards with this card. If you are not brand loyal to Marriott Bonvoy, you would be better suited to a more general travel rewards card.
Can I Add An Authorized User?
Yes. You should be able to add an authorized user to your account via the online dashboard or alternatively, you can call the customer service team who can guide you through the process.
What’s The Main Uniqueness Of Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant?
The main unique feature of this card is that although it is heavily weighted towards Marriott Bonvoy, it also offers some nice perks, such as purchase protections, car rental coverage and lounge access.
How Long Does It Take To Get Approved?
If you complete the online application, you should expect to receive an approval decision in as little as 30 seconds. However, there may be occasions when American Express needs a little additional time to make an approval decision.
Editorial Note: Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollments may be required for select benefits. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more
In this Review
Features & Benefits
Let’s take a look at the advantages of the Amex Brilliant card and see if it’s the right one for your wallet or not (Terms Apply).
Every cardmember year, you’ll get up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
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
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant offers complimentary Gold Elite status. This unlocks a number of Marriott Bonvoy perks such as late check out, enhanced room upgrades and additional points on each stay. You will also receive 25 Elite Night Credits per year to help you towards the next elite status tier.
If you pay your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees with your card, you’ll get up to $100 in statement credit as reimbursement.
You can use your Marriott Bonvoy Brillian American Express even if you’re traveling abroad, as you’ll not incur any foreign transaction fees on non U.S dollar charges.
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.
If you book and pay for a stay at The Ritz Carlton or St Regis for two or more nights using your Brilliant card, using the $100 Property Credit Luxury rate, you’ll get a credit of up to $100 towards qualifying property purchases. The credit will appear on your bill at checkout rather than being applied as a statement credit.
On your card anniversary, you’ll receive one free night award that you can redeem at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels with a redemption level at 85,000 points or below.
This card provides a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. After you enroll, you can enjoy unlimited lounge visits for you and up to two guests at over 1,300 Priority Pass lounges.
This card also offers a number of purchase and travel protections when you use your card including return protection, extended warranty, and car rental loss and damage coverage.
As a Brilliant cardmember, you can 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
While there are many travel benefits on this card, it has some areas where it lacks. Here are the things you should know:
While there are some nice perks associated with this card, they do come at the cost of a high annual fee.
The card has a $650 fee per year, which can be offset if you frequently visit Marriott properties. However, if you’re not a regular Marriott visitor, you may struggle to recoup the annual fee with the card rewards.
While it may sound impressive, Gold Elite status is the second to last tier in this loyalty program. While you can work towards the next level of Platinum, this is offered automatically with some rival cards.
As the name of the card suggests, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant is a highly specialized card. This does mean that there are limited reward redemption options outside of the Marriott Bonvoy group.
The best way to redeem your points is with free nights, but you can also book airfares or car rentals.
How to Maximize the Bonvoy Brilliant Benefits?
Since this is a Marriott Bonvoy credit card, the best ways to maximize the benefits of the Brilliant American Express all relate to this hotel chain. You’ll maximize your card benefits with frequent stays that will allow you to access statement credits and further rewards.
However, there are some additional ways that you can maximize your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant benefits.
- Sign Up for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: Since American Express will reimburse you for the application fee if you pay with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant, there is no reason not to harness the benefits of these traveler programs. While there is some admin involved in signing up, you can enjoy a reimbursement every four years or 4.5 years, depending on the program, of up to $100.
- Pay For Car Rental With Your Card: Like many Amex travel cards, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant offers rental car loss and damage coverage if you book and pay for your rental with your card. This is additional coverage, but you won’t need to pay for the optional coverage at the rental counter.
- Don’t Just Pay for Travel Purchases: Although the card is Marriott Bonvoy centered, you can also enjoy purchase protections on eligible items. This means that if you buy electronics and other non travel items, you could qualify for extended warranties and damage protection, if you pay using your card.
Does It Have a Good Customer Service?
American Express has strong customer service, with 24/7 availability online or via the phone helpline. If you do have any queries or concerns, you can easily access a member of the team. American Express also has an impressive app for both iOS and Android devices.
The Amex app is highly rated on both the Apple Store and Google Play, allowing you to easily manage all aspects of your account while you’re on the go. You can also access your account details online.
The American Express website has a clean design with intuitive layout providing a great user experience. You can explore all the available products, but there is also a comprehensive help section with how to videos and support materials, along with the possible avenues to access the customer service team.
How To Apply For Amex Bonvoy Brilliant?
American Express has a comprehensive website that allows you to explore all the card options online. You can also apply via the website rather than needing to deal with a lengthy customer service call.
To start the application process, simply click on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant product page. You’ll find this card under the Travel Rewards tab on the main personal cards menu.
You will see an option to view further details, or go straight to “Apply Now.” This will take you to start the application.
Be sure to note at the top right hand corner of the page, the options to select if you’re already a card member or if you’re responding to a mail offer.
The application is quite standard and straightforward and you can complete it in a matter of minutes. You’ll need to provide your full name, email address, date of birth, address and Social Security Number.
However, there is also an income section to the application, so be prepared to provide your financial income figures and sources.
Once you complete the application, you have the option to proceed to the terms or save your application to complete later.
If you proceed, you’ll need to review the terms and conditions and then submit. You should receive an approval decision in approximately 30 seconds.
Compare The Alternatives
The Amex bonvoy brilliant is good chocie if you are looking for an hotel card. However, there are similar cards with great benefits you may want to take a look before applying:
World of Hyatt Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Hilton Honors American Express Card
1X – 4X 4 bonus points per $1 spent for Hyatt stays and experiences including restaurants and spas, 2x for flights purchased directly from the airline, local transit, commuting, restaurants, fitness club, gym memberships and 1 bonus point per $1 spent on all other purchases
1x – 17X up to 17X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card, 3X on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining and 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
3X – 7X 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio, 5x points at U.S. restaurants (including takeout and delivery) U.S.supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and 3x points for each dollar on other eligible purchases
30,000 points 30,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
5 Free Nights 5 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases
100,000 points 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership
Foreign Transaction Fee
$0. See Rates and Fees.
19.74 – 26.74% Variable
20.49% – 27.49% variable
American Express does not specify specific income requirements to qualify for the card. Amex will review your entire credit history along with your income to evaluate your application. You will need a good to excellent credit score, so you may be approved, if you have a high score but a lower income.
While the main application form does not provide an option to get pre approved, there is a separate log in for people responding to a mailer. This should allow you to confirm pre approval, to avoid triggering a hard credit pull.
There are no official credit limit minimums for this card. However, some customers have reported being approved for a far lower credit limit compared to other card issuers.
Yes, the American Express website is very intuitive and well laid out. You can access online support 24/7 and manage your account via the highly rated app, which is available for both iOS and Android users.
Excellent. You can access the customer service team online or by phone 24/7. There is also a comprehensive help section on the website for any general queries or questions.