9 Ways to Maximize the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant AmEx
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The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card offers solid perks, like Priority Pass lounge access (enrollment required) and an annual $300 statement credit on eligible restaurant spending. Of all the Marriott cards, this card offers the most luxurious perks, and accordingly, has a $650 annual fee to match. Terms apply.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is designed for travelers looking to maximize their Marriott Bonvoy benefits. If you’re considering applying, here are nine ways to get the most out of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. Terms apply.
How to maximize your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
1. Earn the welcome bonus
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card comes with an attractive welcome bonus: 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. Terms Apply.
That’s enough for a free night at a luxury resort like the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, California, where you’ll need from 88,000 to 100,000 Bonvoy points for an award night, depending on when you travel.
To get the most value from your points, compare the cash price. A recent search for this Ritz-Carlton showed rooms starting at $1,018 for a night in November 2022. Dividing the cash rate by a 100,000-per-night points rate shows you’re getting about 1 cent per point. That’s a high-value redemption since the average value of Marriott Bonvoy points is about 0.7 cent each.
» Learn more: Four Marriott Bonvoy sweet spots to redeem your points
2. Enroll for Priority Pass lounge access
Your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card comes with a membership to Priority Pass Select, a network that includes more than 1,300 airport lounges across the globe. Before you fly, visit the Priority Pass website to find out whether your departure terminal has a participating lounge. If it does, your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card gets you and up to two guests into the lounge at no charge — a value of about $50 per person, depending on the lounge. Terms apply.
You can also add your Priority Pass card information to the Priority Pass app, which you will have to present at the lounge when you visit. The app is pretty handy, especially if you forget your Priority Pass card at home when traveling.
3. Use your $300 worth of annual statement credits on restaurant spending
Another annual benefit of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is the up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) you'll get for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide. Terms apply.
» Learn more: Which Marriott Bonvoy credit card should I choose?
4. Use the $100 property credit at St. Regis or Ritz-Carlton
If you’re a fan of high-end properties like St. Regis or Ritz-Carlton, use your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card to book your reservation and you'll earn a $100 property credit. To qualify, you will need to book a two-night minimum stay and use the member rate called "$100 Property Credit, Luxury Credit Card Rate." Terms apply.
The credit could be used each time you book a two-night stay at one of these hotels.
5. Earn up to 6 points per $1 on bonus categories
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card offers bonus points on specific bonus categories:
Participating Marriott hotels: 6 points per $1.
Restaurants in the U.S.: 3 points per $1.
Flights booked directly with an airline: 3 points per $1.
All other purchases made with the card: 2 points per $1.
If you’re fond of Marriott properties, this card will help you get the most bang for your buck on paid hotel stays. But even when you’re not traveling, you can accelerate earning of points by using the card at restaurants and everywhere else you make purchases.
6. Enroll in Marriott Platinum Elite status
This card gives you automatic Platinum Elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program, which provides benefits like:
50% more points earned on every paid stay.
4 p.m. late checkout, when available.
Complimentary room upgrades, when available.
Savvy cardholders use the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card to climb to an even higher elite status level. Every calendar year, cardholders receive 25 elite night credits that can be applied to the next level of Bonvoy status. Combine these with elite night credits you earn by staying at Marriott family properties, and you can get to Titanium status faster. Once at that level, you'll enjoy enhanced perks, like 75% bonus points on every paid stay (respectively) and a gift at check-in. Terms apply.
7. Use your free night award — worth 85,000 points
Each year after your card renewal month, you'll receive a free night award certificate that can be used at participating Marriott hotels — though you will still have to pay resort fees if applicable.
To earn this award, keep your card account open for more than a year and pay the annual fee. This perk is good at Marriott properties costing 85,000 or fewer Bonvoy points per night. Terms apply.
8. Get reimbursed for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
Use your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card to pay the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and you’ll get reimbursed for the fees. You can use this benefit once every four years when you reapply for Global Entry (worth up to $100) or every 4 1/2 years when you reapply for TSA PreCheck (worth up to $85, but note that the TSA PreCheck application fee was recently lowered to $78). Terms apply.
9. Get travel insurance coverage
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card comes with trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, baggage insurance, car rental loss and damage, purchase protection, extended warranty, return protection and access to the Premium Global Assist® Hotline. To receive coverage, make sure that you use the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card to book your trip. Terms apply.
Maximizing the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is a great option for Marriott loyalists looking to get even more from their travels. While the annual fee is steep, the high welcome offer combined with Priority Pass lounge access (enrollment required), the $300 annual statement credit and the 85,000-point anniversary free night award can offset that cost. Terms apply.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card