Marriot is folding its Starwood and Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton Rewards into its new Bonvoy rewards program. To celebrate the union, Marriot is promoting a new line of rewards cards with nose-bleed-inducing signup bonuses.
Early adopters of the Marriot Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card and the Marriot Bonvoy Business American Express Card can earn a 75,000-point welcome bonus. However, you must spend $3,000 within the first three months.
What do I need to know about the Marriot Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card?
Read our in-depth profile for more information, but here are the key points.
The annual fee is $450
This is a great card, but it’s not for everyone. If you don’t plan to use its perks, go for a card with a lower fee or that waives the first annual fee.
It comes with $300 in statement credits
During each year of your Card Membership, you are eligible to receive up to $300 total in statement credits for eligible purchases made at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. The only catch is you can’t use the credit for room reservations. Great excuse to treat yourself during your stay.
Free night award
Every year you own this card, you can redeem a free night worth up to 50,000 Marriot Bonvoy points. There are no blackout dates for free nights.
Complimentary Gold Elite Status
This gives you a 25% bonus on eligible purchases and allows you to request room upgrades and late checkout.
Earn Platinum status (after $75,000 in spend each year)
The card also includes a fast track to Platinum status in the Marriott rewards program. Every time you hit $75,000 on the card, you can enjoy Marriot Platinum status for the rest of the year and the next calendar year.
No foreign transaction fees
This is an excellent card for international travel, as there are no foreign transaction fees.
Priority Pass membership
You and a guest will receive access to more than 1,200 Priority Pass airport lounges around the world. This is a valuable perk. A Priority Pass membership typically goes for $399.
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit
The card offers a $75 to $100 credit to cover the fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 4 years.
Unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi access
Never worry about wifi again. Your card membership grants you free access to Boingo Wi-Fi access in airports, hotels, restaurants, and other locations around the world.
How to use the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card?
To get the most of your Marriot Bonvoy Brilliant card, follow these instructions:
- Spend at least $5,000 in the first three months to earn the card’s generous signup bonus.
- Always use this card when booking participating properties and paying for hotel incidentals.
- If you plan to use your points for airfare, transfer your points to one of Marriott’s airline partners in 60,000-point increments. This will give you a 15,000-point bonus.
- When redeeming your award stays, try to book them in five-night increments. This way, you will earn a free fifth night.
Do I qualify for the Marriot Bonvoy Brilliant signup bonus?
If like me, you recently scored the 75,000-point signup bonus from the Starwood Preferred Guest Card, you are probably wondering if you qualify for the new signup bonus. American Express has implemented stricter anti-churning rules, so it does pay to read the small print.
The signup bonus is not available to applicants who
- 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,
- Acquired the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier Business from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days,
- Or received a new Card Member bonus or upgrade offer for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ from Chase, Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier Plus Business from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 24 months.
If you’re a credit card churner and you can’t remember exactly when you last picked up an SPG, Marriot Rewards, or Ritz-Carlton card, don’t worry. Both Chase and American Express will let you know if you qualify for the signup bonus as part of the application process. So you don’t have to get a ding on your credit to find out whether you are eligible for the welcome bonus.
Should I apply for the Marriot Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card?
If you are a regular traveler that likes to stay at good hotels, you should consider this card.
Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.
- Points never expire as long as the card is active every 24 months.
- Never worry about blackout dates again.
- Forget about limits on how many points you can earn.
- You can combine cash and points when redeeming points.
- You can transfer points to a variety of airline partners at a 1:1 ratio.
- Not all purchases qualify for redemption. Currently, it includes hotel stays, upgrades, airfare, vacation packages, cruises, merchandise, gift cards, and charity donations.
- Largest hotel network in the world.
- Become debt-free in less time.
- Marriott points have a redeemable value of 80% of their value.
- You only get points for travel booked through the Marriot rewards program.
- Booking for an outside hotel is not always a good idea. Most redemption options outside of hotel stays have a very poor value
- Hotels may limit standard room awards.
Not sure if this card is right for you? Check SuperMoney’s comparison tools to find the best card for your budget and lifestyle.
Andrew is the managing editor for SuperMoney and a certified personal finance counselor. He loves to geek out on financial data and translate it into actionable insights everyone can understand. His work is often cited by major publications and institutions, such as Forbes, U.S. News, Fox Business, SFGate, Realtor, Deloitte, and Business Insider.