9 Reasons Why I Carry the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

by Anthony Losanno

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If you stay frequently at Marriott hotels then the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is a no brainer. Here are nine reasons why I carry this card and why you should add it to your wallet:

St. Regis NYC

9. Credit at Ritz Carlton or St. Regis

I love St. Regis hotels and have stayed in many of the brand’s properties. Ritz Carlton also has some wonderful hotels. With this card, you can receive up to $100 in property credit towards qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton (excluding Ritz-Carlton Reserve) or St. Regis when you book direct on Marriott.com using a special rate for stays that are two plus nights.


8. Earned Choice Award Benefit

Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases, card members can select an Earned Choice Award benefit. Options include: Five Suite Night Awards, an (up to 85K) Free Night Award, or a mattress and box spring $1,000 discount from Marriott Bonvoy® Boutiques.

Lounge Access

7. Lounge Access

The card comes with a Priority Pass Select Membership. This gives you access to many lounges around the world. Enrollment is required.

Elite Nights

6. Elite Night Credits

The card offers 25 Elite Night Credits each calendar year. This is a nice boost and one that I appreciate since my travel is not taking me on the road as many nights these days.


5. Instant Status

The card comes with complimentary Marriott Bonvoy® Platinum Elite status. This normally requires staying 50+ nights at Marriott hotels. It’s good to know you’ll always have this status at a minimum.


4. Dining Credits

Who doesn’t want to save money when eating out? Up to $300 back per calendar year (up to $25 per month) on dining purchases at restaurants worldwide.

Generous Earnings

3. Generous Earnings

  • 6X Marriott Bonvoy Points on purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program
  • 3X Marriott Bonvoy Points at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with the airlines
  • 2X Marriott Bonvoy Points on all other eligible purchases

Free Night

2. A Free Night

Receive one Free Night Award every year after your card renewal month. The award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.

Bonus Points

1. 95,000 Bonus Points

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 three months.

Anthony’s Take:

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is a must for frequent Marriott guests. Its annual fee is $650, but I have found that the dining credits, free night, and other benefits easily make this up. An excellent welcome bonus makes it even better. It will always have a place in my wallet. Learn more about the card. Rates & Fees.

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Alex H December 21, 2022 - 12:38 am

Which priority pass membership does it have?

Frankfurt Airport Lufthansa
Anthony Losanno December 21, 2022 - 2:01 am

It’s Priority Pass Select (which does not offer access to restaurants but does offer up to 2 guests).

Billy Bob December 21, 2022 - 11:40 am

Waive that annual fee for the first year and you’ve got yourself a deal.
I am dumping this card when renewal time rolls around. It is seriously not worth it anymore. The “Platinum” status means nothing if everyone else is also “Platinum.” And what if you don’t eat out much (if you try to stay in shape, you should avoid it)? The $300 Marriott credit was an easy one; the dining means you’ll be on some sort of a dining out treadmill with one more thing to remember – plus you’ll ingest more fat, carbs, and sodium just to get your own money back.


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