The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is a credit card with a $450 annual fee, relatively low credit limit, average APR, and a fairly high credit score requirement for great approval odds. The AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card allows you to earn many Marriott Bonvoy points very quickly and these points are easy to redeem for various Marriott rewards.
Not only that but with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, you can make the most of exclusive statement credits for things like room service and spa treatments at a handful of select Marriott properties throughout the year. Things like this make the annual fee seem much more reasonable if you plan wisely.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is for Marriott loyalists and enthusiasts only. If you plan on spending less than a week checked-in at a Marriott property each year, this is unlikely to be a beneficial card for you.
For those that do spend a considerable amount of time at Marriott properties, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card can end up paying for itself and more with up to $300 in statement credits for eligible purchases at most hotels and properties. This is in addition to a free night each year, Gold Elite Status for all cardmembers, and reduced resort fees and other complimentary upgrades.
The APR for the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is a variable rate with a cap at 29.99%. At the time of this writing, the variable rate range for all customers is 15.74% to 24.74% on purchases and balance transfers. The rate for balance transfers may be raised within 60 days of your account opening.
The cash advance APR is also a variable rate, but it has no range depending on determined creditworthiness. The current cash advance rate is 25.24%.
Penalty APR may also apply to an account if a payment is made late or returned. However, this is unlikely to trigger for your first late payment to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card in total. Penalty APR is, at present, 29.24%. This will only apply to purchases and other qualifying transactions made after the penalty rate is triggered. Penalty APR with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card will last for a minimum of 6 months.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card has no stated minimum or maximum credit limits. However, as an American Express card, it's likely that credit limit increases will be few and far between. Starting credit limits are typically between $2,000 and $5,000.
- Annual Fee – There is a $450 annual fee for having the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card.
- Cash Advance Fee – The cash advance fee for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is the greater of $10 or 5% of the total cash advance.
- Foreign Transaction Fee – There is no foreign transaction fee for purchases made with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card.
- Late Payment Fee – The late payment fee for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is up to $40 for each late payment. Multiple late payments may trigger penalty interest.
- Return Payment Fee - The return payment fee for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is up to $40. Multiple returned payments may trigger penalty interest. Returned checks may not incur a fee.
- Authorized User Fees – There are no authorized user fees with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card. However, authorized users will not receive the same perks or privileges as the primary account-holder.
- Balance Transfer Fee – The balance transfer fee for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is the greater of $5 or 3% of the total balance to be transferred.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card earns Marriott Bonvoy Points. Each point, depending on how you redeem them, can be worth as little as .5 cents or as much as 2 cents. The lowest redemption option is 7,500 points and the highest may be in excess of 85,000 points.
6 points are earned per dollar spent at participating Marriott hotels and properties. 3 points per dollar are earned at US restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points are earned per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
Bonvoy Points may not be transferred to another AMEX credit card or product. However, other types of AMEX points may be able to be transferred to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card. Bonvoy points may only be redeemed with Marriott.
Pros – Advantages of the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Credit Card
- $300 Credit for Marriott Extras – Every cardmember will receive up to $300 in statement credits each year for extras purchased at participating Marriott properties.
- Credit for Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check – While not a frequent expense or a unique credit for a travel card, this credit could help cover the cost of the annual fee.
- No Foreign Transaction Fee – There is no foreign transaction fee for using the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card.
- One Free Night Per Year – Every year after opening your card, on the anniversary of this date, you will receive a credit for one free night equal to the redemption of as many as 50,000 rewards points.
- Complimentary Marriott Gold Status – All Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card cardmembers receive a complimentary rewards program status upgrade.
Cons – Disadvantages of the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Credit Card
- High Credit Score Needed – For the best approval odds and a decent starting credit limit, a credit score of close to or over 700 is recommended. However, it's possible to qualify if you have an unblemished credit history and a score as low as 600.
- $450 Annual Fee – The annual fee may seem high at first glance, but this fee can easily be covered by the bonus points you get in your first year as well as the $300 statement credit and any bonus credits you can get for Marriott hotel extras.
- Marriott Rewards Only – While it's possible to rack up points quickly with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, it's important to note that these points are unable to be transferred to another AMEX card and must be redeemed as Bonvoy points with Marriott.
At present, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card has a single introductory offer. With this offer, each eligible new cardmember may earn 75,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first three months, or three billing cycles, of opening their account. They must also remain a cardmember for at least a year. You will receive these bonus points within 12 weeks of meeting the spending threshold.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is a great card for anyone that stays more than 5 nights a year at any level of Marriott property. With free extras, complimentary benefits, and reward point redemption, it's more than possible to save money with this card, even with the seemingly high annual fee.
As a credit card outside of its rewards program, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is just fine. It has a relatively low APR rate but, if you aren't using the Marriott Rewards program for all its worth, the annual fee is much too high for what you get.