There are any number of travel cards out there, but of those, only a few offer the kind of benefits the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex does. An excellent rewards program is accompanied by a host of travel, shopping and entertainment benefits, as well as comprehensive protection against unforeseen events. Despite its high annual fee of $450, the range and scope of perks on offer will soon take care of any initial outlay (especially if you’re a frequent traveler or someone who enjoys the luxury of free upgrades and complimentary room service on your annual vacation). Find out more about the advantages of becoming a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex cardholder with these 20 key benefits.
1. A Generous Sign Up Bonus
Sign up to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex and meet the minimum spend requirements (as of June 2019, that equates to $3000 in the first 3 months), and in reward, you’ll get a very generous 75,000 Marriott points. As The Points Guy notes, that’s an incredible $600 to splurge on a night at the luxury St Regis hotel chain, or at family-friendly resorts like Springhill Suites. What could be better?
2. Earn While You Spend
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex firmly believes in rewarding you for your spending. Its reward system breaks down as:
- 6 x Marriott points per $1 for purchases at Marriott Bonvoy hotels
- 3 x Marriott points per $1 for purchases at US restaurants and flights booked directly with carriers
- 2 x Marriott points per $1 for all other eligible purchases
Marriott points equate to 0.9 cents per point, so you'll be getting a rewards rate of 5.4% on dollars spent with the hotel chain, 2.7% on dining and flights, and 1.8% on everyday spending. The points can be used for stays at over 6900 participating Marriot Bonvoy Hotels or redeemed against flights and car rentals.
3. Enjoy A $300 Marriot Bonvoy Statement Credit
For every year of card ownership, you’ll get $300 in statement credits for eligible purchases at participating Marriot Bonvoy Hotels. The credit will cover you for room rates and any incidental costs like maid service, room service, etc. Unlike some reward schemes, the statement credit is incredibly easy to claim and even easier to redeem: each year, your card will automatically be loaded with the credit, and any eligible purchases will simply be deduced from the total.
4. Get A Free Night At A Hotel
A lovely complimentary benefit of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex is the free night award. Every year on the anniversary of your account opening, you’ll receive 1 free night award that can be used for one night at a participating hotel worth up to 50,000 Bonvoy points. As the list of participating hotels includes the likes of the Ritz-Carlton Bali, St. Regis Mexico City and the Paris Marriott Opera Ambassador Hotel, the award will allow you a taste of the high life without having to spend a cent.
5. Enjoy Complimentary Gold Elite Status
As a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex cardholder, you’ll enjoy complimentary Gold Elite Status. Not sure what this means? In basic terms, it will unlock a host of very handy privileges at all participating Marriott hotels. In addition to getting you 25% bonus points on eligible hotel purchases, you’ll also be entitled to a 2pm late checkout, complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, and free room upgrades (where available).
6. Grab A $100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit
Another great little perk of owning a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex is the $100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit you’ll receive towards stays at luxury hotels. Every time you use your card along with a special rate code for eligible stays of two or more nights at The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis properties, you’ll get $100 to put towards any of the hotel's amenities you care to indulge in. There’s no limit on the number of times you can use the credit, which means that pesky $450 annual fee can be taken care of in no time at all.
7. Receive Annual Complimentary Elite Night Credits
As a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex cardholder, you’ll enjoy 15 complimentary elite night credits every year. If you’re working towards Platinum Status (which will get you suite upgrades and free breakfasts at participating hotels) this can be a handy way of getting you there that much sooner. Just be aware that terms do apply, and there’s a limit of 1x 15 Elite Night Credit per Marriott Bonvoy member account.
8. Write Off Your Global Entry Or TSA Pre✓ Fee
A handy little benefit of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex is the fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓. Charge the application fee to your card and every four years you’ll receive a statement credit worth $100 for Global Entry (which basically takes care of the entire fee) and every 4.5 years you’ll receive an $85 credit for the TSA Pre✓. If you’re a frequent flier, the perk of expedited screening at select airports will more than justify that $450 annual fee.
9. Save On Overseas Spending
As proof of its status as one of the best travel cards around, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex charges 0% on transaction fees when you use your credit card for purchases abroad. With the cost of foreign transactions averaging between 3 and 5%, frequent travelers will feel the advantage of this particular benefit in no time at all.
10. Get Help With Premium Roadside Assistance
If you find yourself in a roadside dilemma, you’ll be pleased to know that as a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex cardholder, you can enjoy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week access to Premium Roadside Assistance. Whether you need a tow, a change of tire, or a jumpstart, help is only a phone’s distance away. Unlike some providers, Amex Roadside Assistance will even help if you’re in need of a home-start.
11. Cover Yourself With Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
Use your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex to reserve and pay for your rental vehicle, and you can wave goodbye to the hefty collision damage waiver rental companies just love to charge. Under the terms of Amex’s Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance, you’ll automatically enjoy comprehensive cover against loss or damage. Just a couple of caveats before you get too carried away: the cover does not apply to vehicles rented in Australia, Italy or New Zealand, and does not include liability coverage.
12. Enjoy Peace Of Mind With The Premium Global Assist Hotline
If you find yourself in trouble while far from home, fear not. Amex offers its lucky cardholders a 24/7 Premium Global Assist Hotline to help you out in times of medical, legal and financial difficulties. The hotline’s agents will help direct you to English speaking medical and legal professionals and, where necessary, coordinate your transfer to an appropriate medical facility. They can even arrange an air ambulance – perfect if you find yourself with a broken leg while hiking Mount Everest. The services don’t stop there – if you need help with prescription replacements, emergency hotel check-ins, cash wires, missing luggage, or lost or stolen passports, they’ll be on hand to support.
13. Protect Your Luggage With The Baggage Insurance Plan
We’ve all experienced that sinking sensation in the pit of our stomachs as we wait for hours at the carousel for a piece of luggage that shows no sign of appearing. With the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that even if the worst happens, you (if not your luggage) are in safe hands. Amex’s Baggage Insurance Plan offers comprehensive cover for any eligible lost, damaged, or stolen baggage when you purchase your travel ticket on your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex. There are just a couple of limitations to bear in mind: coverage is limited to $2,000 for checked baggage and up to a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on baggage. There’s also a $3,000 aggregate limit per Covered Trip, and for New York State residents, a $2,000 per bag/suitcase limit for each Covered Person with a $10,000 aggregate maximum for all Covered Persons per Covered Trip.
14. Receive Complimentary Travel Accident Insurance
If you were to accidentally go and die while traveling on a common carrier (which, for the uninitiated, means a plane, train, ship or bus), you’ll be pleased to know Amex will provide up to $500,000 in accidental death and dismemberment coverage. Obviously, you’ll be too dead to appreciate the money, but we’re sure your family will be grateful you had the foresight to travel with a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex on your person.
15. Enjoy Worry-Free Shopping With Extended Warranty Protection
We’ve all faced situations where the cost of purchasing an extended warranty outstrips the purchase price of the item itself. Charging your purchases to your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex will allow you to shop with confidence and avoid those pesky warranty charges. Amex will kindly extend the existing manufactures warranty on all eligible items (i.e. items purchased in the US and that have warranties of 5 years or less) by up to two additional years. Can’t say fairer than that.
16. Track Your Spending With A Free Year-End Summary
Want to keep track of your spending? With the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex, you can. Every year, Amex will provide you with a free Year-End summary of charges, so you can see exactly what you're spending your hard-earned cash on, and where your spending it too. All you need to do to access the summary is to log in to your account- from there, you can view every last transaction, advance and purchase you’ve made over the past 12 months.
17. Protect Yourself From Fraud
These days, counterfeit fraud and identify theft are ever-present threats. Luckily, there are several things you can do to protect yourself… the first being to sign up with a credit card provider who offers comprehensive protection against fraud. Fortunately, Amex is all too aware of the problem and is doing as much as possible to mitigate the threat to its customer. By owning a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex, you’ll enjoy comprehensive protection against unauthorized charges – if you see a charge you don’t recognize, simply call the number on the back of your card and the nice folk at Amex will take care of the rest.
18. Shop With Confidence With Return Protection
We’ve all been there- you unload a stack of cash on a purchase, only to discover it’s not quite what you’re looking for when you get it home. You try to return it to the shop, but the snotty-nosed sales assistant is having none of it. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you’ll be pleased to know you’re covered (well, you will be if you purchased the item using your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex). Amex will refund the full purchase price (excluding any shipping or delivery costs) up to $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per the calendar year per Card account, and on the condition, the full cost of the item was charged to your card.
19. Enjoy Free ShopRunner Membership
If you like to indulge yourself in the odd spot of retail therapy, you’ll be delighted with the next benefit on our list: ShopRunner membership. Usually, membership comes with a fee of $79 per year, but as a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex, you can enjoy the perks of membership for free. That gives you free 2-day shipping at over 100 online stores – if you’re a frequent shopper, the savings will soon start to stack up.
20. Unlock Extra Discounts With Amex Offers
As the owner of a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex, you’ll unlock access to a host of saving with Amex offers. As MMS explains, the program offers a range of targeted discounts that can be linked to your card from your Amex account. Once linked, you’ll enjoy savings on everything from hotels and flights to car rentals and restaurants.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee