Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card review

Credit cards with large annual fees might not seem worth it at first glace; however, most times when you dig into the card details, you'll see that the benefits far outweigh the cost of the card. Learn more about this card and find out whether the annual fee is worth it for you.

Written by
Jennifer Doss
Why you should trust CardRatings
Hotel Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

  • Rewards
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. 3X points at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Welcome Bonus
  • Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Annual Fee
  • $650
Sponsored card
Credit Score: Good, Excellent
on American Express's secure website
Terms and Limitations Apply

Key Features

Editor Analysis:

  • Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.
  • Each card renewal year, get up to $300 (up to $25 per month) in statement credits for eligible purchases made with the card at restaurants worldwide.
  • In addition to numerous hotel perks, this card offers several great benefits for frequent fliers as well, such as airport lounge visits and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership reimbursement (enrollment required).
  • The annual fee isn't for everyone. If you don't frequently stay at Marriott hotels, or you don't think you'll use the other benefits offered by the card, you might have a tough time offsetting the cost of the card.


Credit Score: credit_score_needed

card_name benefits

The CardName annual fee is hefty– AnnualFees– and so you would expect that a card like this would come with a lot of benefits. Does it live up to the hype, or is it a huge and crushing disappointment? American Express is a CardRatings advertiser. See Rates and Fees.

In short, yes, we think that the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® lives up to the hype. At least, it should for fans of the Marriott hotel chain and their many, many brands.

CardRatings Tip

There are many hotels owned by Marriott where Marriott points can be redeemed. Some of these properties include The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Westin, Sheraton, SpringHill Suites and Residence Inn, among several others.

There are a lot of benefits that come attached to this card. Let’s run through some of its biggest assets:

  • It has a very generous rewards program, but we’ll talk more about that in the next section.
  • Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.
  • Each card renewal year, get up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) in statement credits for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
  • Free Night Award. What’s this, you ask? Receive one Free Night Award every year after your card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • A $100 Marriott Bonvoy property credit. With your card, you can book a special rate for a two-night minimum stay at The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis and get up to $100 in credit for qualifying charges.
  • Enjoy access to Priority Pass Select, which offers unlimited airport lounge visits around the globe regardless of the airline or class you are flying.
  • Go through airline security easier. Receive either a $100 statement credit for Global Entry every four years or a statement credit for up to $85 for TSA PreCheck every 4.5 years.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance. When you use your card to reserve and pay for the entire rental, you can say “no thanks” to the collision damage waiver at the rental company counter, and you will be covered for any damage or theft to the rental vehicle.
  • Baggage insurance plan. Coverage can be provided for up to $2,000 for checked baggage and up to a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on baggage.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance, up to $10,000 per trip and up to $20,000 per a 12 consecutive month period.
  • Cell phone protection. You can be reimbursed for your costs to repair or replace your damaged or stolen cell phone up to $800, subject to a $50 deductible, for two approved claims per 12-month period when your prior month’s wireless bill was paid utilizing an eligible card account.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Enrollment required for select benefits.See Rates and Fees.

card_name rewards

As we said earlier, the rewards are generous. In a nutshell, this may be a hotel credit card, but you also get rewards on airline purchases, restaurants and whatever is on your shopping list, whether it’s socks or shampoo or furniture.

Here’s a breakdown of the rewards…

  • You get six Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • You’ll receive three Marriott Bonvoy points when you eat at restaurants worldwide or book a flight directly with airlines.
  • You’ll get two Marriott Bonvoy points on all other eligible purchases.

card_name annual fee

So, about that fee. This is probably obvious, but we’ll spell it out. If you’re a fan of the Marriott brand, and you think you’ll get a lot of use of the card, you’ll probably feel that the AnnualFees fee isn’t a big deal. Of course, we’ll state the obvious right now: if you never stay at the Marriott and never plan to, then you should look for another card.

If you often stay at Marriott hotels or its timeshare properties and you plan to take advatange of some of the other card perks like unlimited airport lounge visits or Global Entry membership, it shouldn’t be too difficult to offset the cost of this card. For instance, that $300 statement credit mentioned above almost offsets half the cost of the annual fee alone. Figure in that credit and the Free Night Award after a year of having the card, you can effectively wipe out the entire annual fee.

So, again, if you’re a fan of Marriott or plan on taking an annual family vacation at a Marriott hotel or resort, the card could pay off big for you, and the fee might not be that big of a deal.

If you’re more of a Holiday Inn or Comfort Inn sort of person, or you generally sleep on friends’ sofas when you travel, there are surely some other travel rewards credit cards that you’ll find more to your liking.

How do cardholders rate the card_name?

CardRatings conducts a survey annually to learn what actual cardholders think of their cards. Here are the results for the CardName:

 Current ScoresPast Scores
Overall Score77.174.9
Features Satisfaction7.77.5
Customer Service7.77.5
Website/App Usability7.97.4
Likelihood of Continuing to Use7.97.6
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague7.57.4
Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

How does the card_name compare to other credit cards?

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® vs. card_name


If you aren’t much of a Marriott fan, you might find CardName, a more general travel rewards credit card, more to your liking. That said, there are some important differences to be aware of.

The card_name has a steep annual fee of AnnualFees, but this is actually a bit less than the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® card’s annual fee.

Each card has a welcome bonus offer for new cardholders. With card_name, you’ll receive 75,000 points worth $1,125 in travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠ – after spending $4,000 during the first three months of card membership.

Both cards offer a reimbursement of up to $300 in statement credit each account anniversary (though eligible purchases for that credit do differ), which can help to offset the annual fee.

Both cards also offer complimentary airport lounge visits worldwide.

And there is no foreign transaction fee for either card, making them both great cards to have when you’re traveling internationally.

As far as ongoing rewards goes, Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders earn 5X total points on flights and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually; 3X points on other travel and dining; and 1X point per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® vs. card_name


CardName does a little better with points for flying and lodging but the rewards are a bit less generous on general purchases. You’ll receive 5X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines (using your card_name, of course) or through American Express Travel (up to $500,000 spent on these purchases each year) as well as on prepaid hotels booked on

In terms of statement credits, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® offers up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) in statement credits for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide. Meanwhile, the Platinum Card® provides up to $200 a year in statement credits to cover incidental airline charges, like baggage fees and in-flight refreshments, charged on the card with a pre-selected airline (enrollment required). There are, in fact, numerous additional statement credits with the Platinum Card® for everything from certain gym memberships to hotel stays. See our full review for more details.

The Platinum Card® has a hefty AnnualFees annual fee; the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® has a sizable annual fee as well. Still, you want to look at each card carefully beyond the annual fees. If you travel extensively and enjoy the Marriott brand, then you are probably better off with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant®. If you travel extensively but aren’t wedded to any hotel brand, the card_name may be the way to go. See Rates and Fees.

Is the card_name a good card?

As you’ve no doubt figured out, especially if you’ve read all of this and haven’t just been skimming, if you regularly stay at Marriott properties, and you plan to continue doing so, then, yes, you can make the case that the CardName is a great card. There are a lot of perks and benefits that come with the card that help offset the annual fee and then some. Just make sure you’ll utilize these perks; otherwise, this is an expensive card to hold.

If your cousin Brenda manages a Ramada Inn, and so you’re always going there because she hooks you up with her employee discount, and you last went to a Marriott in 1992 and aren’t really sure if you’ll ever go again, unless Brenda ever applies to work at a Marriott, in which case, sure, you’d happily go there… then, well, sure getting this credit card would probably not be a brilliant idea. But, again, if you’re a frequent traveler, and you often stay at a hotel owned by Marriott, and you’re interested in the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® benefits, then you probably have an easy decision ahead of you.

Frequently asked questions

The card_name charges a AnnualFees annual fee.
The card_name is designed for people with good to excellent credit. If your credit score falls within this range, you should qualify for eligibility. That said, other factors, such as payment history, your total number of accounts, and the average age of your accounts, could also be considered in the application process.
The credit limit for the card_name can vary depending on factors such as your credit history, income, and other financial considerations. American Express typically evaluates each application individually and assigns a credit limit based on these factors.

Our Methodology

Survey methodology: CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September 2023 to conduct surveys among 1,869 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2023-Aug. 31, 2023 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were included to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents’ scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to “How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?” was double weighted. “Current Scores” reflect scores from the most recent survey (2023); “Past Scores” reflect scores from the 2022 survey.

Disclaimer:The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. does not review every company or every offer available on the market.

To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards in this post, please visit the following links: CardName (See Rates and Fees); CardName (See Rates and Fees)

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