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The AMEX Bonvoy Brilliant consumer card is a decent enough card despite its hefty $450 annual fee.
One of the main benefits is an annual 50K free night certificate, which can now be topped off and used at hotels that cost up to 65K points per night. It’s possible to recoup the entire annual fee just from that certificate at the right hotel, though it has become harder to get that kind of value from Marriott points.
The other main benefit is the $300 annual Marriott credit, which can even be used to purchase Marriott gift cards online.
Unfortunately that benefit will end on 9/21/22.
In its place, you will be able to get a $25 monthly credit at any restaurant, worldwide. You can still effectively get $300 in free annual spend, but this way AMEX gets you to keep your card in your wallet instead of the sock drawer. Plus as the $300 credit has to be earned over 12 months, there is going to be more people that forget to maximize that benefit.
Overall I view this as a negative change, though some people may prefer a restaurant credit to Marriott credit.
My last annual fee was charged on 10/1/21, but I chatted with AMEX and the agent said that my $300 credit renews on 9/11, so I’ll be able to use that credit one more time before my next annual fee. If I keep the card, I’ll also be able to use the $25 monthly restaurant credit starting on 9/22.
My wife’s last annual fee was charged on 9/10/21, but the chat agent said that her $300 credit renews on 8/24, so she’ll be able to use that credit one more time before my next annual fee. If she keeps her card, she’ll also be able to use the $25 monthly restaurant credit starting on 9/22.
You can downgrade this card to the $95/year Marriott Bonvoy consumer card, which earns a 35K annual free night that can be topped up for up to 50K points.
Do you view this as a positive or negative change? Will you keep, downgrade, or cancel your AMEX Brilliant card?