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Update: DEAD! Don’t miss it if this becomes alive again. Sign up for deal notification alerts here!
Update: This offer ends tonight at 11:59pm ET!
Originally posted on 9/26:
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Limited time welcome bonus:
Through 11/1/23, you can earn 2 free Marriott nights worth up to 85K points each for opening the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant AMEX and spending $6,000 in 6 months. The free nights will be valid for 1 year from the date of issuance.
You can also add up to 15K points to each night, for rooms that go for up to 100K points each.
Also available is a 125K bonus offer on the Marriott Bevy card, though with a $250 annual fee and no automatic anniversary nights, I don’t understand the target market for that card.
Comparison to previous welcome bonus:
The standard welcome bonus is 75K points.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant AMEX, please visit here.
Welcome bonus terms:
You won’t get the welcome bonus on this card if:
- You have or had an active JPMorgan Ritz-Carlton in the past 30 days.
- You were approved for a Chase Marriott Boundless, Bountiful, or Bold card in the past 90 days.
- You received a points upgrade offer from a Chase Marriott Boundless, Bountiful, or Bold card in the past 24 months.
- You have or previously had this card or the Starwood Luxury AMEX. After applying for a card, AMEX will have a pop-up letting you know if you ineligible for the bonus, which will allow you to cancel the application.
- 2 points per dollar everywhere
- 3 points per dollar on airfare
- 3 points per dollar on restaurants
- 6 Marriott points per dollar at Marriott hotels.
- There are no foreign transaction fees.
Cardholders will receive a free night upon every card anniversary valid at hotels that cost up to 85K points. Anniversary nights expire 12 months after they post to your account, though Marriott will typically offer a 12 month extension if needed.
You can also add up to 15K points to the certificate to use it at hotels going for up to 100,000 points per night including Marriott hotels from Bora Bora to the Maldives and from Herzliya to Sydney.
I’ve used my 85K free night in hotels selling for more than $1,000/night, easily covering the cost of the card’s annual fee.
Monthly Restaurant Statement Credit:
You can earn up to $25/month in statement credits for spending at restaurants worldwide. That includes one or more purchases for dining in, taking out, delivery, or when using apps like Doordash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, or reloading your Starbucks balance from the Starbucks app etc.
Platinum Elite Status:
This card offers Platinum Elite status, which gives 50% bonus points, 4pm late checkout, a points or breakfast amenity, suite upgrades, lounge access, and more.
Elite Night Credits:
You’ll also get 25 elite night credits for having the card, the most of any Marriott card.
You can stack that with 15 elite night credits for having a Marriott business card to get 40 elite night credits. You’ll then need just 10 more elite night credits from stays, promotions, or spending on select cards to earn a Platinum choice award such as 5 suite award nights. At 75 credits you’ll earn Titanium status and a Titanium choice award such as a 40K free night or 5 more suite award nights. The credits also count towards earning lifetime status.
Annual Earned Choice Award:
Spend $60K in a calendar year and get an earned choice award.
Choose from a bonus 85K night, 5 suite night upgrades, or $750 off a Marriott mattress.
Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check:
Cardholders will get reimbursed for Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check charges every 4 years. Those programs make flying so much easier!
Priority Pass membership:
You can then use lounges and bring in 2 free guests.
Unfortunately, AMEX Priority Pass membership no longer includes access to Priority Pass Restaurants.
Earn statement credits at stores that you register for in your AMEX account.
Premium AMEX Protections And Lost Item Protection:
- My favorite AMEX benefit is return protection. If you need to return an item up to $300 and a store won’t take it back due to a time limited or final sale policy, AMEX will gladly refund you thanks to return protection. Nearly all of the time you’ll even be able to keep the item, but if you are asked to send it back, the return shipping will be free. This benefit is valid for $1,000 of returns per card per calendar year. Additionally, if a store charges a restocking fee to return an item then AMEX will cover that cost, up to $300/item, as part of their return protection coverage.
- Trip delay insurance will reimburse expenses due to a flight delay, up to $500 of coverage for 6+ hour delays.
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance covers trips cancelled or delayed due to weather, terrorism, jury duty, or sudden illness or injury with up to $10,000 of coverage per trip and $20,000 per rolling 12 month period.
- Baggage Insurance covers lost, stolen, or damaged luggage on plain, train, ship, or bus tickets paid for on the card.
- If your item, up to $10,000, is lost, stolen, or broken within 90 days you’ll be covered! Many cards offer stolen item protection, but that claim requires a police report to be filed and often has a cap of just $1,000 on other cards.
- If a store charged a restocking fee to return an item then AMEX will cover it, up to $300/item, as part of their return protection coverage.
- You get an additional year of warranty coverage, double the original manufacturers warranty, and if you have any issue in the extended warranty year they’ll pay to have it fixed or refund your entire purchase price without a hassle. This benefit is far more valuable than warranty benefits offered by other banks.
- If you need to dispute a charge there’s nobody who makes it easier or as pain-free as American Express does. It’s the easiest dispute resolution process in the industry by leaps and bounds and you can do it all online.
- Complimentary Shoprunner 2 day free shipping and return shipping on hundreds of websites.
- See this post to see just how amazing AMEX benefits can be.
You’ll need to spend $6,000 within 6 months.
You can pay your federal taxes for a 1.85% fee. If you overpay your taxes you can request a refund or apply it to your next year’s taxes.
My local natural gas company allows me to prepay up to $1,000 on a credit card for a $1.65 flat fee. That’s a great way to earn miles and help meet a spend threshold. My electricity supplier allows me to pay with a credit card for free as long as I am enrolled in autopay.
Airline transfer bonus:
You can transfer increments of 60K Marriott points into 20K-25K airline miles or 27.5K miles with United.
Marriott has dozens of valuable airline transfer partners, such as Aegean, Alaska, American, JAL, Qantas, and dozens more!
Miles from these airlines can be very valuable and hard to get from other sources. For example JAL miles allow you to book awards on Emirates, AA, and BA with discounted or no fuel surcharges as well as mileage bargains. Alaska miles opens up bargains on airlines like Cathay Pacific and Qantas with no fuel surcharges and they allow 2 free stopovers on awards.
Premium internet access:
Cardholders get free premium in-room internet at Marriott hotels.
You can convert this card to the Marriott Bonvoy AMEX with a $95 annual fee or Marriott Bevy AMEX with a $250 annual fee. Converting or canceling within 12 months may cause a clawback of your bonus points and status.
Marriott Card Comparison Chart:
|Chase Marriott Bold Consumer Card||Chase Marriott Boundless Consumer Card||Marriott Bonvoy Consumer AMEX||Marriott Bonvoy Business AMEX||AMEX Marriott Bevy Consumer Card and Chase Marriott Bountiful Consumer Card||JPMorgan Ritz Carlton Card||Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Consumer AMEX|
|Points earned on everyday purchases||1 (2 on travel purchases)||2||2||2||2||2||2|
|Points earned on airfare||2||2||2||2||2||3||3|
|Points earned on Marriott hotels||3||6||6||6||6||6||6|
|Points earned on restaurants||1||3 ($6K annual cap across 3x categories)||2||4||4 ($15K annual cap across 4x categories)||3||3|
|Points earned on supermarkets||1||3 ($6K annual cap across 3x categories)||2||2||4, US only on AMEX, worldwide on Chase ($15K annual cap across 4x categories)||2||2|
|Points earned on gas stations||1||3 ($6K annual cap across 3x categories)||2||4, US only||2||2||2|
|Points earned on wireless service and shipping||1||2||2||4, US only||2||2||2|
|Free elite status level||Silver||Silver||Silver||Gold||Gold||Gold||Platinum|
|Elite night credits||15 consumer nights||15 consumer nights||15 consumer nights||15 business nights||15 consumer nights||15 consumer nights||25 consumer nights|
|Elite status with annual spending||None||Gold for $35K, plus earn 1 elite night credit with every $5,000 spent||Gold for $35K||-||-||Platinum for $75K||-
|Anniversary night with no spending required||None||Automatic free night up to 35K Marriott points||Automatic free night up to 35K Marriott points||Automatic free night up to 35K Marriott points||None||Automatic free night up to 85K Marriott points||Automatic free night up to 85K Marriott points|
|Free night awards for spending||None||None||None||35K night if you spend $60K in a calendar year||50K night if you spend $15K in a calendar year||None||85K night if you spend $60K in a calendar year, or select 5 suite upgrade nights or $750 off Marriott mattress|
|Monthly restaurant credit.||None||None||None||None||None||None||$25|
|Bonus points on each paid stay charged to card||None||None||None||None||1,000||None||None|
|Savings on Marriott stays||None||None||None||7% off standard rates||None||$100 property credit at Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve or S. Regis when you book using special rate for a 2+ nights||$100 property credit at Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve or S. Regis when you book using special rate for a 2+ nights|
|Annual Ritz-Carlton Club Level Upgrade Certs On Paid Stays||None||None||None||None||None||3||None|
|Annual airline fee credit||None||None||None||None||None||$300||None|
|Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit||None||None||None||None||None||Full credit every 4 years.||Full credit every 4 years.|
|Foreign transaction fees||None||None||None||None||None||None||None|
|Complimentary premium in-room internet||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Priority Pass lounge membership||No||No||No||No||No||Yes, with unlimited free guests||Yes, with 2 free guests|
|Enhanced Priority Pass access to restaurants, spas, and non-lounge credits||No||No||No||No||No||Yes, with unlimited free guests||No|
|Chase Sapphire Lounge Access||No||No||No||No||No||Yes, with unlimited free guests||One free annual visit to Chase Sapphire lounge with no guests. Guests or additional visits cost $75.|
|Priority Pass lounge membership for free additional users||No||No||No||No||No||Yes, with unlimited free guests||No|
|Enhanced Priority Pass access to restaurants, spas, and non-lounge credits for free additional users||No||No||No||No||No||Yes, with unlimited free guests||No|
|Chase Sapphire Lounge Access for free additional users||No||No||No||No||No||Yes, with unlimited free guests||No|
|Roadside Assistance||No||No||No||No||No||4 free uses per year||No|
|US Car Rental CDW Coverage||Secondary||Secondary||Secondary||Secondary||Secondary||Primary||Secondary|
|Emergency Medical and Dental when traveling||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Trip Delay Reimbursement||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Baggage Insurance, extended warranty, and purchase protection||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Dan’s quick thoughts:
This is a very expensive credit card, but between the $25 monthly restaurant credit and the 85K free night, it shouldn’t be hard to cover the cost of the annual fee and then some.
Marriott points are certainly not what they used to be, but the Platinum elite status and 25 elite night credits make this card a compelling value for Marriott enthusiasts and the welcome bonus is excellent.
Will you apply for this limited time offer? Where will you use the free nights?
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant AMEX, please visit here.