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The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card Gets Many New Benefits and Higher Annual Fees

By on September 22, 2022 0

The Marriott Premium Credit Card — the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card – is undergoing a complete overhaul. Today’s update includes the previously announced change to the card’s $300 annual credit, but we’re also seeing a host of additional changes. And unfortunately, these new and improved benefits come with higher annual fees.

That said, existing cardholders still have a few months before the new fees go into effect. And for new cardholders, an elevated welcome offer is now available.

Here’s everything you need to know about these changes to the Bonvoy Brilliant card.

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New elite status and more elite nights

Previously, Bonvoy Brilliant cardholders automatically received Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy and received 15 Elite night credits per year in their account, which helped them achieve status faster. Going forward, there are two enhancements to these perks:

  • Cardholders now receive 25 Elite Night Credits per year.
  • Cardholders are now automatically granted Platinum Elite status.

Platinum status includes eligibility for suite upgrades upon arrival and free breakfast at select properties, among other perks.

Note that reports from readers and TPG staff indicate that the extra 10 nights are starting to post to members’ accounts. Therefore, if you are already a cardholder, your elite nights balance may have increased.

Related: 3 Reasons I Keep Pursuing Marriott Platinum Status Year After Year

New choice benefit with expenses

Although the card now comes with automatic Platinum Elite status, this will not (in itself) make you eligible for Marriott’s Choice benefits. These only become available once you reach 50 elite eligible nights, and you get another selection when you reach 75 nights and qualify for Titanium status.

However, the Shiny Bonvoy Card gets its own selection of similar perks next year. Starting in 2023, when you spend at least $60,000 on the card in a calendar year, you become eligible for an “Annual Earned Choice Award” – where you will choose one of the following options:

  • 5 night rewards in a row.
  • A free night reward of 85,000 points.
  • $750 off a mattress or box spring from Marriott Bonvoy boutiques.

Again, this is separate from the choice perks you’ll unlock by reaching 50 and 75 elite qualifying nights – although, as noted above, this won’t start until 2023.

The JW Marriott Bonnet Creek. SUMMER CASE/THE DOT GUY

More valuable free night

The latest enhancement to the Bonvoy Brilliant Card involves the annual free nights reward that you receive each year upon account renewal. Previously, this applied to properties that up to 50,000 points per night. Going forward, this will be valued for a free night up to 85,000 points. And as announced earlier this year, you can top that prize off with up to 15,000 points from your Marriott account. This increases the potential value of the certificate up to 100,000 points.

If you maximize this increased value by booking a property at exactly 85,000 points, that gives you a value of $714 based on TPG appraisals. This is especially appealing given the final change to the map.

Higher annual fees

Of course, these changes come at a cost. The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant annual fee is now $650 (see rates and fees), starting at $450. While this change is effective immediately for new applicants, if you are an existing cardholder, it will be effective on your first renewal date on (or after) January 1, 2023.

New welcome offer

To attract new applicants, the card launched a new welcome offer: 150,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on qualifying purchases within the first three months of card membership. This welcome offer ends on January 11, 2023. TPG values ​​Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.84 cents each, meaning this bonus is worth $1,260.

Our opinion on the changes

There will likely be mixed reactions to this news. On the one hand, the Bonvoy Brilliant Card has become more luxurious in many ways – the status is higher, the annual free night is worth more, and the number of Elite Night Credits you receive is also higher. And since you can stack Elite Night Credits on both personal and business cards, that means you can hold the Brilliant and a Marriott business card to automatically get 40 nights a year, putting you just 10 nights off Platinum and 35 titanium nights.

However, this comes at a cost. Annual fee increases by $200, while easy-to-use Marriott Credit (up to $300 per year) is now gone, replaced by a monthly meal credit which takes more effort to use.

Existing cardholders will need to consider whether the annual fee is worth it on their next account anniversary.

At the end of the line

View from a suite in the Sheraton Grande Rio Suite. KATIE GENTER/THE DOT GUY

Today we discover a series of other updates to the Marriott Bonvoy Brillant Card. This includes:

  • Automatic Platinum status (formerly Gold).
  • 25 Elite Night Credits each year (was 15).
  • A re-choice benefit after spending $60,000 in a calendar year (new, as of 2023).
  • An increased annual fee.

Fortunately, existing cardholders won’t see the higher annual fee until their first renewal on (or after) January 1, 2023, so you’ll have some time to take advantage of these new benefits before deciding if the card is worth it. difficult to maintain in the long term. Course. And for those willing to apply for the card despite the higher fees, you now have an offer of 150,000 points to sweeten the deal.

Apply here: Earn 150,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on qualifying purchases within the first three months of a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card membership. Ends January 11, 2023.

Additional reporting by Ryan Smith.

For Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex rates and fees, click here.