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The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card is one of the most popular premium credit cards out there. It is a premium hotel card with a high annual fee but also some valuable credits that you can use to offset much of the annual fee. In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about the credits attached to this card.
Bonvoy Brilliant overview
- $300 in Marriott statement credits (issued on card anniversary)
- $100 property credit
- 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary for redemption levels at or under 50,000 points
- Bonus earning:
- 6x at Marriott properties
- 3x at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
- 2x on all other purchases
- Complimentary Gold Elite status
- Earn Platinum Elite status after making $75,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year.
- 15 nights towards the next level of Elite status.
- Priority Pass Select membership
- Receive a statement credit every four years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre√® ($85) with your Card. (Read about these programs here)
- No foreign transaction fees
- Annual fee: $450
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What is the $300 Bonvoy Brilliant Credit?
The Bonvoy Brilliant $300 credit allows you to offset select purchases made at Marriott hotels, which includes room rates. This means that you can use your $300 credit to bring down the price of a hotel stay by $300, making this one of the easiest travel credits to utilize.
What other type of purchases can you use the $300 credit for?
You can use your credit for incidental expenses which are things like charges at hotel restaurants, spas, and other establishments within the hotel. However, you need to make sure that the charges are charged to your room and that you charge the purchase to your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card in order for it to apply.
The purchases you make need to be made directly with the eligible Marriott property so don’t think that you can use an online travel agency like Expedia and have this credit work.
The terms and conditions do exclude Marriott gift cards purchased online and also purchases at Homes & Villas by Marriott International home share properties.
When do I receive the credit?
As soon as you open up your card, you will be eligible to use your credit. The credit is issued based on your anniversary year which means that it will reset each year on your card member anniversary date. If you upgraded to the Brilliant card then your anniversary date will likely be set based on the card that you upgraded from. It never hurts to confirm this though.
Can authorized users use the credit?
Both primary cardmembers and authorized users can trigger the credit. However, the primary cardmember and all authorized users will be utilizing the same $300 credit every year so it is a $300 credit across all accounts.
How long will it take for my credit to post?
The terms and conditions state “Please allow 8–12 weeks after the eligible Marriott Bonvoy purchase is charged to your Card Account for statement credit(s) to be posted to the Account.” However, in reality your credit might post much quicker than that. If for some reason you never see your credit post then simply call the number on the back of your credit card.
$100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit
In addition to the $300 credit, you can also be issued a $100 property credit (just like the Aspire).
In order to use this credit, you must use comply with the restrictions.
First, you must use your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card to book through www.marriottbonvoy.com or by calling Marriott Bonvoy at 1-800-450-4442.
Second, you must book a two-night minimum stay at The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis using the Member rate named “$100 Property Credit, Luxury Credit Card Rate.”
When you are booking online, make sure that your Bonvoy account is linked to your card account to be eligible to book the rate. Also, if you choose to book by phone then reference the “$100 Property Credit, Luxury Credit Card Rate” Member rate.
You need to confirm that you are booking the $100 property credit at the time of booking otherwise you could run into trouble.
Something to always be on the lookout is how much more expensive the property credit rate is than an advanced purchase rate. If you are set in your plans and you know that you will not be canceling, then you might want to book an advanced purchase rate. These are going to be the cheapest rates and sometimes it can be worth it to forgo your property credit in order to take advantage of cheaper rates.
You will be eligible to receive a property credit of up to $100 per booking to be used on qualifying purchases on property. The credit will be applied as a credit on your bill whenever you check out. So this is not a statement credit that you should be looking to find on your American Express billing statement.
Are there excluded charges?
This credit will not work for the following charges:
- Property fees
- Cost of the room
The big exclusion here is the cost of the room. Unlike the $300 credit that can be used on room rates, this $100 credit cannot be used on room rates.
Keep in mind that some hotels may also have additional exclusions. If you ever are in doubt, you should just ask the front desk at the hotel and they should be able to provide you with clarification.
Can I use any card when I check out?
In order to take advantage of the credit the terms state that you must use your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card to pay your bill upon checkout.
Can authorized users use this benefit?
Yes, authorized users can also take advantage of this benefit.
How many credits can I get?
You will be limited to one $100 property credit regardless of how many rooms you end up booking.
What if I don’t use my credit?
If you fail to take advantage of your $100 property credit, it will expire at check out and will not be carried over to any other stay. Also, you cannot redeem it for cash or points.
What if I have multiple stays?
Back-to-back stays within a 24-hour period at the same property are considered one stay. So if you make two separate bookings and expect to receive two $100 credits, that is not how this is designed to work.
These two credits can help offset the $450 annual fee of the Brilliant card down to just $50. Personally, I am a huge fan of the $300 Marriott credit because it can be used on room rates which makes it extremely easy to use. The $100 property credit can be nice as well but it is not as practical or easy to use since you have to book a minimum two night stay at select luxury properties like the Ritz-Carlton.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.