cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Aim_High
Senior Contributor

Re: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card


@wasCB14 wrote:  You've mentioned wanting a BBP. Is that mainly as a way to preserve MRs if you're opening and closing charge cards? Or are you looking for business cards in general?

@Aim_High wrote:  Meanwhile, I have serious doubts on whether I want to keep my Gold card ... I'm probably better off with Chase URs if I'm not transferring to airline partners for premium international cabins.   Still playing with this though, which is why I got the Goldcard to begin with.



No, I'm not looking for business cards in general @wasCB14.  I mentioned the BBP as a good card for me, regardless of which way I go with AMEX and MRs.  If I keep the Gold after all, the BBP is an awesome pairing with it for everyday earnings - 4x grocery/dining and 2x everywhere else.  If I don't keep the Gold, I need a place to park my earned MRs.  If I close the Gold, I probably wouldn't downgrade to Green either.  Either the BBP or the Everyday card would be the logical ones for me.  The BBP just seems a better deal.  The thing I like about the BBP is that I've found more-and-more that I don't prefer to mess with category restrictions or spending caps, just a good flat-rate earning card regardless of where it's used and when.  The $50K annual spending cap is high enough that I would probably never need to be concerned with it.  



Length of Credit > 35 years; Total Credit Limits > $600K
AoOA > 29 years (Jun 1993); AoYA (Nov 2021)
* Hover cursor over cards to see name & CL, or press & hold on mobile app.
Message 11 of 27
panda11
Regular Contributor

Re: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

You can you the $300.00 hotel credit to pay for your Marriott Vacation Timeshare Fees.

Message 12 of 27
notmyrealname23
Established Contributor

Re: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card


I have this card because there was a nice SUB at the time I got it in 2020 (100k SUB/5k spend, 25k on renewal first year, Platinum status in 2021, and I managed to squeak into Platinum for 2022 because of their 13 extra nights for Gold in 2021 as a result of holding the card + double night credits).

 

I actually think it's a terrible card for general spend and dining/airfare compared to most AMEX cards unless they're running promos on it, which they were in 2021:

 

- $20 monthly dining credit

- spend $7500 get 7500 points

- get 7x bonus on PayPal in late 2021


Those promos were pretty sweet (the 7500 for $7500 one basically turned the card back into the old SPG card, since 3 MR used to be 1 SPG).

 

I assign a value of .7 cpp to Marriott points, so 2x is 1.4 cpp. The promos in 2021 that added points made it closer to a 3-3.5x card for me (so over 2 cpp), but now, with no promos? Sock drawer except if I am paying a Marriott hotel bill. For dining... 3x AMEX on a Green or 4x on a Gold (or 7x on a Hilton Aspire) seems clearly better. For airfare, 3x Green/Gold, 5x Platinum or 7x Hilton Aspire also seems better. Or frankly a 2% no AF cashback card. Or even a 1.5% cashback card. It seems to me you have to have a VERY high valuation of Marriott points (1+ cpp) to argue it's a good card for general spend... and since AMEX not only transfers 1-1 but also often has transfer bonuses to Marriott, I find it hard to see how 3x Marriott for dining or airfare > 3/4/5x AMEX MR.

 

Oh yeah, in March Marriott is ditching award charts. Get ready for a giant sucking sound on the value of Marriott points... when Delta, Hilton and United did this for their award flights it started devaluing the program. 

First Tech FCU Choice Rewards World MC 35k | AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant 15k | Bilt Rewards MC 14k | Fidelity VISA Signature 11.5k | Capital One Venture X 11k | AMEX Hilton Aspire 9.8k | Charles Schwab AMEX Platinum NPSL | Amex Platinum (I know) NPSL | Amex Green NPSL | SoFi MC World Elite 8k | Petal2 VISA 7.8k | Rakuten Synchrony Visa 7k | PayPal Synchrony MC 6.4k | Citi AA Mileup 6.9k | DiscoverIt Cashback 5k | Amazon/Synchrony 5k | Hotels.com 5k | Capital One SavorOne 5k | AMEX Delta Gold 3k | Target 800 | Ch 13 filed 12/13 discharged as paid 1/19
Message 13 of 27
jcooks
Frequent Contributor

Re: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card


@socalchef00 wrote:

What is everyone's thought on this card?

 

I've been looking at getting an Amex card. 

When we do travel, we stay here.

Don't mind the 3x restuarant/flight's and 2x everywhere else, either.

 

Any downfalls I should know about?  What should I look for to quailfy for it?


It's definitely a nice card to get if you prefer Marriott properties.  You can check the Amex prequal site to see if you are pre-qualified.  If you're pre-qualified, I would say go for it. 

Message 14 of 27
Aim_High
Senior Contributor

Re: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card


@notmyrealname23 wrote:

... I actually think it's a terrible card for general spend and dining/airfare compared to most AMEX cards unless they're running promos on it 


I assign a value of .7 cpp to Marriott points, so 2x is 1.4 cpp.  ... Sock drawer except if I am paying a Marriott hotel bill. For dining... 3x AMEX on a Green or 4x on a Gold (or 7x on a Hilton Aspire) seems clearly better. For airfare, 3x Green/Gold, 5x Platinum or 7x Hilton Aspire also seems better. Or frankly a 2% no AF cashback card. Or even a 1.5% cashback card. It seems to me you have to have a VERY high valuation of Marriott points (1+ cpp) to argue it's a good card for general spend... and since AMEX not only transfers 1-1 but also often has transfer bonuses to Marriott, I find it hard to see how 3x Marriott for dining or airfare > 3/4/5x AMEX MR.


I see your perspective, @notmyrealname23, but I still stand by my accolades for the card, at least as it stands now unless AMEX ruins it on a make-over.   For me, I'm seriously thinking that this card is a much better long-term AMEX card than one of their charge cards.  When I came to My Fico, I questioned the popularity of AMEX cards in general and struggled to understand their popularity among so many people beyond that they have a deep history in charge and credit cards.   I didn't see anything in the cash-back area that was better than other options and I was unfamiliar with Member Rewards points-oriented cards.  (I've had multiple AMEX cards in the past but when I had a Green card back in the 1980's, there were not yet any SUBs or MRs.  The last AMEX cash-back card I had was the Costco True  Earnings card before it was transferred to Citi.)  

 

I decided to give the Gold card a test drive since it seemed to best fit my purposes.  I liked the practical 4x MR for everyday dining and groceries and the possibility of getting credits back against most of the $250 AF.  I knew that MR point redemption could vary widely but I wanted to see for myself since I knew they could be worth 2% or more.  I mainly want to compare it against the Chase Sapphire Reserve.   I'm not familar with using the transfer partners, even though I knew that is the most lucrative redemption option.  I also know I may be more likely to book flights directly through one or the other travel portal.  I recently looked at a round-trip coach fare to London Heathrow for specific dates on specific flights and compared the quoted cash prices, number of points, and amount of spending required to earn those points between either the CSR or the Gold card.  I expected a disparity but I was truly shocked; it wasn't even close.  The cash price on the AMEX site was $150 higher to start with.  The same flight would cost me 49,525 URs but 89,297 MRs.  The spending on the Gold would be significantly higher to earn those points and the earning rate would be only 1% per point, versus the 1.5% per point I could earn on the CSR.   For some, a Gold card's 4x MRs can be worth 8%+ for dining if tranferred to parnters.  In my example, they'd be worth only 4% versus the 4.5% I could get for similar redemption option on the CSR.  Even if you paired the Gold with a BBP earning 2 MRs on everyday spend, I doubt it woud catch the pairing of a CSR + CFU for the redemption option I gave.

 

Why did I go on a tangent about the Gold card?  Well, while you have a valid point that the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant is subpar for rewards return compared to cash-back cards, that 1.4% example that you gave actually beats the base 1MR (+/-1%) earn rate on an AMEX charge card for redemptions other than transfer to partners.  Plus, one of my pet peeves with the credits on the charge cards is that they may be difficult to redeem enough of them to fully offset the AF.   That's a further drain on the rewards return.  None of their credits are things I am going to naturally use without forethought and certainly not on a regular cycle, such as monthly.  Smiley Frustrated

 

On the other hand, the Bonvoy Brilliant's credits very easily and completely offset the AF without having to use some silly thing like a monthly GrubHub or Cheesecake Factory restaurant credit.   Before any other credits, the $300 Marriott spend at any point in the year and the annual free night quickly and easily reimburse the full value of the fee.  The 1.4% - 1.6% return (at 0.7 - 0.8 cpp) could easily beat a charge card's 1% if the points aren't transferred, and it also beats even the cash-out for MR's on the Schwab Platinum (1.25 cpp). 

 

I also got the Gold card because, in part, adding an AU card for DW on the CSR is another $75 by itself, probably because it includes Priority Pass privileges for the cardholder among other things.  There was no charge for AU on Gold and it gave her a premium card.  Plus, there's no charge for AU on up to four cards with the Bonvoy Brilliant either, and it also includes that Priority Pass membership!

 

I appreciate the premium shopping protections that you find on both the CSR and AMEX cards.  (Extended Warranty; Return Protection; Purchase Protection.)  The Marriott card includes those as well, which you wouldn't find on a basic cash-back card, so there are reasons where it could be valuable in other ways than a strictly-rewards aspect.  And like other AMEX cards, the Bonvoy gives you access to AMEX OFFERS which could enhance the value of the card.

 

I agree that normally hotel cards are best used in that hotel and not as a daily-driver unless someone values simplicity over optimization of rewards.   And they are often subpar on things like dining out or flights so I probably wouldn't use them for that.  But IMO, the Marriott card may be one of the more practical and valuable of AMEX's cards for some other consumers, especially for those of us who question the ability to achieve higher MR point redemptions.  



Length of Credit > 35 years; Total Credit Limits > $600K
AoOA > 29 years (Jun 1993); AoYA (Nov 2021)
* Hover cursor over cards to see name & CL, or press & hold on mobile app.
Message 15 of 27
notmyrealname23
Established Contributor

Re: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card


@Aim_High: I didn't actually say it was a bad card. I said it was a bad card for general spend (as well as other AMEX cards being better for airfare/dining). I think it's a good card for Marriott loyalists. I think after the year 1 SUB if you can make use of the $300 + room night and get > $450 of value off of it (not extraordinarily hard), it's a potential keeper. If AMEX runs promos on the card for spend, it becomes a better card (I actually used it in 2021 for general spend for just that reason, it was legitimately better than a 2% cashback card during 2021 because of stackable promos and "free" spending.)

 

If you'd asked me about whether AMEX cards in general are great cards for general spend (which I didn't really address), I would say: no, I think a card with a multiplier on base spend is better, or a 2%+ cashback no AF card. The Citi DC in conjunction with a Premier, or an AMEX BBP would be examples, or a C1 Venture/VentureX, or a CFU with a CSR.

 

I assign a value of 1.7 cpp for MR to reflect value in transferring to various AMEX partners... but that's below a 2% no annual fee card if you only get 1x, which is why I say that I don't find either the Brilliant or the charge cards to be great for unbonused spend. I find that AMEX cards have very wide category spend that I can use to rack up 3x/4x multipliers, which I turn into expensive premium cabin airline award redemptions... but absent the BBP or the Everyday/Everyday Preferred, or chasing a SUB or AMEX offer, I would (and do) use a different card for uncategorized spend.

 

Does that clarify where I stand?

 

Also, a side note on Membership Rewards vs. Marriott Rewards and assigning a cpp value...

 

Marriott points can be transferred to a bunch of airlines at a ratio of 60k:25k. (United's a touch better.) Much like how AMEX MR can be transferred to many of those same airlines at 1:1.

 

.7 cpp * 60 / 25 = 1.68 cpp

 

Pretty close to a 1.7 cpp valuation of MR. Cheers. Smiley Happy

First Tech FCU Choice Rewards World MC 35k | AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant 15k | Bilt Rewards MC 14k | Fidelity VISA Signature 11.5k | Capital One Venture X 11k | AMEX Hilton Aspire 9.8k | Charles Schwab AMEX Platinum NPSL | Amex Platinum (I know) NPSL | Amex Green NPSL | SoFi MC World Elite 8k | Petal2 VISA 7.8k | Rakuten Synchrony Visa 7k | PayPal Synchrony MC 6.4k | Citi AA Mileup 6.9k | DiscoverIt Cashback 5k | Amazon/Synchrony 5k | Hotels.com 5k | Capital One SavorOne 5k | AMEX Delta Gold 3k | Target 800 | Ch 13 filed 12/13 discharged as paid 1/19
Message 16 of 27
Aim_High
Senior Contributor

Re: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card


@notmyrealname23 wrote:

@Aim_High: I didn't actually say it was a bad card. I said it was a bad card for general spend (as well as other AMEX cards being better for airfare/dining). If you'd asked me about whether AMEX cards in general are great cards for general spend (which I didn't really address), I would say: no ...


Thanks for the clarifications, @notmyrealname23.  I did see the general spend comment but I just interpreted your overall review as seeming to not value the card as a whole.   I definitely agree that using either of them for general spend might be a poor choice.  I saw your focus on the absence of special incentives and comparing the earn rate to MR charge cards, and that just opened the door to me for a comparison.   I just wanted to point out that, depending on your ability to leverage MRs for higher redemption value or the ability (or desire) to chase after AMEX AF credits, the Marriott card delivers a lot for the money!  - cheers!  Aim_High  Smiley Happy



Length of Credit > 35 years; Total Credit Limits > $600K
AoOA > 29 years (Jun 1993); AoYA (Nov 2021)
* Hover cursor over cards to see name & CL, or press & hold on mobile app.
Message 17 of 27
boosnark
Contributor

Re: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

I've been considering this card, and debating whether to get rid of my Ritz Carlton card, for which I am grandfathered to the original $395 annual fee and unlimited Priority Pass accompanying guests. There is also the 50K yearly stay voucher, which complements the 35K voucher I get from the Amex Bonvoy (the original SPG replacement). So at the moment it doesn't feel worthwhile product switching to either the Bonvoy Brilliant or Marriott Boundless. 

Message 18 of 27
TheBoondocks
Established Contributor

Re: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Hey guys, I've been thinking about getting this card cause I hear a lot of people like the marriott, I finally stayed at the marriott and it wasn't bad. I'm over 5/24 and already have 6 cards with chase not sure if they would extend more but wanted to know if I got the brilliant card but never got the spg to begin with. Would I be eligible for the amex marriott.bonvoy card (spg)? Thanks 

Message 19 of 27
cashorcharge
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card


@boosnark wrote:

I've been considering this card, and debating whether to get rid of my Ritz Carlton card, for which I am grandfathered to the original $395 annual fee and unlimited Priority Pass accompanying guests. There is also the 50K yearly stay voucher, which complements the 35K voucher I get from the Amex Bonvoy (the original SPG replacement). So at the moment it doesn't feel worthwhile product switching to either the Bonvoy Brilliant or Marriott Boundless. 


I would not give up your grandfathered in Ritz Carlton Card @boosnark 

The AMEX Bonvoy would be complimentary should your spend warrant both. If not, keep the RC

Message 20 of 27
Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party advertisers from whom FICO receives compensation.