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Travel on Point(s) is an independent, advertising-supported website. This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites like Cardratings.com. This compensation does not impact how or where products appear on this site. Travel on Point(s) has not reviewed all available credit card offers on this site. Reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any partner entities.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card Review

The Quidget_Brilliant is Marriott's recently-refreshed premium co-branded Amex card. The card's recent changes look great at first glance. Once you dig in, and consider the state of the Marriott Bonvoy program generally, the changes are not all positive. In this Quidget_Brilliant review, we will look at the welcome offer, earning structure, card perks and share our overall thoughts.

Current Welcome Offer

The Quidget_Brilliant comes with the following welcome offer:

  • Quidget_Brilliant_Bonus Terms Apply.
  • The card has a annual_fees annual fee which is NOT waived. See Rates and Fees

***The standard offer is for 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy points

Amex Application Rules

If you choose to apply, remember that Amex typically will not approve you for more than two Amex credit cards during a 90-day period. They also have a limit of 5 credit cards per person, of which this is one. There is also a 10 card limit on the colored Membership Rewards earning cards (of which this is not one of).

Amex also has a once per lifetime welcome offer rule on each card. This is more like every 5 – 7 years in reality though, and not actually your lifetime. That timeline is based off of when you last held a card, not when you last earned a welcome offer on the product though. If you are ineligible for the welcome offer for any reason American Express will usually let you know that with a pop-up before the application is processed. You can cancel the application at this time with no hard pull.

Marriott Specific Application Rules

On top of the American Express rules there are Marriott Bonvoy card specific application rules that apply to this card.

Welcome offer not available to applicants who:

  • (i) have or have had The Ritz-Carlton® Credit Card from JPMorgan or the J.P. Morgan Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card in the last 30 days,
  • (ii) have acquired the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days, or
  • (iii) received a new Card Member bonus or upgrade offer for the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card from Chase in the last 24 months.

To quickly determine if you are eligible, check out our Marriott credit card eligibility guide.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card Review

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card Review: Earning Structure

The Quidget_Brilliant earns bonus points in the following categories:

  • 6x Marriott Bonvoy Points on each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 3x on the following
    • Restaurants worldwide
    • Flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2x on all other eligible purchases

Card Benefits

The benefits and perks of the Quidget_Brilliant include:

  • Complimentary Platinum Elite status
  • A free night award worth up to 85,000 points annually at hotels in the Bonvoy program.
    • You can top the award off with up to 15,000 points.
    • This does not cover resort fees.
  • 25 elite nights toward status annually (previously this card offered 15)
  • Up to $300 per year in restaurant statement credits on eligible purchases, in the form of up to a $25 statement credit each month
  • Up to $100 in credit for certain charges when you book direct with Marriott on a special rate for a minimum of a 2-night stay at either The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis
  • $100 statement credit for the application fee for Global Entry (every 4 years) or TSA PreCheck (every 4.5 years)
  • Priority Pass Select membership (enrollment required)
  • After spending $60,000 on the card in a calendar year you can select a Brilliant Earned Choice Award Benefit. One of the following:
    • Five suite night awards
    • A free night award worth up to 85,000 points
    • $1,000 off a bed from Marriott Bonvoy boutiques
  • No foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees)
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card Review

ToP Analysis

At first glance, the Quidget_Brilliant‘s changes look pretty good, but not so fast. Let's break them down a bit here.

Platinum Status

What's not to like about complimentary Platinum Elite status or increasing the free night certificate value to 85,000 points? Well, when everyone has Platinum Elite status, no one has Platinum Elite status anymore. Marriott's notorious stinginess towards its elites should only worsen as the pool of Platinum Elite members increases exponentially with Bonvoy Brilliant cardholders. Also keep in mind that the complimentary Platinum status from this card does not get you the Choice Rewards benefit you would earn from actually hitting 50 nights to earn Platinum Elite status organically.

Free Night Certificate

And the 85,000-point free night certificate is merely Marriott acknowledging that a 50,000-point cert isn't very valuable anymore. Indeed, Marriott allows you to top off free night certificates with up to 15,000 points, thereby admitting that its repeated devaluations have reduced the value of certs. Nowadays, it's hard to find a good Marriott property charging less than 85,000 points per night. On this note, the Quidget_Brilliant essentially charges you $350 for a 85,000 Bonvoy points (assuming you use up the entire $300 restaurant credit). Is paying $350 for 85,000 Bonvoy points a good deal? Hardly.

Earning Structure

The card's earning structure remains weak as it was left intact with the refresh. Earning 3x Bonvoy points at restaurants pales in comparison to many other credit cards. That is before you even consider the value of the points you are earning. After all, transferrable currencies like Chase URs and Amex MRs are way more valuable than hotel points.

Restaurant Credit

The $300 restaurant credit replaced the $300 statement credit for purchases at Marriott properties. Overall, the statement was more helpful at Marriott properties since it meant a free or deeply discounted room. Granted, the vast majority of us dine out more often than we stay at Marriott hotels. But, splitting the $300 restaurant credit into $25 monthly increments was done to encourage breakage. It harkens back to when so many different Amex cards had monthly credits that became a hassle to track. Still, most folks will have no problem redeeming this credit as long as they remember to do so every month.

Elite Night Credits

But not all is lost for the Quidget_Brilliant. The increase to 25 elite night credits from 15 is certainly a nice change. These 25 elite nights will continue to stack with the 15 elite night credits offered through the business card (but not with the 15 nights offered by any other personal Marriott card). This means cardholders who have the Bonvoy Brilliant and the business card will earn up to 40 elite night credits per year. That's over halfway to the 75 nights required for Titanium Elite status. The 25 night credits makes the Bonvoy Brilliant card indispensable for most of those who are chasing Titanium Elite status.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card Review: ToP Thoughts

The refreshed Quidget_Brilliant has become a useful credit card for those seeking Titanium Elite status. The card no longer holds much value beyond the 25 elite night credits it offers annually. It's hard to justify the card's annual_fees annual fee in light of the direction that Marriott Bonvoy is headed. They have been rolling out devaluation after devaluation, adopted dynamic award pricing and now the dilution of Platinum Elite status. It makes it difficult to get excited for their status.

What are your thoughts about the revamped Marriott Quidget_Brilliant? Join the discussion in our Facebook group!

For the Quidget_Brilliant, See Rates and Fees

Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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