Ending in September: How to use the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant’s $300 credit now
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new card details and information.
One of the most valuable benefits of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has traditionally been its up-to-$300 annual statement credit for eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program. By maxing this out, cardholders were effectively able to drop the out-of-pocket cost for the card from $450 (see rates and fees) to $150.
Unfortunately, it was recently revealed that this perk will be replaced with an up to $25 in monthly dining credits as of Sept. 22 — giving existing cardholders less than three months to make the most of it before it’s gone.
And a large part of that is knowing which purchases will and won’t qualify for the credit.
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If you’ve been looking to add this card to your wallet, now may be a great time to do so. The current welcome bonus of 75,000 Marriott points after you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases on your card within the first three months of card membership isn’t the best we’ve seen on the card. However, by applying now, you’d be eligible for the $300 Marriott credit through Sept. 22, and you’d then enjoy $25 in monthly statement credits for eligible dining purchases starting in October.
Here’s everything you need to know about the card’s annual $300 Marriott credit and how to utilize it before it’s gone.
What Marriott purchases typically trigger the credit?
Thankfully, a wide range of Marriott purchases will trigger the credit.
As the name implies, this credit was designed to cover all types of Marriott purchases charged to the card. This credit applies to everything from incidentals during stays, such as meals and spa services, to room rates themselves. And there’s no registration required; the credit will automatically apply when you swipe the card at a participating property.
In fact, data points indicate that advance deposits for future stays will even trigger the credit. TPG director of content Nick Ewen recently stayed at Domes of Elounda, an Autograph Collection property on the island of Crete in Greece, and his five-night reservation required an initial payment equivalent to two of those nights.
Despite the May 2022 arrival, his deposit from Oct. 12, 2021, triggered his annual statement credit.
To ensure the credit applies, charge the stay and any applicable incidentals to your Bonvoy Brilliant card. You’ll earn 6 points per dollar on eligible purchases made at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, plus a 25% bonus as a Gold Elite member — a complimentary benefit of the Bonvoy Brilliant card. Enrollment is required for select benefits.
Note that you don’t need to use the entire $300 credit at once. As an example, if you have a one-night stay and charge your $180 bill to your Bonvoy Brilliant, you won’t forfeit the remaining amount. As long as you spend at least $120 at another Marriott property in your card membership year, you’ll trigger the rest of the credit.
This can be particularly beneficial for those who are redeeming Marriott points (or using free night certificates) for stays this summer. The room rate may be covered by your rewards, but any incidental charges can be offset by the credit — with no minimum amount to hit.
How long do I have to use the credit?
The $300 credit is available beginning your first year of card membership — as soon as you receive your card. It then renews each year on the anniversary of your account opening date.
The card’s terms and conditions state that it could take eight to 12 weeks for the credit to appear on your statement, but TPG readers report that it’s visible just days after making an eligible charge. In the above example, it took six days for the credit to post.
However, as noted above, this Marriott statement credit will end Sept. 22. As a result, you’ll need to make any qualifying Marriott purchases no later than Sept. 21 (though we’d recommend doing it sooner to allow time for it to post).
This is especially noteworthy for anyone who applied for the previous version of the Bonvoy Brilliant (the Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury Card) back in August 2018 when it first launched. If you’re like me, the anniversary of your account opening date would be in late August — which would give you just under a month to use the Marriott credit before it shifts to the monthly dining credits.
Related reading: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card review
What’s not covered by the Bonvoy Brilliant credit
Unfortunately, the terms and conditions indicate that Marriott-branded gift cards are not eligible for this perk. While data points indicate that purchasing a gift card at a Marriott property or directly with Marriott online will trigger it, there’s no guarantee it’ll work for you.
In addition, prepaid Marriott reservations booked through third parties (including Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts), are not covered by the credit. Here’s the key portion of the benefit terms that address this exclusion:
Eligible Marriott Bonvoy property purchases must be made directly with the participating Marriott Bonvoy property and charged to your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card account for the benefit to apply.
Finally, if you have on-property charges that can’t be billed to your room — like purchases from an independent gift shop or excursions where you pay a third-party provider directly — those typically won’t trigger the credit.
The $300 credit on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card is incredibly simple to use. Just swipe the card at a participating property, and the first $300 you spend in a card membership year will be credited back to you. Given the simplicity of this benefit, it’s been almost as good as cash for anyone who spends at least $300 per year on Marriott stays.
Unfortunately, time is running out on this valuable perk. As of Sept. 22, this benefit will be replaced with $25 in monthly dining credits (up to $300 per year).
This means that you have just a few months left to make the most of these statement credits — though if you’ve already earned the full $300, you can begin enjoying the $25 in monthly dining credits starting in October.
Of course, there are many additional perks on the card that can still make it worthwhile — including the card’s annual free night award (up to 50,000 points) and the automatic Gold status it confers. Nevertheless, it’s up to you to determine if the replacement of the $300 annual Marriott credit is enough to lead you to cancel the card.
Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox, Madison Blancaflor and Nick Ewen.
Featured photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, click here.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Aside from the welcome offer you'll earn up to $300 in statement credits each year at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program and 1 free night (worth up to 50k points) every year after your card renewal month. Terms apply.
- Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
- Each Card renewal year, get up to $300 in statement credits for purchases on the Card at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™ . Effective 9/22/22, the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit benefit will no longer be available. It will be replaced with a NEW benefit of up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
- Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
- Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $450 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees