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One of the most valuable benefits of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is its up to $300 annual Marriott Bonvoy statement credit. By maxing this out, card holders can effectively drop the out-of-pocket cost for card from $450 (See rates & fees) to $150. But in order to be able to do that, it’s important to familiarize yourself with what types of purchases are eligible.

Fortunately, the terms and conditions of this benefit are very straightforward. 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. Although not specifically mentioned in the terms, there are a number of data points that suggest that Marriott gift card purchases are also included. Incidentals that can’t be billed to your room, such as gift shop purchases, are typically excluded.

(Photo of the Times Square Edition by Nick Ellis / The Points Guy)

To ensure the credit applies, charge the stay and any applicable incidentals to your Bonvoy Brilliant card. You’ll earn 6x Marriott points on all purchases made at Marriott properties, plus a 25% bonus points as a Gold elite member — a complimentary benefit of the Bonvoy Brilliant card. Similar to Amex’s airline fee credits, if you’re considering purchasing gift cards to trigger the credit, you must do so either at a Marriott Bonvoy property or through Marriott’s site — not through a third party. According to the data points, both physical and digital gift cards work, but be warned that not all Marriott properties sell gift cards.

The $300 credit is available beginning your first year of card membership and renews each year on the anniversary of your account opening date. The cards’ terms and conditions state that it could take 8 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.

(Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)
(Photo of the Westin Langkawi by Katie Genter / The Points Guy)

Bottom Line

Given that this credit applies not just to incidentals charged to the room, but also for room rates and gift cards, this benefit is almost as good as cash for anyone who spends at least $300 per year on Marriott stays. You can squeeze even more value out of it by stacking it with the card’s annual free night award (up to 50,000 points). Before even factoring in card’s 75,000 point welcome bonus (after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months) or other benefits, maximizing these two benefits alone can make the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card pay for itself year after year.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, click here.

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Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Earn 75,000 points with this card after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months. TPG values 75K Bonvoy points to be worth around $600. Aside from the huge welcome offer you'll earn up to $300 in statement credits each year and 1 free night every year after cardmember anniversary.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. 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 account anniversary. 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
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74%-26.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$450
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.