What’s covered by the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant’s $300 credit?
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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, cardholders can effectively drop the out-of-pocket cost for the card from $450 (See rates & fees) to $150. But part of taking full advantage of this fantastic benefit is knowing which purchases will and won’t qualify for the credit.
Last chance to use the credit on U.S. restaurants
Before we dig into which Marriott purchases count toward the credit, I do want to point out a temporary category that you can use the credit on throughout the rest of this month — U.S. restaurants.
While typically the credit only applies to certain Marriott purchases, Amex announced back in May that the credit would be expanded to include U.S. restaurants — including takeout and delivery — throughout the summer. You only have through Aug. 31, 2020, to take advantage of this expanded credit — which means you have just one week left to make U.S. restaurant purchases that trigger the Marriott $300 credit.
Using the credit on restaurants is a perfect way for those who know they won’t travel before their current credit expires to still get value from the benefit. And remember that many restaurants sell gift cards that will still show up as a restaurant purchase (when you buy directly through the restaurant) and therefore still count for the credit. If you know you won’t travel this year but do know you and your family will spend that money at your favorite local restaurant, you can snag a gift card now to get the credit and use it throughout the rest of the year.
What Marriott purchases typically trigger the credit?
Of course, just because the temporary promotion is ending doesn’t mean the credit becomes useless. 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. 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.
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 eligible 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 cardmembership and renews each year on the anniversary of your account opening date. The cards’ 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.
Related reading: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card review
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 spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening.) or other benefits, maximizing these two benefits alone can make the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card pay for itself year after year.
Additional reporting by Madison Blancaflor.
Featured image by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, click here.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 75,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening. 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. Terms apply.
- 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