Guide To Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card $300 Statement Credit

Guide To Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card $300 Statement Credit

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While the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (review) has a $450 annual fee (Rates & Fees), in this post, I wanted to talk about the one benefit that should easily recoup roughly two-thirds of that.

How the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit works

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card offers a $300 annual Marriott statement credit, which couldn’t be much more straightforward. Here’s everything you need to know about how this works:

  • The credit is issued each cardmember year, rather than each calendar year
  • You receive a credit in your first year as a cardmember, as well as any subsequent year
  • This applies toward any eligible purchase made directly at hotels and timeshare properties participating in Marriott Bonvoy
  • There’s no registration required to take advantage of this, you just have to charge an eligible purchase directly to your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card
  • In addition to room rate, taxes, resort and destination fees, etc., this can also be applied toward any incidental charges (including charges at restaurants, spas, and other establishments within the hotel) as long as they’re charged to your room and you pay with your card
  • Online purchases of Marriott branded gift cards don’t qualify as eligible purchases for this benefit
  • Purchases by both the primary cardmember and any authorized or additional users count toward this credit, though you only get one $300 credit per primary account
  • While the terms state that it can take 8-12 weeks for statement credits to post, in my experience, they post much faster than that
Use your credit toward incidental on-property purchases

How much is the Marriott $300 credit worth?

I think it’s important to account for the value of credit card benefits mentally to decide whether a card is worth it. How do I mentally account for the value of the $300 credit on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card?

  • The $300 Marriott credit should get you $300 in value per year since anyone with this card should be spending at least $300 per year at Marriott properties, even if it’s only on incidentals while redeeming points
  • If you don’t spend at least $300 per year on Marriott properties anywhere in the world, then this probably isn’t the card for you

While the credit should get you $300 in value, if you want to be exact, you should probably apply some sort of a discount to it to reflect the opportunity cost of earning points:

  • The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card ordinarily earns 6x Bonvoy points per dollar spent with Marriott
  • You don’t earn points on the $300 of Marriott spending that you charge to the card and get reimbursed, so you’re forgoing 1,800 Bonvoy points on that spending
  • I value Bonvoy points at 0.7 cents each, so a ~$12.60 “discount” should be applied to account for that opportunity cost, meaning the credit is “worth” around $287.40
Use your Marriott credit at Gritti Palace Venice

Are the card’s other benefits worth ~$162.60 per year?

In calculating the value proposition of the $450 annual fee Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, you can subtract $287.40 to account for the value of the $300 Marriott Bonvoy credit. Do the card’s other benefits justify that cost? Among other things, the card offers:

The $300 credit and anniversary free night award alone more than justify the annual fee, in my opinion, and everything else is just the icing on the cake. So unless you avoid Marriotts at all costs, I think the math checks out very favorably on this card for most consumers.

There are lots of great uses of Marriott free night awards

Bottom line

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card offers an annual $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit, which couldn’t be much easier to use. It can be applied toward virtually any purchase directly with a Marriott property globally, whether room rate, taxes and fees, or incidentals. There’s no registration required, and if you have this card, you should be able to get full value out of this.

This should recoup roughly two-thirds of the annual fee for most cardmembers, and then the free night award should easily justify the rest of the annual fee. And that’s not even accounting for the card’s other benefits.

If you have the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, what has your experience been with the card’s $300 annual travel credit?

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (Rates & Fees).

Conversations (10)
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  1. Stefan Guest

    How to check if the credit has been added to your account? I don't see anything compared to the gold or platinum credits for example.

  2. Anthony Diamond

    1) Not sure what the point os regarding now paying with a CSR - by paying with a CSR, you also forgo an extra 900 Bonvoy points (Brilliant earns 1,800 Bonvoy points on $300 in spend, CSR earns 900 Bonvoy points if you transfer them over).

    2) In my experience, paying for a dinner or drinks at a Marriott operated restaurant / bar usually triggers the credit. I’ve triggered the credit, for example, at the Moxy Chelsea bar and the NY Edition bar

  3. Adam Guest

    While I agree with discounting the opportunity cost of points not being earned on card spend from the $300 valuation, the points earned from the room rate itself (multiplied by loyalty tier of at least Gold) in addition to any promotions is still a factor. It's hard to definitively quantify in a one size fits all example, but I've always made more than 1,800 Marriott points after the 2-3 stays I can get out of the $300 credit.

    1. OFJ Guest

      The author is simply wrong here. I always get points with the $300 reimbursement credit on my statement. First I charge my card for the hotel stay, then I get reimbursed. The entire cost of the stay always posts as 6x, so there is no opportunity cost whatsoever.

      These days, I’ve noticed that there are a couple of factual mistakes in some of the published articles on this site.

  4. Josh Guest

    You also don't get the 900 chase points you would have gotten if you paid that $300 with csr.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Josh -- Yep, that's true. That is one nice thing about the Venture X, as you do earn miles for the purchase made with a credit.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      9And since we're getting into fine details.

      You might over charge $300 too. As in you might not perfectly charge the exact $300. I know I never bother and always charge between $300-$400.

  5. Billy Bob Guest

    What about using the credit at a hotel (restaurant, gift shop, etc.) when you're not a guest?

  6. ulliro New Member

    Could I go there just for dinner and pay with that credit card?
    Or do I need to charge that to a room?
    Thanks

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ ulliro -- The terms suggest that you need to charge the purchase to your room:
      "Incidental charges (including charges made at restaurants, spas and other establishments within the hotel property) must be charged to your room and paid for with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card at checkout in order to be recognized as Marriott Bonvoy purchases."

      This is probably because outlets at hotels may code differently, especially if it's an independent...

      @ ulliro -- The terms suggest that you need to charge the purchase to your room:
      "Incidental charges (including charges made at restaurants, spas and other establishments within the hotel property) must be charged to your room and paid for with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card at checkout in order to be recognized as Marriott Bonvoy purchases."

      This is probably because outlets at hotels may code differently, especially if it's an independent restaurant or spa located in a hotel that still allows room charges. I suspect in some cases it will still automatically credit, but that's not supposed to happen, it seems.

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ulliro New Member

Could I go there just for dinner and pay with that credit card? Or do I need to charge that to a room? Thanks

1
Stefan Guest

How to check if the credit has been added to your account? I don't see anything compared to the gold or platinum credits for example.

0
OFJ Guest

The author is simply wrong here. I always get points with the $300 reimbursement credit on my statement. First I charge my card for the hotel stay, then I get reimbursed. The entire cost of the stay always posts as 6x, so there is no opportunity cost whatsoever. These days, I’ve noticed that there are a couple of factual mistakes in some of the published articles on this site.

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