Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card Adds Restaurant Credit, Cuts Hotel Credit

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card Adds Restaurant Credit, Cuts Hotel Credit

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A major change is coming to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (review), and it’s a mixed bag.

Changes to Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card $300 credit

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card has a $450 annual fee (Rates & Fees), and that’s easy enough to justify between the 15 elite nights toward status annually, anniversary free night award, and $300 annual hotel credit. It’s a card that I have, and that I find to be worthwhile.

Some changes are coming to the card, though. As of September 22, 2022:

  • The card will no longer off a $300 annual Marriott travel credit; historically this credit could be redeemed toward virtually any purchase at a Marriott property worldwide
  • This credit will be replaced by up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide; this credit can be used toward virtually any purchase coded as being from a restaurant
The Bonvoy Brilliant Card is cutting its hotel credit

My take on these Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card changes

On the surface this change shouldn’t be a major deal, in the sense that one $300 credit is being replaced by another credit of up to $300. Presumably most people with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card both spend at least $300 per year at Marriott properties, and spend at least $25 per month at restaurants.

So it shouldn’t be too hard to actually use this credit. However, personally I’m not a fan of this change:

  • It’s much easier to be able to use the entire $300 annual credit toward a single purchase, rather than having to use the card for 12 straight months to maximize this benefit
  • There are other credit cards I’d rather use for my restaurant spending to maximize points, so there’s some opportunity cost to putting dining spending on this card; I have enough credits I’m trying to keep track of as is
  • I imagine the motivation for this change is to increase breakage on people using the credit, and/or to increase wallet share, by ensuring that people remember to use this card every month; I imagine virtually everyone with the card uses the $300 annual Marriott credit, while I would imagine many cardmembers wouldn’t use this card for at least $25 worth of restaurant spending each month
The Bonvoy Brilliant Card has a new restaurant credit

Bottom line

Changes are coming to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card as of September 22, 2022. The card will no longer offer a $300 annual Marriott credit, but will instead offer up to $300 in restaurant credits per year, in the form of a $25 monthly restaurant credit.

While you can ultimately get the same value from this new credit, this does take a lot more effort, and will require many people to switch around their spending to maximize this perk.

What do you make of this Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card credit change?

(Tip of the hat to Doctor Of 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 (39)
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  1. Lee Guest

    I am lifetime titanium and wish corporate would address some form of legacy to make it easier for families or at the very least spouses to participate in Point levels without starting at the silver or gold level. After I die all my wife gets is the points. We have been dedicated Marriott members for over 35 years (we were married at a Marriott in 1987).
    I guess it’s just business.

  2. Pences Member

    Devaluation..no longer worth it. Cancelled.

  3. Won’t say Guest

    I just used the $300 credit to pay towards 3 nights stay at a BONVOY hotel. Happy. Now, sadly , this changes things …I’m cancelling the card tomorrow.

  4. Steve Guest

    Per Marriott you need to use the credit before Sept 22. However that means if you have earned one, or will earn one, before that date and use it then you'll get both the $300 credit and $25/mo going forward. So double dipping for just this one renewal cycle.

  5. Carl New Member

    For me this change significantly devalues the card, probably will cause me to cancel it, and cheapens the brand of Amex.

    I'm lifetime Platinum status, so the 15 qualifying nights have no value.

    The $25 monthly restaurant credit on a card that is terrible for restaurant spending is a major pain factor. Requires effort to avoid breakage. Requires wasting spend on a bad card or the pain of asking a waitperson to split...

    For me this change significantly devalues the card, probably will cause me to cancel it, and cheapens the brand of Amex.

    I'm lifetime Platinum status, so the 15 qualifying nights have no value.

    The $25 monthly restaurant credit on a card that is terrible for restaurant spending is a major pain factor. Requires effort to avoid breakage. Requires wasting spend on a bad card or the pain of asking a waitperson to split the charge. Everything about this change is more effort, more discomfort. Only a card company that is trying to deceive you or give you bait while hoping for breakage can do this. This hurts the Amex brand.

    Lucky, you were way too neutral. This is straightforward a bad change. It moves the $300 credit from something that was easy and convenient to achieve for anyone that stayed with SPG/Bonvoy properties, to something that is a pain to achieve, and makes the $450 annual fee more painful to earn back.

  6. Matt Guest

    Was planning on getting this card next year since I got the Boundless card recently. Not a fan of monthly required restaurant visits to recoup the annual fee. Just another expense to track. I use the Gold Card for dining. I’ll pass on getting this card now.

  7. Luke Guest

    Wouldnt mind if Hilton aspire does this with the $250 Hilton resort credit which I find hard to use near my state of NJ unless make explicit trip down south to FL or elsewhere far, nothing in the NYC area that will qualify for the credits!

  8. AC Guest

    My question is related to timing. My renewal year for my Amex Bonvoy card is in March. I have already used $55 for incidental restaurant and bar charges on an award stay in April. Another stay for around $190 is booked for tomorrow night (on way to FL for beach vacation) which means I will have used around $245 of the annual credit. I plan to burn the remained $55 by September 22. Will I...

    My question is related to timing. My renewal year for my Amex Bonvoy card is in March. I have already used $55 for incidental restaurant and bar charges on an award stay in April. Another stay for around $190 is booked for tomorrow night (on way to FL for beach vacation) which means I will have used around $245 of the annual credit. I plan to burn the remained $55 by September 22. Will I then get the $25/month dining credit as of then so can use it for 5-6 months before the card renews and double dip?

  9. Eskimo Guest

    Seems people don't try to read between the lines here.

    Why is Amex giving up $300 credit for a $25 x 12 credits?
    If anything it might even cost Amex less to pay $300 for Marriott if they had some kickback deal.

    Like other cards and the monthly credits they were handing out last year, it proves a point for Amex.
    They want people to consistently use their cards.
    For cards are...

    Seems people don't try to read between the lines here.

    Why is Amex giving up $300 credit for a $25 x 12 credits?
    If anything it might even cost Amex less to pay $300 for Marriott if they had some kickback deal.

    Like other cards and the monthly credits they were handing out last year, it proves a point for Amex.
    They want people to consistently use their cards.
    For cards are like this. You spend the $300 credits, and you lock up the card until next year.

    Every Amex card will be going through this transition soon, so yep Hilton is next.

  10. shza Member

    I probably should have canceled this card already, given that I've gotten close to zero value out of the 50k cert (have let it lapse entirely more than once). But this definitely pushes it to "definitely cancel," since the $300 hotel credit was obviously far more convenient and unthinking to use than a piecemeal restaurant credit where I'm always going to be reaching for the AmEx gold unless I force myself to stop and think on a monthly basis.

  11. Anthony Diamond

    My annual fee is posts next month… The Marriott credit ends on 9/22, at which point you get $25 per month in dining credit. Does this mean I still have two months to use the $300 a Marriott credit, and then I get the dining credit for a year?

    Long term is a negative change that will cause me to either cancel or downgrade the card, but it could work to my advantage this year

  12. Jules Guest

    Will there be a $25 credit offered for September 2022? (i.e. if we make a restaurant purchase between Sep 23-30)

  13. Desperado Guest

    This card was already on my list to review this year. Already leaning towards cancelling since the program is shot and 50k cert more difficult to use.

    This makes the decision easy - calling today to cancel.

    AMEX - Please don’t gut the premium Hilton card.

  14. Josh Guest

    I'm about ready to just separate myself from Amex all together. Between our dual Golds, Platinums, and Bonvoy Brilliants, I have over $100 a month in "credits" to manage in piecemeal fashion. It's not even about the monthly spend- these are all cards in our wallet that we use regularly for small/large purchases and travel. But I was already contemplating cutting a few loose and this makes my decision that much easier. I don't need the hassle.

    1. Jlr Guest

      It says eligible restaurants & doesn’t state an amount that needs to be spent.I live in a small town with no chain restaurants. Is there more information so I can make sure I get my credit every month?

  15. GeorgeBrown12 New Member

    @Ben, absolutely about breakage. Nailed it with "I imagine the motivation for this change is to increase breakage on people using the credit, and/or to increase wallet share, by ensuring that people remember to use this card every month." AMEX has plenty of data about breakage on Uber credits on Gold/Plat to compare to breakage on Marriott credits. It's definitely a negative to the overall value proposition of the card. I guess for three months...

    @Ben, absolutely about breakage. Nailed it with "I imagine the motivation for this change is to increase breakage on people using the credit, and/or to increase wallet share, by ensuring that people remember to use this card every month." AMEX has plenty of data about breakage on Uber credits on Gold/Plat to compare to breakage on Marriott credits. It's definitely a negative to the overall value proposition of the card. I guess for three months this year, I'll get an extra $75 credit... can you clarify/confirm if those monthly credits will be immediately available?

    1. Steve Guest

      @GeorgeBrown12: Could you expand what I meant by "breakage" ? Is it that not everyone will be using all of the credits ?

    2. Steve Guest

      @GeorgeBrown12: Could you expand what you meant by "breakage" ? Is it that not everyone will be using all of the credits ?

    3. GeorgeBrown12 New Member

      @Steve, breakage is typical term for not using the full benefits of the card. In this case just not using the monthly $25 credits every month. AMEX assigns a cost to themselves for the benefits they provide. Because fewer people will use the total $300 restaurant benefits than the $300 Marriott credit, AMEX will have lower costs in the new model.

  16. Luke Guest

    I take this as a positive, as I'm no longer tied to having to spend $300 at Marriott hotels annually so this gives more flexibility to "cash" out much of the annual fee. I'm only still holding this card (multiple ones in name of different members of my family) for the annual 50k certificates otherwise.

    Just got huggggeee value at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island that had rooms available for 50k points a night...

    I take this as a positive, as I'm no longer tied to having to spend $300 at Marriott hotels annually so this gives more flexibility to "cash" out much of the annual fee. I'm only still holding this card (multiple ones in name of different members of my family) for the annual 50k certificates otherwise.

    Just got huggggeee value at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island that had rooms available for 50k points a night earlier this month and cash rate for same room of nearly $1500!

  17. Megan Guest

    I cancelled in April after holding the card for 3 years. So glad I did. I do not eat at a restaurant every month, and would be annoyed if I had to just to recoup the credit.

  18. Alonzo Diamond

    Another thing to mention, for folks who already used the $300 Marriott credit this year, they still get dining credits from Oct.-Dec.

    1. DLPTATL Gold

      Alonzo found the silver lining for 2022. I'll probably keep the card because I need the 15 nightly credits to hit Platinum the next three years (at that point I'll be lifetime Platinum). I also dine out frequently for work and pleasure and won't have a problem using these credits, though as Ben pointed out I'd rather use another card (AmEx Gold) with a better return on spend at restaurants coupled with more flexible points....

      Alonzo found the silver lining for 2022. I'll probably keep the card because I need the 15 nightly credits to hit Platinum the next three years (at that point I'll be lifetime Platinum). I also dine out frequently for work and pleasure and won't have a problem using these credits, though as Ben pointed out I'd rather use another card (AmEx Gold) with a better return on spend at restaurants coupled with more flexible points.

      AmEx is addicted to these monthly credits. They must have hard data that this 1) drives more usage on the cards and 2) improves the duration of these cards.

    2. AC Guest

      Actually get them until card renews right (not just December). My renewal is March 2023 and I will have burned the $300 annual credit before 9/22 so assume I get 5-6 months of the $25 dining credit. Now I just need to remember to use it with my $10/month Grubhub credit (Amex Gold card), $5/month (can be rolled over up to 3 months so really $15/qtr) DoorDash credit (CSR) and $25/month Uber/Uber Eats credit (Amex Platinum and Gold cards)

  19. Alonzo Diamond

    I get that just about everyone dines out, especially if you possess an Amex. But what do dining credits have to do with a Marriott credit card? Besides the elite nights and status, this may as well be any old credit card now. Interesting move, makes me think a more premium Marriott credit card is def coming soon.

    1. JW Guest

      I thought the same thing. That $300 credit is probably going to an ultra-premium card.
      (Also, if it comes to fruition & if it comes with automatic Platinum status, will they raise the lifetime status requirements?)

  20. Kevin Guest

    This is major. It is the difference between keeping the card and closing it. I fully understand why they did it, but it no longer makes sense for me.

    1. Alex Guest

      Completely agree - the credit plus free night certificate made this a wash. I actually occasionally found value with the AMEX offers that would pop up - to the extent I actually remember to check. So all that made me hang on to the card despite how useless Platinum is (that I always was sure to get with the 15 night credit).

      But moving to another annoying monthly credit setup? No thanks. Maybe not...

      Completely agree - the credit plus free night certificate made this a wash. I actually occasionally found value with the AMEX offers that would pop up - to the extent I actually remember to check. So all that made me hang on to the card despite how useless Platinum is (that I always was sure to get with the 15 night credit).

      But moving to another annoying monthly credit setup? No thanks. Maybe not death by a thousand cuts, but certainly making me revisit the cost/benefit here and moving on.

    2. Regis Guest

      Cancelling mine as well bacause of this change.

  21. Reno Joe Guest

    Question: If the card had no annual fee, offered no benefits (not even 15 elite night credits), and earned only points on charges, would you keep the card? Now assume that the value of the combined benefits received equals the annual fee and ask yourself the same question.

    1. hp12c Member

      At that point you’d just get the no-fee Bold card so as to not have to remember to use the monthly credits and be beholden to a low-value certificate in order to break even.

  22. Taylor Guest

    This sounds like exactly the kind of customer unfriendly move we've come to expect from AMEX. I find their coupon book strategy of trying to get their customers to use their cards more often annoying and cheap

  23. Jeff Guest

    I'm so sick of these monthly credits. If they want us to spend on the card, make the multipliers and value of points worthwhile.

  24. Nick Guest

    @Loren M that should work. I’m already planning to cancel if they don’t extend the certificates past June 30.

  25. Loren M Guest

    Will buying a physical gift card in person at a Marriott property trigger this credit? I only got the Brilliant 2 months ago and don’t have any stays planned before September. It’s also not feasible for me to just plan a stay between now and then.

  26. hp12c Member

    I’m with the prior two posters. This is just the motivation I needed to dump the card.

  27. Dmitry Guest

    This is extremely annoying and, with a 50K point night not being as valuable anymore, is going to make me consider canceling the card.

  28. Jody Guest

    Dropping down to no fee or cancelling the card I was only keeping it for one more year anyway given the devaluation of the free certificate

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

JW Guest

I thought the same thing. That $300 credit is probably going to an ultra-premium card. (Also, if it comes to fruition & if it comes with automatic Platinum status, will they raise the lifetime status requirements?)

2
Carl New Member

For me this change significantly devalues the card, probably will cause me to cancel it, and cheapens the brand of Amex. I'm lifetime Platinum status, so the 15 qualifying nights have no value. The $25 monthly restaurant credit on a card that is terrible for restaurant spending is a major pain factor. Requires effort to avoid breakage. Requires wasting spend on a bad card or the pain of asking a waitperson to split the charge. Everything about this change is more effort, more discomfort. Only a card company that is trying to deceive you or give you bait while hoping for breakage can do this. This hurts the Amex brand. Lucky, you were way too neutral. This is straightforward a bad change. It moves the $300 credit from something that was easy and convenient to achieve for anyone that stayed with SPG/Bonvoy properties, to something that is a pain to achieve, and makes the $450 annual fee more painful to earn back.

1
DLPTATL Gold

Alonzo found the silver lining for 2022. I'll probably keep the card because I need the 15 nightly credits to hit Platinum the next three years (at that point I'll be lifetime Platinum). I also dine out frequently for work and pleasure and won't have a problem using these credits, though as Ben pointed out I'd rather use another card (AmEx Gold) with a better return on spend at restaurants coupled with more flexible points. AmEx is addicted to these monthly credits. They must have hard data that this 1) drives more usage on the cards and 2) improves the duration of these cards.

1
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