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Big news out of the Marriott Bonvoy program today! Marriott is shaking up its credit card portfolio by introducing two new co-branded credit cards — the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card — and making major changes to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card.
Plus, Marriott has solid sign-up bonus offers on two existing cards. Even the no-longer-available-to-new-cardholders The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card is getting a slight improvement. All of this comes just a couple of months after enhancements to the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card.
Here's what you need to know about all of these changes.
- Changes to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card
- Automatic Platinum Elite status + 25 Elite Night Credits
- Annual Free Night Award now worth up to 85,000 points
- Monthly dining credit instead of annual Bonvoy property credit
- Increased Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card annual fee
- New Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card welcome offer
- Summary of changes to Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card
- Changes to the Ritz-Carlton Card
- New Marriott Bonvoy Bevy Card and Marriott Bountiful cards
- Bottom Line
Changes to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card
Marriott is overhauling the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card card with a slew of improved benefits. As with many recent changes to premium Amex cards, this includes an increase in the annual fee - Rates & Fees. Depending on your travel style, the improvements to the card could certainly justify the increased annual fee.
Automatic Platinum Elite status + 25 Elite Night Credits
One of the biggest improvements to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is automatic Platinum Elite status. This elite status level typically requires 50 Marriott Elite Night Credits and includes perks like guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout, lounge access, complimentary hot breakfast, and suite upgrades.
Read more: The Complete Guide To Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status
Before this change, you needed to spend $75,000 in a calendar year on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card to earn Platinum Elite status.
In addition to getting Platinum Elite status, cardmembers also now get 25 Elite Night Credits toward qualifying for an even higher level of elite status. The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card previously offered 15 Elite Night Credits. These credits were an important part of a strategy for reaching Platinum Elite status. However, now that the card offers Platinum Elite status outright, these Elite Night Credits aren't as critical as before.
Now, unless you spend $20,000 at Marriott hotels (part of the requirements for Ambassador Elite), the only other tier of elite status you can earn is Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite status — which requires 75 Elite Night Credits. Reaching Titanium Elite will earn you another Annual Choice Benefit, United Silver elite status, and improve your upgrade chances.
Annual Free Night Award now worth up to 85,000 points
Cardmembers of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card now get an annual Free Night Award redeemable for an award night costing up to 85,000 points. That's an increase from the prior 50,000-point Free Night Award. Marriott recently added the ability to top off an award certificate. That means you can potentially book an award night costing up to 100,000 points using this Free Night Award plus up to 15,000 Bonvoy points.
In recent AwardWallet user redemptions, Bonvoy members have averaged around 1 cent per Bonvoy point in value. So, the 35,000-point increase in the Free Night Award could be seen as providing $350 more in value. However, the Free Night Award certificate can still only be used for one night — which limits its value in practice.
Monthly dining credit instead of annual Bonvoy property credit
Before today's changes, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card offered cardholders up to $300 in statement credits each year toward purchases at Bonvoy properties. Going forward, card members will get up to a $25 per month dining statement credit instead. You can use your card at any restaurant anywhere in the world to trigger this statement credit.
This revised credit can potentially provide up to $300 in statement credits each year. However, you'll need to remember to use the credit each month. That can make it harder to maximize than the prior statement credit.
Increased Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card annual fee
These new enhancements aren't coming for free. Like many other premium Amex cards recently, the annual fee is increasing from $450 per year to $650 (Rates & Fees). This annual fee is effective immediately for new card members.
Cardmembers that opened the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card before September 22, 2022, will pay this increased annual fee on their next renewal date after January 1, 2023. That means if your renewal date is before the end of the year, you'll get one more year at the previous $450 annual fee.
New Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card welcome offer
To celebrate these changes, Amex and Marriott are boosting the welcome offer on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card. Eligible new cardmembers can earn 95,000 bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months. This offer is available through January 11, 2023.
Summary of changes to Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card card benefit||Before Sept. 22, 2022||New Benefit|
|Bonvoy elite status||Gold Elite||Platinum Elite|
|Elite Night Credits||15||25|
|Free Night Award value||Up to 50,000 points||Up to 85,000 points|
|Statement credits||$300 per year at Bonvoy properties||$25 per month for dining|
|Spending benefit||Platinum Elite after spending|
$75k in a calendar year.
|Earned Choice Award benefit|
after spending $60k in a year.
Changes to the Ritz-Carlton Card
In addition to overhauling the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, Marriott is boosting the value of the Free Night Award on the Ritz-Carlton Card. Cardholders will now receive an anniversary Free Night Award worth up to 85,000 Bonvoy points. That's up from the previous 50,000-point Free Night Award.
Unlike the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, the Ritz-Carlton Card $450 annual fee will be unchanged.
New Marriott Bonvoy Bevy Card and Marriott Bountiful cards
Marriott just introduced two new cards:
- Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card from Chase.
Both cards will offer identical earning rates, perks, and annual fees. That means you can choose which card issuer you want to work with — which is helpful for those limited by credit card application restrictions.
Marriott Bonvoy Bevy Card and Marriott Bountiful earning rates and perks
- 6 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar on purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
- 4 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets (up to $15,000 in combined purchases per year)
- 2 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar on all other eligible purchases
- 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy Bonus Points with each qualifying stay
- Gold Elite status
- 15 Elite Night Credits — to help you earn even-higher elite status
- Free Night Award up to 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points in value after making $15,000 in purchases per year.
Other perks are still “to be announced”. However, American Express has already added the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy Card to the list of cards offering the following travel and purchase protections:
- Baggage insurance
- Car rental loss and damage waiver
- Trip delay
- Extended warranty
- Purchase protection
Is the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy Card and Marriott Bountiful worth it?
Both cards will charge a $250 annual fee (Rates & Fees). That's… kinda steep for the benefits provided by these cards. Bonvoy Gold Elite only offers marginal improvements over the Silver Elite status offered by Marriott's base-level cards. And these cards don't even offer a Free Night Award as a benefit of being a cardholder. So, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card is likely going to be a better option for most travelers.
Marriott already offered a diverse card portfolio: one no-annual fee card (Bonvoy Bold), sub-$100-annual fee cards for both consumers (Marriott Boundless) and small businesses (Marriott Bonvoy Business Card (Rates & Fees)), and a premium card (Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card).
Now, Marriott is adding two identical semi-premium cards to the mix and making its premium card an even-more-premium card. This expanded six-card two-issuer all-B-named card portfolio provides even more options — and even more confusion — for fans of the Bonvoy program. Now the question is: which Bonvoy card is right for you?
For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card (Rates & Fees), Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card (Rates & Fees), and Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card (Rates & Fees)
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