I just renewed my Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™American Express® Card with a $450 annual fee. Is it worth having the card after the first year and after getting that welcome bonus? I still renew this card year after year. Am I crazy? I don’t think so. And right now the welcome offer is increased to 100K plus an 85K certificate after you meet a minimum spend of $5000 in three months. Here is how I find value in this card:
When I use my Marriot Bonvoy Brilliant Credit Card at a Marriott hotel or resort, I get $300 annually in credits. This can go for a room (when I don’t have points that I want to use), food purchases, and even spa purchases. This is an easy credit for me to use as I stay at many Marriott hotels. Recently, I used points to stay in Costa Rica at a Marriott Hotel and used my credit for food purchases. With this credit used for food and points used for my stay, it was an almost free trip. This $300 credit brings my annual fee costs to only $150 because I always use it.
Each year, after I pay my annual fee, I get a free annual night certificate which can be used at a hotel that goes for 50K points or less. A couple of years ago, I used my certificate to stay at the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua on the beautiful island of Maui. This night would retail for almost $1000 a night! It is easy for me to use it in a hotel with a value of $500 or more a night so that makes total sense for me to keep renewing this card. I’ll stay at a fancy Marriott hotel for $150 over and over again!
Note: Marriott has switched to dynamic pricing instead of an award chart so this particular hotel is not available for 50K points right now but here are some that are. You can add a maximum of 15K Marriott Bonvoy points to your certificates to stay at nicer hotels too.
As you can see, even without the additional benefits listed above, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Credit Card by American Express is worth my $450 annual fee. You can only get each American Express card once in a lifetime so I won’t be getting the signup bonus again. Nevertheless, I do not see myself ever not renewing this card as I get well over $1000 of value from it yearly. Check out our post on all the other Marriott credit cards!