a beach with a hat and a bag on a blanket on a beach

We’re lucky to live in a free country, so anyone can refuse an offer pretty much anytime they want. But, some offers are so good that they’re really, really difficult to refuse. Marriott Bonvoy just launched one, and it’s dripping with up to 200,000 points and major hotel perks like upgrades when you stay at Marriott properties globally.

If this is your year for revenge travel, work travel, fun travel, or just any travel at all, there are quite a few reasons this limited time offer might make a whole lot of sense.

a pool with palm trees and chairs and umbrellas

Marriott Bonvoy’s Hot New Card Offer

Let’s start with a vital point: this card is really only useful if you plan to stay at Marriott Bonvoy hotels. Thankfully, with brands from Luxury Collection to St. Regis, Ritz Carlton, Renaissance, Meridien, Moxy and more, there are over 5,000 opportunities globally to do that.

This part matters because a key feature of the card is Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status for as long as you hold the card. This entitles guests to comp’d breakfast and upgrades and other stay perks at Marriott Bonvoy brands, and definitely is a factor in offsetting the $650 annual fee. Yep, it’s $650 — ouch — but don’t run away just yet.

In addition to the bonus bringing up to 200,000 points, there are a few annual benefits that if used properly are worth well more than $650.

Annual Free Night Award – Value Circa $400 Or More

The free night certificate is a big perk, allowing you to get a free night at any Marriott Bonvoy hotel that’s under 85,000 points for the night annually. Marriott Bonvoy Points are often valued around half a cent per point, so this perk, if used at the high end of the 85,000 limit is worth around $400 annually.

Platinum Elite Status – Value Circa $500 Or More

Many people value Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status at $750 or more annually, and I’d argue that the more you stay, the more value you typically get.

The status alone is not a slam dunk for people who stay once or twice a year, but if you’re staying more often or have seen the price of hotel breakfast these days, you can do really well from this alone.

If you figure on $50 of value per breakfast, 10 stays would get you there, not factoring any of the other values like upgrades, early check in or late check out.

ritz cancun
Image courtesy of Ritz-Carlton

$300 Annual Dining Credit – Value $300

Marriott’s Bonvoy Brilliant Card offers a $300 annual dining credit, which comes out to $25 a month. Yep, the value is triggered by spending at least $25 a month on the card on dining and to get the full $300 dining credit value you’d need to make a purchase with the card each month.

It shouldn’t be too hard to spend $25 a month on dining these days, right?

Keeping Score: About $1200 In Annual Value

If you’re keeping score, it’s not too hard to see clear pathways toward $1200 of annual value from this $650 American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card.

Even if you go in with a far more pessimistic approach, it’s not hard to see yourself netting out even on the fee structures, but picking up useful stay benefits with Marriott including Platinum Elite status and enhanced earning rates.

Plus 200,000 Points!

Finally, there’s that other thing worth mentioning…. that 200,000 points. 200,000 points should be able to unlock at least $1,000 in stay value with Marriott Bonvoy, and given the clear cases for making out “even” at worst, or 2X ahead if you play it well with the cards annual benefits, that’s why this card makes a lot of sense for hotel guests.

Check out the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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1 Comment

  1. The Marriott breakfast benefit for Plats barely exists. Maybe $10 credit if you are lucky.

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