a deck with a hut and a hot tub on the water with Bora Bora in the background
Let's cut to the chase. Some links on this site pay us referral fees for sending business and sales. We value your time and money and won't waste it. For our complete advertising policy, click here. The content on this page is not provided by any companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone.

Hotels are getting more and more aggressive in dangling enticing perks for 2021 and beyond, to get heads back in beds. Marriott’s latest attempt is rather brilliant, offering 125,000 points, and Platinum Elite status into 2022, via their Bonvoy Brilliant Amex credit card.

If you’ve been looking for a relatively inexpensive way to acquire a great hotel status, while also picking up points worth far more than the annual fee they come with, and a bunch of statement credits which make things even better, this is a perfect offer to act on.

a deck with chairs and a hut on the water with Bora Bora in the background

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant With Platinum Status

125,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points is a solid place to start. With nearly all Marriott Hotels off peak right now, that’s at least enough for a couple nights in a stunning property all over the globe which could be worth thousands, or more than a dozen nights in more humble hotels. The bonus works as follows…

  • 100,000 points after $5,000 in total spending within 3 months.
  • 25,000 additional points on your card anniversary date.
  • Free night certificate on anniversary worth up to 50,000 points too.
  • $300 towards Marriott purchase, $100 to spend at hotel property.

But throwing in Platinum, rather than the standard Gold status is where the Brilliant card offer gets interesting. And it’s still only part of the equation. Plus, let’s not forget Marriott doesn’t just mean “Marriott”. It means St. Regis, Ritz Carlton, W Hotels, Luxury Collection, JW Marriott and more.

Yes, the card has a $450 annual fee, which is not waived, but it’s got enough perks to make that back and then some, including $300 back at Marriott right away, and $100 more to spend at the hotel. Yep, if you use those, you’re really looking at an annual fee of like $50, with Platinum status and 125,000 points for the effort in hand!

Platinum status from Marriott can quite literally upgrade any stay, and comes with a variety of benefits including…

  • Unlimited upgrades on check in, even up to ‘select’ suites.
  • 50% more points on all stays.
  • Hotel Lounge access and complimentary breakfast.
  • Guaranteed 4PM check out, with the exception of convention hotels.
  • Welcome gift of extra points, breakfast offering or other choices.

Again, $450 is no small chunk of change for anyone, but since you receive a $300 statement credit for Marriott stays, and $100 to spend on property, any Marriott fan, or soon to be Marriott fan, is going to make the annual fee much lower immediately.

If you were going to spend $300 at a Marriott this year anyway, it’s a no brainer. GSTP values the 125,000 point bonus at $1000, if used remotely well, and the status is worth at least $50 on each stay.

Is the upgraded Platinum status offer forever? Sadly, no. The Platinum elite status with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card will last for one year, leaving you January 31st, 2022 for Gold status, unless you earn Platinum organically.

a pool with palm trees and chairs and umbrellas

Helping You Earn Status Too

Marriott gives you 15 nights towards hitting elite status with the Amex Bonvoy Brilliant Card, so if Marriott were to lower nights, like other hotel loyalty programs have done, you might hit Platinum relatively easy anyway, which means you’d be able to keep it for longer.

Either way, you get Gold as default for as long as you keep the card. But with 15 nights, it makes it easier to go further, all the way to Titanium! If you happen to also own a business, you can get an additional 15 nights with the Bonvoy Business Card, taking you to 30 nights toward status on day one!

Should You Get The Bonvoy Brilliant Card?

That’s on you to decide, but this is about as sweet as the offers on these cards ever get, and Platinum is no ordinary occasion.

With news of better days ahead and vaccines opening up borders again, a year of huge travel benefits that take you into 2022, with enough points to fund a vacation or two make this card really attractive. Who wouldn’t want a couple nights of peace and quiet, or big city buzz when travel feels right again? It’s all the better when you pay in points!

With the ability to recoup most of the annual fee in a singular Marriott purchase, the shock value sticker price is pretty easily offset. If you’re a Marriott loyalist, or considering jumping into the Bonvoy boat, this is as good as it gets.

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...

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Question–I have been a Marriott guy for over 30 years and have been Titanium for quite a few. For the past 5 or so years, 90% of my points have come from credit card spend. (>$70k/year) My card has not been offered since they came out with “Boundless” etc. When I looked into it then, it seemed like I was better off keeping my original grandfathered Chase Visa card, but now I’m not so sure. Which Marriott card would offer me the most points, based solely on spend? Thanks much!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *