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- Marriott’s new reward program, Marriott Bonvoy, is live on February 13, 2019.
- The new Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express Card is offering a limited-time 100,000-point welcome bonus.
- While the card has a $450 annual fee, it also includes airport lounge access through Priority Pass Select.
Marriott closed on its purchase of Starwood in September 2016, creating by far the largest hotel chain in the world. Starting today, the new joint rewards program covering the entire family of Marriott brands goes live.
To celebrate, you can earn 100,000 Mariott Bonvoy bonus points with the new elite-tier Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card, which also includes airport lounge access. If you can handle the hefty $450 annual fee, you’ll get a ton of value in return.
What is Marriott Bonvoy?
Marriott Bonvoy is the new name of the Marriott rewards program. It came about through the merger of the Marriott Rewards points, Starwood Startpoints, and Ritz-Carlton points into one, unified program.
With the new launch, the old Marriott, Starwood, and Ritz-Carlton cards are getting a facelift as well. That includes the ultra-premium Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card that is now known as the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card.
You’ll be able to redeem points for free stays, upgrades, and uses at the entire portfolio of Marriott properties. That includes 30 Marriott brands, 6,700 properties, and 1.1 million hotel rooms to choose from in 129 countries.
How does the Bonvoy Brilliant AmEx earn rewards?
The Bonvoy Brilliant AmEx earns 6 points per dollar at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3 points at US restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines, and 2 points everywhere else.
For new cardholders, you can earn a giant 100,000-point bonus after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening a new account. That is enough for a free night at any top-tier property or a handful of nights in some cases at lower category properties.
The 100,000-point bonus is only available until April 24, 2019. After that, the bonus may go down significantly. We recommend you act quickly if you want to capture this somewhat rare opportunity to bring home a six-figure welcome bonus.
The card also includes a certificate worth one night at any hotel up to the 50,000-point level each year. Different-tiered Marriott cards offer free nights with a lower certificate value.
Perks and benefits of the Bonvoy Brilliant AmEx
The awards rate on this card alone may not justify a $450 annual fee. To understand where you get even more, you have to look at the card’s benefits, which include airport lounge access.
For airports, you’ll get a complimentary membership to Priority Pass Select. This program operates over 1,200 airport lounges at popular airports around the world. The comparable level membership directly through Priority Pass costs $429 per year, and you get it at no extra charge with this card.
The card is packed with additional travel and purchase benefits, as you would expect with a high-tier card.
Is the new Bonvoy Brilliant AmEx right for you?
This card is targeted at the high-end, luxury seeking traveler. If that sounds like you, this card delivers a quality experience at the airport and at your hotel. That’s a winning package for loyal Marriott fans who enjoy staying at any of the 30 brands this card covers.
A card with a $450 annual fee isn’t for everyone, so consider other new Marriott Bonvoy cards if you want to earn free nights for Marriott brand hotels if the fee seems like too much for you. Marriott Bonvoy cards are available through American Express and Chase.
If you already have a card that offers Priority Pass Select membership, for example the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Platinum Card from American Express, this card may be excessive for your needs. But when you consider the potential value of the 100,000-point welcome bonus, it may still be worth it. It depends on your spending and hotel habits.