[Expired] Free Marriott Platinum + 100K or more points w/ new Amex Marriott offers

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Update: The Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless offer mentioned in this post that includes 5 free night certificates is scheduled to end on 10/28/20.

The American Express Marriott Bonvoy cards are featuring new offers today and both cards now come with free Platinum elite status for membership year 2021. While the new offers include more points than before, whether or not it makes sense to consider these over the offer for five free night certificates from Chase likely comes down to how much use you can get from Platinum benefits in 2021.

The Offers & Key Card Details

Card Offer and Details
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
75K points
75K points after $3K in the first 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)

$450 Annual Fee

Recent better offer: 100K + 1 free night award after $5K spend in 3 months [Expired 5/18/22]

FM Mini Review: Decent ultra-premium option for Marriott fans, but Hilton fans may prefer the ultra-premium Hilton Aspire card.


Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Travel
Dine
Brand

Earning rate: 3X airfare charged by airline; 3X US restaurants, 6X Marriott; 2X on all other eligible purchases

Big spend bonus: Platinum Elite status with $75K calendar year spend

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ 50K Free Night Award each year upon renewal ⚬ $300 Marriott statement credit per membership year ⚬ Gold Elite status ⚬ 15 elite nights credit ⚬ Priority Pass Select with 2 free guests ⚬ Global Entry fee credit ⚬ Free premium internet at Marriott properties

See also: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide

Card Offer and Details
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
75K points
75K points after $3K of eligible purchases in the first 3 months of card membership. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)

$125 Annual Fee


Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Dine
Gas
Phone
Biz
Brand

Earning rate: 6x at Marriott Bonvoy properties ⚬ 4x U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. suppliers and on U.S. purchases for shipping ⚬ 2x on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply. (Rates & Fees)

Big spend bonus: Marriott Gold elite status with $35K annual spend ⚬ Earn an additional free night (good for one night at a redemption level at or under 35K points, subject to resort fees) after you spend $60K on purchases in a calendar year

Noteworthy perks: 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month for a one-night redemption level at or under 35K points (subject to resort fees) ⚬ Complimentary premium Internet access at Marriott properties ⚬ Terms Apply (Rates & Fees)

See also: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide

Quick Thoughts

Greg and I have been predicting for the past couple of weeks that Amex would have to release a response to Chase’s increased offers on their Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card. I think we both expected Amex to follow suit with some sort of free night certificate offer. We were wrong about that, but clearly right about seeing increased offers from Amex.

In this case, the cards get mild bumps in the number of points in the welcome offers (the Brilliant including a chunk of points after your first anniversary), but the unique and interesting thing Amex is bringing to the table is status: both of the Amex Bonvoy cards will offer complimentary Platinum status for the 2021 membership year [update: since expired]. That’s awesome for someone with no status currently as it means they can set themselves up for a year of free breakfast / lounge access (assuming those things return more widely), 4pm late checkout, and the chance at an upgrade now and then. That is clearly worth something and can be worth a ton for stays at very high end properties.

That said, I am baffled by one confusing detail of the status: while the landing page for these offers simply advertises it as Platinum status “for the 2021 membership year”, the fine print in the offer terms indicates that Platinum status will run from February 1, 2021 until January 31, 2022. That’s downright weird. They’re advertising a benefit that won’t exist for the next 3.5 months (and in fact won’t exist until after the offer is scheduled to end). What?

Add on top of that the explanation that they’re going to need to give as to why January 2021 is not part of the 2021 membership year for Marriott benefits and I think they have a recipe for angry phone calls from customers. I just don’t see the average customer understanding it. Heck, I don’t get it. I understand that loyalty programs typically end their year in February or March, but January 2021 is not part of the 2020 membership year. If I have 48 elite nights on December 31st and then I complete two more on January 10th, I don’t have “2021 membership year Platinum status”. January 2021 counts as part of 2021. At least, it should. With this offer, Amex is effectively saying that you’ll get complimentary Platinum status for 12 months starting on February 1st. Why don’t they just word it that way? It would still be all sorts of confusing for people who apply in October after seeing “Complimentary Platinum Status” in large letters only to be told they don’t get that until February, but at least we wouldn’t be left trying to make sense of which months in 2021 are part of 2021.

Still, if they’re only going to offer 12 months of status, better to have that clock start later rather than sooner I guess given the state of travel?

If you are tempted by this offer, be sure to see the post Are you eligible for a new Marriott card? before applying. The rules for new Marriott credit cards are complex; the short of it is if you have received a bonus on either of the Chase cards in the past 24 months or you have acquired either of the Chase cards in the past 90 days, you are not eligible for these offers. On the flip side, I believe that if you have not earned a bonus on the Chase cards in the past 24 months and you haven’t had a Ritz card in the past 30 days, you should be eligible for the bonus on both Amex cards (provided you’ve never had these cards or the SPG Luxury card before). Is that clear? I assume it isn’t, so you should read that most about whether you’re eligible for a new Marriott card because that post is the only easy way to keep it straight.

Overall, these new offers are potentially very good for those who wouldn’t otherwise reach status. Of course I have to wonder how many Marriott customers who aren’t already a good chunk of the way to Platinum status are considering a credit card with a $450 annual fee or a Marriott business credit card. Keep in mind that Platinum choice benefits, like suite night awards, don’t come with free status but rather have to be earned with 50 nights.

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[…] Free Marriott Platinum + 100K or more points w/ new Amex Marriott offers […]

[…] likely that we’ll see a great new Bonvoy Brilliant offer before the end of the year (update: I was right!).  And there’s a good chance of a better World of Hyatt offer too (right […]

Preacher

Ok, so I get the dreaded pop-up when applying for these card stocks because I’ve had both the SPG Biz and personal before. I get it, I’m not eligible to get the 100,000 points with the welcome offer.

BUT, if I still chose to apply anyway, just to get the Platinum status, would I actually get the status? For example, if I did the same thing on one of the Delta cards, I’d still get a free checked bag, even if I didn’t qualify for the points bonus. Interested to hear your thoughts…

NK3

The Delta free bag perk is a benefit for holding the card, not part of the SUB. Similarly, holding the Bonvoy Brilliant gives you Marriott gold status as a perk. You would get that. Platinum status for one year is part of the SUB. I am almost certain you either get all of the SUB (100-125K points + platinum status) or none of the SUB.

Billy Bob

I travel a lot, have residences in US and wife’s country, and investment property elsewhere. I stay at 4 and 5 star places and the occasional 3 star airport type places too at times.
Marriott platinum status, which I have, is just not worth pursuing at the moment. I have not been to a hotel since March that is 100% up and running. I have not seen a full breakfast buffet since February. All have been closed. Only one lounge was open, and there was no food, just packaged snacks like chips and maybe wine or beer at best. In evenings restaurants are either closed or seriously curtailed. In some cases, front-desk-based room upgrades based on status were not offered because too few of those rooms were available or none were open due to the virus. Worse, the GMs I have spoken to report that they don’t expect things like lounges and buffets to open at least until 2023 because hotels are losing money and those things represent a huge cost. They have laid off employees and don’t have the staff to run them either. I am within striking distance of Titanium but will make no special effort to reach it for the next few years. I think I’ll remain Platinum due to 30 nights on two CCs and easily the 20 additional nights without effort, but mattress runs for status in 2021 will be a disappointment in my opinion.

Jason

Saying this somewhat tongue-in-cheek since I love everything you guys do, but it’s probably safe to take the word “Starwood” out of the write-ups 😉

Earning rate: 3X airfare charged by airline, US restaurants, 6X Starwood and Marriott Properties; 2X on all other eligible purchases

NK3

So if I signed up for the Brilliant now, in October 2021 I would pay $450 (a second time) and get the 50K free cert, 25K points, and a new $300 statement credit, correct? Let’s say I used up the $300 by December, I could then downgrade to the regular Bonvoy Amex, and then get back about $295 of my annual fee (($450-$95)x(10/12)). Correct? For the second year that would a great deal for $155.

YoniPDX

Can’t downgrade from Personal to Business card

AFAIK only one Amex Marriott personal ($450) card and one Biz ($125)

NK3

Amex was the legacy SPG card. You can’t apply directly but it is a downgrade path. It is still an option–my SO downgraded to it last month.

YoniPDX

Thanks – great to know – forgot about that and didn’t realize you could PC to legacy with Amex, knew about Chase CSR/CSP to vanilla Sapphire.

Also wish there was an Biz Aspire card (for many reasons).

JustSomeGuy

After listening to your discussion about status matching on this week’s Ask Us Anything episode, this offer would seem to solve the problem of starting from scratch with no status but planning 50+ nights in 2021. Can get the card, the increased SUB, and platinum status from the beginning (well, February) of the year while starting to accrue elite nights from stays later in the year.

pho tastee

so what if you had the spg business card before, can you apply this without getting the bonus but get Pat status?

ktc

so you’ll get 25k pts + 50k cert? or just one of them?

Stefan Krasowski (Rapid Travel Chai)

Interesting offer on the Brilliant, a card they have done little to promote to anyone since the card launched. Some customers new to Platinum may be enticed, get used to the 4 pm checkout (few, if any, other benefits seem to apply in rule or in practice at this time), and be converted to ongoing Platinum customers. I’ve been sitting on the card because of the weak 75k bonus. I might have bit at 125k if that was just it. Yet with this status carrot that is useless to me as I already have Titanium, now I say no, I only want 125k plus an alternate like lifetime elite night credits.

PeterSFO

Good promo on paper but it’s not a Bonvoy promo unless it offends some of their customers:
Existing cardholders will be angry because they don’t get platinum status.
Existing Platinum will be angry because it’ll swell the ranks of Platinum members.
People who did some matress runs with earlier promos will be angry because they had to go through the trouble and now it’s available on a CC.

Platinum status on a CC SUB is quite generous but I can’t feel like they would have angered less people if they made it attainable for all cardholders after $x of spend.

Franz

Got a feeling Amex will keep the automatic Plat status for Brilliant ala Aspire with HH

PeterSFO

Hoping this but the status is only offered to new cardholders and not to existing ones so it feels like a one time deal.

Billy Bob

I am taking the opposite side of that bet.

wise2u

they probably word it vaguely so they can say ou misinterpreted it and BONVOY you with their definition….blah

Iggy

Membership year has always been Feb 1 to Jan 31 for many hotel chains including Marriott. January earnings always count towards the next membership year though which confuses some people

Hadley V. Baxendale

Nick,

I can understand offering inducements for the card better than what someone might have obtained earlier when signing up for it, but I really don’t understand how AMEX can offer this to new Brilliant card members and NOT offer Platinum status to current card members………..

Phil

Am I correct to assume that this can be matched to United Silver?

Last edited 1 year ago by Phil
DSK

Nope. That is Titanium not Platinum.

Hadley V. Baxendale

Yes, I think you are incorrect. With Marriott’s re-jiggering of status and introduction of Titanium status, it is only Titanium that gets United Silver, no longer Marriott Platinum.