Marriott Amex Cards: Best Ever 155K and 185K Welcome Offers

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American Express has just launched massive, limited-time welcome offers for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant and Bonvoy Bevy cards, each one almost doubling the previous version. The Bevy is now giving 155,000 Bonvoy points after $5,000 minimum spend within the first 6 months, while the Brilliant card doles out a whopping 185,000 points after $6,000 spend in 6 months.

Both are the best points offers that we’ve ever seen for these cards and each one will end on 5/1/24. If you’re in the market for Marriott points, each of these cards should be considered.

The Offers and Key Card Details

Card Offer and Details
Limited Time Offer - 185K Points ⓘ Affiliate
185k points after $6K spend within the first 6 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
(Offer Expires 5/1/2024)
$650 Annual Fee
Recent better offer: None. this is the best that we've seen.
FM Mini Review: Decent ultra-premium option for Marriott fans, especially those aiming for lifetime status tiers
Earning rate: 3X airfare -on flights booked directly with airlines; 3X restaurants worldwide, 6X Marriott; 2X on all other eligible purchases
Base: 2X (1.6%)
Travel: 3X (2.4%)
Dine: 3X (2.4%)
Brand: 6X (4.8%)
Card Info: Amex Credit Card issued by Amex. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
Big spend bonus: Annual Choice Award with $60K calendar year spend
Noteworthy perks: ✦ 85K Free Night Award each year upon renewal ✦ $300 dining credit per membership year ($25/mo) ✦ Platinum Elite status ✦ 25 elite nights credit ✦ Priority Pass membership (Lounges only) with 2 guests ✦ Global Entry fee credit ✦ Free premium internet at Marriott properties Note: Enrollment required for some benefits.
Card Offer and Details
Limited Time Offer - 155K Points ⓘ Affiliate
155K points after $5K spend in the first 6 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
(Offer Expires 5/1/2024)
$250 Annual Fee
Recent better offer: None. this is the best that we've seen.
Earning rate: 6X Marriott.✦ 4X restaurants & U.S. Supermarkets on up to $15K spend per year ✦ 2X on all other eligible purchases
Base: 2X (1.6%)
Dine: 4X (3.2%)
Grocery: 4X (3.2%)
Brand: 6X (4.8%)
Card Info: Amex Credit Card issued by Amex. This card has no foreign currency conversion fees.
Big spend bonus: One 50K Free Night Award after $15K calendar year spend.
Noteworthy perks: 15 night credit towards elite status every year upon account anniversary ✦ 1,000 bonus points with each qualifying stay ✦ Gold elite status

Quick Thoughts

The Amex Points Parade has arrived in Bonvoyland.

Both of these new Marriott welcome offers are spectacular and each one represents the best points haul that we’ve ever seen for the respective card. Add in the current 5×50 free night certificate offer for the Bonvoy Business card, and it looks like Amex is throwing down a gauntlet after years of its Bonvoy cards lagging behind Chase’s portfolio (when it comes to welcome bonuses).

Some readers committed to swearing off Marriott completely after their change to dynamic pricing, although it’s really been more of a mixed bag. We actually raised our reasonable redemption value for Marriott points from .75 to .80 cents per point, but that doesn’t tell the complete story, as the award cost for many sought-after properties have gone up significantly-to-astronomically.

However, if you’re still in the Marriott orbit (as I am), these new offers are no-brainers, giving between $1200-$1500 in conservative value.

The Brilliant does come with a hefty $650 annual fee, but does have $300 in yearly statement credits that can be applied to dining charges (in irritating, $25/month in increments). Assuming you can use those easily, it brings the annual cost closer to $350, in the same neighborhood as the Bevy’s $250 annual fee. That may make the Brilliant more appealing for many, depending on how much you value the dining credits, Bonvoy Platinum status, 25 elite night credits and Priority Pass membership that come with the card.

If you want to get both, it’s worth noting that Amex recently added “family” rules to Marriott cards, meaning that you “may” not be eligible for a welcome bonus on the Bevy card if you have or previously have had the Brilliant card. So, if you do plan to take advantage of each of these offers, it would be wise to get the Bevy first, then go for the Brilliant.

You’ve got two months to do it, since both of these offers end on 5/1/24.

Are you eligible for a Amex Bonvoy Brilliant card?

In true Bonvoy fashion, Marriott has a labyrinthine process for determining whether or not you get a welcome bonus on a given card. It’s like it’s free breakfast or something.

Here’s Greg’s helpful chart for deciphering the Marriott eligibility rules:

Card You Want
Cards You've Had (Or Recently Applied For) Chase Bonvoy Bold Chase Bonvoy Boundless Chase Bonvoy Bountiful Amex Bonvoy Business Amex Bonvoy Brilliant Amex Bonvoy Bevy
Chase Ritz Carlton ⚠30
Bonvoy ($45 card)
Bonvoy Premier ⚠24
Bonvoy Bold ⚠90 ⚠24 ⚠30 ⚠90 ⚠24
Bonvoy Boundless
Bonvoy Bountiful ⚠24
Bonvoy Business ($45 card) ⚠30
Bonvoy Premier Plus Business ⚠90 ⚠24 ⚠30
Amex Bonvoy ⚠30 ⚠30 ⚠90 ⚠24
Bonvoy Business ⚠90 ⚠24
Bonvoy Bevy
Bonvoy Brilliant
Eligibility Key
You are eligible for this card and welcome bonus
⚠30 Your are not eligible for a welcome bonus if you have had the card on the left within the past 30 days
⚠24 You will not be approved if you currently have or if you've received a welcome bonus in the past 24 months for the card on the left
⚠90 ⚠24 You are not eligible for a welcome bonus if you were approved for the card on the left within the past 90 days; or if you've received a welcome or upgrade bonus in the past 24 months.
⚠30 ⚠90 ⚠24 You are not eligible for a welcome bonus if you've had the card on the left within the past 30 days; or if you were approved for it within the past 90 days; or if you've received a welcome bonus or upgrade bonus for it in the past 24 months.
You are not eligible for a welcome bonus if you've ever had this card before (but the system seems to "forget" that you've had the card about 5 to 7 years after you cancel)
 

Amex Applications Tips

  • Safe to Apply: Amex is usually the safest bank for trying your luck at earning a new welcome offer. Most of the time, they won’t issue a hard pull when denying your application or when approving you if you already have at least one Amex card. Plus, they’ll warn you during the application process if you’re not eligible for the bonus.
  • Once in a Lifetime Rule: If you've ever had a card before, you are most likely prohibited from earning a welcome offer for that same card if you apply now. Fortunately you'll be warned during the application process if this is the case. Amex is known to "forget" that you've had a card after about 5-7 years. Note that there are frequently offers with no lifetime language (NLL) that aren't bound by this restriction.
  • "Family" Rules: In addition to the "once in a lifetime" rule, Amex now applies additional "family" rules to several groups of consumer cards. These rules don't apply to business cards.
  • 2 per 90 days: You can get at most two credit cards within 90 days. This rule usually does not apply to Pay Over Time (charge) cards.
  • Marriott cards: Approval for any Marriott card is governed by a labyrinthine set of unintuitive rules. You can see the full eligibility chart here.
  • Card Limits: Amex normally only allows customers to have five credit cards and ten charge cards at one time. Both personal and business cards count towards the respective five and ten card limits. There are some instances where certain customers have been allowed to go above those limits.
  • Application Status: Call (877) 239-3491 to check your application status or use this link.
  • Reconsideration: If denied, you can call (800) 567-1083 and ask for your application to be reconsidered.
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Dan

My wife and I both tried applying for the Bonvoy Bevy card and both received the pop-up from Amex, and I can’t figure out why. AFAIK, neither of us are in pop-up jail with Amex generally. We both currently hold the Amex Marriott Business card, which from my understanding shouldn’t prevent either of us from receiving the bonus on the Bevy. We both had the Starwood Preferred card, but closed them 7-8 years ago. We also both had the Chase Marriott Premier and Ritz cards, but again, closed them 8-9 years ago.

Anybody have any idea why we’re getting the pop-up?

ECR12

If I downgrade the Amex Brilliant to Bevy or Bonvoy (if thats still offered?) am I immediately eligible for new Brilliant offer?

Mser

Doubtful since Amex has family card restrictions

[…] are interested in getting two Marriott Amex cards that just came out. You can read about them here: Marriott Amex Cards: Best Ever 155k and 185k Welcome Offers. And if you decide to apply, please start HERE, thank you. Note the annual […]

Dan

Is it possible to downgrade the Bevy card to the now no longer available via direct application $95 Amex card that includes a free night up to 35,000 points? I’d like to downgrade the Bevy when the second annual fee is due.

Kyle

Yup, I just did it.

Nathan

So for someone with zero Marriott cards ever, what’s the path toward the endgame?
Start with Amex:
Bevy
Brilliant
Business
Then after 2 years, get the Boundless, and after one year, upgrade to the Ritz?

It seems if you start on the Chase side, then you’re locked out forever from the Amex side.

Juan

Yup you’re right on. I’d add that the Bevy should probably be cancelled after the second annual fee posts and after upgrading to the ritz, you could reapply for the Boundless 24 months after you got the original bonus.

Dylan

I thought the Ritz was discontinued years ago??

Repeat Offender Captain Greg

Ah

Last edited 1 month ago by Repeat Offender Captain Greg
Yus

Even with the chart it’s confusing to even a veteran miles and points guy like myself. Can you or can you got get the bonvoy business and brilliant in short sequence of each other with the sign up bonus?

Tony

You can. I got the business first, then brilliant 30 days after. Received both bonuses.

Steven

It’s not the best ever, Brilliant have 6K SPEND+5 nights stay for 150K+50K offer few month ago.

Gino

So could we do a 6000+(whatever your average spend for 5 nights) is for 150+50k? Then essentially compare 35k vs 50k including that spend is?

Kathy

Can the dining credits be used on any type of dining?

Steve kwan

Uber eat?

Andrew

Yes

Johnny

Finally it’s here, gonna apply to your link for the brilliant on 4/28 before it expired.

rich

we got the brilliant last year and got a total of 200k points broken into two parts, 150k plus 50k bonus I believe

Yifty

It was 6 paid nights completed by 01/31/24. Didn’t matter when you sign up for the offer. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to hit the second part of the bonus…

Last edited 1 month ago by Yifty
Points Adventure

Great offers, but not sure about the best ever claim.  In late 2021 the Brilliant card offered 150k + 85k FNC, and redemptions rates were much lower back then.  It was put to good use.

Grant

Hey Tim, do you think it would be worthwhile to close my old Chase Marriott Bonvoy Business CC now, wait 30+ days, and then go for the AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Business CC? Any reason not to close the old Chase Marriott Bonvoy Business CC? I currently have a Ritz Carlton CC that I plan to keep open long term.

Tim T

Chase Marriott Bonvoy is closed to new applications. I am holding on to mine for dear life.

Yifty

The only worthwhile thing to keep the Chase Biz Marriott card is the primary CDW and lower annual fee. I would get the Amex card for the bonus.

Ben

Assuming you have a use for the certs, the Biz offer is better than both of these.

Nathan

Depend on your use. My in-laws frequently stay at this particularly Courtyard that is halfway between them and us to break up the drive. It is routinely available for 9,300-13,000 pt/night. So this offer is worth 14-19 free night to them (instead of ~$150 cash each night). They wouldn’t use 50K free nights to anywhere close to full value.
But yeah, if aspirational travel is your goal, the 5X50K offer might be better. That said, if you took advantage of 5th night free, the 185K offer isn’t far behind.

Pam

is there a new Biz offer?

Mantis

Unrelated, but I’m surprised you guys didn’t have any writeup yesterday about the ANA deval. I was looking forward to reading your take, but oh well.

Tyler

I currently have the Chase RC card. If I downgrade so I can get the Brilliant, is there a waiting period before I can upgrade again?

Daniel

I downgraded the Ritz back to a Boundless a few weeks ago with the plan to apply for the Brilliant at some point this year when the welcome offer increased. I suppose that this may be good enough, so I’ll try applying in a few more weeks.

The timing isn’t completely ideal, though, since I’ll re-upgrade the Boundless to the Ritz later this year and the Ritz 85K FNC will probably continue to have an October 2 expiry date for me, while the Brilliant 85K FNC will eventually have an expiry date in late spring/early summer. But you can’t have everything, I suppose.

Christopher

I’m in the same boat but I have not downgraded my Ritz card just yet. My fear is that I have a reservation using the cards Club upgrade come September at the Ritz Hong Kong Property and my fear is if I downgrade now, apply for the card day before the offer expires (2 months from tomorrow), will I be able to upgrade back to the Ritz card before my September trip? I have at least $6k worth of reservations in September. Does anyone know how quickly you can upgrade back to the Ritz card once downgraded?

Dylan

Can you still get the RC card? I thought it was discontinued?