Marriott releases its new card lineup: Is it a Bevy of Bountiful Brilliance?

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Back in August, the internet was abuzz with news of a rumored shakeup in Marriott’s credit card portfolio. We guessed then that September 22nd would be the date of a big announcement, when the details of the new (and newly-refreshed) cards would be made public. But, until then, we just had to guess ’bout the beautiful bounty that Bonvoy would bestow.  Well, the wait is over and the changes are live today.

Amex and Chase have each introduced new $250 annual fee Marriott cards: the Bonvoy Bountiful card from Chase and the Bonvoy Bevy card from Amex. At the same time, and as was expected, Amex has also announced that the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card has an increased annual fee of $650 (up from $450) with some improved features to go along with the blingy price tag.

So are these new cards breakdancing bangups that have us doing backflips? Or are they befuddling backsliders? Let’s take a look. Greg the Frequent Miler wrote a great post last month where he speculated on what the details of the new cards would be. So, we’ll look at his predictions and then compare them to what we’ve found out about the cards today.

Greg’s Predictions vs Reality

First off, Greg predicted that the current $95 annual fee cards wouldn’t change and he was right on. Chase’s Bonvoy Boundless card and Amex’s Bonvoy card share a $95 fee and many of the same benefits, including:

  • $95 annual fee
  • 35K free night certificate each year upon renewal
  • Automatic Silver Elite status
  • 15 elite qualifying nights per year towards elite status
  • Earn Gold Elite status with $35K annual spend
  • Earn 6x points at Marriott hotels and 2x for most other spend (the Chase card also throws in 3X at gas stations, grocery stores, and dining on up to $6K in combined purchases each year)

These two cards are unchanged, with the same annual fees and benefits. But now there is a new tier of $250 cards and, given the extra $155 in annual fee, they must carry a ton of additional value and a bountiful bevy of new features, right? Um, right…?!?

Unveiling the Bevy and Bountiful

Card Offer and Details
Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express Card
125K Points
125K points after $4K spend in 3 months

$250 Annual Fee


Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Dine
Grocery
Brand

Earning rate: 6X Marriott.⚬ 4X restaurants & grocery on up to $15K spend per year ⚬ 2X everywhere else

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

See also: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide

Card Offer and Details
Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card

Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Dine
Grocery
Brand

Earning rate: 6X Marriott.⚬ 4X restaurants & grocery on up to $15K spend per year ⚬ 2X everywhere else

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

See also: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide

Here’s what Greg predicted the details of the news cards would be, including the features that he thought would warrant the additional annual fee, compared to the actual details about the cards that we’ve learned today:

Greg’s Guesses The Bountiful Truth
Annual Fee $250 $250
Statement Credits $120 @ $10/month none
Free Night Award 50K Certificate none
Free Night w/ Spend N/A 50K cert after $15k spend
Automatic Elite Status Gold Elite Gold Elite
Elite Status w/ $75K Spend Platinum Elite None
Automatic Elite Credits 15 Elite Nights 15 Elite Nights
Free Priority Pass No No
Earnings from Spend 6x points at Marriott hotels and 2x for most other spend with 3x or 4x categories as well. 6X Marriott; 4X US restaurants and grocery (up to $15k/year), 2X on all other eligible purchases
Additional benefits Same as current 1,000 bonus Bonvoy points per stay.

 

As you can see, Greg was right on the money with most of his predictions, with one glaring exception: he was crazy enough to believe the new $250 cards would be better than the current $95 cards! I gotta say, I’m blown away by how exceptionally average the benefits are on these new cards, despite the increased fee. No annual free night cert, unlike the $95 cards? No additional statement credits or Priority Pass or path to spend to elite status (as far as we know right now)?

The only difference between the new $250 cards and their humbler $95 brethren is that they have 4x at up to $15K at restaurants and supermarkets, complimentary Gold status (which is of extremely marginal value) and that cardholders earn an extra 1,000pts per stay. But, given that the $95 cards come with a 35K cert, you’d need to stay 30+ times before that extra 1K per stay approximates what you are gauranteed from the cards that leave $155 in your pocket.

If you showed me these new cards’ benefits compared to the Boundless and Bonvoy cards and told me that they all had the same annual fee, I would probably take the Boundless and Bonvoy, simply because the 35K cert would be more valuable to me than the combination of benefits that the Bevy and Bountiful have. At 2.5x the annual cost of the $95 cards, I just don’t get the reasoning here, unless Marriott/Chase/Amex feel that Gold Elite is way more valuable than it actually is.

These new cards are bit of a…buzzkill. How about the new and improved Bonvoy Brilliant? Will that make up for the snooziness of the new $250 cards?

The new $650 Brilliant

Here are the details of the new, $650 Bonvoy Brilliant, again compared with Greg’s predictions:

Greg’s Guesses “New” Bonvoy Brilliant
Annual Fee $650 $650
Statement Credits $300 Dining ($25 / Month) $300 Dining ($25 / Month)
Free Night Award 85K Certificate 85K Certificate
Free Night w/ Spend 85K Cert after $50K Spend 85K Cert after $60K Spend (as a choice benefit)
Annual Choice Award After $50K Spend: Choose 50K points, 40% bedding discount, gift set, gift Gold status, or 15% off Ritz Yacht Collection After $60K Spend: Choose 85k Free Night Award, Five Suite Night Awards or $750 off a bed on Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques
Automatic Elite Status Platinum Elite Platinum Elite
Elite Status w/ $75K Spend Titanium Elite None
Automatic Elite Credits 25 Elite Nights 25 Elite Nights
Earnings from Spend 3X airfare charged by airline; 3X US restaurants, 6X Marriott; 2X on all other eligible purchases 3X airfare charged by airline; 3X US restaurants, 6X Marriott; 2X on all other eligible purchases
Travel benefits Priority Pass Select with 2 free guests + Global Entry fee credit Priority Pass Select with 2 free guests + Global Entry fee credit

*** There is also a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis brands when you book direct using a special rate for a 2+ night stay. My assumption is that the “special rate” won’t be terribly competitive.

Card Offer and Details
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
150K Points
Limited-time Offer - 150K points after $5K in the first 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)

$650 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, especially those aiming for lifetime status tiers


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: 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 Select with 2 free guests ⚬ Global Entry fee credit ⚬ Free premium internet at Marriott properties

See also: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide

Greg was cooking with gas here and his predictions are eerily prescient. Effectively, for $200 extra in annual fee, cardholders get an 85K cert instead of a 50K cert, 25 elite nights credit instead of 15, automatic Platinum Elite Status (that sometimes gets you breakfast at some properties) and the ability to get a 85K cert instead of a 50K cert as an Annual Choice Award…admittedly after spending an additional $10,000 on the card compared to the version that Greg had hoped for.

To me, this seems like a fair-ish upgrade, if not a home run. Having automatic Platinum status is a big upgrade from the near-useless Gold and the 85k cert opens up far more redemption possibilities than a 50k. That said, you only get one 85k cert, which can be a pain to redeem by itself, ie, you end up looking for places to burn it as opposed to burning it at places you’re looking for. If you want to spend more than one night in that high end hotel, the second night will cost you dearly.

I like the 25 nights of elite night credit. Combined with a $125 business card, you’ll get 40 elite nights annually, just 10 nights below the 50 night choice award and 35 nights away from Titanium and another 40K cert (because of the Choice Award at 75 nights).

Titanium itself could end up becoming more valuable as a result of these changes, given that the ranks of Platinum elites will undoubtedly swell due to the the Brilliant card awarding the status as a cardholder perk. This could make meaningful upgrades much harder to come by and increase the likelihood that Titaniums will find themselves in a better spot for suites (assuming individual properties care to differentiate).

I do wish that there was more incentive for big spend. I’d love to see there be a path to spending to Titanium as well as getting an additional cert or points. Greg was hoping that  $50k spend would earn 50K points as an Annual Card Choice Award as well as the ability get another free night cert and Titanium status by hitting $75k spend. Instead, there’s a better Choice Award at $60k and…nothing else.

What happened to the Ritz-Carlton Card?

And then there’s the Ritz card. If there’s a clear winner out of this shakeup, this is it. The card hasn’t been available for new sign-ups for many years, but it’s still possible to get it by starting with a Chase Marriott Boundless card, and upgrading to the Ritz.

Card Offer and Details
Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Visa Infinite
This card is no longer available for new applications.
It is still possible to acquire this card by starting with another consumer Marriott card from Chase. After having the card at least one year, call Chase to ask about product changing to the Ritz card.

No Annual Fee First Year, Then $450

FM Mini Review: While the card is pricey, the annual free night, plus $300 in ariline fee credits, plus other perks make this card a keeper.


Card Type: Visa Infinite

Base
Travel
Dine
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 6X Ritz & Marriott.⚬ 3X airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, at car rental agencies and at restaurants ⚬ 2X everywhere else

Big spend bonus: $75K spend per calendar year for Platinum elite status

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ Annual 85K hotel certificate upon renewal ⚬ 3 club level upgrades. $100 hotel credit for each 2 night or longer stay ⚬ Priority Pass Select with unlimited guests ⚬ $300 annual credit for airline incidentals ⚬ Automatic Gold Status

See also: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide

Greg predicted that the Ritz card would stay as is, and he was almost right.  For an extra $200/year above the $250 Bonvoy Bountiful and Bevy cards, the Ritz card offers a much better rebate ($300 in airline incidental fees vs. nothing), Priority Pass that includes restaurants and best in-class travel protections.

Sounds good, but what makes it the clear winner here?

While the annual fee on the Ritz card is staying the same at $450, the annual free night certificate is moving from the old 50K cert to an 85K cert. So, for no difference in annual fee, you’re getting a much better free night cert with no reduction in the other benefits that made the Ritz card so desireable to begin with. Factor in the Priority Pass, travel protections and $300 in credits and this card seems to be a no-brainer as a first-year product change from the Bevy or Bountiful after receiving the welcome offer.

I’ve been dragging my feet on product-changing my old Boundless card to the Ritz, and the improved annual certificate is the kick in the pants that I need to finally do it.

Quick Thoughts

In the end, this much-anticipated reveal is underwhelming. The most appealing cards, by far, are the previously existing Ritz, Bonvoy Brilliant and the unchanged Bonvoy Boundless. On the other hand, the new $250 mid-tier cards are snoozers, in my opinion. I’d have a hard time figuring out a reason to recommend them as keepers to anyone.

Looking for status, perks and a valuable free night certificate? Go for the Ritz or the Brilliant. Looking for elite nights in the Marriott ecosphere and a (semi-)decent free night award? Take a look at the $95 Boundless. These new cards end up in a no man’s land of too much cost and not enough benefits, with better options available by going up or down in annual fee.

All three of these cards have good, limited-time welcome offers that last until early-January. Each offer is worth $1000+ according to our reasonable redemption values and are worth a look for the welcome bonus alone, if not as a long-term keeper. Whether or not you’re eligible for them is always a fun parlor game to work through:

The Bevy and Bountiful are woven into this fine tapestry of approval odds in exactly the same way as the Bonvoy and Boundless, with the same 30 day, 90 day and 24 month rules (as opposed to the Brilliant which is more restrictive). But, one last thing to take note of: if you’d like to hold both the Brilliant and Ritz cards, make sure you get approved for the Brilliant before product-changing to the Ritz, as simply holding the Ritz card will make you ineligible for the Brilliant.

In the meantime, may your Bonvoy adventures be a brilliant bevy of bountiful breakthoughs (and forgive me if all this seems like boundless balderdash).

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Justin

How long do I have to wait in order to upgrade my Boundless to Ritz after applying for the Amex Brilliant?

It has been well over 24 months since I got the sign on bonus for the Boundless. I also have the Bonvoy business, but that doesn’t seem to impact applying for the Brilliant nor upgrading the Boundless to the Ritz

Ricardo

The big loosers here are the Lifetime platinum people that got the status by staying 600 nights and 10 years as platinums. The status just became meaningless with the automatic platinum status one can get with the Brilliant card. Hopefully there will be a path for lifetime titanium, although it will probably become meaningless also.

Free3

Just noticed my MR nights increased by 10 since last week without a stay, so it looks like the Brilliant card is upping elite night credits 15-> 25 this year.

VIS

Love to hear about existing card holders experience regarding the upgraded Platinum status.

VIS

Looks like the $25 restaurant credit started on the 22nd/23rd September for the existing card holders. I used $3 on fast food just to see what happens on 23rd and boom, credit appeared today. $22 to go before the end of the month.

Andrew

Glad I got in on the five 50K FNC offer for Boundless before these mediocre cards came out. I get they aren’t as flexible as points but I’d have a hard time stomaching the $155 higher AF for “half” the points on these welcome offers.

I see one play where the new Bountiful/Bevy card can make sense and that is if you do a lot of short Marriott stays throughout the year, such as a contractor or consultant with frequent 1 – 2 night trips. If you can funnel all that spend through the new cards for 50+ nights then you could hit $10K+ in organic hotel spend while earning 6X which puts you close to the 50K free night cert, and you’d earn an extra 25K – 50K points for the 1000 point per stay bonus. That would more than compensate for the higher AF and you’d already earn Platinum organically (probably Titanium with the extra nights from the card) so there’s less appeal to get the Brilliant card. It’s a somewhat niche use case as it doesn’t help if you do longer stays for weeks at a time and you need to be able to put that business spend on your personal card. Not a bad way to earn ongoing Marriott points if it fits you though.

Sam

Well, I doubt I’ll be keeping the Brilliant card. For a $200 increase the added benefits just don’t add up in my book. My anniversary date is in Sept so I’ll have the T status for a full year, maybe I’ll change my mind, but, I doubt it.

Used to get 15 nights from Chase Bonvoy and 15 from Amex Brilliant. Total of 30. Now, you get from 25 from Brilliant and zero from Bonvoy, unless you have a business card. Again, a downgrade.

VIS

Totally agree. I have 2 stays coming up early next year and see how I am treated with Platinum status. If no upgrade, no breakfast or lounge access at JW, no renewal next April.

rxgeek

Obviously, a lot of work went into this. Thanks!

FNT Delta Diamond

If everyone didn’t have platinum status before, they will now. And they’ll have 25 nights toward titanium. Meanwhile, Marriott makes ZERO improvements to titanium or ambassador benefits to make customers actually achieve those statuses. Already, some properties are getting 75 guests every night with platinum status. That doesn’t count titanium or ambassador. Commentary aside, the new benefits of the $650 card sound like basically the old Ritz-Carlton card. Before Bonvoy, didn’t the Ritz-Carlton AmEx gave Ritz-Carlton Rewards platinum status?

VIS

Kudos on your predictions. Now let’s talk about current card holders and what should they do when the next renewal hits. Brilliant and Hilton Aspire holder.

TravelerMike

Yeah, this kind of concerns me what they might do to the Aspire card …

Tom

The Bevy and the Bountiful don’t have an annual free night cert upon paying the steep $250 annual fee? Hilarious. Who are they kidding? That’s a card to get for the sign up bonus and then dump after one year.

A guy named Mike

But is the 25k difference in SUB between the Boundless and the Bevy/Bountiful worth $155 and trading a 35k cert for a $15k spend locked 50k cert?

IMO, not at all. With the goofy Marriott eligibility rules, I don’t even see many people jumping in on the $250 cards for the SUBs.

(ed: forgot to include that I realize that the FNA is after year 1, but it feels like buying Marriott points at .62 cpp isn’t a great deal for a SUB when a better on going option exists)

Last edited 2 months ago by A guy named Mike
Theresa

Is the platinum 4pm still GUARANTEED? Ive had to argue with hotels, big ones like st Regis NYC, who told me I could not get late check out and it was subject to availability. Then I had to reach out to Bonvoy on Twitter, who then called to rectify. That guaranteed late check out means alot to me. Now everyone will have it? How will hotels handle that? In Marriotts email it says subject to availability at resorts and convention but doesn’t mention guaranteed otherwise.

Greg The Frequent Miler

Yes it’s supposed to be guaranteed except at resorts, but getting a hotel to honor guaranteed benefits when they don’t want to can be a challenge. Plus, this isn’t one of the benefits that they guarantee by offering perks if the hotel can’t fulfill it so it’s an empty guarantee.

https://frequentmiler.com/marriott-spg-elite-benefits-guarantee/

Theresa

True. I’ve had good success reaching out to Bonvoy on Twitter. They actually call the hotel and make them do it.

Josh

What was the sign up bonus on the Brilliant before the changes? 75,000? 100,000? Does anyone know?

TravelerMike

It was 75,000 points for $3,000 spend … I was debating getting it … By waiting, AF went up $200 and lost out on doing the $300 double dip … but the SUB increased by 75,000 points for $2,000 extra spend … so, kind of a wash depending on what you value Marriott points … especially with the upcoming full dynamic pricing – it’s anyone’s guess if Marriott points will be closer to IHG or Hilton points.

Bfan

Great review on these new cards and the revised brilliant. I do have the brilliant and I just renewed in July but really think I will cancel with July comes back around. Besides platinum status which I already have thought nights. There is nothing really appealing for an extra 200 and no statement credits. Btelw the business card is 125, not 95.

Bill Smith

Currently have Boundless (had since it started as Premier Plus). If I were to product change, do you still get elite nights added each year? I didn’t see any mention on that but could have missed it.

George

What a massive disappointment. Brilliant is almost acceptable… I guess if you stay a lot at Marriotts and you like super luxurious hotels, it’s a really big improvement?

The Brilliant + Ritz combo definitely got more enticing.

Small correction to the article – the business card has a $125 annual fee (not $95 as written).

VMP

Can you elaborate on holding both the Brilliant and Ritz? I got the Boundless card in Apr 2022 and earned the SUB in Jul 2022. Does this mean I would have to wait until Jul 2024 to apply for the Brilliant (in order to be eligible for the SUB) and the wait until I have that card to product switch the Boundless to the Ritz?

Tim T

very underwhelming to say the least. I thought the old line up was bad, this just got a whole lot worse…. $250 and no free annual certificate? Total junk. Very good article. The chart needs to updated though.

Ryan G

Question for someone totally new to this. If I have none of these cards or any marriott cards. What would be the best way to start?

My company currently pays for my stays at marriotts but I could prob convince them to reimburse me and use my own card.

Any thoughts? I average about 40 – 50 nights a year.

Mary Jane

Tim, Dan or anybody, Do you know, if you get the Brilliant card, can you later get the Ritz (through product change from the Boundless)? Then you would have two 85k ngts. Since I screwed up already, I want to clarify it. Many thanks.

BML

I have the ritz but not the brilliant. Is there a path to get some bonus and then upgrade to the Brilliant without a bonus?

BML

Oh may be the Bonvoy Bevy? Do you think they would allow the upgrade to Brilliant?

BML

Thanks, I need those extra 10 nights to re-qualify titanium. Do you think they would allow upgrading right after collecting the bonus in less than 3 months of card opening?

VMP

Even if you wait 24 months?

Chris

Hey Guys,

I’m trying to decide my play here, but don’t think I can earn a welcome offer.

I have old spg. Amex biz, and chase Marriott. Amex biz Marriott I just got in late July.

Wife has chase Marriot $95 in April 2021 or 22 i need to look up which.

Any way for us to get brilliant new welcome offer? I think not until potentially April 23.

What about 2 85k certs? Though not sure it’s worth it with potentially bad redemption rates next year

Chris

Hey Tim

I have had my spg Amex and chase Marriott for years. The Amex biz I’ve only had a few months. So technically I can get the welcome offer and then switch wives ?

Does the switch change when you get your FNC? Right now it’s April if I did it in Jan would I get free certification in Jan 2024??

Mary Jane

Tim, Dan or whoever is more knowledgeable than me, this question may sound crazy but is it possible to sign up for the Brilliant without the sign up bonus. P2 needs elite nights and the 85k anniversary ngt. Second question, You can’t get the Brilliant if you have a Ritz cc but can you get a Ritz (product change) if you have the Brilliant.

Daniel

The Offer Terms for the Brilliant only say that the “welcome offer” (rather than the card or the “product”) is not available if you currently have the Ritz or have had the Ritz in the last 30 days. That should mean that you could sign up for the Brilliant without the welcome offer, although only you can decide if it’s worth it to do so without the 150K points.

Treesha

Kind of a dumb question, but do the elite nights that come with the cards count towards the nights needed for lifetime elite status? E.g. Lifetime Platinum requires 600 nights PLUS 10 years of Platinum. I have less than 300 nights but 7 years of Platinum. It would take me way longer than three years to reach 600 nights stayed, but if the CC elite nights count then the Brillant could help a lot.

Captain Greg

You are touching on the conclusion I’m coming to… which is that it could be worth it for a lot of people to pick up both the Brilliant and the business card and work toward lifetime platinum status. Even if someone is starting from zero nights, this combo would give them 40 nights/year. Then if the person only stays at a Marriott for ten nights a year, they could get to 55 nights/year with the 50 night choice benefit of 5 additional nights. Holding the Brilliant card gives you platinum status, so after 10 years you’d be very close to lifetime platinum. That could be an incredible deal, especially for a young professional. Sure, you’d also be spending $775/year on credit card annual fees, but you’d get $300 back in dining credits, an 85k cert, a 35k cert, and platinum status. That’s a pretty even exchange to do for 10 years to end up with a lifetime of platinum status.

Eric

Ouch, the new $250 cards *don’t* have an annual free night certificate without spending $15k?!

I wonder how long the Boundless will keep its free night certificate without a minimum annual spending requirement.

Raylan

Is the Ritz still open for those who perform a product change?

Dick Bupkiss

Crap, crap and more crap. There is absolutely nothing about any of these cards that is even slightly interesting to me, never mind compelling enough to hand them $250 or god help me $600 a year. What the hell are these idiots smoking? I want some of THAT. Not their useless crap cards. Feh. Ptooey. <i>I fart in your general direction.</i>

escot

Sorry Tim, nice try at being tad humorous, and delightfully light, yet Dick’s sentiments match EXACTLY where a lot of us are who’ve endured being Bonvoyed about long enough…. (Unless something radical happens with Marriott realizing the duds they’ve lauched/killed here, I’ll be cancelling my Bonvoy Brilliant, and even the biz versions are at top of the close watch list…

ps, Glad Greg let you do this write up….. seriously. As much as I’ve long valued this web site, (and often use its links) I got into trouble with Greg year or so ago when I dared to suggest the relationship betwixt Frequent Miler and Amex (an obvious sponsor) inevitably (and rather clearly) had seemed to be shaping his predictions (counsel?) about the then next changes…. Didn’t mean to question his integrity, even as he of course could protest much (too much) in umbrage at my nerve/angst…. (I had it coming and let it pass…. “eerie,” eh? )

By happy contrast, I sincerely wish fm could have had earned commissions from Wyndham / Barclay’s for that Wyndham Biz Earners cards you so selflessly alerted us to…. (eg Vacasa) That by FAR has become our #1 go to travel program…. as least for US travel. (I’d luv to write about our recent vacasa dream stays through the Rockies…. but what web site would want such thankle$$ posts? Besides, if I/we wrote about it, we’d be violating Macomber 3:16 — not to kill a (real) deal…)

Anyway, now that we have that Wyndham / Vacasa card, Marriott and all its shell games …. well, bonvoy, bonvoy!

(Well Marriott, are you listening?)

Last edited 2 months ago by escot
Frank

So, what works for the $300 airline fee credit? The same as AMEX or more restrictive?

Captain Greg
Frank

Thanks, I saw that, but I just gave it a try. The billing on a different Chase card was “SOUTHWES” for my particular purchase of $40.00, so it looks like it may work like AMEX.

I think I may down grade my old Marriott to the Ritz as this looks like it may work as an incidental or early bird fee. Do you know what those look like on the statement?

Josh

I am assuming the Ritz card 85k cert is only for your next anniversary FN? It does not upgrade your current 50k to 85k right?

Frank

So, if I downgrade my Bonvoy Boundless with anniversary date in March to the Ritz card, will they prorate the fee or should I wait until March …? is there a best time to do this?

Captain Greg

You should wait until your 35k cert posts in March, then product change to the Ritz.

Frank

Missed that, thank you.

Landon

Any sense of how long it might take for status to update to Platinum from the Brilliant? I have an upcoming stay i think would qualify for free breakfast if I get the status in time.

Landon

Just logged into my Marriott account and saw that I’ve already been upgraded to Platinum Elite.

Last edited 2 months ago by Landon
Jim Lovejoy

Sign in to your Marriott account.
It’s already happened for me.

VIS

Also 25 night credit is updated.

J S

Any word on if the Ritz card will get automatic platinum status?

Tyler

From the website, it looks like it’s still $75k annual spend in order to hit platinum status.

Gwen

I am a bit confused. I got the Amex Bonvoy Brilliant a little over a year and a half ago (I have had the Ritz card for years now – so no impact here). Can I get the bonus on the Amex Bevy ? Seemed like most of the restrictions were for Chase cards not other amex cards.

Elizabeth

Am I reading this correctly? The Bountiful has $300 credit but Bevy doesn’t? Both are $250?

Elizabeth

Then the mini review of the Bountiful needs to be corrected.

BML

Thanks. Still seeing the incorrect info with mini review on Bountiful and was puzzled.

Captain Greg

Thinking about this more…. Let’s say it has been more than 24 months since P2 got the Boundless welcome bonus. Could she sign up for both the Amex bonvoy business and brilliant, get both welcome bonuses and 40 elite night credits, and then upgrade the boundless to the ritz for 15 more elite night credits? At that point, she would be at 55 elite nights and could potentially use the 5 elite night credits from the 50 night choice award to get to 60 elite nights? Then she would only be 15 nights away from titanium? Does that work?

Captain Greg

Answering my own question again…it looks like you can’t double up on elite night credits on personal cards. So as Tim mentions in the article, you can now get 40 from cards (25 for the brilliant and 15 for the business), plus you could get 5 more as a 50 night choice benefit. So theoretically you would just need to stay 30 nights/year to get titanium, correct?

Captain Greg

Nice writeup Tim. P2 was on the verge of switching from the Boundless to the Ritz card last fall when the venture x card came along. We decided that it made more sense for her to sign up for the venture x and hold onto the Boundless card. Now it’s a tough call if she should also upgrade to the Ritz. With a number of overlapping benefits, for her it will mostly be $450 for the $300 travel credit, the 85k cert and better travel protections. Tough call. Maybe it becomes more worth it if I upgrade my boundless as well and we can stack the 85k certs into a weekend getaway. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Also, for everyone who decides they want to upgrade, what’s the best strategy for timing? Wait until just after the Boundless AF and 35k cert posts? Or is it better to do it just before the AF/35k cert if you’ve had the boundless for more than a year?

Captain Greg

After some research re: my last question, it looks like it’s best to upgrade immediately after getting the 35k cert from the boundless. You get the 85k ritz cert upon card anniversary, so it will take 12 months from upgrade to get the 85k cert for the ritz card. So, it makes sense to get the 35k cert then upgrade so you’re still getting a cert every 12 months.

Daniel

I agree with this as well. Here’s how my timing went. I opened the Boundless on 9/30/2020. The annual fee posted on 10/1/2021 and the 35K free night posted on that date as well. I called Chase on 10/4/2021 and product changed to the Ritz card. The $95 fee was refunded when my statement closed later in October. For some reason, the $450 Ritz annual fee didn’t actually post until 2/1/2022, so I used the $300 travel credit for 2021 and most of the $300 credit for 2022 in January 2022 before the AF posted. (I suppose that means I could have closed the account before Feb 1 and gotten almost $600 of value for no annual fee.) Anyway, I assume that my 85K 50K free night award for the Ritz card will post around 2/1/2023 rather than early October 2022, but we’ll see.

Dan

I agree that the 85K certificate sounds good in theory but could be hard to use if you wouldn’t pay cash to stay at expensive properties, given that it’s hard to accumulate a ton of Marriott points efficiently that could be “paired” with the certificate to make a trip out of it.

DSK

My first thought is “I’m out” but there is a kind of interesting play on this. I currently have both the Brilliant and the Ritz as well as the Chase Boundless card. Status doesn’t matter to me since LT Titanium and SNAs are meaningless since you can’t rely on them (will have eight expire worthless this year–I have tried but am only rarely successful).

However, if I can use the $15/month restaurant credit on Brilliant and the $300 airline credit on Ritz AND put $60k on the Brilliant at least during the first year, that would get me four nights at an 85k night hotel and two nights at a 35K hotel as follows:

  1. One 85K certificate from Brilliant
  2. One 85K certificate from Brilliant after $60,000 of spend
  3. One 85K Marriott hotel using 85,000 points of the 120,000 I will earn from Brilliant for $60k of spend.
  4. One 85K certificate from Ritz
  5. One 35K certificate from Boundless and
  6. One 35K Marriott hotel using the remaining 35,000 points earned by putting $60,000 on the Brilliant.

The total cost would be $350 (Brilliant after restaurant credit) + $150 (Ritz after airline credit) +$95 (Boundless) +$600 (difference between putting $60000 on Brilliant vs. Freedom Unlimited–everyone has their own valuations), or about $1195. Plus, during the first year, there will almost certainly be some kind of decent retention offer from AMEX for the Brilliant, and I’ve seen 3x spend AMEX offers for the Brilliant on plenty of occasions.

That may not be a bad deal.

staradmiral

spending 60k on the brilliant is a poor proposition though as you even just putting that 60k spend on a 2% cash back card would give you $1200. you are basically paying $1200 for that 85k cert

DSK

Don’t think so. I’m spending $60,000 to receive an 85K certificate and 120,000 Marriott points worth (at $.0075 apiece) about $900. So, I am getting an 85K certificate for about $300. Less, actually, if any of that spend is in a bonus category. That’s a good deal.

Mike

It’s an ok value but not sure I’d call it a “good deal” unless you really want or need Marriott certs and points. If an 85K certificate is worth $637.50 you’re only netting an extra $337.50 in value over a hypothetical 2% CB card. It’s an ok deal but nothing to write home about and locks you into a Marriott cert with an expiration date. Putting bonus spend that could otherwise be 4x MR on a Gold card would be a poor idea.

I’d consider this if I had a huge amount of unbonused spend with nowhere else to put it but that’s about it.

Mary Jane

Tim, great article. Do you think AmEX will reduce the 24 month wait period on the Boundless cc? My husband recently signed up and didn’t realize he would have to wait 24 months to apply for the new AMEX. brilliant card.

Dan

It’s really Marriott’s “one lane rule”, not Amex’s, and it does appear to apply to the terms and conditions on the Amex Bevy and Chase Bountiful- you can only earn any type of bonus from either Amex-issued cards or Chase-issued cards per 24 months, not both.

But you can theoretically earn a bonus from the Chase Bountiful card if you have recently opened the Chase Boundless or Bold, a bonus on whichever two of the Amex Business, Bevy or Brilliant you haven’t previously opened.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dan
kib

Can you confirm or dispel that assertion in the Flyer Talk Brilliant thread that, as of January 2023, Platinum Elite status will not provide lounge access? According to the poster there, an Amex agent provided that information.

ktc

this has been in the back of my mind, with the windfall of nights during pandemic, plus their plan from merger on was to degrade platinum & to limit the # of lifetime titanium.

Cameron

I have the old Amex bonvoy (formerly SPG). Anyoneknow if I can expect an upgrade offer/incentive, or should I apply for the card separately?

Daniel

I just got an offer via email to upgrade my SPG Bonvoy card to the Bevy. 100K for $4,000 in 6 months. Is it possible to hold the card for a year after completing the SUB and then downgrade back the to $95 card with the free night? I’m a Hyatt and IHG person, so I just hold the SPG and pay the AF each year for the free night. I don’t want to put 15K of spend on this card. 100K points are worth paying the $250 annual fee once, though.