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There are new offers out today on all of the currently-available Marriott Bonvoy credit cards. In this post, we’ll cover the new offers on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express card. The welcome bonuses released today are what I could consider to be all-time-high offers on these cards. While it is very exciting to see the existence of a new kind of free night certificate, my pick out of these two cards right now may actually be the business card. More under “Quick Thoughts” below.
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|Card Name w Details & Review (no offer)|
Both of these offers are fantastic. The chance to get an 85K free night certificate on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant is something we just haven’t seen before; you can use those certificates for a free night at any Marriott hotel in the world during standard pricing — and better yet, those certs will cover peak pricing at all but top-tier Category 8 properties. That includes many very expensive properties in desirable locations. It truly is an awesome addition to an already-strong 150K-point welcome bonus. Personally, I’d be thrilled to use a night at the St. Regis New York, where this offer could really shine.
That said, the offer on the business card is also very compelling. At 125K plus two 50K free night certificates, it wouldn’t be hard to get incredible value out of the business card for a much lower annual fee. Greg has previously found that 50K free night certificates are worth around $300 domestically. Obviously they can be more or less valuable depending on your circumstances, but it certainly wouldn’t be hard to get excellent value out of those certificates. While 50K won’t get you a fancy hotel in the largest markets, it will give you plenty of options even in cities like New York (albeit mostly Courtyard and Residence Inn type places in New York City). In mid-major markets, 50K will often represent excellent value (and there are similarly some very attractive options in Europe at that level). If you value those certs at $300 each and the points at our reasonable redemption value of 0.62c per point, you’re looking at almost $1400 in value for a $125 annual fee. That’s awesome.
Of course, the 85K free night certificate on the Brilliant card could book you a hotel north of $1,000 a night in some markets. Combined with the 150K points on the Brilliant card, you could certainly get more cash-rate-equivalent value out of that offer. On the other hand, I have a hard time pinning down a dollar value on an 85K free night certificate. While I would indeed be thrilled to spend a night at the St. Regis New York and that property is often more than $1,000 per night, I wouldn’t spend anything close to one thousand dollars on a single hotel night. As we discuss on this week’s podcast, the “right” value is hard for me to assign because I probably wouldn’t even pay $350 per night when there are plenty of other acceptable options for $200 per night — but I do value the luxury of a St. Regis far beyond the price I would actually pay for a Residence Inn or whatever else may be in the ~$200 range that I’d more realistically choose. I certainly won’t fault those who value that 85K free night cert highly. Even if you only value it at $350 — just $50 more than a 50K cert (which seems absurdly low on the one hand but it’s hard to imagine buying a time-limited certificate for much more) — the welcome offer on the Brilliant is perhaps even better than the business card when you account for the $300 annual Marriott credit on the Brilliant
However, on this week’s podcast (coming this weekend), Greg and I come to the conclusion that it might be worth waiting on the Brilliant card. Now that there is such a thing as an 85K free night certificate, the rumored changes on the Brilliant card seem even more realistic than they did previously. If those rumored changes come to fruition, we have to wonder if there will be an even more generous welcome offer to come should there be an increase in the annual fee. Is it possible that we have not yet hit the peak of the credit card offer boom? It is hard to imagine a more generous offer, but with a steady stream of fantastic offers seemingly coming from all directions, it is hard to imagine a less generous offer if they do make changes to the card.
Either way it is hard to go wrong with these increased offers as both would be great additions for a Marriott fan. Keep in mind that either card offers 15 elite night credits annually. While elite nights from multiple consumer cards won’t stack, you can stack 15 elite nights from a business card with 15 elite nights from a consumer card. That fact combined with the fact that the business card will not add to your 5/24 count are a couple more things going for the business card, though that 85K cert is hard to ignore on the Brilliant.