American Express (U.S.) has elevated their offer for new card applications of Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant & Business credit cards, offering not only a generous 100,000 points bonus but also Platinum status for the 2021 membership year.

Applications under this promotion can be made until January 13, 2021 and it’s the first time that upfront Marriott Bonvoy Platinum has been part of a credit card portfolio (Amex USA does offer Hilton Diamond status with their premium card).

Currently the card conditions for all existing card members are that the associated Bonvoy account will be upgraded to Platinum status if the cardholder makes purchases totaling $75,000 per calendar year (not per card membership year).

For the Brilliant Card an additional 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points will be credited to your account as a one-time bonus 8-12 weeks after the first anniversary date of the Card account should you decide to keep the card. To receive the additional 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points, your Card account must not be canceled or past due at the time of fulfillment by Amex.

I will include two links below that lead you directly to this offer on the American Express website. The links don’t include any referral and I suggest to ask in your circle of friends if someone can refer you for the card to maybe get an additional bonus out of it.

This is the offer for the Bonvoy Brilliant card ($450 annual fee).

The most important Bonvoy features of this card are:

This card carries a much cheaper annual fee of only $125 but one has to be eligible for a Business Credit Card under American Express conditions for this product.

The most important Bonvoy related features of this card are:

  • 6X points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 4X points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers & on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Free Night Award for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel.
  • 15 Elite qualifying nights per calendar year

If one is just after the Platinum status then it’s obviously the best choice to go for the cheapest product which would the Business card (if eligible).

These are the benefits for Marriott Bonvoy Platinum:

  • 50% Bonus points on all stays
  • Enhanced Room Upgrade including Standard Suites
  • Welcome Gift Choice upon arrival (points, breakfast, local gift)
  • 4pm late checkout
  • Lounge Access (where available)
  • Enhanced Premium Internet (where available)

This brings us to a caveat however. Since this card is offered in the U.S. market it’s safe to assume many interested would be using the benefits in North America and Marriott has suspended the guarantee of Elite benefits until (at least) the end of 2020.

It’s hard to say what will happen in 2021 at this point so I would reign in expectations in regards to actual benefits of the Elite benefits. While neither one of us at LoyaltyLobby had any problems getting elite benefits in Asia or Europe this year many readers have reported that the situation is different in North America, especially the U.S. where hotels indeed do deny members certain benefits.

Another thing is that due to complimentary status extensions by Marriott for the 2021 membership year there will be A LOT of Platinum members which means as far as upgrades are concerned there is plenty of competition.

Conclusion

This is certainly the best offer for the Bonvoy Brilliant and Business Card that has ever been out there. The offer extends only to NEW card members who apply under this promotion. It’s unclear from the T&C if upgrading an existing Marriott Bonvoy card to Brilliant would also be eligible but I don’t see any reason why not. Maybe call and ask Amex if this affects you and you consider upgrading!

The fact that there will be a lot of Platinum members in 2021 shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. The real question is how many of those will be traveling. In order to be at least little bit ahead for the coming year I decided to go for Titanium this year and just had my 75th night last week.

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