Last month (September 2022) American Express has refreshed the Marriott Bonvoy credit card portfolio and we covered the changes the day the new products became available.
The “new” Brilliant card comes with a $25 monthly credit for restaurant purchases which can be used at merchants worldwide as long as they are properly registered as a restaurant and these credits are now successfully displayed on accounts.
Members who hold the original Bonvoy Brilliant card, like me, can also request that an updated card template be sent to them.
The bottom line, however, is that new Bonvoy Brilliant cardholders no longer have the $300 Marriott credit available to them, but instead remember to use their $25/month dining credit.
In September, which was the first month this change started, I had no choice but to visit a restaurant as I was in Germany, and Amex acceptance is rare.
I ended up loading my Starbucks card with $25 through the mobile app who worked in the past with Amex and again it was a success:
When I went to Japan at the beginning of October, there were more possibilities to use my card. In fact, most restaurants in Tokyo accept American Express, which is a huge improvement.
Total credit displayed in increments related to individual transactions:
I wasn’t expecting any issues with these credits as Amex is usually pretty reliable in posting them, but as I’ve written before, I don’t like this change at all. While in theory it won’t make a difference if you get the money back for dining or for Marriott, it’s a tedious job to still use the card every month at outlets just to use the credit. The $300 Marriott credit can be used all at once throughout the year. Not anymore.
It’s safe to say that anyone with a $650 card is definitely spending $300 on food, but for me, it’s mostly the convenience factor that I enjoyed with the $300 Marriott credit. I used the first week I got the card and I didn’t need to think about it anymore.
As for the map design, I don’t know if I like the new map more. As my chip was damaged I had no choice but to get a new card anyway but this happened in August so I decided to wait a few more weeks and ask a new card once they’ve made the change.
If you just want to change the design while currently holding the old card, there is an option for that as well, but it no longer shows up for me because the new one has already been issued.
I wrote more about the new Amex/Marriott cards in last month’s article:
Two new Amex & Chase Marriott Bonvoy Premium credit cards are now open for new applications
Generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of the expensive new Brilliant card, unless you want to get it for Platinum status.
American Express Bonvoy Brilliant cardholders are reminded to use their card monthly for restaurant purchases worth $25 to use your credits. If you can’t find anything suitable to spend, you can always top up your Starbucks Card online or through the app and it will also be eligible.
The new design is a sleek all-black with the signature “M” swoosh. You can request a replacement card free of charge. I did, and it was sent to me by FedEx for free to Asia (registered account address).