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Amex US Bonvoy Cards: Up to 150,000 Points + A Brilliant Free Night Award Worth 85,000 Points!

Like clockwork, the American Express US Marriott Bonvoy credit card special offers have arrived for the winter season. 

Last year, we saw free Platinum Elite status being included as part of these cards’ signup offers. This year, we’re seeing a downright incredible set of Free Night Award incentives along with record-high bonus points levels until November 3, 2021.

Amex US Bonvoy Brilliant: 150,000 Points + Free Night Award Worth 85,000 Points

Let’s start with the Amex US Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, the premium personal co-branded credit card.

You’ll earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy points upon spending US$5,000 in the first three months, along with a bonus Free Night Award worth 85,000 Bonvoy points.

All on its own, the initial chunk of 150,000 Bonvoy points sets an all-time-high record for this product. 150,000 points would be enough for:

  • Two nights at a top-end Category 8 hotel at the off-peak rate
  • Three nights at a higher-end Category 7 or Category 6 hotel at the off-peak or standard rates, respectively
  • Five nights at a mid-range Category 5 hotel with the Fifth Night Free benefit
  • Up to 36 nights at a cheaper Category 1 hotel!

You could also transfer the points over to one 40+ airline partners, and the signup bonus would be enough to cover two sets of transfers at the optimal ratio of 60,000 Bonvoy points = 25,000 airline miles, meaning you’d come out with at least 50,000 airline miles of your choosing. 

But that’s not even including the special Free Night Award worth up to 85,000 Bonvoy points, which is simply a downright unbelievable signup benefit.

This is the single most valuable Free Night Award we’ve ever seen offered by Marriott Bonvoy as a loyalty program, and it makes the total welcome bonus effectively worth a stunning 235,000 Bonvoy points!

Redeem the bonus Free Night Award for a night at Al Maha Desert Resort Dubai

85,000 Bonvoy points is enough for any Category 8 hotel at the standard rate, including the overwater villas of the Maldives and the spectacular Al Maha in Dubai. You could combine your Free Night Award with a Fifth Night Free redemption at one of these ultra-luxe properties for a satisfying six-night stay at an incredible value!

In terms of earning rates, the Bonvoy Brilliant offers the following:

  • 6 Bonvoy points per US dollar spent at Marriott hotels
  • 3 Bonvoy points per US dollar spent at US restaurants and airlines
  • 2 Bonvoy points per US dollar spent on everything else

The card does come with an annual fee of US$450, which is in fact reduced by a US$300 Marriott credit per membership year.

This US$300 credit can be spent on any Marriott purchase, whether it’s the room rate, incidentals, or even gift card purchases made at hotels that sell gift cards directly at the front desk. In essence, if you travel with Marriott to the tune at least US$300 per year, then you can think of this credit as cash back in your pocket.

Plus, not only does the Bonvoy Brilliant offer an incredible Free Night Award as part of the current signup incentive, it also comes with the most powerful anniversary Free Night Award benefit out of any Marriott credit card in any country.

Upon renewing your card for the second year and thereafter, you’ll receive a free night certificate worth up to 50,000 Bonvoy points, which can be redeemed on Category 6 hotels at the standard rate or even Category 7 hotels at the off-peak rate!

All Free Night Awards earned on this card (including the welcome incentive and the anniversary benefit) have a one-year validity period from when they were earned, subject to further extensions at the program’s discretion.

JW Marriott pool room view

Redeem your anniversary Free Night Award at the JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

And as if that weren’t enough, the Bonvoy Brilliant also rewards you with a complimentary Priority Pass membership with unlimited access for yourself and two guests – a stronger guest policy than any credit card you’d find in Canada.

When you put the above perks together, you’ll see why the Bonvoy Brilliant can be such a powerful credit card to hold onto for the long term, year after year: each year, you pay only a US$150 net annual fee, and in exchange you get a very powerful free night certificate and an unlimited lounge access membership, both of which can easily recoup that US$150 in value multiple times over!

If you’ve already gotten started with US credit cards, then you can simply go ahead and apply to add the Bonvoy Brilliant Card to your portfolio.

If not, you can quite easily apply for this card via the Nova Credit service. When filling in the application, simply check the box that says “I don’t have a credit history in the US, but have had a credit card or loan in the UK, India, Mexico, Canada or Australia” on the application form, where it asks you for a Social Security Number.

checkout options for social security information

The Nova Credit service will then link to your Canadian credit file to assess your creditworthiness, although you may still be required to call or live-chat with Amex US for identity verification purposes (usually to submit a copy of your foreign passport).

There are some data points that users are able to complete the Nova Credit process twice in quick succession (such as if you had already gotten the excellent offer on the Gold Card or Hilton Card recently, and were interested in the Bonvoy Brilliant Card as well). However, it does seem that “your mileage may vary” in this case, as not everyone has reported success with this route.

Be sure to review the full guide to getting US credit cards for Canadians for more information.

Amex US Bonvoy Business: 125,000 Points + Two Free Night Awards Worth 50,000 Points

Now let’s look at the Amex US Bonvoy Business Card, which is the sole Marriott co-branded credit card geared towards small business owners in the US.

The card is offering 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points upon spending US$5,000 in the first three months, along with two Free Night Awards worth 50,000 points each. 

Again, 125,000 Bonvoy points equals the previous all-time-high welcome bonus on this card, enough for a couple of nights at a higher-end hotel or up to 31 nights at the cheapest Category 1 hotels.

Moreover, the set of two Free Night Awards worth 50,000 points on this card can arguably be even more interesting than the sole Free Night Award worth 85,000 points on the Bonvoy Brilliant.

You can redeem the two awards together for a two-night stay at a Category 6 or off-peak Category 7 property, or separately for multiple stays. If you were to maximize the redemption value of both certificates, you’d effectively be saving 100,000 Bonvoy points, making the total offer worth an effective 225,000 Bonvoy points!

Redeem the bonus Free Night Awards for two nights at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London

In terms of earning rates, the US Bonvoy Business offers the following:

  • 6 Bonvoy points per US dollar spent at Marriott hotels
  • 4 Bonvoy points per US dollar spent at US restaurants, gas stations, wireless telephone purchases, and shipping
  • 2 Bonvoy points per US dollar spent on everything else

Compared to the Bonvoy Brilliant, the US Bonvoy Business has a lower annual fee of US$125. However, its accompanying perks and benefits are also weaker.

There’s no annual credit or Priority Pass membership; instead, you simply get an anniversary Free Night Award worth up to 35,000 Bonvoy points, which can be redeemed at a Category 5 hotel at the standard rate and is on par with the anniversary certificate offered by the Canadian-issued Amex Bonvoy Card and Amex Bonvoy Business Card.

We should also point out that both the US Bonvoy Brilliant and the US Bonvoy Business will also give you 15 elite qualifying nights just for holding the cards, which can be stacked into 30 elite qualifying nights via this particular combination of a US personal card and a US business card.

If you hold the following combination of Marriott Bonvoy co-branded credit cards...

You will receive...

Canadian personal + Canadian business

15 elite qualifying nights

Canadian personal + US personal

15 elite qualifying nights

Canadian personal + US business

15 elite qualifying nights

Canadian business + US personal

15 elite qualifying nights

Canadian business + US business

15 elite qualifying nights

US personal + US business

30 elite qualifying nights

Therefore, if you were to pick up both of these outstanding offers before November 3, 2021, not only would you be racking up an effective total of 460,000 Bonvoy points (counting all the bonus Free Night Awards), but you’d also set yourself up in a great position to re-qualify for Platinum Elite year after year.

Every year, you’d have 30 elite qualifying nights under your belt already, so you’d only need to stay 20 more nights to reach the 50-night threshold for Platinum Elite organically.

Marriott breakfast area
Getting both cards is the best way to set yourself up for elevated hotel experiences for many years to come.

If you’re just starting from scratch with US credit cards and you’re indeed interested in picking up both offers, I think it’s best to start with the Bonvoy Brilliant, because business cards in the US do not contribute to your personal credit history and so will not help you build your credit history.

Apply Now

The new Amex US Bonvoy cards are offering sky-high points bonuses along with an incredibly generous allotment of bonus Free Night Awards. On the Bonvoy Brilliant, you’ll get a single free night worth 85,000 points, whereas the Bonvoy Business will deliver two free nights worth 50,000 points each.

For the time being, it looks like the Bonvoy Brilliant offer is available only through the public channel on the American Express US website. If you’re interested in hopping on these offers before they end on November 3, 2021, you can head over to the landing page for the Bonvoy Brilliant to apply.

Meanwhile, the Bonvoy Business offer is available through either the public landing page or the refer-a-friend channel. You can always send us an email if you’re interested in using our referral links, or otherwise consider using a referral link from a friend or family member or another member of the community.