Amex US Bonvoy Cards: 100,000 Points + A Brilliant Free Night Award Worth 85,000 Points!

The American Express US Marriott Bonvoy credit cards have put on a new round of elevated welcome bonuses for the spring of 2022.

Once again, we’re seeing elevated points totals along with an impressive Free Night Award incentive on the personal Bonvoy Brilliant Card, valid through until May 18, 2022.

Amex US Bonvoy Brilliant: 100,000 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 100,000 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 100,000 Bonvoy points would be enough for one night at a luxury hotel, a few nights at an upscale hotel, or over 30+ nights at some of Marriott’s lowest-end properties. 

But that’s not even including the special Free Night Award worth up to 85,000 Bonvoy points, which is a pretty 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 an impressive 185,000 Bonvoy points!

The Free Night Award worth 85,000 Bonvoy points is enough to bring many of Marriott’s top properties within reach. Starting in late April 2022, you’ll also be able to top-up your Free Night Award by up to 15,000 points, thus allowing you to book a stay that would otherwise cost up to 100,000 Bonvoy points.

Top-up the bonus Free Night Award for a night at Al Maha Desert Resort Dubai

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 Award worth up to 50,000 Bonvoy points.

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 consult the full guide to getting US credit cards for Canadians for more information.

Amex US Bonvoy Business: 100,000 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 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points upon spending US$5,000 in the first three months, with no further incentives like Free Night Awards this time.

That’s a more modest offering compared to previous elevated bonuses we’ve seen on this card, and I’d recommend waiting for the winter season (when we’ve seen very high bonuses from this card in the past) if you aren’t in a rush to apply.

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.

US Personal & Business Bonvoy Cards Give You 30 Elite Qualifying Nights

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 May 18, 2022, not only would you be racking up an effective total of 285,000 Bonvoy points (counting the bonus Free Night Award), 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 personal Bonvoy Brilliant. That’s because business cards in the US do not contribute to your personal credit history and so won’t help you build your credit history.

Apply Now

Until May 18, 2022, the Amex US Bonvoy cards are offering generous points bonuses along with a powerful Free Night Award on the personal Bonvoy Brilliant. 

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, 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. 

  1. D L

    I have been getting the pop-up on this card since last fall’s promo, then during regular sign on bonus, and now during this new promo as well.

    Can’t quite narrow down why, but I have not held this card/SPG US card before. I was also able to sign up for the Amex green card during this time and received the welcome bonus with no pop-up. Been putting active spending on my cards for the past 8 months, but this pop-up seems card specific.

  2. Ice

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but last fall, the offer was effectively 235,000 points. 150,000 pts plus the Certificate worth up to 85,000 pts. It ran from the end of Sept. to Nov. 3, 2021.

    1. Ricky YVR


  3. Shawn

    Do we know when the 15k top up will be effective? There were anecdotal data that the option will be available Apr 22 however I didn’t see anything yet

    1. Ricky YVR

      Late April, so any time now.

  4. WT

    1 US Amex at a time with the Global Transfer. They told me it would be about 6 mos wait before I could apply for a second card.

  5. Mitchell Miller

    I was just approved for the US Bonvoy Brilliant card a few days ago. Shipped out to me on April 20, but I havent yet activated it. Would I qualify for this latest offer, or only for whatever the terms were when I applied for it earlier this week?

    1. Rachel YYZ

      You’ll qualify under whatever the offer was when you applied.

    2. WT

      You will get what the offer is when you applied for the card. I’ve gone through this myself

  6. dylan

    I had a bad experience with the bonvoy brilliant. I applied for this card and spent the required amount for the welcome bonus, however that welcome bonus never arrived. I reached out to an agent and they told me I did not qualify for the bonus but could not narrow down the exact reason why. this being only my 2nd American card I am very confused. they tried to tell me it stated so during the application stage, but I obviously didn’t see that

  7. Chris

    Hi Ricky,
    In light of the recent Bonvoy changes (ie. dynamic pricing), is it will worth it to get the 2 US cards for the current bonuses? or wait for a better offer in the future?

  8. Steven Lee

    What is your thoughts on the Chase Bonvoy Bold instead of the Brilliant? Is this a good option If I want to get the 30 elite nights without a high AF?

    1. Ricky YVR

      If you’re eligible for Chase cards, then yes, you could combine the Chase Bonvoy Bold with the Amex US Bonvoy Business if you’d rather avoid annual fees.

  9. Awcool

    This may be a silly question but what kind of gift cards do Marriott hotels sell? Only Marriott gift cards or others (non-hotel ones) as well?

    1. Steve

      Marriott gift cards.

  10. Jay

    I just called Amex US business card application to apply for the bonvoy card.
    I’ve had my US Business Gold since march and have put over 10k on that card with everything paid off.
    The application took 50 minutes and I was rejected because I could not provide a US SIN. I explained my situation and they replied with, “we have no credit history”. Please help Ricky. Also could you please make a video on applying for your second US Amex card because it has been a struggle? Thank you as always.

  11. Fred

    What methods of US mail boxes still work nowadays?

    1. Ricky YVR

      24/7 Parcel is the one we recommend.

  12. SUSAN

    Hi Ricky, I hold the Amex Platinum card and the Amex Bonvoy personal card and to my impression, I thought that Amex Platinum gives me the gold status (25 nights) and Amex Bonvoy gives me 15 nights, I should have a combination of 40 nights as the base already. However, I just called the Bonvoy at 1-800-627-7469 and 1888-236-2427 and was told that even though Amex gives me the gold status, it is not equivalent to have 25 nights as base. They still count the night from 0. In other words, for this current year, I only have the 15 elite nights from Amex Bonvoy card + 13 promotional nights that they gave out early this year to compensate for the pandemic as the base, a total of 28 nights only! It was confirmed though I made 3 separate calls already.

    1. Alex YYZ

      They are unfortunately correct – only BONVOY cards give you nights.
      Moreover, in order to get nights from two cards – one must be Bonvoy Business, and the other Bonvoy personal – and both must be US-based.

  13. Christa Paquin

    Hi Ricky, I know US cards sign up bonus is one time only. If I have held this card in the past, would I still get the 85,000 certificate? Thanks

  14. Ice

    It would seem the US Bonvoy Business Amex requires a SSN or ITIN to apply. Is there a way around that? I already have a US Hilton Amex which I got through Global Transfer but have not gone down the process to apply for an ITIN. Even when I log into the Amex US account, the application does not allow me to avoid entering a SSN or ITIN. Help please!

    1. Ricky YVR

      You can apply over the phone on the basis of an existing Amex US relationship (at least six months recommended) and a piece of foreign ID.

      1. RichardG YVR

        I’m guessing you won’t be able to use referral application if you need to phone in for the application. Is that true?

  15. Awcool

    Can the US$300 credit be spent on any Marriott hotel in Canada? Can one purchase a gift card at Marriott without staying there?

    1. JH

      Yes and yes.

  16. RichardG YVR

    Is it possible to apply both Brilliant (personal) and biz card before the offer expires? I’m worried about the 2/90. I have 1.5 yr of AMEX US history but haven’t got ITIN yet.

  17. Rk

    Can you let us know how to apply for the business card as a Canadian ?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Ideally you’d need an ITIN or an existing American Express US card. Without either, you could go through Global Transfer over the phone to apply for the Bonvoy Business as your first Amex US card, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it as the business card won’t report to your personal credit file and won’t help you build a US credit history.

      1. Rk

        Called in and got approved . Had the personal card for 8 months

        1. Awcool

          I’m in a similar situation. What kind of questions did they ask? Do you need to have a business?

      2. Shawn

        Hi Ricky, if I applied the Bonvoy Brilliant via global transfer, can I apply again later for the business version via global transfer if I don’t have ITIN? Basically is global transfer a one-time thing to help you to get your first US credit card or can be repeated? Thanks a ton!

        1. Ricky YVR

          Most anecdotes indicate the Global Transfer can’t be repeated; however, once you’ve gotten your first Amex US (personal) card, you can often apply for the second (business) one within three months on the basis of your existing Amex US relationship. In this case, though, the timeline is a bit tight to get the Bonvoy Business’s higher offer if you’re just starting out, since it’s ending on May 12.

          (On the other hand, applying through Nova Credit can be done a second time based on a few people’s experiences, but that isn’t available on business credit card applications.)

  18. JM

    Did you call the regular Amex new accounts line or was it global transfer team ? Thanks

  19. Martin

    Ricky, or anybody else who successfully applied for the Bonvoy Business, what did you put for the Federal Tax ID? I’ve already successfully applied for the Bonvoy, but the application process is different for the Bonvoy Business and there doesn’t appear to be a way to use Nova Credit. Any idea?

    Here’s what it says: Note: For Partnerships and Corporations, Federal Tax ID (EIN) is required to activate an American Express business account.

  20. Geoff Hunt

    Hi Ricky,

    Not sure if you can answer this or not, but here goes. I am an American citizen with an SSN but I have not lived in the US for more than 22 years and therefore have no credit to speak of in that country. I do hold amex cards here in Canada and an excellent credit score. If I were to use the Nova credit route, would I still be able to put my SSN in to start building a credit file in the US? Obviously I have never played the US card game before and just want to be sure before I apply

  21. Moof

    Hey Ricky,

    This is huge! Thank you! N00b question though. I’m a US Resident (no credit history there) but live and work in Canada. Can I still use Nova Credit to apply?


  22. Ed YVR

    Noob question here, how does one meet the MSR on these US cards as a Canadian?

    1. Alex YYZ

      As a no foreign transaction fee card – you could use it everywhere AMEX is accepted in Canada.
      If you don’t see yourself spend as much in a 3mo period – you’d have to resort to MS or to tactics Ricky wrote about (such as buy something at IKEA, hold on to it as their return policy is 365 days and then, once organic spend is met – just return the IKEA item in its brand new resellable condition).

  23. Dave

    Hey Rick, if I apply for Amex buz card, that would be part of 5/24 rule?

    1. Ricky YVR

      Nope, Amex US business cards do not report to your personal credit file, and therefore do not count towards 5/24.

      1. Dave

        Thank you Ricky! I don’t have a business. Can I apply US Amex buz card with Nova credit by using my personal name like how we do for Canadian US Amex? Seems like people only talk about US personal Amex not buz so wonder if there is a catch that I am not aware.

  24. Jimmy

    Thanks Ricky, great info!
    Yet another example of the on going value add that you do provide to your viewers. Will gladly continue to apply for promos via your referral link. Your insight is definitely worth much more than the $50 cash bonus one would get through an outside portal such as GCR (to reference one of the recent threads this was brought up!)

    1. xu, jay

      GCR is consistently unreliable. I would even venture as far as calling them a scam. I’ve applied for a card from them back in April and still have not received my rebate even after many emails back and forth. Noth worth the trouble and headache, either referral yourself in 2 player mode and use Ricky’s referral links. He’s given us so much value!

    2. Ricky YVR

      Thanks Jimmy, that’s very kind of you.

  25. Vince

    Hey Ricky, I have a US Bonvoy Brilliant personal card, and now I want to apply for the business card. Is there a difference whether I apply online or call them? As to my chances of receiving approval. Thanks!

    1. Alex YYZ

      I had to apply over the phone only for the business card – but had no issues whatsoever.
      I don’t have SIN or ITIN – they’ve just used my Canadian info.
      Instant approval

      1. JM

        Did you call the regular Amex new accounts line or was it global transfer team ?

        1. Alex YYZ

          I have started the process on the US AMEX website. Then, at some point the website gave me a number to call to continue my application – I did. They have transferred me internally at one point to a global transfer team.

  26. Jerry

    Hey Ricky, can I connect this card to me Canadain Marriot Bonvoy account that already has a Bonvoy card to stack the free nights? Or do I have to create a seperate account for this card? Thanks!

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yes, the points from US and Canadian credit cards will all pool into the same Marriott Bonvoy account!

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