Posted by William Charles on May 3, 2019
Credit Card Offers

Published on May 3rd, 2019 | by William Charles

56

[Targeted] New Round Of American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Upgrade Offers

Update 5/3/19: Another round has gone out, reader @Jrsideproject reports an offer for 50,000 points after $2,500 in spend. Others might see the 100,000 offer.

Update 3/7/19: Another round has just gone out. Hat tip to reader Brian.

The Offer

No direct link, either targeted via e-mail ( or it will show up when logged in and you navigate to the SPG Brilliant card sign up page (look for the ‘upgrade’ words

  • Some existing American Express Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express Card  are aseeing offers to upgrade to the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant. Offer I saw was for 100,000 points, but others might be higher or lower.

Card Details

  • $450 annual fee
  • $300 in statement credits each year of card membership for eligible purchases at SPG & Marriott properties
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 6x points per $1 spent at participating SPG & Marriott Rewards hotels
    • 3x points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
    • 2x points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Free night award every year after your card account anniversary (can be used at any property that costs under 50,000 points per night)
  • Complimentary gold elite status
  • Platinum elite status after you spend $75,000 or more on the card in a calendar year
  • Starting in 2019: 15 nights towards elite status (you’re restricted to getting this benefit once per Marriott Loyalty program number)
  • Unlimited complimentary priority pass lounge access for you and up to two accompanying guests
  • Statement credit for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) every four years
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Free, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi access
  • Free in-room premium internet access at SPG & Marriott participating hotels
  • Read full review here

Our Verdict

This is the third round of upgrade offers that have gone out, you can read our post on the first round here, second round here. Sign up bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant  when you apply directly is now 100,000 points. This upgrade offer is worth considering, we talk about why in these three posts:

For more information on upgrade offers in general, you’ll find this linked post highly helpful.

Hat tip to reader Anufer



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Francisco J Rios
Francisco J Rios

Is there a way to upgrade if you already have that card as well?

ASDF
ASDF

Yes, you can.

Francisco J Rios
Francisco J Rios

Just call?

Zagguru
Zagguru

How?

bexho2000
bexho2000

I received a 150k upgrade offer to Hilton Aspire from my current Ascent. Debating if worth it, esp now that the airline incidentals credit is getting hard to get around…

Amex Cardholder
Amex Cardholder

Be careful with American Express. I was pre-approved and signed up for the SPG preferred card in October 2018. Never had a Marriott or SPG card before and have only closed a couple of Amex business cards in years past but not a big churner. After meeting min spend I checked to see where the bonus was and American Express denied the welcome bonus due to my “offer history”. Never signing up for another Amex card again.

NinjaX
NinjaX

can you give us more detail? your DP is starting to sound way more common as feared. seems amex can do whatever the fuck it wants after you apply. meaning, amex enforces their rules “at their sole discretion”. hence many have complained about no pop-up but denied bonus.

Amex Cardholder
Amex Cardholder

I’m not sure what you mean by “pop up” but I have screen shots of the targeted offer for 75,000 SPG points (this was pre-merger back in October). It says “[MY NAME], you are pre-approved” and details the 75000 bonus points. I went ahead, applied, got the card, spent $3000 and weeks went by with no welcome bonus. I chatted with two Amex CSRs and both said it was due to my “offer history”. I have never had any Marriott or SPG card before ever, Amex or Chase. And as far as Amex, I only closed or downgraded 2 or 3 Amex business cards over the last TEN YEARS. According to the CSRs they are conducting an “investigation” so perhaps there is still a chance I get my welcome bonus but I doubt I’ll ever hear back from them. As I told the CSRs, fine if I’m not eligible but they should have notified me before I got the personalized offer, before I applied, before I spent $3000 per their terms! Such BS

Sam
Sam

U sure its 75 spg points ot marroitt points. Highest is 35 k spg points

Joe
Joe

Definitely Marriott points, not SPG.

Matt
Matt

Does anyone know if there’s even a chance that they’ll allow downgrades back to the original card after a year, given that it’s closed to new applicants?

Darv
Darv

Wow, that’s a great question.

Francisco J Rios
Francisco J Rios

I’m pretty sure I read an article that said you would still be able to downgrade just not new applications. For the time being.

MoreSun
MoreSun

What’s the minimum credit limit on the Brilliant? (I cringed so much writing that name….)

P
P

Hmm. I thought the upgrade offer itself is really brilliant but it’s just the name of the card

YL
YL

At first glance I thought it was sarcasm from doc, given the recent bonvoy mayhem.

MarcoPolo
MarcoPolo

I’ll apply for the card without any bonus points if they change the name to “Failure to Launch”.

Aron
Aron

Is there a credit pull for the upgrade?

Jay
Jay

No

Rob
Rob

Anybody have any theories what logic drives who they offer these upgrade offers to? Wife has 2 Ascend cards and 1 SPG personal card that I’ve been waiting for any upgrade offer to Aspire or SPG Luxury and she never gets anything.

P
P

Usually around your anniversary date or later for me. I’ve been able to get upgrade offers on my Hilton no fee every year since I opened it in 2015. How old are her cards?

Rob
Rob

The spg is almost at 1 yr anniversary in April. One Ascend used to be the Hilton Surpass opened in 2012 and the other Ascend used to be Citi Hilton Reserve, opened 6/17 and converted to Amex Ascend in Jan 2018.

Jay
Jay

Damn, still not targeted. I’ll be upgrading in a couple weeks regardless of whether I get an offer or not, so that’s disappointing…

JD
JD

What happens if my renewal date is <45 days from my upgrade date? Would I be able to use the $300 credit now and again after renewal? Offer says that prorated amount would be charged at 45 days.

Aron
Aron

Just spoke to representative. You would get the $300 to use before the anniversary date and again after. The annual fee will be the regular $450

NateB
NateB

If I decide to upgrade, does it mean I can never get the welcome bonus on the card? I have an upgrade offer for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant (from the formerly Starwood Personal Card) and have never had the luxury card before. So, I was considering upgrading now and then sometime in the future getting the card for the welcome bonus, just wasn’t sure if that was possible or not.

AJ
AJ

Got the upgrade offer for 100k/$5k spend. Annual fee hits ends of March. Unlikely that I’ll be taking any not already planned trips by then. Any data points on whether buying $300 gift cards at a Marriott or SPG property triggers the credit?

Any other creative ways to double dip on the $300 credit?

Novacat05
Novacat05

Pretty sure the big thread on Flyertalk said that buying gift cards at a Marriott location triggers the triggered the $300 Marriott credit instantly(and the T&C for the $300 credit doesn’t say it excludes gift card purchases).

Late last summer people were stacking this with the $60 off $300 Amex offer at Marriott hotels, you’d go buy $300 in Marriott GCs and basically get $360 statement credit back. That effectively cut the first year pro-rated AF to a negative number if your anniversary date was 3-4 months out since it was pro-rated and you got the full $300 credit for that first partial year. Then factoring in your first full year AF you could almost entirely convert the AF paid for your first year and change into Marriott gift cards. And you got a “free” night to boot on your anniversary date/first payment of the full AF!

I waited too long and the upgrade offer disappeared. If you lucked out and bought/spent $300 at a Marriott during the first full year when/if the Amex offer came around again, you’d get yet another $60 back. That Amex offer seemed to come around once a year. People reported that gift card purchases at Marriott hotels did trigger the offer, but the terms do state it excludes gift cards.

Be warned not all retail Marriott properties sell gift cards, and it’s extremely rare for a non-Marriott hotel to have them(Residence Inn, Courtyard, etc). I’d call around and see if there are any that do. For example the one in Princeton NJ and center city Philadelphia do, but the Philadelphia Airport Marriott and Philadelphia Marriott West/Conshohocken do not.

AJ
AJ

Thanks, this is super helpful! I will likely go the gift card route before annual fee hits and take my chances there. Hopefully we get the $60 AMEX offer again this year and will likely be able to combine that with a stay.

Corridor
Corridor

Can you explain the $300 credit? My wife’s anniversary for the spg personal is August. Will she get $300 now and another $300 after August?

If we downgrade after the one year from upgrade, will the rest of the annual fee be prorated?

TIA

Novacat05
Novacat05

Don’t know about the downgraded AF, but it’s been reported/confirmed and explained in doc’s article links above that the $300 credit is applied for BOTH your first partial year and your first full year. So you could potentially get a year and change of your AF effectively waived with the Marriott credits if the timing is right, as well as all the other card benefits like free TSA PreCheck, Priority Pass lounge membership, gold elite status, and the “free” night for your first full year.

Corridor
Corridor

My wife’s anniversary on her spg personal is August. She will get the free 50k free night after August or will it come one year from the upgrade date?

TIA

AndrewK
AndrewK

got it, did it, thanks for the tip

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