Is the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant credit card worth the annual fee?  Even now, in a world where things are shut down and people aren’t traveling much?  In a word…YES!  If you travel…anywhere. (In normal circumstances, and our current virus situation won’t last forever, so I still think this card is totally worth it!)   I know $450 sounds like a lot for  a credit card, but this one easily pays for itself. 

First of all, you get $300 a year in Marriott “spending money”.  Which means it’s good for the room, restaurants, spas….anything spent in a Marriott.  And let’s face it…their hotels are pretty much everywhere, so it’s not hard to find one where you want to stay.  I love to use it for my rooms to get essentially free stays.  And the best part is, you don’t have to do anything to use it.  It’s automatic.  As soon as a charge hits from Marriott, they take it off until they reach $300.  So if you’re only staying 1 night in March and It’s $100, you can still use the leftover $200 for you trip in June.  You don’t have to use it all at once.

So that right there takes the annual fee down to a reasonable $150  ($450-$300).  Besides the sign up bonus (click the referral link to see the most up to date sign up bonus that Marriott is offering), you also get a free night every year on your card anniversary up to 50k points!  Now, we’ve more than paid for the card’s hefty annual fee.  But you also get:

Marriott Gold Status 

Global Entry/TSA precheck 

Extra points on your credit card for money spent on groceries, gas, restaurants, and Marriott hotels  

Priority Pass Select to get you into certain lounges in the airport

Along with other benefits that you can read about here and see what they are currently offering as a sign up bonus 

Is it my favorite card??  It’s a close one.  One that I will keep renewing every year….even during this time of the coronavirus/lockdown/less travel, the card is still totally worth it to me and I just renewed it last month.  It’s just so easy to get the value out of it.  So, is it my favorite?  No, but it is close!

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