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Over the last year or so, many of us changed our travel strategies. A global pandemic brought travel to a standstill in 2020. Therefore, many of us changed course and focused on earning miles and points while sitting at home. In our hobby, credit card welcome bonuses are one of the fastest ways of quickly racking up miles and points. However, these limited time offers on two Marriott credit cards are about to end soon, on January 13.

Co-branded Marriott Credit Cards

Late last year, we saw elevated welcome bonuses on co-branded Marriott credit cards as well, but from Chase. After Marriott acquired Starwood, American Express and Chase split the credit card portfolio. For now, the elevated welcome bonus on the co-branded Marriott cards from Amex. Which card should you go for? This chart will help you decide.


Application Link –> Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Marriott Bonvoy Business Card
Welcome Bonus Points 100,000 + 25,000 points 100,000 points + $150
Min. spend required in 3 months $5,000 $5,000
Annual Fee $450 $125
Complimentary Status Platinum (for 2021) Platinum (for 2021)
Anniversary Bonus 1 Free Night on renewal (up to 50k points redemptions) 2  – up to 35k points redemptions ( 1 on renewal + 1 after 60k spend)
Points Earned for Marriott Spend 6x 6x
US Restaurant/Airline spend points earning 3x **4x
Points earned on all other purchases 2x 2x
Statement Credit for Marriott Stays $300 (per card anniversary year) None
Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit $100 None
Elite Night Credits 15 (per calendar year) 15 (per calendar year)
Priority Pass Membership Priority Pass Select None
Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check Credit $100/$85 None
Premium Internet Access Complimentary Complimentary

** Note: Unlike the Bonvoy Brilliant, the Bonvoy Business credit card gives you 4x Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar you spend at US restaurants and gas stations, but no bonus earning on airline purchases like you get with the personal version. However, you earn 4x points for each dollar you spend on wireless telephone purchases and shipping in the US.

Welcome Bonus Offers

With the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card, you’ll earn a welcome bonus of 100,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. In addition, you’ll earn 25,000 more points when you renew your card for another year after paying the annual fee. You’ll also earn complimentary Platinum status for 2021 after you’re approved for this card.

Apply Now

With the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, you’ll earn a welcome bonus of 100,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. You’ll also earn complimentary Platinum status for 2021 after you’re approved for this card. Moreover, you’ll also earn a statement credit of $150 in the first 6 months for all spend on US based advertising in select media.

Apply Now

Personal v/s Business Card

Both these offers are fantastic from a points earning and welcome bonus perspective. Also, you’ll get complimentary Platinum status with both these cards for 2021. Following are some of the key benefits that you’ll get with Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status. You can read the full list here.

  • 50% Bonus points on paid stays
  • Room upgrade based on availability
  • Lounge access and complimentary breakfast at participating properties
  • 4 PM checkout based on availability
  • Complimentary high speed in-room internet access

More than the similarities, the differences between the two cards clearly stand out and will make you help decide which one you should go for.

The Pundit’s Mantra

If you travel more frequently, then the Bonvoy Brilliant clearly wins over the Business version. However, not many are traveling that frequently right now. If you’re looking to earn more points for a lower annual fee, then the Business version does have the edge over the Bonvoy Brilliant.

Go for the Bonvoy Brilliant if you:

  • Have a high frequency of upcoming Marriott stays to easily utilize the free night certificate, stay credit, resort credit and priority pass membership
  • You do not qualify for a business credit card
  • Clearly value 50k points certificates over the 35k points certificates with the Business version

Go for the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card if you:

  • Are uncertain about upcoming stays in 2021 and purely want to focus on earning Marriott points to book in the future or transfer to Marriott’s airline partners
  • Want to pay a lower annual fee
  • Value points earning over benefits
  • Have upcoming advertising spend which will help you use the $150 credit to wipe out the annual fee
  • Have a higher spend at restaurants and gas stations compared to spend on flight tickets

Which card do you intend to go for? Tell us in the comments section.


The American Express Gold Card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points. You’ll earn a welcome bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first 6 months after you’re approved for the card.

Moreover, the card offers lucrative bonus earning categories, benefits and credits.

  • 4x points on dining (including takeout and delivery) and grocery spend
  • 3x points on flights
  • $120 dining credit annually
  • $120 Uber Eats/Uber credit annually
  • $100 airline credit (ends on December 31, 2021)
  • No foreign transaction fees

Apply Now


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