UPDATES: 
  • From September 22, 2022, Amex will replace the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit with a monthly $25 dining statement credit. This also opens up a double-dipping opportunity. Suppose you are approved for the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card before September 22, 2022. In that case, you can max out the current $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit and take advantage of the monthly $25 dining credit for almost a year after September 22, 2022!

American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card offers a $300 statement credit each year during card membership for eligible purchases at worldwide Marriott Bonvoy hotels and resorts. The Brilliant card is one of the premium travel cards with a high annual fee of $450, and being able to use and maximize its $300 statement credit benefit will help justify that yearly fee. 

The good news is that Amex makes this $300 Marriott statement credit benefit easier to use than the $250 Hilton resort credit that comes with the Amex Hilton Aspire card

Without further ado, let's take a look at some creative ways to use the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit.

Protea Hotel Cape Town Waterfront Breakwater Lodge
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    Use the Credit For Dining & Restaurants From September 22, 2022

    From September 22, 2022, Amex will replace the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit with a monthly $25 dining statement credit

    A double-dipping opportunity comes to play here. Suppose you are approved for the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card before September 22, 2022. In that case, you can max out the current $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit and take advantage of the monthly $25 dining credit for a year when that benefit kicks in on September 22. 

    Use the Credit For Staying at a Marriott Bonvoy Property

    This is the most obvious and straightforward way to use the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit, and that's exactly what the benefit was designed for. 
    • You stay at a Marriott property and use your Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card to pay for room rate, dining, spa, and any incidental charges at participating worldwide Marriott Bonvoy hotels, resorts, and timeshare properties
    • You just have to ensure all expenses are charged to the room and paid for with your American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card at the time of checkout for the benefit to apply. 
    • American Express will automatically issue a $300 statement credit into your credit card's account. 
     

    Use the Credit For Night Out at a Marriott Bonvoy Property

    Staying with Marriott Bonvoy property is not required. You can have a night out in the town where your local Marriott Bonvoy property has a restaurant or a bar. Any Marriott Bonvoy brands such as Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Sheraton, Westin, etc., will do. 

    When we don't travel, we will use the $300 statement credit once or twice by having a date night out to eat and drink at a local Courtyard property. Amex reimbursed our food and drinks expenses and applied the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit. You just need to pay with your American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card for this benefit to apply. 

    Use the Credit For Reservation Deposit

    [DEAD] The following trick is no longer working. After you cancel your reservation, the deposit goes back to your Brilliant card, and Amex also takes back the statement credit that is part of the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit. 

    Some Marriott Bonvoy properties require a credit card deposit when making a reservation. One of the properties we know about is the Le Meridien Bora Bora Resort. We made a points and cash reservation that came with a flexible cancellation policy. Right after our reservation was made, the property charged our credit card. We contacted the property right away, and they responded below:

    Thank you for your email. I checked with our reservation department regarding this charge. They confirmed that according to your booking policy, this amount is for the deposit regarding your booking by cash and points. If you will not use this deposit during your stay, we would like to confirm that we will refund this amount to your bank account after your departure.

    So what this means is that you can make a refundable reservation with one of these Marriott Bonvoy properties that require a reservation deposit with your American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, and your credit card will be charged right away for the deposit. This will trigger the $300 Marriott statement credit because the charge is processed directly by a participating Marriott Bonvoy property. After a while, if your trip is interrupted, you can cancel the reservation during the permitted time and get the deposit refunded to your Amex Brilliant credit card. 

    What Happens to Refunded Credit?

    [More Update May 2021]: American Express system now automatically takes the statement credit back for any credit that they issued to you as part of the Brilliant card's $300 Marriott statement credit for any deposit credit that is refunded by the Marriott Bonvoy property to the card due to the cancellation. 

    [Warning Update May 2020]: American Express has added additional wordings to Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant $300 statement credit terms. So please proceed carefully with this trick at your own risk, as Amex may be clawing back canceled/returned credits in the future. You have a full membership anniversary year to use this $300 credit, so go travel and enjoy the credits. But if you must use this trick, use it as a last resort. This is what Amex says:
    Note that statement credit(s) received during the reward year may be reversed if the eligible purchase is returned/cancelled, or if you engage in abuse or misuse in connection with the benefit (for example, if you do not maintain an eligible Card Account for the duration of the reward year).
     
    We put this trick to the test and haven't had any issues. However, don't do it too often to the point that you are abusing this trick. Obviously, suppose you have a legit upcoming stay. In that case, you will likely spend money at the hotel for parking, food, drinks, room rate, taxes, etc.; these charges qualify for the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit benefit. Consider doing this only if it were your last resort because this benefit is one of those things you use or lose.

    Use the Credit For Marriott Gift Card

    Data points from the points and miles community indicate that purchasing a Marriott gift card does trigger the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit reimbursement. This is, in fact, true when you can find a local Marriott Bonvoy hotel that can sell a Marriott gift card to you because the payment will be processed directly by the property. However, the challenging part is finding a local Marriott property that actually sells Marriott gift cards. 

    UPDATES: 
    • Via the comment section, a reader pointed out that Amex added a section "Online purchases of Marriott branded gift cards do not qualify as eligible purchases for this benefit." However, a data point via FlyerTalk shows that online Marriott gift cards purchase still trigger the credit, and the data point was provided in October 2021. Always try something small before committing, just in case. 

    The best way to buy a Marriott gift card and have it reimbursed towards a $300 statement credit can be done online. However, you must buy it directly from the Marriott website here

    We bought a $300 Marriott e-gift card, and Amex automatically issued us a $300 statement credit. The transaction even earns 6x points per 1 dollar spent. So apparently, the charge was coded as if the payment was processed by a Marriott Bonvoy property. See the screenshot below.

    Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant $300 Statement Credit Gift Card
    Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant $300 Statement Credit Gift Card

    ** Please note that, while this online gift card purchase triggers Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant $300 statement credit, it does not work with the Amex offer that gives you statement credit back if you spend x amount at Marriott Bonvoy. So, unfortunately, you cannot stack the offers here. 

    Use the Credit For Shop Marriott

    You can purchase those items online if you enjoy a pillow, bedsheet, comforter, robe, etc., at a Marriott Bonvoy property, you can purchase those items online. You can find many bedding items sold by many of your favorite Marriott Bonvoy brands online, such as the Ritz-Carlton, the Westin, JW Marriott, and St. Regis, to name a few. 

    UPDATES: 
    • Data points via FlyerTalk show that online purchases through Marriott Bonvoy stores trigger the credit. There's no need to purchase a Marriott gift card with the credit first, then pay for Shop Marriott as this article was initially written. Always try something small before committing, just in case. 

    If you'd like to pay with a Marriott gift card purchased directly at a Marriott Bonvoy property, here's how you do it:
    • Use the Marriott $300 statement credit to purchase a Marriott gift card or an e-gift card. See the Use the Credit For Marriott Gift Card section above. 
    • Go to a Marriott Bonvoy brand's online store to shop for hotel bedding.
      • Shop Marriott
      • The Ritz-Carlton Shops
      • Curated by JW
      • Collect Renaissance
      • Gaylord Hotels Store
      • Shop Courtyard
      • St. Regis Boutique
      • W Hotels Store
      • Westin Store
      • Sheraton Store
      • Fairfield Store
    • At checkout, follow the screen to pay. On the final page, select Marriott Gift Card for payment. See the screenshot below. 

    Maximizing Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant $300 Marriott Statement Credit
    Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant $300 Statement Credit Shop Marriott


    Maximize the Credit With Amex Offer

    With the Amex offer, you can maximize your $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit savings even further. You can stack the methods mentioned above with the Amex offer.

    Here's how it works. Check your Amex Offers from time to time to see if your American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is targeted for any statement credits at a participating Marriott Bonvoy brand. For example, my Brilliant card was targeted for spending at Marriott brand property: Spend $300 or more, get $60 back

    It's worth noting that each Amex offer has terms and conditions that can be specific about which Marriott Bonvoy brand or property is eligible, so be sure to check the fine print.

    There you have it! I hope you enjoy learning these ways to take full advantage of your American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card's benefit, and subscribe to our blog posts below to learn more tips & tricks on points traveling!