Back in December I broke the news that American Express was looking at making substantial changes to their premium Marriott co-brand card.
There was talk of a $650 fee (or more) to go along with better points-earning, waived resort fees, and even confirmed suite upgrades. One of the things that seemed likely was a more valuable annual free night (currently worth can be used for a night that costs 50,000 points or less). It would come with Platinum elite status, and the card’s $300 statement credit might be tweaked to be used at restaurants permanently – and not just as a pandemic one-off.
- Effective 9/22/22, the Bonvoy Brilliant $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit benefit will no longer be available. It will be replaced with a NEW benefit of up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
Now American Express is surveying customers about changes to the card, as first reported by The Points Guy.
- $650 annual fee (as I discussed in December)
- Free night certificate worth up to 85,000 points (I had offered 80,000)
- Platinum status as a cardmember, with Titanium at $75,000 in annual spend
- 25 nights towards elite status (currently 15)
- The annual statement credit would be worth $25 per month in dining
These specific benefits might not be in the final product, and they might not even pull the trigger on such big changes at all. What the card needs most is more earning power, but that’s hard to do when there’s currently earning parity with the Chase cards and those aren’t going up (Chase doubled points-earn with the new Bonvoy program, even as Amex earning power was cut by a third).
Platinum status as a cardmember would match the Hilton premium co-brand but really underscores how much Platinum is mid-tier status, and closer to a giveaway level. Titanium is supposed to be more meaningful, but really doesn’t come with much more in the Marriott program – the possibility of suite upgrades at Ritz-Carltons (it also currently gets you United Silver status).
I’d be surprised if the card dropped its Marriott statement credit, though a monthly dining credit is probably more useful to American Express because it gets cardmembers actually spending on the card each month – from their perspective, hopefully training cardmembers to actually use the card.