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Compare the Features and Benefits of Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card and
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

Detailed Comparison Overview

Key Facts
Annual Fee
Avg. Min. Credit Score
Ongoing APR
Balance transfers fees
Best Multiplier
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
Bonus Offer
Rating
Review
Key features
Unique Card Benefits
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
Annual Statement Credits
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
Trip Protections
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
No Foreign Transaction Fees
No Fees for Authorized Users
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Roadside Assistance
Free Checked Bags
Does Not Report Credit Line to Personal Credit Profile
Grants Hotel Status
Free Annual Hotel Night
Earns Transferable Points
Airport Lounge Access
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Return Protection
Metal Card
Amex Offers
Annual Fee
$199
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
Ongoing APR
21.49%-28.49% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater.
Best Multiplier
4x Airfare

Applies only to Southwest Airlines booked directly with Southwest; Otherwise earn 1X

2x Cable / Internet / VOIP Phone
2x Cellular Phone Service
1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.014
Bonus Offer
Get 80,000 Bonus Rapid Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in your first 3 months.
Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(4.25) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card should be the go-to card for Southwest frequent travelers that own a small business. Don’t let the $199 annual fee scare you off. This card comes packed with perks that can easily justify that fee.

Southwest-specific perks include four Upgraded Boardings each year, virtually unlimited inflight WiFi passes, and the ability to spend toward A-List status. Plus cardholders get premium travel perks like a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee statement credit.

Cardholders earn 4x Rapid Rewards points on Southwest Airlines purchases. That’s a higher rewards earning rate on Southwest purchases than you’ll find on any other Southwest credit card. Plus you’ll earn 3x points on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners.

However, this card doesn’t just reward travel purchases. Cardholders earn 2x Southwest Rapid Rewards points on a wide range of purchases, including social media and search engine advertising; internet, cable, and phone services; transit and commuting, including ride-hailing services. Earn points on all other purchases at a rate of 1 Rapid Rewards point per dollar spent.

Enjoy Upgraded Boardings, free WiFi, and more on Southwest Airlines through the Southest Performance Business Card

Cardholders will earn 1,500 tier qualifying points toward A-List status for every $10,000 spent on purchases annually. While you probably don’t want to put that much spending on the card, you can conceivably spend all the way to A-List Preferred status by spending $470,000 on the card in a calendar year.

The only real downside to this card is the limited redemption options. The best way to redeem Rapid Rewards points is for Southwest flights. And since the Rapid Rewards structure is a fixed-value program, you won’t get more value from some flights than others. The good news is that means there are no blackout dates when you want to redeem points.

You can add employee cards for no additional cost, meaning you can be rewarded for employee spending. The card also offers up to a $500 statement credit for points transfers. That means you can transfer points to employees without additional cost.

Lastly, this card is great for getting more than halfway to a Southwest Companion Pass with the bonus offer. Read our guide on earning a Southwest Companion Pass for up to two years via new account bonuses.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
yes
Annual Statement Credits
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
No Fees for Authorized Users
yes
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Roadside Assistance
yes
Free Checked Bags
yes
Does Not Report Credit Line to Personal Credit Profile
yes
Grants Hotel Status
no
Free Annual Hotel Night
no
Earns Transferable Points
no
Airport Lounge Access
no
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
no
Return Protection
no
Metal Card
no
Amex Offers
no
Annual Fee
$650 (Rates and fees)
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
Ongoing APR
20.99%-29.99% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
-
Best Multiplier
6x Hotels

6X points only applies to Marriott Bonvoy hotels and resorts booked directly through Marriott. Otherwise, earn 2X

3x Airfare
3x Dining Out / Food Delivery
2x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.006
Bonus Offer

Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms apply.

Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(3.7) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

The Marriott Bonvoy program offers five different co-branded credit card options, from both American Express and Chase. If we start from the top, there’s the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card, with a considerable $650 annual fee. But the luxury hotel card comes with a substantial number of perks that make sense for the ultra-Marriott loyalist.

For starters, the card offers complimentary Platinum elite status, which typically requires 50+ nights at Marriott hotels per year. At this elite tier level, you’ll enjoy 50% bonus points at Marriott hotels (on top of the card’s earning rate), room upgrades up to select suites upon availability at most brands, and a welcome gift like amenities, points, or even breakfast. Enjoy a guaranteed late checkout of 4pm at most properties (resorts and convention centers are excluded). You’ll also get 25 annual elite night credits which can help you qualify for that next tier of Marriott status — Titanium or Ambassador Elite, anyone?

Even more interesting is that if you also have the Marriott Bonvoy Business® Card, you’ll earn 15 more elite nights on that card for a total of 40 elite night credits. With Titanium status, which also confers United Airlines Silver elite status, available at 75 nights, you’ll need to stay just 35 nights to achieve it.

As you can expect, this card is quite rewarding for hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, offering 6x points at Bonvoy properties. The card’s rewards rate is easy to memorize as it also provides 3x points at restaurants worldwide and 2x points on all other eligible purchases, but unfortunately it falls flat compared to other luxury cards on the market with those rates, given that we peg the value of a Bonvoy point around 0.6 cents each.

Still, if you’re a heavy spender, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card offers another unique benefit. Once you spend $60,000+ on the card per calendar year, you’ll get access to the Earned Choice Award Benefit. From here, there are some incredibly valuable options like 5 Suite Night Awards, an additional free night award (worth up to 85,000 points), or a $1,000 off a bed from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques. Perhaps the most lucrative awards are the former two options, as the suite night awards and free night certificate can be of excellent use at some of Marriott’s most bespoke properties.

Even if you don’t anticipate $60,000+ of card spend per year, don’t fret. You’ll still get a free night award just by renewing the card and paying the annual fee on your account anniversary. This free night award will land in your account after the card renewal month, and is worth up to 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. You can “top off” with up to 15,000 more points from your account if you want to book a night that costs between 85,000 and 100,000 points.

As mentioned above, we estimate Marriott Bonvoy points to be worth about 0.6 cents each so with the 85,000 point certificate, you’re expected to receive at least a $510 value (or more!) for a property of your choice. Use your free night awards wisely, and you can land free nights at some of the most luxurious properties in Marriott’s expansive portfolio.

Not to mention, the card also comes with an up to $300 dining credit, which is distributed in up to $25 monthly credits. You’ll get a reimbursement for restaurants worldwide, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be getting this $300 rebate on your favorite eateries. (Terms apply.)

Bonvoy Brilliant Dining Credit

Finally, the Bonvoy Brilliant card comes with a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application credit (terms apply), up to a $100 Marriott property credit for eligible stays (terms apply), and a swathe of essential travel and purchase protections to boot.

Simply put, if you have a Marriott Bonvoy member account and want top-notch perks when staying at Marriott properties, look no further than the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card.

Rates and Fees for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
yes
Annual Statement Credits
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
No Fees for Authorized Users
yes
Primary Car Rental CDW Waiver
no
Roadside Assistance
no
Free Checked Bags
no
Does Not Report Credit Line to Personal Credit Profile
no
Grants Hotel Status
yes
Free Annual Hotel Night
yes
Earns Transferable Points
yes
Airport Lounge Access
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Return Protection
yes
Metal Card
yes
Amex Offers
yes

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