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VS

Compare the Features and Benefits of Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority 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
Annual Statement Credits
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
Trip Protections
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
No Fees for Authorized Users
Free Checked Bags
Roadside Assistance
Free Access to Credit Score
Grants Hotel Status
Free Annual Hotel Night
Earns Transferable Points
Airport Lounge Access
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
Return Protection
Metal Card
Amex Offers
Annual Fee
$149
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
3x Airfare

Applies only to tickets purchased directly from Southwest. Other airfare earns 1X.

2x Transit
2x Cable / Internet / VOIP Phone
2x Cellular Phone Service
2x Streaming Services
1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.014
Bonus Offer
Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(3.98) 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

Although the Southwest Priority Card charges the highest annual fee of any of the personal Southwest credit cards, we argue that it should be the go-to card for frequent Southwest flyers. That’s because the perks of this Southwest credit card easily justify the $149 annual fee.

Cardholders get four Upgraded Boardings each year, a $75 Southwest annual travel credit, 7,500 bonus points every cardmember anniversary (worth $105), and 25% back on inflight purchases. If you fly Southwest just a couple of times per year, these perks should easily save more than the $149 annual fee.

Get four Southwest Upgraded Boardings each cardmember anniversary.

In addition to the sign-up bonus, cardholders earn 3x points on Southwest purchases and 2x points on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases, local transit, commuting, and rideshare. In addition to those travel purchases, cardholders also earn 2x points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming services. All other purchases earn 1x points.

All points earned count toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass. Plus, cardholders will earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points toward A-List and A-List Preferred Status for every $5,000 spent per year. And you don’t need to worry about foreign transaction fees with the Southwest Priority Card.

The only downside to Southwest Airlines credit cards is that Rapid Rewards points are only valuable for flying Southwest. If you want to earn flexible points, consider a credit card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to the Southwest Rapid Rewards program, so you’ll still be able to top off your Rapid Rewards account when you need points for your next redemption, but you can also transfer them to any of Chase’s other airline or hotel transfer partners.

Lastly, this card is great for getting a good chunk of the way 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.

Redeem your Southwest Rapid Rewards points earned through your Southwest card for nearly-free Southwest flights

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Annual Statement Credits
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
No Fees for Authorized Users
yes
Free Checked Bags
yes
Roadside Assistance
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
yes
Grants Hotel Status
no
Free Annual Hotel Night
no
Earns Transferable Points
no
Airport Lounge Access
no
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
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
Annual Statement Credits
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
No Fees for Authorized Users
yes
Free Checked Bags
no
Roadside Assistance
no
Free Access to Credit Score
no
Grants Hotel Status
yes
Free Annual Hotel Night
yes
Earns Transferable Points
yes
Airport Lounge Access
yes
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
yes
Return Protection
yes
Metal Card
yes
Amex Offers
yes

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