Why the Bonvoy Boundless hotel credit card is worth considering if you stay at Marriott hotels a few times a year
Alyssa Powell/Business Insider
- The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is worth considering if you want to earn Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases without paying a premium-level annual feel.
- It's currently offering new cardholders 75,000 points after they spend $3,000 within three months of account opening.
- This card also gives you automatic Silver Elite Status along with no foreign transaction fees and a broad selection of travel insurance benefits.
- Don't forget to compare this card to other Marriott Bonvoy credit cards, as well as to Chase and Amex cards that let you transfer points to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1 ratio.
- Read more personal finance coverage.
When Marriott Rewards merged with the Starwood Preferred Guest program, nobody knew what to expect. But today's Marriott Bonvoy program is still popular with consumers, and this is partly due to the fact you can redeem rewards and enjoy loyalty benefits at more than 7,000 hotels and resorts around the world.
It doesn't hurt that Marriott Bonvoy rolled out several new co-branded credit card offerings, including the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card, as part of the rebranding process. With this hotel credit card, which is offered by Chase, you can currently earn 75,000 points for meeting a minimum spending requirement of $3,000 within the first three months.
Considering free nights at Marriott Bonvoy properties start at just 5,000 points during off-peak dates, it's not hard to see how you could maximize this card's value. Before you sign up for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card, keep reading to learn all the details and what to expect.
Keep in mind that we're focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which will far outweigh the value of any points or miles. It's important to practice financial discipline when using credit cards by paying your balances in full each month, making payments on time, and only spending what you can afford to pay back.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card details
Annual fee: $95
Sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you sign up and spend $3,000 on your card within three months of account opening
Earning structure: Earn 6x points at participating Marriott properties and 2x points on all other purchases
Free night benefit: Get a free night at any property that costs 35,000 points per night or less each year on your cardmember anniversary
Status benefit: Enjoy automatic Silver Elite status
Foreign transaction fee: None
Earning points with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card
While this card does charge a $95 annual fee, having a co-branded hotel credit card makes it a lot easier to rack up points in the Marriott Bonvoy program. This card gives you 6 points for each dollar you spend at Marriott family properties and 2x points on everything else you buy.
Also note that these rewards are doled out on top of the points you earn for being a Marriott Bonvoy member. Basic loyalty members earn 10 points per dollar spent at Marriott Bonvoy hotels and resorts. However, elite members can earn more points depending on their level of status.
With the automatic Silver Elite status this card offers, for example, you'll receive 10% bonus points on paid stays. This means you'll actually earn 17 points per dollar spent at Marriott Bonvoy properties - 10 points as a loyalty member, 1 additional point as a Sliver Elite member, and 6 points for paying with your credit card.
Redeeming Marriott points
Earning points in the Marriott Bonvoy program paves the way for free hotel stays at more than 7,000 properties worldwide. Category 1 standard rooms start at just 7,500 points per night, while a mid-tier Category 5 property will set you back 35,000 points per night.
The highest tier Marriott Bonvoy properties, or Category 8, on the other hand, come in at 85,000 points per night for a standard room.
Also keep in mind that you get a fifth night free when you use points to book four consecutive free nights. Cash and points options are also available, and they let you book a night at a discount with a cash copay.
Another benefit of the Marriott Bonvoy program is that you don't have to redeem points for free nights. There are other options available, including the fact that you can redeem for rental cars or flights, gift cards, and more. You can even redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for experiences like concerts and events - including NFL experiences - and Marriott also offers hotel and air packages that include free nights and and airline miles.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card comes with a host of benefits you may appreciate as a cardholder. These include:
- Automatic Silver Elite status
- Path to Gold Elite status with your card when you spend $35,000 or more each year
- Free premium internet access when you stay with Marriott
- 15 elite night credits toward status each calendar year
- No foreign transaction fees
- Baggage delay coverage
- Lost luggage reimbursement
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Purchase protection
- Visa concierge
While benefits like no foreign transaction fees and automatic low-level elite status are pretty standard among hotel credit cards, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless does come with a surprising number of perks. Getting coverage for trip delays and lost or delayed baggage can be especially helpful if you travel a lot and don't get these perks from another travel credit card.
How it compares to other Marriott Bonvoy cards
There are a few other personal Marriott credit cards to consider. The following chart highlights each in terms of their welcome bonuses, earning structures, and annual fees:
Alyssa Powell/Business Insider
You may notice that the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card comes with a much higher annual fee and an identical welcome bonus. While that may seem strange, it's important to keep all the various cardholder perks this card offers in mind.
With the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex, you get up a $300 statement credit each year to use at Marriott Bonvoy properties, complimentary Gold Elite status in the program, a free night award on your cardmember anniversary, a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership, and more. These benefits can more than make up for the Bonvoy Brilliant card's larger annual fee, but only if you put them to use.
Consider flexible rewards credit cards, too
While you should consider all the Marriott Bonvoy credit cards available today before you choose one, also remember that you can earn points that transfer to the Marriott Bonvoy program with travel rewards cards that earns transferable points. Both Amex Membership Rewards points and Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1 ratio, so you have a lot of options.
American Express cards that earn Membership Rewards points include:
As far as Chase cards go, you can earn Ultimate Rewards points with the following cards:
For that reason, Amex or Chase cards are often a good complement to credit cards that earn Marriott Bonvoy points. You can transfer points over any time you're short for a redemption you want.
You can even use credit cards that earn transferable Chase or Amex points to earn more rewards in specific categories so you can transfer them to Marriott Bonvoy later. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve gives you 3x points on travel and dining, which is better than you'll get in those categories with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card.
The bottom line
Should you get the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card? It helps to compare other Marriott credit cards before you pull the trigger. You may find one suits your needs better than another depending on how often you travel and the cardholder perks you want.
Since Amex and Chase points transfer to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1 ratio, you should also consider earning rewards in these programs. The more rewards you have at your disposal, the more free hotel nights you'll get in the end. And that's the whole point, right? (No pun intended.)
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.
Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they're subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.