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Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card review: A great welcome bonus and an anniversary free night certificate for a reasonable annual fee

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Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit CardTable of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Review: Is the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless the best card for you?

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card is a good option if you want to earn Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases without paying a premium-level annual fee. (The premium Marriott credit card is the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, which offers an annual statement credit and comes with a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card annual fee (See Rates).)

It doesn’t hurt that the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card is currently offering 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

The card’s value doesn’t stop at the welcome offer, though. Considering that award nights at Marriott Bonvoy properties start at just 5,000 points during off-peak dates, the points you’ll earn by using this card on a regular basis can help you book more award stays down the line.

Read more: The best Marriott credit cards – whether you want basic points earning or elite status and other luxury perks

One of the card’s best perks is the annual free night certificate cardholders receive every card anniversary. It’s valid at Marriott hotels that cost up to 35,000 points per night, and if you use it at pricey higher-category hotels, it’s easy to get a value that far exceeds the annual fee.

You also get automatic Silver elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program, along with no foreign transaction fees and a broad selection of travel insurance benefits.

Comparison: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless vs other Marriott cards

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card

Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

Annual fee

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

Bonus points at Marriott hotels

6x bonus points* on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels

6x bonus points* on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels

3x bonus points* on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels

Rewards rate on other purchases

2x points on all other eligible purchases

3x points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines

2x points on all other eligible purchases

2x points on other eligible travel purchases

1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases

Welcome bonus

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

Card benefits

15 elite night credits each calendar year

Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status

Annual free night award***

Car rental insurance (secondary in the US, primary otherwise)

Lost luggage reimbursement

Trip delay reimbursement

Baggage delay insurance

Purchase protection

Extended warranty

Travel and emergency assistance services

Visa Signature concierge

15 elite night credits each calendar year

Up to $300 annual Marriott Bonvoy statement credit

$100 Marriott Bonvoy property credit on eligible Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis stays

Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status

Annual free night award****

Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership**

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit

Secondary car rental insurance

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance

Baggage insurance plan

Trip delay insurance

Travel accident insurance

Purchase protection

Extended warranty

Return protection

Premium Global Assist Hotline

15 elite night credits each calendar year

Lost luggage reimbursement

Baggage delay reimbursement

Trip delay reimbursement

Purchase protection

Visa Signature concierge

Foreign transaction fee

No

No Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card – Rates & Fees

No

Review

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card review

Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold card review

*Bonus points at Marriott hotels are in addition to the points members would normally earn from a stay

***the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card offers an annual free night award each year after your account anniversary for participating Marriott Bonvoy properties that cost up to 35,000 points

****the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card offers an annual free night award each year after your account anniversary for participating Marriott Bonvoy properties that cost up to 50,000 points

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless vs other hotel cards

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Annual fee

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (See Rates)

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Bonus points at card’s hotel brand

6x bonus points* on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels

12x points on eligible Hilton purchases

10x points on IHG purchases

Rewards rate on other purchases

2x points on all other eligible purchases

6x points at eligible US supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants

3x points on every other eligible purchase

2x points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants

1 point per dollar on everything else

Welcome bonus

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Card benefits

15 elite night credits each calendar year

Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status

Annual free night award*

Car rental insurance (secondary in the US, primary otherwise)

Lost luggage reimbursement

Trip delay reimbursement

Baggage delay insurance

Purchase protection

Extended warranty

Travel and emergency assistance services

Visa Signature concierge

Hilton Gold elite status

Upgrade to Diamond status after you spend $40,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year

Free weekend night certificate after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year

Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership** with 10 free visits per year

Secondary car rental insurance

Baggage insurance plan

Purchase protection

Extended warranty

Global Assist Hotline

IHG Platinum Elite status

Annual free night award*****

Fourth reward night free when you redeem points for a stay of four or more nights

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit

20% discount when you purchase points with your card

10,000 bonus points after you spend $20,000 on purchases and make one additional purchase each account anniversary

Car rental insurance (secondary in the US, primary otherwise)

Cell phone protection

Trip cancellation/interruption insurance

Travel accident insurance

Lost luggage reimbursement

Baggage delay insurance

Travel and emergency assistance services

Purchase protection

Extended warranty

Foreign transaction fee

No

No (See Rates)

No

Review

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card review

Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier card review

*Bonus points at Marriott, Hilton, and IHG hotels are in addition to the points members would normally earn from a stay

***the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card offers an annual free night award each year after your account anniversary for participating Marriott Bonvoy properties that cost up to 35,000 points

*****the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers an annual free night award each year after your account anniversary for participating IHG properties that cost up to 40,000 points

How to redeem Marriott points

Earning points in the Marriott Bonvoy program paves the way for free hotel stays at more than 7,000 participating properties worldwide. Category 1 standard rooms start at just 7,500 points per night (5,000 points for off-peak dates), while a mid-tier Category 5 property will set you back 35,000 points per night.

Read more: How to earn, redeem, and maximize Marriott Bonvoy points – from luxury resort stays to dozens of airline partners, you can’t beat the flexibility

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 transferring points to over 40 airline partners, redeeming for gift cards and rental cars, and more. You can even redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for experiences like concerts and events, and Marriott also offers hotel and air packages that include free nights and airline miles.

Benefits and features

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card comes with a host of benefits and travel perks.

Anniversary free night award

Each year after your account anniversary, you’ll earn a free night award that you can redeem at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties that cost up to 35,000 points. This lets you book at Marriott hotels that fall in Category 1-5, excluding Category 5 properties when peak pricing applies.

Read more: The best ways to use a Marriott Bonvoy 35,000-point free night certificate – from upscale beach destinations to luxury international hotels

Depending on how you use the free night reward each year, you can get a value that can easily cancel out the card’s annual fee.

Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status

You’ll receive automatic Silver elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program just for being a cardholder. Silver elite status comes with 10% bonus points on paid stays, priority late checkout, and free Wi-Fi.

Read more: 8 credit cards that get you elite hotel status just by having them in your wallet

The points bonus is probably the most valuable benefit here. If you pay with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, you’ll earn up to 17 points per dollar spent at Marriott Bonvoy properties – 10 points as a loyalty member, 1 additional point as a Silver Elite member, and 6 points for paying with your credit card.

The card also offers a path to Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status after you spend $35,000 or more on the card in a year.

15 elite night credits toward status each calendar year

Each cardmember year, you’ll get 15 elite night credits toward Marriott Bonvoy elite status.

These credits count toward the next level of elite status, whether you’re working toward Marriott Bonvoy Gold (by staying 25 qualifying nights in a year) or you’ve already qualified through Gold and are working toward Platinum (which requires 50 qualifying nights in a year).

Lost luggage reimbursement

When you pay for your fare with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card and the carrier damages or loses your bags, you and your immediate family members could be covered for up to $3,000 per passenger.

Baggage delay insurance

If your bags are delayed for six hours or more, you could be reimbursed for essential purchases (like clothing and toiletries) up to $100 per day for up to five days.

Trip delay insurance

If you paid for your ticket with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card and your trip is delayed overnight or by more than 12 hours, you and your immediate family can get reimbursed for up to $500 per passenger for meals and accommodations.

Purchase protection

If an eligible item you’ve bought with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card is damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase, you could be eligible for up to $500 in reimbursement per claim, and up to $50,000 per account.

Visa Signature concierge

The Visa Signature concierge can help you arrange things like hard-to-get restaurant reservations or theater tickets. It doesn’t cost anything to use the service, but any third-party costs are your responsibility.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Fees and costs

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card has an annual fee of Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, and no foreign transaction fees.

As long as you pay your bill in full each month, you can avoid other fees with this card. If you do carry a balance, there’s an APR of 15.99% – 22.99% Variable. Avoid carrying a balance at all costs – it can damage your financial health by having a negative impact on your credit score, and you’ll accrue interest charges quickly, which can only make matters worse.

Other Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card fees include:

  • Balance transfer fee: 5% of the transfer, with a $5 minimum
  • Cash-advance fee: 5% of the cash advance, with a $10 minimum

If you need a card that offers a period of interest-free financing, check out our guide to the best credit cards with 0% intro APR offers.

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 earn 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.

Read more: Amex and Chase points are the two most valuable types of credit card rewards – here are their biggest differences

American Express cards that earn Membership Rewards points include:

  • Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • American Express® Gold Card: Earn American Express® Gold Card
  • American Express® Green Card: Earn American Express® Green Card

As far as Chase cards go, you can earn transferable Ultimate Rewards points with the following cards:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Earn Chase Sapphire Reserve® after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Earn Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

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.

Read more: Chase Sapphire Preferred card review

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™ Credit Card.

Holly Johnson is a credit card expert, award-winning writer, and mother of two who is obsessed with frugality, budgeting, and travel.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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