Marriott Bonvoy just launched a new, no annual fee credit card and it offers an exciting alternative for fans of the Marriott Bonvoy Rewards program.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card offers a strong introductory offer and a solid rewards/benefits structure, as well as additional perks that make the card worth serious consideration – all at no extra cost to you.
New cardholders can earn 50,000 points once spending at least $2,000 in the first three months of opening an account. Points can be redeemed for free hotel stays, room upgrades, and more. You'll need 7,500 points to redeem for one free night at a budget, category one hotel, and the standard rate for the top-tier category eight hotels and resorts is 85,000 points per night. Bonvoy is expected to introduce peak and off-peak rewards in the near future. At that time, redemptions will range from 5,000 points for an off-peak category one hotel to 100,000 points for a category eight property at peak times. So as you can see, a bonus of 50,000 points has potential to take you far.
Beside the bonus, you can earn points on all purchases made with the card. Earn three points for every $1 spent at Marriott Bonvoy properties, two points for each $1 spent on other travel-related purchases (airlines, hotels, timeshares, car rentals, travel agencies, campgrounds, buses, taxis, ferries, etc.) and one point for each $1 spent on all other purchases.
In addition to no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card has purchase protection, trip delay protection and the added perk of credit for 15 Elite Nights per year, which automatically qualifies you for the Silver Elite level in the rewards program. You can learn more about the benefits of elite level status in our guide to the Marriott Bonvoy program.
Rewards credit cards with no annual fees almost always grab our attention, but in the case of Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card, this perk holds even more significance. Marriott Bonvoy has an excellent rewards program, providing the opportunity to earn free nights and services at Mariott Bonvoy properties and their affiliates around the world. However, the other three credit cards in the Mariott Bonvoy family all carry annual fees.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card gives people of more modest spending habits the chance to get their foot in the door of the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program and enjoy some of the same benefits as bigger spenders. One of the perks is credit for 15 Elite Nights per year, which puts you in the Silver Elite level of the rewards program. Silver Elite status earns you 10% more bonus points on stays and eligible Marriott purchases, free late checkout, and more.
Though not as lucrative as other cards in the Marriott Bonvoy family, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card introductory bonus offer is still substantial and easily attainable. You earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend just $2,000 in the first three months you have the card. Those points can easily score you multiple free nights, depending on the property.
While no annual fee is nice, the reward points structure for the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card is significantly lower than the cards that do carry annual fees in the Marriott Bonvoy family. Knowing your spending habits will help you calculate which card is in your best interests.
Furthermore, as with any branded credit card, you need to decide how deep your loyalty runs to determine whether a brand-specific card is right for you or whether you'd be better served with a more general travel rewards card, such as Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, which doesn't restrict your rewards redemption to a particular brand and also doesn't charge an annual fee.
Right off the bat you'll notice that the biggest difference between these two cards is that one charges an annual fee and one does not. However, even though the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card charges an annual fee of $95, you might find that it's worth it due to the numerous rewards that come with the card.
To start, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card offers new cardholders who spend at least $3,000 in the first three months of opening an account a 75,000-point bonus. Furthermore, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card cardholders can earn six points for every $1 spent at Marriott Bonvoy properties, instead of just three, and two points on all other purchases, versus two points on just travel purchases, and one point on everything else. Many of the other benefits are the same, such as no foreign transaction fees and credit for 15 Elite Nights each year. However, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card does also offer a Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after your account anniversary.
It's clear that you'll get more with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, but what it boils down to is whether you're willing to pay a fee for it each year.
This is another card with an annual fee ($0 intro for first year; $95 after that), but along with that annual fee comes a lot of flexibility.
To start, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card earns you two miles on every purchase made. So whether you're spending money at Bonvoy properties or not, you're earning a flat two miles on every $1you spend.
If you want the flexibility to gain miles on all travel purchases, and then to redeem said miles towards any travel purchase, this might be a better card for you. However, if you're loyal to the Marriott brand, you're probably better off with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card.
In case flexibility sounds better to you, you might also like to know that the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers new cardholders a 50,000-mile welcome bonus, worth $500 towards travel. A perk that certainly more than helps offset the annual fee.
Okay, and now for another no annual fee card...
Similar to the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, the Discover it® Miles card offers a flat mileage rate earned on every $1 spent. In this case, it's a bit less, at 1.5 miles, however, there's also no annual fee to worry about.
Another great feature of this card is that Discover will match every mile earned at the end of your first year, automatically. So say you earn 35,000 miles, you'll actually walk away with 70,000 miles at the end of your first year as a cardholder. That's $700 towards travel! A great perk for a card with no annual fee.
Again though, like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, the issue with this card is that you'll miss out some serious mile earning potential if you're loyal to the Marriott brand. If you want a card with no annual fee, but still want to earn more at Marriott Bonvoy properties, sticking with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card might be your better bet.
If you plan to do a fair amount of traveling in the coming years and you consider yourself to be a fan of Marriott Bonvoy properties, this card should be an excellent fit for you since you don't have to worry about paying an annual fee. The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card opens the door to the excellent Marriott Bonvoy rewards program with a nifty introductory bonus offer. But at the same time, with no annual fee, you don't have to worry about earning a certain number of points each year in order to make the card pay for itself.