Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card Review
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- Though it is a brand-specific card and you'll earn the most points when you use it with those brands (6X points per $1 at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy properties), you'll also earn 2X points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Offset your annual fee with the Free Night Award, (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after your account anniversary.
- Enjoy automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year and have a path to Gold Status when $35,000 is spent on purchases each account year.
- As with all brand-specific credit cards, you'll reap the most benefit if you're truly loyal to those brands. If you aren't, you would likely be better off with a more general travel rewards card.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card Essentials
Earning reward nights at a Marriott, Starwood or The Ritz-Carlton property is simple when you have a Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card.
Cardholders collect 6X points per $1 spent when you use the credit card at over 7,000 participating properties. The card also gives 2X points per $1 spent on all other purchases, which means that even your everyday purchases can do double-duty helping you earn toward another reward night stay. Those points don't expire unless you don't use your card for 24 months.
If you get this card, you'll want to use it soon so you can start accruing points quickly. Plus, this card offers 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Being a hotel rewards card, you'll want this card in your wallet when you're traveling. Why? The card gives you travel-related benefits to protect you when you're away from home and you can reap the benefits provided for your brand loyalty.
- Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
- Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
- Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
- Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
- Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
- $95 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
What Our Editors Like Most About the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card lets you redeem points for stays at more than 7,000 Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton locations, as well as Starwood-branded hotels around the world. That includes Four Points by Sheraton, Sheraton hotels, W Hotels and Westin hotels.
Hotels within the Marriott Bonvoy program are separated by category with the lowest-cost locations (Category 1) costing 7,500 points for a standard reward free night. The most luxurious locations are Category 9 and require 45,000 points for a free night. You also get an additional free night in any hotel (up to a 35,000-point redemption value) each year after your account anniversary, which alone should more than offset your annual fee of $95.
You can also use your points for airline miles, flights, car rentals and cruises that you can book through the Marriott Bonvoy site, though your best value is to redeem them for hotel stays.
There is a $95 annual fee, but, as mentioned earlier, it shouldn't be too difficult to offset – especially during that first year with the exceptional welcome bonus. Going forward, the annual free night should more than offset that fee and that's not even taking into consideration the points you earn just using your card.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card is an excellent choice for a world traveler. It doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, so you can shop internationally without any worries about added fees. Plus, the card covers you with trip interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and Visa Signature® Concierge Service.
Trip interruption insurance covers you and your traveling companions for unreimbursed expenses like meals and hotel stays (up to $500 per ticket) if your flight on a common carrier is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay. The card also gives you peace of mind about your luggage. If your bags wind up in Singapore and you find yourself in Australia, the card reimburses you for items like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays that are more than six hours. You get up to $100 a day for five days. Also, if your bags or an immediate family members' bags are lost or damaged, the card covers you for up to $3,000 per passenger.
Beyond the travel benefits, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card can make you feel like a king or queen the more you stay at participating hotels, with automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. The Marriott Bonvoy program lets you progress into Silver, Gold and Platinum Elite status when you stay at participating hotels. The higher tier status you achieve, the more additional bonus points you gain. Additionally, cardholders in higher tiers get complimentary enhanced in-room Internet access, complimentary room upgrades and guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout -- and new for 2019, 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year. Learn more about elite status and the numerous benefits of the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program in our Marriott Bonvoy program guide.
Potential Downsides of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Similar to other hotel-branded credit cards, you'll need to stay at participating hotels to make this card truly worthwhile. Plus, though you only need to redeem 7,500 points for Category 1 hotels, there aren't many locations classified as Category 1, so you may need more than 7,500 points for a night if you're using your points. If you're looking for a more flexible travel credit card, there are ones on the market, such as the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, that allow you to use your rewards on credits for different types of travel. The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card does not offer an introductory no-APR period, and it charges a 5% balance transfer fee, so there are better options if you're looking mainly to transfer your balance to another card.
How the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card Compares to Other Hotel and Travel Rewards Cards
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card allows cardholders to collect points for hotel stays (among other things) without the restriction of having to redeem them at specific hotels. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers two points per $1 spent on travel and dining at restaurants, and one point per $1 for other purchases.
One aspect that sets the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card apart is that it gives cardholders 25% more value on points when they're redeemed for flights, hotels, car rentals and cruises through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.
You can pick up 80,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and, thanks to the 25% added value, those points equal $1,000 in travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Additionally, you can earn up to $50 in statement credit for grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
The card has a $95 annual fee. Overall, this is a flexible and extremely popular travel rewards card. If you're looking for flexibility and general rewards, this may be a better bet for you. If you truly are brand-loyal to Marriott Bonvoy properties, you might appreciate the loyalty perks with the Marriott card.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card vs. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is offering a higher welcome offer opportunity: 130,000 points earned by spending $2,000 in the first three months of opening an account. This card charges a $95 annual fee. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.
The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card has a more generous rewards program, too, particularly if you're looking to use your rewards card for everyday purchases. It offers 12 points per $1 on eligible purchases at participating Hilton hotels and six points per $1 at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations. All other purchases earn three points per $1. The more generous rewards program comes with an annual fee of $95, just like with the Marriott card. Terms apply. One major difference to consider is that with the Hilton card you'll need to spend $15,000 in a calendar year to earn a weekend night stay reward; there is no spending requirement to earn the reward each account anniversary year with the Marriott card.
One last thing to consider if you travel via air often, the Hilton card offers you 10 complimentary airport lounge visits each year. Terms apply.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card vs. IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card's rewards program features a higher earn rate at branded hotels, but limits the purchases for which you'll earn two points per $1. IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card cardholders earn up to 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Earn 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases (as compared to two points per $1 on all other purchases with the Marriott card). Much like the Marriott card, the IHG card offers cardholders one reward night stay annually, but IHG cardholders also earn a reward night each time you redeem rewards for any stay of four or more nights.
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers 125,000 bonus points and a reward night after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Overall, the earning is a bit less, but the $89 annual fee is also a lower fee to offset. Plus, the IHG card offers cardholders a reimbursement of their Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee every four years, a reimbursement of up to $100.
Who Should Get This Card?
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card is a slam dunk if you regularly stay at Marriott or other participating properties. Getting six times the points for staying at those hotels can certainly lead to a lot of points quickly.
Another benefit, of course, is that you'll receive an additional free night stay after each account anniversary; that's a sweet loyalty gift and will more than likely offset your annual fee in and of itself.
Whether you travel domestically or internationally, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card offers a combination of brand-related perks and travel benefits that make the card an excellent option for any travelers who stay at those properties.
(See Rates and Fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card)