Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Review

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The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card from Chase is good for earning hotel rewards, but not much else. It boasts the best hotel card sign-up bonus, and loyal Marriott customers get points, on-property perks, and a free night annually. However, it lacks the additional travel benefits and point-earning purchase categories that would make it a more valuable card. 

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

overall rating
4.2
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.99% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2X points everywhere else.
Foreign transaction fee 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.9
for Fees
3.0
for Rewards
4.5
for Credit
4.0

Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Top Rated For

  • Best Sign-up Bonus Credit Cards

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Brand Loyalist Persona
    Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty
    Brand Loyalist
  • Avatar for Road Warrior Persona
    Hits the road often, whether for work or play
    Road Warrior
  • Avatar for Adventure Seeker Persona
    Loves to explore places and experience new things
    Adventure Seeker
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
    Deal Seeker

This card is best for Marriott fans who will use it simply to earn hotel rewards, while using another card to earn more points on everyday spending and to get standard credit card perks. The yearly free night easily makes up for this card’s $95 annual fee. Plus, the sign-up bonus is large enough to cover a couple of lower-cost hotel stays, which makes it worthwhile for even occasional travelers.  

While the card is better than many hotel-branded cards in terms of the value of the points and the generous sign-up bonus, it does lack some of the perks other cards in its class offer such as airport lounge access. And if you're not loyal to Marriott, this is not the card for you. General travel rewards credit cards let you use your points on any kind of hotel or other types of travel rewards.

Pros

  • High-value sign-up bonus

  • Silver Elite status

  • One free night each year

  • Transfer option for airline miles

Cons

  • Not a rewarding card for non-Marriott purchases

  • No credits for travel expenses

  • Few premium travel benefits

  • Sign-up bonus restrictions

Pros Explained

  • High-value sign-up bonus: This offer is worth an outstanding $980 when redeemed for Marriott hotel stays, based on our calculations. If you're saving for a big trip, like a family vacation or tropical honeymoon, this bonus may help you seriously cut hotel costs.
  • One free night each year: Each year after renewing your credit card, you’ll get one Free Night Award, which can be redeemed for a one-night stay at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels with a redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. An annual free hotel night for being an active cardholder for a $95 annual fee is a good deal.
  • Silver Elite status: This gives cardholders 10% more points on Marriott purchases and a few perks like late checkout.
  • Transfer option for airline miles: Unlike other hotel credit card programs, the Marriott Bonvoy Rewards program has more than 40 airline partners, including American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, United, and Virgin Atlantic. This can be a good option, with some caveats (more on that below).

Cons Explained

  • Not a rewarding card for non-Marriott purchases: This is not a good card to use on everyday purchases like gas and groceries. If you spend on Marriott hotel stays often, you'll easily earn points, but overall it’s not a valuable card for daily use. 
  • No credits for travel expenses: Unlike with some other travel cards, you won’t get reimbursed for the cost of applying for TSA Precheck or Global Entry, or other travel expenses.
  • Few premium travel benefits: This is a travel card, but its travel benefits are pretty basic. Frequent travelers will be better protected and enjoy more travel perks with other travel cards, even other hotel-branded ones. 
  • Sign-up bonus restrictions: If you currently have or recently had another Marriott-branded credit card, you’re probably not eligible for this card’s sign-up bonus. This includes people who had Starwood Preferred Guest cards, which have since been rebranded as Marriott Bonvoy cards.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Sign-Up Bonus

You’ll earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening this card. That means you have to make $1,667 of purchases with this card per month.

It's the best sign-up bonus offered by a low-annual-fee hotel card right now, and also the best bonus from a Marriott-branded card, even the premium card offer.

You’re not eligible for the sign-up bonus if: 

  • You’ve been a cardholder of the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card within the past 30 days. 
  • You’re a current or former cardholder of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express® Card who received a bonus or upgrade in the past 24 months
  • You were approved for the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex or the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex within the past 90 days

Earning Points & Rewards

This card rewards Marriott Bonvoy hotel reservations more than anything else. You’ll earn 6 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, which is a network of more than 30 brands and 6,700 participating hotels worldwide. 

Also, since cardholders are automatically upgraded to Silver Elite status, you get 10% more bonus points on all participating brand stays. This means if you spend $500 on a hotel reservation, you’ll earn 3,300 points: 3,000 points for using this card and 300 more points for being a Silver Elite member. 

If you spend $35,000 in a calendar year with this card, you’ll be upgraded to Gold Elite status and earn 25% more bonus points on eligible Marriott stays. 

This card’s rewards earning rate then drops to 2 points per $1 spent on everything else, which is a lower rate than some competing hotel cards.

Points do not expire as long as you keep your account active every 24 months, meaning you stay at a participating Marriott Bonvoy property or use the card for purchases.

Redeeming Rewards

You can redeem Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card points in several ways, but they’re actually best used not for hotel stays, but for free flights when you transfer them to American Airlines or another member of the oneworld alliance. You'll need 3 Bonvoy points to get 1 airline mile for most of the partner airlines that you can transfer points to. This is not a good transfer ratio, but because The Balance values American Airlines miles at nearly 3 cents a point, you’ll still get nearly 1 cent per point when you transfer to that airline or any of its partner airlines. 

The next best use of your points is to redeem them for hotel stays. In that case, they’re typically worth 0.64 cents each, which is actually one of the best redemption values among hotel rewards programs. It's typical for hotel points to only be worth a small fraction of a cent each.

The points cost of a hotel award stay will depend on the hotel category. Hotels are categorized into eight tiers, with category 1 as most affordable. You’ll typically get the most value from your points by using them on reservations at more affordable, lower category hotels. 

Other redemption options include: 

  • Rental cars, flights, travel packages, and cruises booked through the Marriott Bonvoy website 
  • Marriott Bonvoy Moments (culinary, entertainment, sports, and other lifestyle events)
  • Online shopping and gift cards
  • Charity donations

Marriott Bonvoy points cannot be redeemed for cash, checks or statement credits.

How To Get The Most Out Of This Card

Spend $5,000 to get those extra bonus points and then only use this card when you travel, booking hotels exclusively in the Marriott network to get the most possible points. Watch the Marriott Bonvoy website for opportunities to earn extra points on additional travel purchases, like your family cruise or a Hertz rental car. 

Transferring your points to an airline partner may get you the most value. If you use them for hotels, you’ll get the most value from PointSavers reservations.  

If you’re really interested in this card for its Marriott rewards, we recommend pairing it with another card that will give you more travel benefits and everyday spending rewards to make up for what this card lacks in those areas. 

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Excellent Perks

This card has several benefits we consider more valuable than those that credit cards typically offer (though these perks are more common among travel cards). Besides the free night awards and Silver Elite status, you’ll also get: 

  • 15 elite night credits: Up to 15 Elite Night credits will be added to your Marriott Bonvoy member account within 60 days after opening this card. These count toward the amount of stays needed to reach the next Elite Member status threshold. 
  • Coverage for lost or delayed baggage: Luggage that is lost or damaged is covered up to $3,000 per passenger for you and an immediate family member. When checked bags are delayed for more than six hours, get reimbursed $100 per day, up to five days for essential purchases. 
  • Trip delay reimbursement: If your trip is delayed for more than 12 hours or requires an unexpected overnight stay, you and your family could be reimbursed for up to $500 per ticket for costs such as meals and lodging. 

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card’s Other Features 

  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
  • Concierge for booking event tickets, travel, and other services

Customer Experience

J.D. Power ranked Chase No. 4 among 11 card-issuing banks in its 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction survey. Chase scored 807 out of 1,000, just above the 806 industry average. 

One notable customer service feature that Chase does offer is called Credit Journey. It’s a free credit dashboard that summarizes your credit report, shows and explains your FICO score, and gives you tips for managing your credit.

Security Features

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless cardholders receive industry-standard security features like multiple authorization checks if your account is signed into on an unrecognized device, as well as instant email, text, and push notification alerts to monitor account activity for fraud. 

If you misplace your card, you can easily lock the card via the Chase mobile app to avoid potential fraud. Lost or stolen cards are replaced for free, too. 

Fees 

This card charges a $95 annual fee alongside a standard array of penalty fees. However, it’s worth noting there are no additional fees for foreign transactions or authorized users. 

For Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

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CURRENT CARD
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
overall rating
4.2
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.99% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2X points everywhere else.

Our Methodology

  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.