Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card Review

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card Review

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Frequent guests of Marriott hotels should take a gander at the bevvy of benefits on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card. The card comes with a lucrative earning structure, a generous welcome bonus, a free night every year on your cardmember anniversary and a pathway to climb the elite status ladder within the Marriott Bonvoy program. As a cardholder, you get the chance to Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Considering Marriott points are worth approximately half of a cent each by our estimates, that means this bonus alone is worth around $375 in hotel stays.

You'll also Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™ and 2X points on all other purchases. Plus, this card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, which makes it an excellent option for all your travel abroad.

However, the card's rewards and hotel benefits are of little use for travelers who don't often stay at Marriott hotels. Travelers who prefer more flexibility in their travel should skip this card and look for a more flexible travel rewards card.

Read on to get an in-depth look at the rewards and benefits on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card.

Pros

  • Earn a big welcome bonus and lucrative rewards on Marriott spending (and other purchases)
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Points are redeemable for hotel stays, hotel + air packages, gift cards and more
  • Get automatic Silver Elite status and a leg up on earning higher status
  • Get a free night (up to 35,000 points) each year on your cardmember anniversary

Cons

  • $95 annual fee applies
  • Points are worth less than the average rewards card
  • Point earnings are modest outside of Marriott hotel purchases
  • Rewards redemption rate outside of Marriott hotel stays (like gift cards) isn't great

Welcome bonus

If you're considering the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, the card’s welcome bonus should be at the top of your mind. Though not the highest offer in the card’s history, the card is currently offering a tidy number of points to new cardholders:

Current offer: Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

What it's worth: Around $375 in Marriott hotel nights, according to our current valuation of Marriott Bonvoy points.

Who's eligible to earn the bonus: The Chase 5/24 rule may put a wrench in your plans to earn the bonus on this card, since it limits new accounts to people who have had five or fewer new credit cards within the last 24 months. You should also note this offer isn't available to current cardmembers of the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier Credit Card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card), the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card) or the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card. In addition, previous cardmembers of the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card if they have received a new cardmember bonus within the last 24 months, are also ineligible.

This is a good offer that can score you a fair number of nights with Marriott, though it's far from the most valuable bonus currently available. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, for instance, offers a bonus worth $750 in Ultimate Rewards travel — and possibly more, if you transfer those points to one of Chase’s travel partners. For a look at some of the most valuable offers currently available, check out our list of best credit card sign-up bonuses.

What can you get with 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points?

How much free travel can you get with this bonus? That depends on the category of property you want to stay in and when you want to travel. However, 75,000 points is easily enough for three nights in a Category 4 property outside of peak travel dates.

Still, you have some flexibility in how you redeem your rewards, and the kinds of properties you want to stay in.

For example, imagine you plan to stay in Orlando, Fla., to be close to Disney World this upcoming May. In that case, you could redeem your welcome bonus for two nights at a Category 5 property like the Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, Autograph Collection, or for three nights at Category 4 properties like the Aloft Orlando Downtown or the AC Hotel Orlando Downtown.

Marriott Bonvoy
Screenshot from the Marriott Bonvoy site, Jan. 13, 2021

Conversely, you could save up your points to splurge for a luxury stay. For example, on a getaway to the City of Light, you may be able to stay at a luxury property like the Westin Paris Vendome or the Paris Marriott Opera Ambassador Hotel for 60,000 points per night.

Marriott Bonvoy
Screenshot from the Marriott Bonvoy site, Jan. 13, 2021

Earning points

When you sign up for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, you'll get the chance to Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™ and 2X points on all other purchases. This earning rate is offered on top of the rate you get for being a Silver Elite Marriott Bonvoy member.

Along with the 10 points per dollar spent at most Marriott properties (five points at Element®, Residence Inn® and TownePlace Suites® hotels), you’ll also earn a 10% bonus on Marriott stays with the card’s automatic Silver Elite status. This means that when you make Marriott purchases with this credit card, you'll earn 17 points per dollar.

However, keep in mind that since Marriott points are only worth around a half a cent each, you're still only getting 1 cent per point in value for each dollar you spend on regular purchases. Since some cashback credit cards let you earn 1.5% back or more on everything you buy, the regular earning rate on this card isn't as great as it could be.

What are Marriott Bonvoy Boundless points worth?

According to our internal estimates, Marriott Bonvoy points are worth around a half of a cent each on average. This is less than you would typically get with a traditional rewards program, where points are worth at least 1 cent each.

That being said, you may be able to get more value out of your points with specific redemptions, or if you're able to use PointSavers or travel outside of peak travel times. Points are also simple to redeem since Marriott doesn't officially impose blackout dates or inventory restrictions on award rooms.

Value: Below average
Ease of redeeming: Fairly easy

Redeeming points

When it comes to redeeming points with the Marriott Bonvoy program, there are a few key details to keep in mind. First, you'll get a fifth night free if you redeem points for four consecutive nights. Second, you can save points by traveling during off-peak travel times, yet you’ll pay more points than usual if you want to travel during the busiest periods of the year.

The following chart shows how many points you’ll need for each night in different Marriott Bonvoy rewards categories. As you can see, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card's points can take you far for Off Peak awards, which start at a modest 4,500 points for an award night. However, Peak awards can be very expensive, ranging as high as 100,000 points:

Hotel Category
Off Peak
Standard
Peak
Category 14,5007,50010,000
Category 29,00012,50015,000
Category 313,50017,50020,000
Category 418,00025,00030,000
Category 527,00035,00040,000
Category 636,00050,00060,000
Category 745,00060,00070,000
Category 863,00085,000100,000
{"alignsHorizontal":[],"alignsVertical":[],"columnWidths":[],"data":[["Hotel Category","Off Peak","Standard","Peak"],["Category 1","4,500","7,500","10,000"],["Category 2","9,000","12,500","15,000"],["Category 3","13,500","17,500","20,000"],["Category 4","18,000","25,000","30,000"],["Category 5","27,000","35,000","40,000"],["Category 6","36,000","50,000","60,000"],["Category 7","45,000","60,000","70,000"],["Category 8","63,000","85,000","100,000"]],"footnote":"","hasMarginBottom":true,"isExpandable":true,"isSortable":false,"maxWidth":"1215","minWidth":"100%","showSearch":false,"sortColumnIndex":0,"sortDirection":"asc"}

In addition, you should be aware that Marriott Bonvoy offers a PointSavers option, which lets you pay fewer points for select properties chosen for the promotion. Not only that, but you also have the option to pay with points and cash as well, which can help you stretch your points further.

When it comes to additional redemption options, keep in mind that you can redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for gift cards at a very low redemption rate, or for air + hotel packages.

Marriott's travel packages are often considered a good deal, since they come with a standard number of free nights plus airline miles. For example, you can turn 255,000 Marriott Bonvoy points into a travel package that includes seven nights in a Category 1-4 Marriott property plus 55,000 miles in the United MileagePlus program.

Point transfer options

Marriott Bonvoy allows its members to turn points into airline miles with more than 40 different airlines, with 5,000 bonus miles for every 60,000 points transferred.

Most transfer ratios are 3:1, meaning you'll get 1 airline mile for every 3 Marriott Bonvoy points you trade. This makes transferring Marriott points to airlines a poor value, but it can make sense if you're just short of a frequent flyer redemption and need to top off your account.

Point transfers are offered at the following rates:

AEGEAN Miles+Bonus 3:1
Aer Lingus AerClub 3:1
Aeroflot Bonus 3:1
Aeromexico ClubPremier 3:1
Air Canada Aeroplan 3:1
Air France-KLM Flying Blue 3:1
Air New Zealand Airpoints 200:1
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ 3:1
Alitalia MilleMiglia 3:1
American Airlines AAdvantage® 3:1
ANA Mileage Club 3:1
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club 3:1
Avianca LifeMiles 3:1
British Airways Executive Club 3:1
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 3:1
Copa Airlines ConnectMiles 3:1
Delta SkyMiles® 3:1
Emirates Skywards® 3:1
Etihad Guest 3:1
FRONTIER Miles 3:1
Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club 3:1
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles® 3:1
Iberia Plus 3:1
InterMiles 3:1
Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank 3:1
JetBlue TrueBlue 6:1
Korean Air SKYPASS 3:1
LATAM Airlines LATAM Pass 3:1
Multiplus Fidelidade 3:1
Qantas Frequent Flyer 3:1
Qatar Airways Privilege Club 3:1
SAA Voyager 3:1
Saudia Alfursan 3:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer® 3:1
Southwest Rapid Rewards® 3:1
TAP Air Portugal Miles & Go 3:1
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 3:1
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 3:1
United MileagePlus® 3:1.1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 3:1
Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer 3:1
Vueling Club 3:1

Other Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card benefits

While the rewards you can earn with this card can be valuable, there are a few cardholder perks that can make signing up an even better deal.

Free night award

Card members qualify for a free night (up to 35,000 points) each year on their cardmember anniversary. Being able to spend up to 35,000 points for this free night means you could use it for an off-peak stay in a Category 6 property or a standard stay in a Category 5 property or below. The free night comes in the form of a certificate with a 12-month expiration date. If you can redeem it in that amount of time, you could easily recoup the card's fee each year.

Silver Elite status

You’ll also receive automatic Silver Elite status as a cardholder perk. With this level of Marriott elite status, you'll get benefits like late checkout based on availability, a reservation guarantee and 10% more points on paid stays.

15 elite night credits

You'll also get 15 elite night credits automatically as a cardholder, which you can use to help move up the elite status ladder.

Path to Gold status

Carrying the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card also gives you a path to Gold Elite status without having to stay in Marriott properties. Once you sign up, you get automatic Gold Elite status when you spend $35,000 on your credit card within a calendar year.

No foreign transaction fees

This hotel credit card is also free of foreign transaction fees. This means you can use it for purchases made abroad without having to pay an added foreign transaction fee for the privilege.

How does the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card compare to other cards?

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card can be worth signing up for if you want to earn free stays with Marriott, but there are other cards that can help you accomplish this goal as well. Before you sign up for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, you should take the time to compare it to the competition.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card vs. Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website

If you want to earn Marriott Bonvoy points without paying an annual fee, consider the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card. In comparison to the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, this card offers a lower initial bonus: Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. The card's earning rate is also lower: Earn 3X points for every $1 spent at 7,000+ hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™ and 2X points on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains).

However, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card can be a good option if you don't want to pay an annual fee and you're willing to earn a smaller welcome bonus and a lower rate of ongoing rewards.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card vs. Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

If you're a true Marriott loyalist and spend a lot with the hotel brand each year, you could also look into the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card. This card charges a higher annual fee of $450, though you'll get a lot more perks and a larger welcome bonus.

You can earn 125,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership. As you use your card for purchases, you'll Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy Hotels. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases. This is a better earning rate than the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, since you get extra points on flights and U.S. restaurant purchases. You'll also get automatic Gold Elite status for one year, as well as a $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit good at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

Other perks include a free night each year (up to 50,000 points) on your cardmember anniversary; a $100 property credit on eligible two-night minimum stays at St. Regis and Ritz Carlton properties; 15 Elite Night credits toward the next level of status; a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership (retail value $429); a fee credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership; no foreign transaction fees and more.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website

Finally, you might also want to consider travel credit cards from Chase, since they let you transfer your points to the Marriott Bonvoy program at a 1:1 ratio. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a good option because you can Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn a $50 statement credit towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening. You'll earn an ongoing rate of 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. For a limited time, you'll also earn 2X points on up to $1,000 in grocery spending each month until April 30, 2021 and 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022.

In terms of cardholder perks, you can qualify for up to $60 back on Peloton memberships and a complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash.

Still, the real value of this card is in its flexibility. When you have Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can redeem them for gift cards, merchandise, cash back or statement credits. You can also use them to get 25% more travel in the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, or for 1:1 transfers to Chase airline and hotel partners. A $95 annual fee applies.

ValuePenguin's verdict

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card can be an excellent hotel credit card, but that's particularly true for people who spend a few nights per year at Marriott properties already. If you plan to earn elite status with the Marriott Bonvoy program, then signing up for this card makes even more sense.

Just make sure you compare it with other Marriott Bonvoy credit cards, as well as flexible rewards cards that let you transfer points to the Marriott Bonvoy program. You could even consider pairing a few different travel credit cards so you get the best of all worlds, in terms of perks and flexibility.

The information related to Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier Credit Card, Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Holly Johnson is a personal finance writer who has been covering credit cards, loan products, debt, and budgeting for nine years. The founder of ClubThrifty.com, Johnson is also the author of "Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You'll Love," which is available on Amazon.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).

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