Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card vs. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card [2022]: Which is Better?

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless is the better option if you frequently stay at Marriott properties because of its free night award, increased rewards rate, and elite status benefits.
Last updated Nov. 21, 2022 | By Ben Walker, CEPF | Edited By Mindy Woodall
The exterior of a Marriott hotel.

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The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card is better than the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card if you want more elite status benefits, a higher earning rate, and a free annual night award — all perks that could be beneficial if you frequently stay at Marriott properties.

But if you want to avoid the $95 annual fee on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless, head straight to the Marriott Bonvoy Bold. The Bold has a $0 annual fee, which could make more sense if you occasionally travel and still want Silver Elite status.

Check out our Marriott Bonvoy Bold vs. Boundless credit card review to break down the features and benefits of both cards. This will help you decide which card is best for you.

In this article

Marriott Bonvoy Bold vs. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold is a low-cost travel card with a $0 annual fee. This type of card is typically better if you’re a beginner to credit card rewards and loyalty programs because you can learn how to earn and use points without having to worry about an annual cost.

But paying the $95 annual fee on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless immediately provides you with more perks and benefits. This includes a free annual night award and more ways to earn elite status than you’d get with the Marriott Bold.

Use this table to quickly compare features of both the Marriott Bonvoy Bold and Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit cards. You’ll notice both cards are very similar, but the Boundless offers a higher earning rate and more benefits.

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Card type Travel Travel
Credit card issuer Chase Chase
Credit card network Visa Visa
Annual fee $0 $95
Welcome bonus Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Earning rate 14X Bonvoy points at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy (when coupled with your complimentary Marriott Bonvoy membership and Silver Elite status); 2X Bonvoy points on eligible travel purchases; and 1X points per $1 on everything else 17X points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program; 3X points at grocery stores, gas stations, and dining on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year; and 2X points on all other eligible purchases
Redemption methods
  • Hotel stays
  • Flights
  • Car rentals
  • Cruises
  • Transfer partners
  • Travel benefits
  • Online shopping
  • Gift cards
  • Experiences
  • Hotel stays
  • Flights
  • Car rentals
  • Cruises
  • Transfer partners
  • Travel benefits
  • Online shopping
  • Gift cards
  • Experiences
Annual credits
  • 15 elite night credits
  • 15 elite night credits
Travel perks
  • Automatic Silver Elite status
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Visa concierge
  • Automatic Silver Elite status
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Visa concierge
  • Earn 1 elite night credit for every $5,000 spent
  • Spend $35,000 in a calendar year to earn Gold elite status
Other benefits
  • Complimentary DashPass
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Complimentary DashPass
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
Foreign transaction fee None None
Credit needed Excellent, Good Excellent, Good
Learn more Learn more

What both cards excel at

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold and Marriott Bonvoy Boundless have a lot of the same perks:

  • Welcome offers
  • Silver Elite status
  • Elite night credits
  • Complimentary DashPass
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel accident reimbursement
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Visa concierge
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection

Welcome offers

Both the Marriott Bonvoy Bold and Marriott Bonvoy Boundless provide welcome offers that new cardholders can earn soon after account opening.

Credit card welcome offers often change, but you can typically expect the Bonvoy Boundless to have the better offer in terms of earning more points or value. And the Bonvoy Bold often has the easier offer to earn in terms of how much you have to spend.

Keep in mind that earning either of these welcome bonuses can seem like you’re getting great value, but you typically aren’t. Marriott points aren’t very flexible, which means they offer decent value if you use them for stays at Marriott properties. But the value drops if you want to use them on other travel expenses, such as flights.

Elite status perks

Marriott Bonvoy members who have the Marriott Bonvoy Bold or Marriott Bonvoy Boundless receive 15 elite night credits, which automatically qualifies them for Silver Elite status. Silver Elite status benefits include a 10% points bonus on eligible Marriott hotel purchases and priority late checkout.

Another benefit of having these elite night credits is that you’re already on your way to earning higher elite status tiers. Here’s the breakdown of how many elite night credits you need for each level of Marriott Bonvoy elite status:

  • Silver Elite: 10 elite night credits
  • Gold Elite: 25 elite night credits
  • Platinum Elite: 50 elite night credits
  • Titanium Elite: 75 elite night credits
  • Ambassador Elite: 100 elite night credits

The higher tiers might be difficult to earn for occasional travelers, but Gold Elite and Platinum Elite could be possibilities. Gold Elite members receive 2 p.m. late checkout and room upgrades based on availability. Platinum Elite members are eligible to receive a complimentary breakfast or food credit, 4 p.m. late checkout, and room upgrades (including suites) based on availability.

4 important differences between Marriott Bonvoy Bold and Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold and Marriott Bonvoy Boundless share plenty of similarities, but these four differences could help you decide which card deserves a spot in your wallet:

1. Annual fees

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold has a $0 annual fee, whereas the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless has a $95 annual fee.

For beginners in the world of credit card rewards, a no-annual-fee card is often the way to go. And without considering any other card benefits, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold is the clear winner in this category.

Check out our Marriott Bonvoy Bold credit card review for more information.

Winner: Marriott Bonvoy Bold because it has a $0 annual fee.

2. Rewards rates

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold offers 14X Bonvoy points at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy (when coupled with your complimentary Marriott Bonvoy membership and Silver Elite status); 2X Bonvoy points on eligible travel purchases; and 1X points per $1 on everything else.

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless offers 17X points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program; 3X points at grocery stores, gas stations, and dining on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year; and 2X points on all other eligible purchases.

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless edges out the Bold in this category by a fair margin with its increased earning opportunities. Read our Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card review for more details.

I personally wouldn’t use either of these credit cards for everyday spending because there are better options available that offer more value. For example, I'd recommend the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express because it offers a better return on gas and groceries. You can also check out the best gas credit cards for more options with fuel rewards.

Winner: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless because it offers higher earning potential.

3. Free night award

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold doesn’t offer an annual free night award, whereas the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless does after each account anniversary. This makes the Boundless the clear choice over the Bold in this category.

Marriott free night awards start at 7,500 points. Buoffert Marriott’s dynamic pricing model can fluctuate, and you often need much more than 7,500 Marriott Bonvoy points for a free night.

Fortunately, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless free night award is good for one night of up to 35,000 points at Marriott properties. For more options, Marriott allows you to use an additional 15,000 points on top of your 35,000-point free night award, which opens up opportunities to stay at properties that cost up to 50,000 points per night.

Other hotel credit cards that award free nights at Marriott Bonvoy hotels include:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card (35,000-point award, terms apply)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card (50,000-point award after spending $15,000, terms apply)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Credit Card (50,000-point award after spending $15,000)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card (85,000-point award, terms apply)

Winner: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless because it provides a free annual award night.

4. Elite status benefits

Both the Marriott Bonvoy Bold and Marriott Bonvoy Boundless offer 15 elite night credits per year, which automatically gets you Silver Elite status.

This is the lowest Marriott Bonvoy elite status tier and it’s not great. That said, you do receive a 10% points bonus on eligible Marriott purchases and priority late-checkout based on availability. And the 15 elite night credits are helpful for achieving better elite status tiers and benefits, and includes room upgrades and lounge access starting at Platinum Elite status.

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold can’t get you more than its elite night credits for your elite status journey. But the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless offers one elite night credit for every $5,000 you spend and automatic Gold Elite status if you spend $35,000 in a calendar year.

Because of these benefits, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless easily beats the Bold in this category.

Winner: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless because it offers increased opportunities to earn Marriott Bonvoy elite status.

Which card should you choose?

If you stay at Marriott properties a lot, then you should choose the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless over the Marriott Bonvoy Bold because the Boundless offers more earning potential, the free night award, and increased opportunities to achieve elite status.

If you think you don’t travel enough to warrant the Boundless card’s $95 annual fee, consider whether you would be able to use the free night award each year. If you stay one night at a Marriott property, even for a staycation, you’ll likely get more than $95 in annual value from this benefit alone.

For example, a one-night stay at the AC Hotel New York Downtown could cost 30,000 points (low enough for you to use a free night award) or $372. That’s $277 ($372 - $95 = $277) additional value after you offset the $95 annual fee.

A screenshot of a listing for the AC Hotel New York Downtown. Its value is listed at 30,000 points per night.

Or you could stay at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel for 34,000 points, or $381. That’s $286 ($381 - $95 = $286) additional value after you offset the $95 annual fee.

A screenshot of a listing for the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel Its value is listed at 34,000 points per night.

But if you really want to avoid the $95 annual fee, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold is your best bet. The Bold has a $0 annual fee and still offers benefits, such as 15 elite night credits and Silver Elite status.

For more top credit card offers, check out our list of the best travel credit cards.

FAQs

Can you have both the Marriott Bonvoy Bold and the Boundless?

No, you typically can’t have both the Marriott Bonvoy Bold and the Boundless credit cards at the same time. According to Marriott Bonvoy’s guidelines, current cardmembers of either card aren’t eligible to receive the other credit card. Additionally, previous cardmembers of either card who received a sign-up bonus in the past 24 months aren’t eligible to receive either card again.

What credit score do you need for the Marriott Bonvoy Bold card?

You typically need a good or excellent credit score to qualify for the Marriott Bonvoy Bold card. That’s at least a 670 credit score on the FICO scoring model. Also, Chase has an unofficial 5/24 rule where you likely won’t qualify for any new Chase cards if you’ve opened five or more credit cards (from any issuer) in the past 24 months.

Do Marriott Bonvoy cards have good rewards?

It depends on how often you stay at Marriott hotels. Marriott Bonvoy cards don’t have the best rewards compared to more generic travel cards, but they might be a good choice if you frequently stay at Marriott hotels.

If Marriott’s not your favorite hotel chain, then other travel credit cards will have better rewards and perks for you. Check out the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for a top travel credit card that’s part of one of the best rewards programs, Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Bottom line

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless is better than the Marriott Bonvoy Bold if you frequently stay at Marriott properties. The Boundless has a higher earning rate, offers a free annual night, and provides opportunities to earn higher levels of elite status in Marriott’s Bonvoy program.

The Boundless card’s $95 annual fee might seem pricey, but the annual free night certificate alone could easily provide more than enough value to offset this cost. But if you simply don’t want to worry about an annual cost, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold is your best option with a $0 annual fee.

If these cards aren’t the right fit for you, check out our dedicated page of other top offers and compare credit cards.

A Great Card for Travel Rewards Beginners

Current Offer

Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

17X points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program; 3X points at grocery stores, gas stations, and dining on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year; and 2X points on all other eligible purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Up to 17X points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 3X points at grocery stores, gas stations, and dining on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year
  • One free night each year at account anniversary
  • No foreign transaction fee

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • No introductory APR
Card Details
  • Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
  • 17X points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program; 3X points at grocery stores, gas stations, and dining on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year; and 2X points on all other eligible purchases

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF Ben Walker, CEPF, is a credit cards and travel writer at FinanceBuzz who loves helping others achieve their travel goals through financially sound decisions. For over a decade, he has been using credit card points and miles for the sole purpose of traveling the world. Ben is a Certified Educator of Personal Finance and has been featured in The Washington Post, MSN, Debt.com, and Finder.com.