Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card Review: Jump-start Your Way to Status [2019]

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is a perfect card to start earning points that will get you free hotel stays around the world.
7 minute read | 8/12/19Aug. 12, 2019

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is a great, simple card to start earning valuable hotel rewards that could lead to a future of staying in hotels completely for free. Given that you can earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, this card is the catalyst to start earning Marriott Bonvoy rewards.

Keep reading this Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card review to find out if this card might be a good fit for you.

A Great Card for Travel Rewards Beginners

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Benefits

  • 75,000 point sign-up offer
  • 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • One free night each year
  • No foreign transaction fee

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • No introductory APR


Who should get this card?

If you’re just beginning your ventures into credit card rewards and want to start traveling a bit, this card is optimal. With a low annual fee and high rewards potential, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card gives beginners a simple pathway to see the fruits of their spending.

However, if you’re new to earning points and miles, be aware of Chase’s 5/24 rule — an unofficial rule that points-and-miles geeks have put together based on their observations. In short, Chase restricts new card applicants from opening Chase cards if they’ve signed up for more than five accounts in the last 24 months.

Keep in mind that this card has a $95 annual fee — but don’t let that scare you away. The card comes with a yearly Free Night Award upon renewal. The free night award is valid at Marriott properties that cost 35,000 points or less, which is referred to as “category 5” on their award chart (more on that later). Hotels in this point range typically cost around $250-plus a night, so you can count on getting your money's worth even if you only travel once a year.

Card basics

Annual Fee $95
Intro Bonus Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
Recommended Credit Score Excellent, Good
Foreign Transaction Fee None

Top card benefits

  • Generous welcome offer: The welcome offer for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, which you earn after spending $3,000 in the first three months. That means if you complete the sign-up bonus, you’ll get 81,000 points through the 75,000 sign-up bonus and two points per dollar on all spending outside of Marriott. For the math geeks, that’s 75,000 + (2 x $3,000) = 81,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. This is a great starting place for your points when it comes to planning your next vacation or adventure.
  • Instant status: Another great perk of this card is that you’ll automatically be given Marriott Silver Elite status. With Silver Elite status, you’ll get 10% bonus points on Marriott stays, priority late checkout, a dedicated elite reservations line, and no blackout days when using points to book.
  • Credits toward even better status: Along with Silver Elite status, you’ll also receive 15 Elite Nights Credits toward earning higher statuses. But this only really matters if you’re traveling a decent amount and looking to earn a higher status with Marriott Bonvoy.
  • Free hotel stay: As mentioned above, you’ll get a free night award at any property under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Properties like the JW Marriott Miami or the AC Hotel Beverly Hills would qualify for the free night.

Earning & redeeming

When using the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, you’ll earn 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2X points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases. While earning points is important to help save you cold, hard cash, it’s just as important to spend them wisely.

Best ways to earn

The best ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy points are quite simple — stay at Marriott properties and spend on cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card. Marriott, of course, wants to incentivize you to stay at its properties, along with spending on its co-branded cards. However, there are other ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy points besides this.

One of these other ways to earn points is to book various travel experiences through Marriott Moments. These experiences include sporting events, walking tours through major cities, culinary experiences, and more. You’ll earn one point per $10 spent, which is unfortunately a very low earning in the grand scheme of travel points. But if you’re already looking to book a unique experience, it can be an easy way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points.

You can also earn points when booking with Marriott’s travel partners — such as Hertz — or by booking a cruise through Marriott.

Lastly, you can link your frequent flyer account to your Marriott Bonvoy account to continue earning airline miles on your Marriott stays. For example, if you have a frequent flyer account with United Airlines and stay at Marriott properties, you can earn United miles as well. This is a great way to continue earning more points across different brands.

Maximizing your redemptions

When using Marriott Bonvoy points, be sure to do a bit of research. If you find a property you like, take a look at what category it is. The higher the category, the more luxurious the hotel. If you’re a more economical traveler, you’ll want to stick with categories 1-4. For more luxury, go for categories 5-8.

Here’s a quick reference to show how much each category costs in points per night:

Category 1 7,500 points per night
Category 2 12,500 points per night
Category 3 17,500 points per night
Category 4 25,000 points per night
Category 5 35,000 points per night
Category 6 50,000 points per night
Category 7 60,000 points per night
Category 8 85,000 points per night

To give an example of how to maximize your redemptions, let’s book a room at the Sheraton Grand Los Angeles:

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Visa Signature Credit Card

This property is a category 5 hotel, which will cost approximately 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night as shown above. To understand if that’s a good deal, you need to determine the value of the points being used. To do that, use the following equation: Price of hotel stay divided by number of points, then multiply that by 100. To get a truly accurate value, you should use the hotel price after taxes and applicable resort fees have been added, as shown below.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Visa Signature Credit Card

So in this case, the equation is $427.58 divided by 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. That equals a 1.22 cents-per-point value, which is a great value.

Keep in mind that if you have status with Marriott, the extra perks you receive while staying, such as an upgraded room, also count as value toward your points. That’s because if you simply booked with cash, you would have needed to pay extra. Therefore, your points jump in value. If you were to book the room above and then be upgraded to a room that cost $597.89, your points value goes up to 1.71 cents per point.

Another way to maximize the redemption of your Marriott Bonvoy points is to book five nights in a row. That’s because your fifth night is free when paying completely with points. This can significantly increase the power of your Marriott Bonvoy points.

Let’s take the above pricing at the Sheraton as an example. For a five-night stay, it will cost $2,137.90. However, you’ll only have to pay 140,000 Marriott Bonvoy points — the cost of four nights. So, $2,137.90 / 140,000 points x 100 = 1.53 cents per point. That’s an excellent redemption rate.

Common questions

Is the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card worth it?

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless is a great starter card for someone looking to get their toes wet in points and miles. With the annual Free Night Award basically cancelling out the low annual fee of $95, the card is worth it with just that one perk.

What hotel brands falls under the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card from Chase?

Marriott has a large amount of brands, ranging from modest long-stay hotels to ultra luxury. With its acquisition of Starwood Preferred Guest, it now holds over 30 brands across the world.

The brands include Ritz-Carlton, Bvlgari, Edition, JW Marriott, Autograph Collection Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Hotels, Delta Hotels, Marriott Executive Apartments, Marriott Vacation Club, Gaylord Hotels, AC Hotels by Marriott, Courtyard Marriott, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, TownePlace Suites, Protea Hotels, Moxy Hotels, St. Regis Hotels, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Westin, Sheraton, Le Meridien, Tribute Portfolio, Design Hotels, Aloft, Four Points, and Element.

Is the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless a metal card?

It isn’t metal. If you’re looking for metal options, check out the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card.

What is Gold Marriott Elite Status, and how can I get it with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless?

With the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless, you automatically receive Silver Elite status along with 15 Elite Night Credits. These 15 nights are simply a jumpstart on your quantity of nights at Marriott properties for the year. To reach the next level — Gold Marriott Elite status — you can either book 10 more nights at Marriott properties in one calendar year or spend $35,000 or more in purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card in one account year.

Another way to earn Gold Elite status is by getting either the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card.

What are Marriott Elite Night Credits?

Marriott Elite Night Credits are essentially a fast lane to earning higher status. With Marriott, there are nine levels of elite status: Member, Silver Elite, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite, Ambassador Elite, Lifetime Silver Elite, Lifetime Gold Elite, and Lifetime Platinum Elite. Elite status is based on the amount of nights stayed.

These Elite Night Credits are designed to complement your actual stays in a hotel. For example, with the 15 Elite Night Credits you receive when opening a Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card, you’re only 10 nights away from Gold Elite, 35 nights from Platinum Elite, and 60 nights away from Titanium Elite.

Other cards to consider

If you travel for work or spend a significant amount of money on credit cards, you may want to consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Capital One Venture Card. While these cards aren’t specifically branded to Marriott, you can earn points that can be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy. These cards come with higher earning for your spending and more perks. Along with this, you aren’t tied to earning just Marriott Bonvoy points.

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. This card is perfect for those who spend a decent amount on travel and dining.

With the Capital One Venture Card, you can earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. In addition, this card rewards 10X miles on bookings with Hotels.com through January 2020 and 2X miles on every purchase, every day.

A Great Card for Travel Rewards Beginners

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Special Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months

See how these cards compare:

Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • 60,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 2X points on eligible dining and travel purchases
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • 50,000 bonus miles welcome offer
  • 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • No foreign transaction fees

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