Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card review: Worth it for Marriott lovers

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In a Nutshell

Look ahead! The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card comes with a powerful sign-up bonus that could help you start earning free nights at participating hotels right away.

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When it comes to planning a vacation, booking a hotel can be one of the most expensive parts of your trip.

So you’ll be glad to know that the new Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card offers a generous sign-up bonus of 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Let’s take a closer look at how the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card can help you save money on your next vacation, this year and next.

What we like Heads up
  • Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Six points for every $1 you spend on qualifying purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • Two points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Free night at a qualifying Marriott hotel each year after your account anniversary
  • Fifth night free when you redeem points for a minimum of five consecutive nights
  • Hundreds of ways to redeem your points for hotels, frequent flyer miles, cruises, car rentals, train rides and more
  • $95 annual fee
  • Previous cardholders are ineligible if they’ve received a sign-up bonus in the past 24 months
  • Spending $5,000 on purchases in 3 months is a high threshold to earn the sign-up bonus
  • Free anniversary night only applies to hotel rooms that cost 35,000 or less points to book
  • Each free anniversary night issued will have an expiration of 12 months
  • Free night can’t be combined with points to upgrade your stay
  • Fifth night free only applies when you book with points, but not when you pay for a hotel

 

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  1. The rundown: Everything we like about the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
  2. Heads up: What you should consider before applying for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
  3. Do the math: How to get the most out of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
  4. The competition: How the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card stacks up against similar cards
  5. Bottom line: Is the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card right for you?

The rundown: Everything we like about the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card offers a number of ways to earn free nights.

Big rewards

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card features a great sign-up bonus, but the rewards don’t stop there.

With the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, you’ll also receive six points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, and two points for every other $1 you spend.

Want to turbo-charge your rewards? Make sure you connect your Marriott Rewards® account with your new Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card. In addition to the six points per $1 you’ll earn through the card on purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, Marriott Rewards® program members can earn up to 10 points per $1 spent at participating hotels. So the way we add things up, you could earn up to a combined 16 points per $1 spent on eligible hotel purchases if you use the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card and are a Marriott Rewards® program member.

That’s enough points-earning potential to keep the free nights rolling.

Free nights

Speaking of free nights, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card includes a free one-night stay at a participating hotel each year after your account anniversary.

You’ll also receive the fifth night free when you redeem points for rewards stays at participating hotels. To qualify, you must book five consecutive nights on the same reservation, but you’ll only be charged for the first four nights.

There’s no limit to how many times you may qualify for the fifth night free. So if you book a 10-night reward stay, you’ll receive two nights free.

Flexible redemptions

Marriott features nearly 4,600 participating hotels around the world where you can redeem points for rewards stays, a number that’s expanding to 6,500 come 2019.

You can also redeem your Marriott points for vacation packages, frequent flyer miles, rental cars, cruises, rail passes, merchandise, gift cards and many other rewards.

Perks

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card comes with several travel perks.

You’ll receive complimentary, automatic Silver Elite status with Marriott each account anniversary year. That means every time you book an eligible hotel stay, you’ll earn 20% more points. And as a Marriott Rewards® member, you won’t have to deal with blackout dates when it comes time to redeem your points.

You’ll also receive in-room internet access at participating hotels for no additional cost.

You can enhance your loyalty status by spending more nights at eligible Marriott Bonvoy hotels. To earn Gold Elite status, you must book at least 50 qualifying nights at participating hotels in a year, while you can earn Platinum Elite status after booking 75 nights per year. Starting in 2019, cardholders will receive a complimentary 15 Elite Night credits each year.

Heads up: What you should consider before applying for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Make sure you understand the fine print of Marriott’s rewards program.

Your loyalty might be tested

When was the last time you spent the night in a Marriott® hotel?

If you’re loyal to another hotel brand like Hilton or Hyatt — or you gravitate toward Airbnb when you travel, because you like meeting the locals — then the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card might not be the best fit for you.

$95 annual fee

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card carries a $95 annual fee.

As with any credit card, it’s important to weigh the annual fee against the benefits of carrying the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card. If you redeem your free one-night stay each year after your account anniversary, you can easily save more on that hotel room than you spend to keep the card open.

Fifth-night-free limitations

Many hotel rewards programs offer a complimentary night on long trips.

In the case of Marriott, the fifth night free doesn’t apply to paid stays. So if you don’t have enough points to redeem for five nights, you won’t qualify.

It’s also worth noting that the promotion only kicks in when you book five consecutive nights. Unfortunately, if you spend five nights at a Marriott® hotel, you can’t bank the fifth free night for your next trip.

Anniversary bonus restrictions

Marriott’s free night award, which serves as somewhat of an anniversary bonus for cardholders, is limited to hotels that cost no more than 35,000 points to book. We’re certainly not complaining about a free night, but if you’re planning to pamper yourself at a luxury hotel, don’t get your hopes up.

Keep in mind, you won’t qualify for the free night anniversary bonus during your first year of card membership, because you can’t receive it until after your account anniversary. On the other hand, each free night award expires 12 months after it is issued, so if you don’t use your free stay before it expires, the bonus could go to waste.

Do the math: How to get the most out of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

While there are a bunch of interesting ways to redeem your rewards, make sure you’re not spending too much just to earn the sign-up bonus.

Can you hit the spending requirement?

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card features a sign-up bonus that may have caught your attention. But to qualify, you must spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after opening the account.

That’s about $1,667 per month.

It’s important to take a close look at your budget and figure out how much you can afford to spend. If this is more than you regularly spend, you may want to reconsider your options before you apply for this card.

The competition: How the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card stacks up against similar cards

Best for Credit card
Best for travel rewards Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Best for luxury hotels Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card
Best for free hotel nights Citi Prestige® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

From cardholders in the last year

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can offer more flexibility than the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, because it is not tied to one particular rewards program. Plus it also has a low annual fee.

You’ll earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases during the first 3 months after account opening. You’ll also receive two points for every $1 you spend on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, and one point per $1 you spend on everything else. When you redeem those points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, you’ll receive 25% more value.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has an annual fee of $0 intro, $95 after first year.

Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card caters to travelers who prefer a little more luxury.

You’ll receive two complimentary nights at a participating Ritz-Carlton® hotel after spending $4,000 on purchases during the first three months from account opening. You could also score complimentary room upgrades and late checkouts.

But it comes with a $450 annual fee, compared to the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card’s $95 annual fee.

Citi Prestige® Card

The Citi Prestige® Card doesn’t currently offer a sign-up bonus, but if free nights are what you’re after, you may want to check it out.

You’ll receive a complimentary night when you book a consecutive four-night hotel stay through ThankYou.com or Citi Prestige® Concierge. This could help you rack up free nights more quickly than with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card’s fifth-night-free promotion. It may also give you access to hotels that may be outside of Marriott’s reach.

This card also carries a $450 annual fee.


Bottom line: Is the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card right for you?

You don’t come across a sign-up bonus like this every day.

If you enjoy staying at Marriott® hotels, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card could help you save money on your next vacation.

Just make sure you’re willing to commit to this hotel group.