Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card review: Worth keeping year after year

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers. 

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card overview

Even if you aren’t a Marriott loyalist, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is worth considering. It comes with a valuable welcome bonus, an annual free night and elite night credits but carries a lower annual fee than most other cards in the Marriott card lineup. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

Marriott offers a diverse credit card portfolio issued by both Chase and American Express. However, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card from Chase stands out as the only entry-level, mid-tier personal Marriott Bonvoy card available to new applicants.

With an annual fee of $95, the Boundless lands just above the lowest-tier Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card. Even those who stay at Marriott properties infrequently can benefit from this card’s valuable welcome bonus, annual free night and elite night credits.

Let’s take a closer look at whether the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless deserves a spot in your wallet.

Application link: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card with a welcome offer of 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $3,000 in the first six months. Plus, earn 50,000 bonus points after staying 6 eligible paid Marriott Bonvoy hotels through Jan. 31, 2024. Offer ends Aug. 10.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless welcome offer

Let’s consider the most exciting part of any new credit card: the welcome offer.

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)ISABELLE RAPHAEL/THE POINTS GUY

Right now, new applicants can earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first six months of account opening. Plus, new applicants have the opportunity to earn an additional 50,000 bonus points after staying 6 eligible paid nights at Marriott Bonvoy properties through Jan. 31, 2024. Terms apply. Offer ends Aug. 10.

Based on TPG’s valuation of Marriott points at 0.84 cents each, this bonus is worth $630 — or $1,050 if you’re able to take advantage of the additional earning opportunity. It’s not the best offer we’ve seen on this card — five free night awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points), worth $2,100 — but this bonus is still a solid way to kick-start any vacation.

If you have Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite or higher status, though, this bonus can get you much more value than this points value alone. As a high-level elite, you’ll be able to leverage perks such as suite upgrades and free breakfast to maximize your stays even more.

Read more: What effect did Marriott’s changes really have on the value of Bonvoy points?

Earning points on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card earns points at the following rates:

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

JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa (Photo by Zach Griff / The Points Guy)
A room at the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa in Mexico. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Based on TPG’s valuations, these rates equate to a 5% return on Marriott purchases and 1.6% on other travel purchases.

On paper, you can do better using the Chase Sapphire Reserve for Marriott stays. After all, the Chase Sapphire Reserve earns 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar (for a 6% return based on TPG’s valuations) on travel purchases, including hotels.

But you must consider the value you can get from your Marriott points. Platinum and Titanium Elites get a much better return on their award redemptions thanks to a great set of elite benefits. So if you have a higher tier of status, you might want to pay for frequent Marriott stays with a Bonvoy credit card to earn 6 points per dollar instead of earning another type of reward points.

Related: 17 ways to earn lots of Marriott Bonvoy points

Redeeming points on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

Of course, the most obvious way to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points is for stays at hotels. But when it comes to maximizing your Marriott redemptions, there are a few strategies to keep in mind.

First, you’ll want to take advantage of the fifth night free on award stays whenever possible. The fifth-night benefit is an easy way to get up to a 20% discount on your redemption and stretch your points further.

The Ritz-Carlton, Fari Islands, MaldivesThe Ritz-Carlton, Fari Islands, Maldives. CHRIS DONG/THE POINTS GUY

Don’t forget that Marriott also has over 35 airline transfer partners, including some interesting frequent-flyer programs with otherwise hard-to-earn miles.

Points transfer to most airlines at a 3:1 ratio with 5,000-mile bonuses for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred. So, transferring 60,000 Marriott points to Alaska Airlines, for example, would net you 25,000 miles. However, note that most transfers take at least a few days, so if award availability is tight, the ticket you want to book may be gone by the time the transfer completes.

Korean first class. (Photo by Ethan Steinberg / The Points Guy)Korean Air first class. ETHAN STEINBERG/THE POINTS GUY

Alaska Airlines, Korean Air and Japan Airlines are three excellent examples of highly flexible and valuable miles that are hard to earn in other ways. So, for instance, you could convert 195,000 Marriott points to 80,000 Korean Air SkyPass miles and book a first-class seat in the nose of Korean Air’s Boeing 747-8 one-way between the U.S. and South Korea.

Related: How to redeem points with the Marriott Bonvoy program

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless benefits

The Bonvoy Boundless comes with a $95 annual fee, but it should be easy to get several hundred dollars in value out of the card’s perks every year. Here are the major perks to consider:

Anniversary free night award

Each year on account renewal, you’ll receive a reward night certificate worth up to 35,000 points a night. You can also top off your certificate with up to 15,000 additional points, making it potentially worth 50,000 points.

TPG’s valuations peg the value of 35,000 Marriott points at $294, nearly three times the $95 annual fee. But it’s possible to get even more value if you’re selective about redeeming your reward night.

The Bonvoy Boundless also offers a path to Gold Elite status by spending $35,000 on purchases each calendar year. However, You’re probably better off earning higher status organically via the card’s complimentary 15 elite night credit as well as some stays booked directly with Marriott. If you want a card that provides complimentary Gold Elite status with Marriott, consider The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (enrollment required).

You’ll also get one elite night credit toward status for every $5,000 you spend on purchases with the Bonvoy Boundless, so this could be another pathway toward higher status.

15 elite night credits annually

Many Bonvoy credit cards share this benefit. But this perk can be immensely valuable if you’re aiming for a higher tier of status with Marriott Bonvoy.

Renaissance Chelsea
Renaissance New York Chelsea in New York City. SCOTT MAYEROWITZ/THE POINTS GUY

You can get one set of elite night credits from a Marriott personal card and one more set of elite night credits from a Marriott business card. So with the Bonvoy Boundless alone, you’d only need to stay 35 nights (instead of 50) to earn Platinum Elite status. But, if you have the Bonvoy Boundless and a Marriott business card like the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, you can get 30 elite night credits each year just from credit cards.

Related: Does it make sense to hold multiple Marriott Bonvoy credit cards?

Other perks

The above benefits represent a few hundred dollars in value each year and easily outpace the $95 annual fee. But the card also offers a few additional perks:

  • Baggage delay insurance: If a passenger carrier delays your baggage for over six hours, Chase may reimburse you for essential purchases up to $100 a day for five days.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement: If a passenger carrier damages or loses your checked or carry-on luggage, Chase may reimburse you up to $3,000 per passenger.
  • Trip delay reimbursement: If you are delayed by more than 12 hours or required to stay overnight when traveling by a common carrier, Chase may reimburse you for select, otherwise unreimbursed expenses up to $500 per ticket.
  • Purchase protection: Chase covers most new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft, up to $500 per claim (capped at $50,000 per account).
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Related: Here are your odds of your bag being delayed or lost

Which cards compete with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless?

If you want more Marriott Bonvoy perks or more flexible rewards, you may find one of these cards to be a better match.

For additional options, check out our full list of best Marriott Bonvoy credit cards and best hotel credit cards.

Related: Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful vs. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

The information for the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.


Related: 3 reasons the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless is worth the annual fee

Bottom line

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is in an interesting spot. One of two entry-level consumer credit cards in the Bonvoy program (the no-annual-fee Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card is the other), the Boundless is the logical first choice for many Marriott travelers. But strict bonus restrictions and fierce competition from other Chase cards mean you should think hard before applying.

Still, if you’ve already built out your Chase trifecta and confirmed that you are eligible for this bonus, the Bonvoy Boundless can be an excellent addition to a wallet. You should have no trouble getting $200-$300 of value from your anniversary reward night certificate alone, which is a great return on the $95 investment of the card’s annual fee.

Plus, the current welcome offer is a great way to boost your Marriott balance.

Official application link: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card with a welcome offer of 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months. Plus, earn 50,000 bonus points after staying 6 eligible paid Marriott Bonvoy hotels through Jan. 31, 2024. Offer ends Aug. 10.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy Amex, click here.

Additional reporting by Emily Thompson, Ryan Wilcox, Stella Shon, Chris Dong, Christina Ly and Ryan Smith.