Credit Card Credit Card Reviews

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card Review

overall rating
4.4

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The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card is designed to benefit travelers who belong to Marriott's recently updated Bonvoy loyalty program. Members earn unlimited points they can apply to stays at Bonvoy hotels, along with the chance to earn a competitive introductory bonus. It’s part of the Visa network, offered through Chase Bank.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

overall rating
3.4
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Current Offer:

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

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.49% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2X points everywhere else.
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

Full Review of Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Pros
  • Outstanding introductory rewards bonus

  • Solid rewards rate for Marriott hotel stays

  • Automatic Silver Elite Status in the Marriott Bonvoy program

Cons
  • You'll have to spend $35,000 per year to upgrade to Gold Status

  • Your Bonvoy hotel rewards account (though not your credit card) must stay active to avoid points expiration

  • The $95 annual fee may be off-putting

Pros Explained

  • Outstanding Introductory Rewards Bonus: The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card’s introductory bonus is quite generous compared to other cards. The current offer is 75,000 points when you meet the minimum spending requirement ($3,000 in the first three months). Since redemptions for hotel stays start 5,000 points, the bonus could yield multiple award nights, depending on where you book.
  • Solid Rewards Rate for Marriott Hotel Stays: This card earns 6 points per dollar when you book at more than 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. While there are some co-branded hotel cards that offer more points on the dollar for bookings, the rewards rate for this card is still quite respectable. 
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status in the Marriott Bonvoy Program: Cardmembers enjoy Silver Elite Status in the Bonvoy program, which includes perks like a 10% point bonus on eligible stays, priority late checkout, and a dedicated elite reservation line. These benefits are included automatically when you're approved for the card.

Cons Explained

  • You'll Have to Spend $35,000 per Year to Upgrade to Gold Status: Achieving Gold Status unlocks even more perks through the Bonvoy program, including a 25% bonus on stays, enhanced room upgrades, 2 p.m. late checkout, complimentary enhanced internet access and a welcome gift of points. The catch is that you have to charge $35,000 per year with your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card, which may be difficult if you don't travel or charge everyday purchases as often. 
  • Your Marriott Bonvoy Account Must Stay Active to Avoid Points Expiration: Many rewards cards allow you to accrue points or miles to the loyalty program account where they can remain indefinitely, with no expiration date. The Marriott Bonvoy loyalty account card is slightly different, in that you must keep your account active every 24 months to avoid letting your points expire. This can be done by doing things like automatically earning and transferring in points from the credit card when used for purchases or using the Bonvoy dining portal.
  • The $95 Annual Fee May Be Off-Putting: Given that some travel credit cards charge $450 or more in annual fees, the $95 fee associated with this card isn't overwhelmingly high. Still, that may be more than some people are comfortable paying just to earn rewards on hotel stays, particularly if they're infrequent travelers.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Rewards Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
    Rewards Strategist
  • Avatar for Loyalty Status Seeker Persona
    Seeks the recognition and perks of branded travel partner status
    Loyalty Status Seeker
  • Avatar for Frequent Flyer Persona
    Flies often for business or leisure
    Frequent Flyer
  • Avatar for Frequent Diner Persona
    Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
    Frequent Diner

This card is designed for consumers who lean toward Marriott Bonvoy as their preferred hotel brand. It's good if you're already enrolled in the Bonvoy loyalty program and you want a way to earn points faster to qualify for Gold, Platinum, Titanium or Ambassador Elite Status. Since the highest rewards rate are applied to hotel stays, it's a little less versatile as an all-around travel card. But the large introductory bonus and the various travel benefits you can unlock through the Bonvoy program make up for that. And, it offers a decent rewards rate per dollar on all other purchases, beyond hotel bookings. 

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card Bonus

This card offers 75,000 introductory bonus points when you spend $3,000 in qualifying purchases within the first three months of account opening. That averages out to around $1,000 per month in purchases. To give you a sense of what those points are worth, you could redeem them for up to 15 nights on an off-peak season stay at a Category 1 hotel, the lowest tier (tends to be more budget-oriented or convention properties). At the other end of the spectrum, the bonus would be worth just one night at a premium Category 8 hotel (the more luxe or resort-type properties) during peak booking season. Investopedia values Marriott points at 1.43 cents each, which gives the bonus a max value of $1,072 (when redeemed for Marriott-brand hotel stays), which is pretty exception for a card with a modest annual fee.

Overall, the bonus is exceptionally generous compared to other co-branded hotel cards that may only offer 25,000 to 60,000 bonus points. There are, however, a small number of cards that pass the 100,000-point mark for bonuses, which is something to keep in mind when comparing card options. 

Rewards Earning Details

Boundless cardholders earn 6 points per dollar on Marriott Bonvoy hotels, including The Ritz-Carlton and W hotels. That's on top of the points you can earn through the Bonvoy program. Loyalty program members earn 10 points per dollar on eligible hotel charges, excluding bookings made at Residence Inns, Element hotels and Towneplace Suites. Those hotels earn 5 points per dollar. 

This card also offers 2 points per dollar on all other purchases. Points earned on hotel and non-hotel spending are unlimited. You just have to keep your Marriott Bonvoy hotel rewards program active every 24 months by using your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card or by doing things like redeeming points for hotel nights or using their dining portal. 

There's one more way to earn rewards with your card: referral bonuses. You can get 20,000 bonus points for each person you refer who opens a credit card account, up to 100,000 points per year. 

Rewards Redemption Details

There are several ways to redeem points earned with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card, starting with Marriott hotel stays. Points can be redeemed for stays at more than 7,000 properties in 130 countries with no blackout dates. The number of points needed to redeem for an award stay depends on the hotel category and whether you're booking an off-peak, standard or peak rate. 

You can also redeem points for flights, car rentals, cruises and vacation packages with Marriott travel partners. You can pay for those purchases with points only or a combination of points and cash. If you don't need to book a flight or hotel stay, you can use your points to pay for Priority Pass or TSA PreCheck membership.

Besides travel, points can also be redeemed for shopping and exclusive experiences through Marriott Bonvoy Moments. On the shopping side, you can redeem points for gift cards or merchandise from partner retailers. Marriott Bonvoy Moments experiences include culinary events, concerts and sporting events. 

Transferring Points

Points earned with your card can be transferred to selected frequent flyer programs. Most points transfer at a ratio of 3:1 (one example: 6:1 for JetBlue's TrueBlue).

Currently, more than 40 airlines that participate in points transfers from Bonvoy, including:

  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  • American Airlines AAdvantage
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Qantas
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

You can transfer 3,000 to 240,000 points per day from the program. Your name in the frequent flyer program just has to match the name on your Marriott Bonvoy account. 

For every 60,000 points you transfer to miles, Bonvoy gives you 5,000 miles. When you transfer miles into the United MileagePlus program, you also get a 10% bonus miles. 

How to Maximize Your Rewards

The best way to get the most out of this card is to start off right: scoring that 75,000-point bonus. So, aim to meet the $3,000 minimum spending requirement within the first three months. Use the card everywhere Visa is accepted. If you can time a trip during this period—and stay in a Marriott hotel—so much the better.  

On the redemption side, your points typically have the most value when you use them to book Marriott hotels. You'll want to look closely at the award chart to understand how far your points will stretch toward award nights.

Average Case

Remember, it takes just 5,000 points to book a room in a Category 1 property at the off-peak rate per night. Even if you don't qualify for the introductory bonus, you could still hit the 5,000-point mark by spending approximately $834 on a Marriott hotel booking ($834 x 6 points per dollar = 5,004 points.) So, say you booked a three-night stay at a TownePlace Suites, which is a Category 1 property. If your total stay were to come to $834, those three nights you paid for would essentially give you enough points for one award night at the same hotel at an off-peak rate. Alternatively, you could charge $2,500 on gas, supermarkets, airfare or other expenses to get to 5,000 points, at the 2 points per dollar rewards rate. 

Aspirational Case

By comparison, you'd have to spend $11,667 on Marriott purchases to reach the 70,000 points required to book an off-peak room at one of Marriott's luxury Category 8 properties, such as the St. Regis New York. A superior king room books for around $1,000 per night during the fall season. If you booked one night per month at that rate, in just about a year you’d have spent the $11,667 required to earn the points needed for one off-peak night stay at the same hotel. You could reach that same total after spending $35,000 on other purchases earning 2 points per dollar. 

Other Ideas

If you plan to transfer points to airline miles, your best value overall would be transferring to United MileagePlus, since you get a 10% bonus through RewardsPlus. You'd also get 5,000 miles from Bonvoy if you transfer at least 60,000 points. 

Redeeming points for experiences, gift cards or merchandise will generally yield the value per point. You could also transfer points to another cardmember as a last resort if there's nothing else you'd like to redeem them for. Transfer redemptions start at 1,000 points and you can transfer up to 100,000 points per year. 

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card's Outstanding Benefits

  • Get a complimentary Award Night after your account anniversary each year
  • Priority late checkout.
  • Exclusive Elite savings offers. 

Standard Benefits

  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Fraud protection
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel and emergency assistance

Cardholder Experience

Chase, the Boundless card’s issuing bank, tied for third place with Capital One in J.D. Power's 2019 Credit Card Satisfaction Survey, earning an 807 rating. It scored above the national average for consumer credit card satisfaction but behind Discover and American Express. 

Security Features

This card comes with all the standard security features you'd expect, including multiple authentication checks, suspicious activity monitoring, website encryption and secure messaging. Members can set up account alerts to monitor card activity and easily lock their card if it's lost or stolen. 

Fees to Watch Out For

There are no hidden fees to look out for with this card, although you will want to consider the balance transfer fees if you'd like to shift debt from another card onto this one. (Unfortunately, transferred balances don't count towards that 75,000-point bonus; the $3,000 has to be in new purchases.)

In terms of the annual fee, look at how much value you expect to get by earning rewards for award nights to see if it justifies the $95 fee. As we noted, that’s not the largest of fees, but plenty of cards only charge $35 to $50 per year.

Our Verdict

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card is a good choice for those who belong to the Bonvoy loyalty program, and are eager to earn more points to get award hotel stays. The card's added perks, including the one time bonus and the Award Night each year, make it even more enticing for travelers who are loyal to Marriott or one of its many brands, which include W Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, and Sheraton properties. 

The card offers a decent rewards rate per dollar. Still, since the highest rewards mostly apply to hotel stays, it's less versatile than other travel-oriented cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or the Capital One Venture Rewards card. The $95 annual fee might also seem onerous.  

But if you don't always book with Marriott, or be tied down to booking with Marriott, you may want to look at a general travel rewards card to get more flexibility.

Compare This Card
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CURRENT CARD
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
overall rating
4.4
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.49% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2X points everywhere else.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.