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The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, issued by Chase, offers a slew of rewards and benefits for anyone who stays at Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
Cardholders will earn 6X bonus points per dollar at these properties, plus additional points for your hotel member status: at least 11X Base points at Marriott Bonvoy properties.
This comes to a cash back equivalent of about 17–34% for hotel spending, assuming a point value of 1–2 cents each.
Not only that, you’ll get 100,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening (offer ends 5/2/19). That bonus could be worth $1,000–$2,000, depending on how you redeem it, giving you a return on your spending of 20–40%.
There are a number of hotel perks to take advantage of. You have automatic Marriott Silver Elite status, which comes with a 10% point bonus, priority late check-out, and more. Upgrade to Gold Elite status by spending $35,000 on purchases in a given year. After your first account anniversary you’ll be awarded with a Free Night Award every year.
You’ll get complimentary premium in-room WiFi, and 15 Elite Night credits towards a higher member status. And there are a number of lesser perks, like invitations to Marriott Premier Experience Events and a personal concierge.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless costs $95 per year, and there are no foreign transaction fees to pay. This card actually seems very affordable, because you can offset that fee with just the annual free night stay. Or you could spend as little as $451 to earn $95 in rewards, or even less if you get a high redemption value.
You cannot apply for this card if you already currently have this card or the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier Credit Card, or you’ve received a new cardmember bonus from either of those cards in the last 24 months. If you’re a Marriott Bonvoy Premier cardholder you can request an upgrade to the Bonvoy Boundless.
If you spend much time in Marriott Bonvoy properties every year, this card could probably help you save money and have a better time while you’re at it. But there are three Marriott Bonvoy co-branded cards in total, including two personal cards and a business card.
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card (This review)||$95||
|Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (Review)||$95, $0 the first year||
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (Review)||$450||
Is the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless the right choice for you? Keep reading to learn more and find out.
Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars
We give the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Visa Signature card 5 out of 5 Stars because it provides a great return at participating Marriott properties, and there are several valuable benefits too.
Why we like this card
- Big signup bonus of 100,000 points for meeting the minimum spending requirement ($5,000 in three months)
- 6X points at Marriott Bonvoy locations, plus standard membership points
- Free night award every year after account anniversary, valued at up to 35,000 points
- Automatic Silver Elite status with Marriott
- Path to Gold Elite status by spending $35,000 in an account year
- No foreign transaction fees
- Shopping and travel protections
Why this card could be better
- You need to wait until after your first account anniversary before you’ll get one free night per year
- If you have the older Marriott Bonvoy Premier card you won’t be eligible for the normal signup bonus, but you can upgrade your card and get a different (smaller) bonus offer
- Annual fee of $95, but this seems reasonable
- No intro APR, but this is typical for hotel cards
If you want a card for spending at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, this is a very good option for a relatively low fee. But there are other cards designed for hotel spending, along with a more expensive card for Marriott hotels. Check out some alternatives to the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Visa Signature card below.
Insider Advice: Using This Card as Part of Your Credit Card Strategy
- For booking with Marriott Bonvoy: You’ll earn 6X points with the card when booking at these hotel brands, plus additional points for your Marriott Bonvoy member status.
- Consider using it for other purchases: Other, non-category purchases will get 2X points per dollar, valued at about 2–4% cash back. This is quite a good deal, but, depending on the type of purchase, you might be able to do better with a different travel or rewards credit card.
- Get the signup bonus: Be sure to make at least $5,000 in purchases with the card in the first 3 months to get 100,000 bonus points, valued at $1,000–$2,000. Check out some creative ways to hit minimum spend requirements if you’re having trouble.
- Redeem your Free Night Credit: After your anniversary with the card you’ll get a Free Night Credit every year, good for a stay at a property with a redemption level up to 35,000 points.
- Use your Silver Status: Cardholders get automatic Silver Elite status with Marriott, which comes with a 10% bonus on Base points, free standard in-room WiFi, priority late check-out, and other perks.
- Take a fast track to Gold Status: Spend $35,000 in an account year with the card to earn Gold Elite status, which comes with a 25% bonus on Base points, lounge access with free breakfasts, and complimentary room upgrades when available.
- Enjoy a fast WiFi connection: You’ll get complimentary in-room premium WiFi so you can stay connected without slowing down.
- Use your Elite Night Credits: Cardholders will get 15 Elite Night Credits per year, which will count towards upgrading your Marriott member status.
- Call for help from your personal assistant: You’ll have access to the Visa Signature Concierge service with this card, which you can call for non-emergency assistance like making reservations.
- Contact customer support without hassle: When you call the number on the back of your card you’ll be directly connected to a customer support representative, without needing to navigate through a phone menu.
- Check your shopping and travel protections: The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless comes with quite a few protection benefits. These can help out if your trip is delayed, for example, or if you lose your luggage.
- Travel abroad without paying extra: There are no foreign transaction fees with this card, so you can use it as your go-to payment option when traveling outside the U.S.
Upgrading from the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Card
If you have the older Marriott Bonvoy Premier Card (which is no longer open to new applicants), you aren’t eligible for the 100,000-point new cardmember bonus.
Instead, you can request an upgrade to the new Bonvoy Boundless. You’ll probably get a bonus offer, like 20,000 points after your first purchase. But there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a bonus offer, or that it will be of a certain amount.
Take note that this will be counted as a product change, not a new account opening. Your credit card account number will not change, but the expiration date and CVV may change. So if you have any automatic payments set up you should check the details after upgrading.
Upgrade requests may take up to four business days to be approved. If you’re approved you should receive your new card within seven to 12 business days.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Visa Signature offers an excellent return on your spending at Marriott Bonvoy properties, with a cash back equivalent of about 17–34% or more. Other non-category purchases get a good return as well, at 2–4% cash back equivalent.
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
So you’ll have several point earning opportunities. You’ll get 6X points at all of the brands included in the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio. You’ll also earn a certain number of Base points at these hotels, depending on your member status.
To check out all the brands, see:
The number of Base points you earn will depend on your member status with that particular hotel brand. Cardholders get automatic Silver Status with Marriott, which is one level higher than the basic member status. A normal member would get 10X Base points but Silver members get a 10% bonus, for 11X Base points in total.
You’ll only earn points at these high rates when making purchases directly from the hotel. If you use a travel agency or discount travel site, for example, you’ll get the normal purchase rate of 2X points.
In addition to offering great rates at certain hotels, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless has a fairly large signup bonus, of 100,000 points for spending $5,000 in the first three months. If you get 2 cents per point that would be $2,000, which would give you a 40% return on your spending! That’s in addition to the points you’d normally earn on those purchases.
Take note that you will not be eligible for the signup bonus offer if you’ve had other Marriott Bonvoy co-branded cards at certain times. You will not be eligible if you:
- Are a current or previous cardmember of the Marriott Bonvoy Card from American Express, also known as the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card, within the last 30 days
- Have acquired any of the following cards in the past 90 days:
- Are a current or previous cardmember and have received a welcome bonus or upgrade offer for any of the following cards in the past 24 months:
Marriott Bonvoy points will expire after 24 months of no account activity. You can keep your points active simply by making a purchase with your card once every 24 months.
There are quite a few ways to redeem Marriott points. The value of your points will depend on when, where, and how you redeem them.
Typically, PointSavers stays and regular award stays are the most valuable redemption methods. Or, if you book four award nights in a standard room you’ll get a fifth night free, which will also provide a great overall return on your spending.
We’ll list the basic types of redemptions, and then we’ll go over two good redemption examples: a free night stay, and a fifth night free.
- Free award nights: Redeem for free nights in standard rooms. The number of points required depends on the hotel’s category or tier (see the tables below).
- PointSavers award nights: Get up to a 5,000 point discount at Marriott hotels, or up to a 10,000 point discount at Ritz-Carlton hotels (not always available).
- Cash + Points: If you don’t have enough points you can pay in part with cash, starting at 3,000 points and $45.
- Instant Redemption: Use points to pay for purchases at hotels, like dinner, cocktails, spa treatments, and more (not recommended — very low redemption value).
- Room Upgrades: Certain properties offer room upgrade rewards for 5,000 points each. Some upgrades may require two or more room upgrade rewards.
- Transfer to a partner loyalty program: Transfer to a variety of airline partners like United and Southwest.
- Airline services: Redeem for a Priority Pass Select membership to get airport lounge access, or to pay for the application fee for TSA Pre✓®.
- Flights or Car Rentals: Use your points for flights at a variety of airlines or to rent a car.
- Vacation packages and cruises: Redeem for travel packages of seven nights or more, or choose from a wide variety of popular cruise lines.
- Shopping: Points can be redeemed for specific purchases, or to buy gift cards for Marriott and other merchants.
- Share or Donate: You can share your points with any other Marriott Bonvoy member, or donate them to a charity.
Remember that redemption offers come and go, and sometimes there are special offers at certain properties. You may be able to find an excellent deal for your upcoming trip if you take some time to explore the options. Be sure to check the value you’re getting per point.
Free night stays are probably the simplest and most valuable redemption method. Oftentimes, the best deals will be found at the least and most expensive properties, rather than mid-range properties, but this isn’t always true.
The higher the hotel category, the more points required for a night’s stay.
|Hotel Category||Standard Requirement||Off-Peak
|8 (coming 2019)||85,000||70,000||100,000|
You can browse the full list of 6,700 Marriott Bonvoy properties, including their categories and point requirements.
PointSavers reservations will help you save some points, if you’re lucky enough that your travel plans align with some eligible dates. The PointSavers requirements are as follows.
|Hotel Category||PointSavers Requirement||Off-Peak
|8 (coming 2019)||80,000||65,000||90,000|
Next, we’ll show you:
- How to redeem your points for free night stays, and for your fifth night free
- How to figure out the value per point
- How to figure out the total return on spend
Free Night Stay Example
Say you want to spend a night at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Seattle Bremerton, a Category 3 hotel in Washington. A standard room here might normally cost $199 for non-members, depending on the date.
Or you could get this room for 17,500 points (only 16,000 if you get a PointSavers deal). To earn 17,500 points, you could spend $1,030 at Marriott properties, earning at the 17X rate.
Here, you would spend $1,030 to get a room valued at $199. Your points are worth about 1.14 cents each in this example, for a return on spend of about 19.32%.
For a PointSavers offer, 16,000 points would require $942 in spending. In this case your points are worth 1.24 cents each, for a return on spend of about 21.13%, a pretty great deal!
Example: Regular Free Night Award Stay
Total spend: $1,030
Point value: $199 ÷ 17,500 points = about 1.14 cents each
Return on Spend: $199 is about 19.32% of $1,030
Example: PointSavers Free Night Award Stay
Total spend: $942
Point value: $199 ÷ 16,000 points = about 1.24 cents each
Return on Spend: $199 is about 21.13% of $942
Fifth Night Free
If you redeem points for five consecutive nights you’ll get your fifth night free, at participating hotels. You’ll need to book five nights to get this deal, but you actually only need to have enough points for four nights.
Lets imagine a trip to the Courtyard Long Island Islip/Courthouse Complex, a Category 4 hotel on Long Island. If you were to pay cash for a five-day stay, you’d end up paying different rates for different nights. For a stay in a standard room from October 22nd to October 27th, for example, you’d end up paying a total of $1,054.86 after taxes and fees.
You’d only need 100,000 points to get this same room for five nights (a night at a Category 4 hotel requires 25,000 points). To earn 100,000 points you’d need to spend $5,883, when earning at the 17X rate.
Here, you get a value of about 1.05 cents per point. And your return on spend is about 17.93%.
Depending on the hotel category you redeem at, you may be able to get a much better deal than this. The higher and lower hotel categories will offer a better return on your spending. And if you can include some PointSavers nights that would increase the return on spend as well.
Example: Fifth Night Free Award Stay
Total spend: $5,883
Point value: $1,054.86 ÷ 100,000 points = about 1.05 cents each
Return on Spend: $1,054.86 is about 17.93% of $5,883
How to Offset the Annual Fee
This card has an annual fee of $95, so you should be sure to get at least that much value from it every year. If you travel often you can get much more than that, of course.
There are two basic ways to offset the annual fee:
- Card benefits
- Rewards points from spending
After considering all the value-adding perks and rewards that you’ll get, the $95 fee actually starts to seem pretty cheap for anyone who travels several times per year.
Some of the card benefits are pretty straightforward. For the annual free night stay, for example, we show below how you can get about $300 in value from it each year, or more. That would offset the annual fee for over three years with just a single use!
It’s a bit harder to put a monetary value on some of the other benefits, however. How much would you value complimentary Silver Elite status with Marriott? Or 15 free Elite Night credits? What about the complimentary premium WiFi?
Depending on your lifestyle and travel habits, you might value these perks more or less. If you can’t go a day without checking Credit Card Insider you might be willing to pay handsomely for premium WiFi, but otherwise you might not care much about that.
So you could offset the annual fee with just the card benefits, but you could also do it with the reward points you earn.
To offset the annual fee using reward points, you simply need to earn enough points to provide $95 in value.
In the examples above, we saw a different point value for each redemption method. The greater the point value, the less spending you’ll need to offset the fee.
Here are the three examples again, this time showing how much you’ll need to spend at each point value to equal $95, assuming you’re earning 17X points per dollar.
|Redemption Method||Point Value||Required Spend for $95|
|Free Night Award Stay||1.14||$491|
|PointSavers Free Night Award Stay||1.24||$451|
|Fifth Night Free Award Stay||1.05||$533|
Based on our example stays, we’ve found that you can offset the annual fee for $451 in spending, or even less. But your mileage will vary depending on your particular redemptions, and you can likely find an even better deal.
You’ll also get a signup bonus of 100,000 points with this card, valued at about $1,000–$2,000 depending on your redemption method. This would offset the annual fee for 7–15 years!
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card comes with benefits from three different sources:
- Visa Signature
Annual Free Night Stay
You’ll get one Free Night Award every year, beginning after your first account anniversary.
It may take up to eight weeks for this credit to appear in your online account, as an e-certificate. The Free Night Award will expire 12 months after being issued. You can’t combine this award with cash or points.
This free night stay can be redeemed at any property with a redemption level up to 35,000 points. That means you can get a free night in up to a Category 5 hotel.
You can explore the Free Night Award Chart to see where you can use your Free Night Awards when planning your next trip. There are no blackout dates for Free Night Award redemptions.
The value you get from this award credit will depend on how you use it. If you use it for a cheap room you might only get $80 out of it, while a more luxurious or boutique hotel could provide $250 or more in value.
For example, the TownePlace Suites Dallas Bedford is a Category 2 hotel in Texas. A night stay could cost as little as $67, depending on when you book it. So if you redeem your Free Night Award here you wouldn’t be saving very much money.
Now consider the Courtyard Asheville, a Category 5 hotel in North Carolina. A room here might cost as much as $300 per night on weekends, or more. But you could get that room using your Free Night Award, which would be an excellent way to maximize its value.
So you could save $300 with this credit, or even more in some cases. Be sure to think carefully about how and when you use the credit. If you’re staying at a cheaper hotel it would probably be better to just pay with your Marriott card to earn points, and save your credit for a more expensive stay. But remember that Free Night Awards are only good for one year.
Automatic Silver Elite Status
As a cardholder you’ll get complimentary Silver Elite status with Marriott. Normally you’d need to spend 10 qualifying nights at Marriott properties for this status level.
Silver status comes with a number of benefits, some of which are available with the basic free membership. But others are more valuable and don’t come at the basic level.
- 10% Bonus on Marriott Bonvoy Base Points: For a total of 11X Base Points at Marriott Bonvoy properties.
- Ultimate Reservation Guarantee: If the hotel is unable to honor your reservation, they’ll pay for you to stay nearby.
- Dedicated Elite Reservation Line: Call 1-800-228-2100 any time to make a reservation.
- Dedicated Elite Guest Services Line: Call 1-800-321-7396 between 8:15 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. EST for account questions.
- Standard In-room WiFi
- Priority Late Check-out
- 10% Discount at the Marriott Gift Shop
- Exclusive Elite Offers
Path to Gold Elite Status
Cardholders get a fast track to Marriott Gold Elite status by spending $35,000 in an account year. Usually it would take 25 qualifying night stays to reach this level.
In addition to all the Silver benefits, Gold Elite members also get:
- 25% Bonus on Marriott Bonvoy Base Points: Provides a total of 12.5X Base Points at Marriott and Ritz-Carlton properties.
- Guaranteed Executive Lounge Access/Breakfast: Includes a free daily continental breakfast, light snacks, and beverages. You and one guest can enter for free.
- Complimentary Room Upgrade: Based on availability at check-in.
- Complimentary Enhanced In-room WiFi
- Guaranteed 4 p.m. Late Check-out
- Guaranteed Room Type
15 Elite Night Credits Annually
You’ll receive 15 Elite Night Credits every year, on or before March 1. Elite Night Credits count towards your Elite status with Marriott.
|Status||Required Qualifying Nights||Bonus on Base Points|
|Silver Elite||10 (Automatic with the Marriott card)||10%|
Visa Signature Concierge Service
Call 1-800-953-7392 at any time to reach your personal assistant, who can help with non-emergency tasks.
The concierge can provide four main types of assistance, but you don’t need to limit yourself to these topics:
- Travel: For help coordinating trips, booking flights and hotels, and finding the best deals.
- Sports and Entertainment: Your concierge can look for good prices on season tickets and may be able to find tickets to sold-out shows.
- Fine Wine and Food: Get assistance finding and making reservations at a variety of restaurants, from family-style to five-star.
- Shopping: Help finding special gifts, sending flowers, or searching for the best prices.
Your concierge service will probably be most helpful when you’re traveling somewhere new. If you’re bored, looking for a place to eat, or in a hurry to find a hotel, you can call the concierge for help.
Many travel cards with annual fees come with a concierge service, like the Sapphire Preferred. It might be provided by Visa, Mastercard, or American Express, but it’s generally the same level of service no matter who offers it.
Still other cards may or may not provide a concierge, depending on the level of card service you get. The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card comes as a Visa Signature with the concierge service, but only if your credit limit is $5,000 or more. Otherwise it will be a Visa Platinum, with fewer benefits.
Complimentary Premium In-room Wifi
Cardholders get premium on-property WiFi internet access at participating locations. You must provide your loyalty member account number when checking in.
Internet access is limited to one room only, regardless of how many rooms are booked.
Premier Experience Events
Cardholders will occasionally get invitations to exclusive events through the Premier Experience Events program. There are a variety of events, like high-class dining and cooking lessons, rounds of golf, and meetings with exciting people.
A few examples of recent Premier Experience Events:
- Epic Hockey Weekend in Toronto: An exclusive tour of the Hockey Hall of Fame, dinner with a hockey legend, VIP seats to a game, and a stay at the Delta Hotel Toronto. Price: $1,400.
- Charleston Wine + Food Festival: Passes to taste the culinary creations of chefs from around the country, a VIP multi-course dinner and wine pairing, and a stay at the Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel. Price: $1,300.
- Walk the Red Carpet Weekend in L.A.: Celebrity treatment and VIP access to an L.A. music show, with live music and cocktails.
Dedicated Customer Service Line
- Purchase Protection: Your purchases are covered against damage and theft for 120 days, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
- Extended Warranty Protection: U.S. manufacturer’s warranties of three years or less can be doubled, up to one additional year.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance: Call for help with emergencies, including legal and medical referrals.
- Trip Delay Reimbursement: If a trip is delayed by over 12 hours, get reimbursement for expenses like meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement: If your checked or carry-on bags are lost or damaged, provides reimbursement up to $3,000 per passenger.
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Provides coverage for rental cars against theft and collision, as long as the car rental company’s own insurance is declined.
- Zero Liability Fraud Protection: You won’t be held liable for unauthorized transactions. Contact customer support immediately if you suspect fraud.
- Emergency Card Replacement and Cash Advance: If you’re in a jam you can get a new card delivered within one to three business days, or an emergency cash advance within hours.
- Account Alerts: Get personalized alerts to track your balance, payments both due and received, and available credit.
The Terms & Fees
|Purchase APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|18.24%–25.24% Variable||18.24%–25.24% Variable||27.24% Variable|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|$95||None||5%, $5 minimum||5%, $10 minimum|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|None||Up to $38||Up to $38|
The rewards and benefits of this card might seem complicated, but the terms and fees are pretty simple.
The major points of interest are the $95 annual fee, and no foreign transaction fees. That means you can bring this card with you when traveling outside the U.S. without worrying about extra charges, which can be as much as 3% on other cards.
As discussed above, you can offset the annual fee simply by using the annual Free Night Award. Or, if you redeem your points for 1.24 cents each, you can earn $95 in value by spending as little as $451 at Marriott properties.
What is the Credit Limit of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card from Chase?
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless comes with a minimum credit limit of $5,000. The credit line you get will be determined by your creditworthiness when approved.
You can also request a credit limit increase from Chase. If you want a higher limit, we recommend doing this about every six or 12 months. Chase may also increase your credit line occasionally if you show responsible credit behavior.
|Chase Customer Support||
1-302-594-8200 (international calls)
|Marriott Elite Reservation Services||1-800-228-2100|
|Marriott Elite Guest Services||1-800-321-7396|
You’ll have two different customer support teams for this card: one at Chase, and one at Marriott. (You actually have another team through Visa, but that’s mostly limited to using certain card benefits).
Contact Chase if you have an issue with your card account, like unauthorized transactions.
Contact Marriott Elite Guest Services if you have a problem with your Marriott Bonvoy account, or any Marriott-specific questions.
Contact Marriott Elite Reservation Services if you need to quickly make a reservation or can’t do it online.
Overall, Chase tends to come in a bit below average when it comes to customer support. In J.D. Power’s Credit Card Satisfaction Survey 2017 they came in 5th out of 11 major issuers. That’s where they placed the year before too.
However, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless cardholders get a dedicated customer service line with Chase, and can probably expect to get better-than-average support. And as a Silver Elite member with Marriott you’ll probably be treated pretty well by them, too.
|Chase Twitter Support||@ChaseSupport|
You can contact Chase customer support online by logging in to your account and sending them a secure message. They’ll usually get back to you pretty quickly, sometimes in just an hour or two.
Or, if you have more general questions, you can send them a message on Twitter, @ChaseSupport. Be sure not to send any personal or account information via Twitter, or any other social network.
The Bottom Line
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless is a very rewarding card offer from Chase, giving you a chance to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and enjoy enhanced member status.
The 6X Bonus points you get are in addition to any Base points for being a member. So the higher you can raise your status, the more value you’ll get from this card. If you like staying at Marriott Bonvoy properties, the 100,000 bonus points from the introductory offer should take you pretty far.
Read up on all the benefits, and take advantage of them whenever possible to get discounts, room upgrades, and insurance for your purchases and trips. For some travelers, perks like the Free Night Award and Silver Elite status might make this card worth the cost all on their own.
Look for the best redemption options, and consider paying with your card if you can’t get a good deal with points. Your Free Night Award would be enough to offset the $95 annual fee of this card. Or you can do it with about $451 in spending if you get about 1.24 cents per point. But you may be able to find even better deals that.
This is an excellent card for booking with Marriott Bonvoy hotels, but if you don’t ever stay in these hotels the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless won’t do you any good. Or perhaps you want something even better, with more valuable benefits. Take a look at some other credit cards for hotel spending below.
How to Apply for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless
You can apply for the Marriott card securely on Chase’s website.
Usually you’ll get an instant decision, either yes or no. In some cases Chase may request more information to process the application.
Qualifications and Requirements
- You cannot apply if you already have this card or the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier Credit Card, or you’ve received a new cardmember bonus from either of those cards in the last 24 months
- Must be 18 to apply
- Personal identifying information, including SSN, email address, and phone number
- Total annual income, and source of income
- Monthly mortgage/rent payment
- Marriott Bonvoy rewards number (if you already have one)
Alternatives to the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card
- Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card (Review): No annual fee; 10X miles at Hotels.com/venture, 1.25X miles for all other purchases; 20,000 bonus miles for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (Review): $95 annual fee; 2X points for travel and dining; 60,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.
- Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card: $450 annual fee; 5X points at Marriott Bonvoy properties, plus member points; two complimentary nights for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. (Update: This card is no longer available to new cardholders. If you already had the card you can continue using it as normal.)
The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card (Review) is one of the best no annual fee cards for general hotel spending, thanks to a new partnership between Capital One and Hotels.com. Rather than being limited to Marriott or another brand, this card provides great rewards at any hotel you can find through Hotels.com (including Marriott).
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
The VentureOne’s reward program is pretty simple compared to the Premier Rewards Plus. Capital One miles are always worth 1 cent each when redeemed for travel expenses, so you can easily see the return on spend for any given purchase.
You’ll be earning the equivalent of 10% cash back at Hotels.com/venture, an outstanding rate for a no-fee general-use travel card. Other purchases will provide the equivalent of 1.25% cash back.
There aren’t a million redemption options to consider, which might be nice if you don’t care to spend time looking for the best deals. If you just want to get a nice discount at hotels without much hassle, the VentureOne will do the trick.
The VentureOne card comes as a basic Visa Platinum if your credit limit is below $5,000 when approved. If your limit is equal to or greater than $5,000, you’ll get an upgraded Visa Signature.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card always comes as a Visa Signature with a minimum $5,000 credit line, if you’re approved. If you get a Visa Signature version of the VentureOne, you’ll get a set of shopping and travel benefits similar to those of the Marriott card. But if you get a Visa Platinum, you’ll only get the following four protections:
- Extended Warranty: Eligible items purchased with your card can have their manufacturer’s warranty doubled up to an additional year, for warranties of three years or less.
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Decline the rental company’s own insurance to get coverage against collision damage and theft, for eligible rented vehicles.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services: Access to a variety of services like medical and legal referrals, emergency transportation or ticket replacement, and pre-trip assistance.
- Travel Accident Insurance: Provides up to $100,000 in coverage for accidental loss of life, limb, sight, speech, or hearing while traveling by common carrier.
The Capital One card doesn’t come with any of the hotel-specific perks of the Marriott card, like annual free nights or complimentary internet access.
Terms & Fees
The VentureOne card has no annual fee, and no foreign transaction fees. Cardholders get a 12-month 0% intro rate for purchases (then 14.24%, 20.24%, or 24.24% Variable), a feature you won’t have with the Marriott card.
If you know you’ll be spending a lot of money with Marriott, it probably makes sense to use its co-branded card. But if you won’t travel much, or will stay at a variety of hotel brands outside Marriott, you’d be better off with a general hotel card like the VentureOne.
Read more in our Review of the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (Review) is one of the more popular general-use travel cards. It’s good for all kinds of travel spending, not just hotels but also airlines, car rentals, parking garages, and more. The card has a $95 annual fee.
|Introductory Bonus Offer|
You’ll earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Sapphire Preferred, which are usually worth 1 cent each. But they can be redeemed for travel expenses through the Ultimate Rewards portal for 1.25 cents each. You can also transfer them to a variety of airline and hotel partners (including Marriott), where they might be worth as much as 2 cents each or more.
If you redeem for 1.25 cents per point, you’ll be getting a cash back equivalent of 2.5% on travel and dining. If you get 2 cents per point, your cash back equivalent would be 4% on those purchases.
That’s not very much compared to what the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card can offer, but it’s pretty good for a general travel card. The Marriott card is much more rewarding but it’s limited to Marriott Bonvoy brands.
The Sapphire Preferred comes as a Visa Signature, so it has a set of shopping and travel protections that are similar to those of the Marriott card. There might be some slight differences between the cards.
In addition, Chase also provides the following for the Sapphire Preferred:
- Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: Benefits at over 900 properties around the world, like daily breakfast for two, complimentary WiFi, and room upgrades when available.
- Shop Through Chase: Get additional points at participating merchants, like Ulta Beauty, Groupon, The Apple Store, and The Home Depot.
- Chase Preferred Experiences: Invitations to exclusive events in big cities and select locations around the world.
- Invite Friends for 10,000 Points: You’ll get 10,000 bonus points for every friend you refer who’s approved, up to 50,000 bonus points per year.
You won’t get the Marriott-specific perks, but some of these benefits can perform the same functions. The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection will give you some perks that resemble member status, and the Preferred Experiences are similar to Marriott’s Premier Experience Events.
Terms & Fees
The Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee. There are no foreign transaction fees.
So it’s got a set of terms that are mostly like the Marriott card.
To offset this annual fee, you could spend $4,750 at the 2X rate and then transfer the points to get a value of 2 cents per point. That would give you $95 in value.
Or, if you redeem through Ultimate Rewards for 1.25 cents each, you’d need to spend $7,600 with the card.
You probably wouldn’t need both the Bonvoy Boundless card and the Sapphire Preferred. Examine your travel habits, do the math, and see which card would be more rewarding over an average year. But if you if you do a lot of traveling, spending plenty of money with Marriott and other brands, having both cards might be a good idea. You can also consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve (Review), which is more expensive and more rewarding.
Read more in our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
If you want a premium hotel card for Marriott stays, check out the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card. It has a $450 annual fee, but there are many cost-saving benefits that actually make this card very affordable for anyone who will travel several times per year.
|Introductory Bonus Offers|
The rewards program is pretty similar to the Marriott card, but the Ritz-Carlton card only provides 5X points instead of 6X. That’s a bit strange for a card with a higher annual fee, but there are other features that balance this out.
During your first year with the Ritz-Carlton card you’ll get automatic Marriott Gold Elite status. This ends up providing 12.5X points at Marriott properties, after a 25% bonus. You’ll need to spend $10,000 with the card annually to maintain this status after the first year.
That would give you 17.5X points per dollar with Marriott, for a cash back equivalent of 17.5–35%, depending on redemption method. At Starwood properties you’d get a 7–14% cash back equivalent.
The Ritz-Carlton card offers has some travel-related, non-hotel bonus categories, unlike the Marriott Bonvoy or Bonvoy Boundless cards. Use it at airlines, car rental agencies, and restaurants, where you’ll get a 2–4% cash back equivalent. The Ritz-Carlton card is quite good for that kind of spending, because it has also has a few benefits that can make flights more affordable and comfortable.
In addition to all that, you’ll get a signup bonus of two complimentary nights at a Tier 1–4 Ritz-Carlton hotel. These night credits could be valued very highly, especially at Tier 4 properties. A night in The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, a Tier 4 hotel in Maui, could cost $616 or even much more, depending on when you book.
If you redeem for two of those nights you’d get a $1,232 value. To earn those night credits you’d need to spend $4,000, which means in this example you’d get a return on spend of about 31%.
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards card has some excellent benefits for anyone who will travel several times per year. You’ll get both airline and hotel perks, among others:
- $300 Annual Airline Travel Credit: Good for incidental airline purchases (not tickets), like baggage fees, seat upgrades, and in-flight food.
- $100 Discount on Qualifying Itineraries: Reservations of two to five travelers may be eligible for a $100 discount.
- $100 Hotel Credit: Get a $100 credit for eligible stays of two nights or more at Ritz-Carlton hotels.
- Complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership: Get free access to over 900 airport lounges around the world (normally costs $399 per year).
- Marriott/Ritz-Carlton Gold Elite Status for One Year: Complimentary Gold Elite status for the first year. Spend $10,000 per year to maintain Gold status.
- Fast Track to Platinum Elite Status: Spend $75,000 with the card in a given account year to get Platinum Elite status.
- Upgrade to Ritz-Carlton Club Level: Get an upgrade to access the Club Level lounge, on up to three qualifying stays of seven nights or less per year.
- Global Entry Application Fee Credit: A credit for the $100 application fee for Global Entry, available once every five years.
- Special Car Rental Privileges: Special discounts and upgrades when available, at Avis, National, and Silvercar.
We’ve only included the most valuable benefits here, but you can clearly see how the Ritz-Carlton card can make traveling much less expensive. If you’re looking for a luxury hotel card this set of perks will be pretty enticing, especially if you already stay with Marriott/Ritz-Carlton often.
Terms & Fees
You’ll need to pay $450 per year for the Ritz-Carlton card. There are no foreign transaction fees.
This fee is pretty high, but consider all the travel credits you can get. Each year you’ll get $300 in air travel credits. There’s also a $100 airline credit and a $100 hotel credit that you can use over and over, as many times as you want. The Priority Pass Select membership would normally cost $399, but that’s included too.
Even if you only used each of the $100 credits once per year, you’d still get $899 in value from those four benefits alone. That’s enough to offset the annual fee for about two years, and we didn’t even consider the other perks, the spending rewards, or the signup bonus.
Altogether, the Ritz-Carlton Rewards card could be incredibly rewarding for anyone who will be able to make good use of its benefits. Consider this card if you’re already spending time in Marriott Bonvoy hotels and you want to enhance your experience in a pretty significant way.
Read more in our Review of the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card
Do you have the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless to get great deals at Marriott properties? What are your favorite ways to use it? Let us know by leaving your own review!
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