Our evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships, but we may earn a commission from our partners’ links. This content is created independently from TIME’s editorial staff. Learn more.
When shopping for a credit card, you have no shortage of options, including cash back cards, travel cards, and co-branded hotel and airline cards. The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® card, issued by Chase, falls into the last category. It offers exclusive benefits and perks at Marriott properties. And if you stay at one of Marriott’s more than 8,500 properties at least occasionally, this card may be worth a closer look.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® card brings excellent benefits to loyal Marriott customers. While there is a $95 annual fee, it’s relatively easy to make the card pay for itself. However, Marriott points aren’t the most valuable, and the card lacks the flexibility you get with some competing cards.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless: Pros and cons
- Annual “Free Night Award” (from the second year onward)
- Up to 17x points per dollar at Marriott properties
- Automatic Silver Elite status
- You also get automatic Silver Elite status with the no-annual-fee Bonvoy Bold card
- Other Chase cards may be better for transferring points
- Free Night Awards expire after 12 months (in the fine print under “offer details”)
Who is the card for?
Because most of this card’s benefits are focused on stays at Marriott properties, it’s best if you expect to stay with one of Marriott’s brands during the year. This includes not only Marriott Hotels but also brands such as the Ritz Carlton, Sheraton, and Westin.
If you aren’t already a member of Marriott Bonvoy, you’ll be enrolled in the program automatically if you are approved for this card. You can then use it to earn higher membership levels (more on that later).
The card has a $95 annual fee, so you have to not mind paying to gain access to some premium perks. The card offers more perks than the no-annual-fee Marriott Bonvoy Bold®, and it’s more affordable than the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ ($250 annual fee) and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® ($650 annual fee) cards.
Chase does not indicate a minimum credit score required for the Boundless card. However, it is a mid-tier travel card, so you should aim for a credit score in the “good” to “excellent” range. Generally, the higher your credit score, the better your approval odds will be.
When deciding whether to sign up for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card, take these features into consideration:
Free Night Awards
You can earn three Free Night Awards (valued up to 50,000 points each) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. In addition, you get a Free Night Award every year, beginning on your first account anniversary (valued up to 35,000 points).
High earning rates
The Boundless card has high earning rates, allowing you to accrue a substantial point balance with relative ease. Here’s how you can earn points at Marriott properties using it.
- Earn 6x points for every dollar spent at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®
- Earn 10x points spent at Marriott for being a member
- Earn up to 1x point with Silver Elite status
In addition you can earn 3x points per dollar on the first $6,000 in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining. Finally, you can earn 2x points per dollar on all other purchases. Points don’t expire as long as you make a purchase on your card at least once every 24 months.
Earn elite status
As mentioned, you automatically earn Silver Elite status with the Boundless card. It also lets you earn Gold Elite status by spending $35,000 each calendar year. However, you also earn 15 Elite Night Credits (ENCs) each calendar year, which can help you earn higher membership levels. You can earn Gold Elite status with 25 qualifying nights, so getting 15 ENCs just for having the Boundless card can give you a nice head start.
The ongoing annual percentage rate (APR) for this card is comparable to what you’ll see from the best hotel credit cards available today. While it’s possible to get a lower APR, most hotel credit cards will likely carry a similar rate. Remember that you can reduce how much you pay in interest by raising your credit score and paying your bill in full every month.
Although the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card is a co-branded hotel card, you can also transfer your points to dozens of airline transfer partners, including Delta, United, American Airlines, and numerous others. Points generally transfer at a three-to-one ratio, meaning every three Marriott points you transfer will become one airline mile.
However, Marriott will add 5,000 bonus miles for every 60,000 points you transfer, or 10,000 bonus miles for United MileagePlus®. For example, if you transfer 60,000 points to United, you would get 30,000 miles instead of 20,000.
The fine print
Here are the stats on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card.
- Annual fee of $95.
- Regular APR of 21.49% to 28.49% (variable).
- Cash advance fee of 29.99% (variable).
- Penalty APR of up to 29.99%.
- Foreign transaction fee is $0.
- Late fees of up to $40.
- Returned payment fee of up to $40.
Additional hidden perks
The perks mentioned in previous sections are undoubtedly the best ones this card has to offer. Still, it has a few extra tricks up its sleeve. As a Chase card, it gives you the following:
- Baggage delay insurance. If your baggage is delayed more than six hours by a passenger carrier, you can get reimbursed up to $100 a day for five days.
- Lost luggage reimbursement. If you or an immediate family member has luggage that is lost or damaged by the carrier, you can get reimbursed up to $3,000 per passenger.
- Trip delay reimbursement. If your trip is delayed by more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you can get reimbursed for expenses such as meals and lodging up to $500 per ticket.
- Purchase protection. This covers new purchases for up to 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per account.
- Visa concierge. The card includes complimentary Visa Signature® Concierge Service 24 hours a day. The concierge can help you find tickets to sports events, make dinner reservations, or help you send gifts.
While these benefits are standard for Visa Signature cards, it’s nice to know you’ll have some recourse if something goes wrong during your trip.
What could be improved
One of the biggest downsides to this card is the point valuation. Estimates vary, but they generally fall into the 0.7 cent to 0.9 cent range. This puts their value much lower than other cards, such as the Chase Sapphire cards, which are often worth two cents or more. While hotel points are often worth less than airline miles or transferable points, it would be good to see more value.
As mentioned earlier, you get even less value from your points when you transfer to airlines, as the ratio is usually three Marriott Bonvoy points to one airline mile. Compare this to Chase Ultimate Rewards, which again nets you a much better one-to-one ratio when transferring to airline partners.
Lastly, one possible area of improvement is the status you get with this card. It’s nice that you at least get Silver Elite, but that is the lowest of Bonvoy’s five membership tiers. And considering that the Bonvoy Bold card gives you the same status for no annual fee, it would seem to make sense for the Boundless card to come with Gold Elite. Alas, it does not.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card offers a wide range of benefits to card members, including an annual Free Night Award, high earning rates on hotel bookings and purchases, and automatic Silver Elite status. However, its points aren’t the most valuable, and you can get better redemptions with other Chase cards. Still, if you’re a regular Marriott customer, you can likely get more value out of this card than the cost of the annual fee.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Is the Boundless card worth it?
The Boundless card can be worth it if you are a regular Marriott customer. The annual Free Night Award alone is worth up to 35,000 points, which could potentially pay for the $95 annual fee. However, if you don’t travel often or prefer to avoid annual fees, the Bonvoy Bold card could be a better choice.
What credit score do you need for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card?
Chase doesn’t list a specific credit score needed to qualify for this card. However, as a mid-tier travel card, a credit score in the “good” to “excellent” range (690 to 850) should give you the best chance of being approved. Generally, the higher your credit score, the better your approval odds will be.
What is the minimum credit limit for Marriott Bonvoy Boundless?
Chase does not state a minimum credit limit for this card.
What is the maximum credit limit for Marriott Bonvoy Boundless?
Chase also does not specify a maximum credit limit for this card.
The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.