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Marriott Bonvoy is making a play for those of us who want to make the most out of the program without paying heavily for the privilege. The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card, launched this past June, comes with many of the bells and whistles found on its other popular rewards credit cards, with an annual fee of $0.
Is the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card right for you? Here are a few things to look at before you decide:
» Learn more: Marriott Bonvoy Bold review: Loyalty at a lower price
No annual fee, but fewer frills
This is the big reason to consider this card. The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card is the only card in the Bonvoy rewards credit card family with no annual fee. Here's what this card offers compared with its sibling cards:
A smaller sign-up bonus: Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Fewer points on spending: Cardholders earn 3 points per every $1 spent at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 2 points on other travel purchases and 1 point everywhere else.
Other Marriott cards earn 6 points per $1 spent at Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2 points per $1 on non-bonus category purchases.
» Learn more: Find the best hotel credit card for you
Silver Elite status
Every year, cardholders of the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card receive 15 elite night credits, which will automatically bump you to Silver Elite status in the Bonvoy program. Silver Elite members get an additional 10% bump in rewards points earned, a later checkout and access to a dedicated reservation line. (You get a similar fast-track to Silver status with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card.)
No free night
One of the primary benefits of the other Bonvoy credit cards is access to at least one free night every card anniversary. That alone can justify the annual fee for some cardholders. The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card doesn't include a free night.
Travel protection and insurance
For nervous travelers, these card features will put your mind at ease. Those with an Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card receive multiple types of insurance when paying for travel with this card:
Baggage delay insurance will reimburse you up to $100 per day, up to five days for essentials like toiletries or clothing for baggage delays over six hours.
Lost luggage insurance provides up to $3,000 per passenger for checked or carry-on luggage that has been lost or damaged by the airline.
Trip delay reimbursement covers you if you’re delayed by more than 12 hours or forced to stay overnight. Families can be reimbursed for meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.
Purchase protection covers new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft, up to $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per account.
» Learn more: Benefits of Marriott Bonvoy credit cards
The bottom line
If you don’t travel a lot but are looking to bank some points for a future vacation, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card is a great card. With an annual fee of $0, you won’t feel as guilty if you need to stay outside of the Marriott brand ecosystem for a night or two. You also won’t get as many perks.
If you already know you like Marriott hotels, it could be worth considering a Marriott card with higher points-earning potential and a guaranteed free night every year.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Which Marriott Bonvoy credit card should I choose? Travel loyalty program reviews Here's how much your points and miles are worth