Is the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card Worth Its Annual Fee?

The free award night and fast-track to elite status can be worth a lot more than the annual fee.

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Although the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card has an annual fee, the card more than makes up for it if you use all the benefits, including the solid welcome offer and the anniversary free night award.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card to help you decide if the card makes sense for you.

How much is the annual fee?

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card has a $95 annual fee. This fee isn't waived the first year and will most likely appear on your first billing statement.

What is the current welcome offer?

Here's the current sign-up offer for new cardholders: Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases + 10X total points on eligible purchases in select categories.

NerdWallet values Marriott points at 0.7 cent each. The three free nights provided by the welcome offer are worth 150,000 Marriott points, valuing the offer at $1,050. When you compare that with the annual fee of $95, the card can be a great value if you're planning a Marriott stay in the near future.

Note: Before applying, it’s important to know that the bonus points aren't available to some customers who have had previous approvals or bonuses for related Marriott products. If in doubt, check the Chase "Offer Details" and read the fine print to ensure you qualify.

The most high-value perks of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Free award night

The free award night is a high-value benefit offered to Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card customers. You receive a free award night at participating properties, good for nights valued up to 35,000 points each. The free night will post to your account up to eight weeks after your account anniversary.

So what is this worth? Marriott rooms run on dynamic pricing, but if you shop around, you can get a lot of value out of this free night. A standard-rate Category 5 goes for 35,000 points per night, and you could get a free night at plenty of properties both domestically and internationally:

  • JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort and Spa, which can cost around $165 a night.

  • The St. Anthony, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Antonio, which can run over $300 per night.

  • Even the Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort, Corfu in Greece slots into a Category 5 with prices that can exceed $500 per night.

15 elite night credits

You’ll receive 15 elite night credits that post to your account within 60 days of account opening. Your 15 elite night credits put you only 10 nights away from qualifying for Gold status.

If you’re someone who easily spends 10 nights per year in a Marriott, this upfront credit of 15 elite nights can save you the thousands of dollars you would've spent on earning those 15 nights.

If you don’t think you’ll stay 10 nights in the year, then this perk will have no value to you.

Nerdy tip: You can earn an additional 15 elite night credits (for a total of 30) by holding both a personal Marriott card (such as the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card) and one of Marriott’s business credit cards. This qualifies you for Gold status through the following year and puts you 20 additional nights away from Platinum Elite.

Silver Elite status

Silver Elite status is an automatic benefit that Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card customers receive. Whether you stay zero nights or nine nights per year, you’ll always have Silver status if you hold this card (and you’ll be eligible for Gold status after staying those additional 10 nights).

Silver Elite status perks include:

  • 10% earning bonus on stays.

  • Priority late checkout.

  • Free Wi-Fi.

  • Access to exclusive member rates, "cash + points" redemptions, PointSavers and more.

Earn Gold Elite status

Travelers who can spend a substantial amount on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card can earn Gold Elite status by charging $35,000 or more in purchases in a year. This status is valid through the end of the following calendar year.

As mentioned above, you can also earn Gold Elite status by logging 10 qualifying nights, which will get you to this tier threshold when combined with your card’s 15 elite nights.

No foreign transaction fees

Another feature of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card is that it doesn't have foreign transaction fees. This perk is fairly common among travel credit cards, but it has the potential to save you 1% to 3% on purchases made during international trips.

If you travel internationally and stay at Marriott properties, being able to pay with this card could earn a lot of bonus points without paying a foreign transaction fee.

Earn up to 17 points per $1 when using the card

Marriott makes earning rewards with spending on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card pretty easy. Cardmembers earn an outstanding 17x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. For example, a $500 Marriott hotel charge on your card would net 8,500 points.

Since NerdWallet values Marriott points at 0.7 cent each, those points would be worth $60.

For the first six months of card membership, you will earn 10 points per $1 on up to $2,500 at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants. If you’re able to spend all $2,500, you’ll walk away with 25,000 points, which are worth an additional $175.

You'll also earn 2x points on all other purchases.

Who isn't eligible to apply for this card?

You aren't eligible for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card if:

  • You already have a Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card (formerly known as the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus).

  • You are a current Marriott Bonvoy Premier or Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card cardmember.

  • You were a cardholder of one of the above cards who received a new cardmember bonus in the past 24 months, regardless of whether your card is still open.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card benefits vs. the annual fee

It is pretty easy to justify the $95 for this card: If all you do is use your free night certificate at a decent Marriott hotel, you’re probably going to break even with the annual fee. Additionally, the welcome bonus earned in your fist year can be worth more than $1,000 when redeemed at even average redemption rates.

You can further justify the annual fee in years two and beyond — all it takes is a single Marriott stay for a work or vacation trip to reap the benefits because of the 17x points earning rate and the automatic Silver Elite status. The card also becomes a great option for those who plan to stay 10 or more nights at a Marriott in a given year and can start to take advantage of Gold Elite status.

So is the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card worth the annual fee? If you have any travel plans that include a Marriott, the answer is yes.


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 2021, including those best for:

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