What began as a nine-seat root beer stand in 1927 grew into a modern-day hotel behemoth with over 7,800 properties called Marriott. While its Bonvoy loyalty program has endured recent criticism for reduced elite benefits and technical woes, it’s hard for travelers to write Marriott off completely.
Even after Marriott’s award redemption devaluations, there’s still value to be found in the Bonvoy program. One of the best ways to rack up Marriott Bonvoy points is with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card. It may not be for everyone, but here are six underrated reasons why this card might make sense for you.
1. Welcome bonus
There’s something big to love right off the bat when you open a new Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card. You’ll earn the following bonus: Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card!
While that pile of Bonvoy points won’t go as far as points from some other programs, this is a solid opportunity to pad your Marriott account for just a $95 annual fee. That’s enough points for a four-night standard rate stay at a Category 4 hotel like the AC Hotel New York Downtown in New York City.
2. Free night certificate
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card comes with an annual benefit that can sometimes far outweigh the annual fee. Each year you hold the card, you’ll get a certificate good for a free night at any Marriott property up to 35,000 points and that certificate can get you to some pretty nice places. Want to head to a Caribbean paradise? That 35,000-point certificate could get you a free standard night at the Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino, Courtyard Isla Verde Beach Resort, St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino or the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino.
» Learn more: Best hotel credit cards for free nights
3. Airline transfers
Sometimes a great use of Marriott Bonvoy points isn’t at a Marriott hotel at all. Marriott partners with more than 40 airlines, including some partners that are unique to Marriott. That means there’s no other way to transfer points into these airline accounts.
Points transfer at a 3:1 ratio in most cases. You’ll also earn an extra 5,000 miles for every 60,000 Bonvoy points you transfer. This often-overlooked use of Marriott points is a great way to get enough miles to take advantage of sweet spots, like 40,000 Asiana Club miles for a one-way business class flight to Europe. So get a Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, rack up some Bonvoy points and open up a world of transfer possibilities.
4. Private islands
Be the envy of your friends with a stay at a luxurious private island, paid for with points. Marriott recently welcomed the North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort, Seychelles into its portfolio. You can splurge for an epic trip and use your Marriott Bonvoy points to book a two-bedroom beachfront villa at this exclusive private island resort.
Closer to the U.S., you could redeem Bonvoy points for a stay at Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Autograph Collection in the British Virgin Islands — or the Renaissance Aruba Resort where flamingos roam the private island. Your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card comes with Silver Elite Status so you can take your Bonvoy points and head to a private island and also earn 6x on every dollar spent at a Marriott property with the credit card.
5. Fifth night free
Another often-overlooked benefit of using Marriott Bonvoy points earned via your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card is that if you book a standard room for four nights with points, you’ll get the fifth night free. That can add up to substantial savings (up to 20%).
This benefit is easy to use when you book. Select the five consecutive nights you’re looking to book, and Marriott will automatically apply the free fifth night in the points cost of your booking. If the points rate fluctuates during your dates, the lowest-priced night will be free.
6. Special money-saving offers
When you hold a Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, you’re eligible to add special Chase Offers to your card. Log into your account online (or the Chase Mobile App) and you’ll see your Chase Offers on the dashboard.
Click to add offers that you like, and they’ll automatically be applied after you use your card at that merchant. A statement credit will be applied to your account within seven to 14 days after your purchase.
The bottom line
Even though it may take more Marriott Bonvoy points to book a trip than it did in the past, there are still great ways to use your points to dramatically reduce the cost of your trip. With more than 7,000 Marriott hotels all over the world, you’ll find a property almost everywhere you’re looking to go.
When you use the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card to pay for charges at participating Marriott hotels, you’ll earn 6x points per dollar, and 2x per dollar on all other purchases. If you want to boost the balance in your Marriott account to take advantage of these underrated ways to use points, this card is an option to consider.