As road trips remain a popular travel option for the near future, a hotel credit card that helps you save on stays can come in handy. It’s even better if you can find one with no annual fee that offers valuable benefits.
Though the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card has a $0 annual fee, it offers a welcome bonus and some decent perks. By making charges with the card, you earn Marriott Bonvoy points, which you can redeem for stays across the chain’s 30 brands comprising more than 7,800 hotels around the world, with more than 5,000 in the United States. But in addition to the card’s well-known benefits, there are some lesser-known reasons why this card could be a good choice for you.
» Learn more: The 5 best ways to rack up Marriott Bonvoy points
But first: The well-known reasons
Here’s an overview of the popular benefits of the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card:
Welcome bonus: Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
$0 annual fee: Whether you shy away from annual fees or are just starting to build your credit, this card can be a great fit because you won’t have an ongoing expense. But if you’re open to an annual fee card with more lucrative perks, you might consider a different Marriott card.
» Learn more: Which Marriott Bonvoy credit card should I choose?
Here are some of this card’s underrated features you should consider when deciding whether it’s right for you.
Earn bonus points on travel
It’s rare to find a no-annual-fee rewards credit card that offers a welcome bonus and a favorable rewards structure for ongoing purchases. With the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card, you’ll earn:
3x Bonvoy points per $1 spent at thousands of participating Marriott hotels.
2x Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on other travel purchases (including plane tickets, taxis and rail lines).
1x point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
The bonus points you earn on travel purchases help you accumulate Bonvoy points faster, which means you can redeem them for award stays sooner.
Get automatic elite status
You don’t have to be a frequent traveler to achieve elite status. Just having the right credit card could get it for you automatically. With the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card, you’ll get 15 elite night credits per calendar year, more than enough to grant you Silver Elite status. Without the card, you would have to stay 10 nights to earn this benefit, so getting it for free is a nice card perk because you’ll earn 10% more points on eligible hotel purchases.
The Marriott Bonvoy program has five levels of elite status: Silver, Gold, Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador. Depending how often you stay at Marriotts, the 15 elite night credits each year could help you reach the next elite status tier.
For example, Gold Elite status is earned after staying 25 nights in a year. As a cardholder, you could stay 10 nights and use the 15 elite night credits to earn Gold Elite status, which gets you added perks like a 25% points bonus from stays and 2 p.m. priority late checkout, when available.
Pay no foreign transaction fees
While international travel remains challenging for the near future, having a card that won’t require you to pay fees on purchases overseas is a fantastic perk. Compare the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card to many other cards that charge up to 3% on top of every purchase you make internationally.
The bottom line
With the $0 annual fee Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card, not only can you earn a welcome bonus worth several free nights at the lower tier Marriott hotels but you’ll also earn bonus points on all travel purchases, which means you can accumulate points quickly and then redeem them for award stays at one of Marriott’s 7,800 hotels. This card also jump-starts your path to higher elite status levels. You’ll automatically get Silver Elite status, but you’ll also earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, which makes it easier to achieve Gold Elite or higher status.
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:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card