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With Bonvoy, the Marriott hotel chain united its disparate brands under one rewards program, simplifying the way travelers earn and spend points. As part of the launch, Marriott introduced several co-branded credit cards to entice travelers and help maximize points-earning potential.
The most recent credit card addition, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card, opens up the benefits of a Bonvoy rewards credit card without any annual fees. So who benefits the most from this newest member of the Bonvoy family? Mainly three types of people.
» Learn more: Marriott Bonvoy Bold review: Loyalty at a lower price
Do you find yourself staying in a hotel at least once a year and always paying for upgraded internet or asking for late checkout? Are you comfortable with a hotel chain but not fully committed? Are you saving up points for a free stay but aren’t quite there yet?
If these descriptions apply to you, you’re probably a semi-frequent traveler, and the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card is a solid choice for you. The card has an annual fee of $0, so as long as you’re paying off the balance every month, there’s no added financial burden.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card includes an automatic bump up to Silver Elite status, which includes benefits like late checkout. No more worrying about whether staying a bit later will mean an extra charge. Silver status also grants you 10% bonus points on stays, further increasing the amount of points earned so you’ll reach that free award night much faster.
If you're about to spend big
New Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card applicants are eligible for the following sign-up bonus: Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
This is the lowest amount of any of the Bonvoy cards, but it's still enough to book at least one overnight stay at many Marriott hotels. So if you’ve been saving up for a trip or are looking to cut down on costs for upcoming travel, this can be a great bonus.
The spending requirement will be easy for some people. Just making the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card the default card for essentials and food can add up quickly. But if you’re about to make a big purchase, this can be an easy way to build up a stockpile of points.
» Learn more: Marriott Rewards program: The complete guide
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card includes several insurance and reimbursement policies for travelers that can put your mind at ease. You never know when problems will arise, and no one wants to be left without toiletries or clothes. Baggage delay insurance, lost luggage and trip delay reimbursement are all included with this card.
You have to have paid for the trip with your Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card to qualify. The fine print includes certain stipulations, like a requirement that your trip be delayed by at least 12 hours to qualify, but the range of coverage is robust for a credit card with an annual fee of $0.
» Learn more: Find the best hotel credit card for you
The bottom line
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card is a great option for those looking for their first travel rewards card who aren’t sure what benefits they need. The lack of an annual fee makes this a good entry into Marriott’s Bonvoy rewards system.
The initial sign-up bonus provides a great starting cache for rewards, and while the earn rate isn’t as high as the other Bonvoy cards, regular use of the card will still earn you lots of points over time.
Frequent travelers or dedicated Marriott fans should look at other Marriott cards that carry annual fees but also include benefits like free nights every anniversary and bigger category bonuses.
» Learn more: Which Marriott Bonvoy credit card should I choose?
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