Marriott Bonvoy Bold Review: Hotel Perks for No Annual Fee

It's a $0-annual-fee card that still earns a large sign-up bonus and elevated rewards for spending at Marriott Bonvoy hotels. You'll get automatic Silver Elite status, too — but no free anniversary night.

Sara RathnerJuly 23, 2020

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Our Take


NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: This card is a catch for those seeking valuable Bonvoy perks — including automatic elite status — for an annual fee of $0.

Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card

on Chase's website

Annual Fee


Regular APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Intro APR


Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons


  • No annual fee

  • No foreign transaction fee


  • No free annual anniversary night

Alternate Pick: Even More Rewards

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Larger sign-up bonus, earning rate

Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card! You'll also earn 6 Bonvoy points per dollar spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, and 2 points per dollar spent on all other purchases. A free night award every year after your account anniversary helps offset the $95 annual fee.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee


Annual Fee


Annual Fee


Regular APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR


Intro APR


Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 14 months and 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 14 months

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

Full Review

For budget-conscious travelers seeking a hotel card with an annual fee of $0, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card is a strong option. It comes with attractive perks, including a sign-up bonus, solid ongoing rewards and automatic elite status. It lacks a free anniversary night — to get such a benefit, you'd have to go with the annual-fee version instead — but the card can still prove valuable, even for those who don't stay at Marriott properties frequently.

Key features of the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

Card type: Hotel.

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Limited Time Offer! Earn 50,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Ongoing rewards:

  • 3 points per dollar spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

  • 2 points per dollar spent on other travel purchases (such as airfare, taxis and trains).

  • 1 point per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.

NerdWallet values Marriott points at 1 cent each. This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 1 cent or more in value from your Marriott points.

Redemption options:

  • At hotels starting at 5,000 points per night for off-peak pricing. Marriott also advertises PointSavers rates, or discounts on award nights, for some properties. You can also combine points with cash to redeem for standard stays starting at $55 plus 1,500 points. When you redeem four nights' worth of points, you get the fifth night for free.

  • On additional charges during your hotel stay, including food, beverages and trips to the spa. Redeem at a rate of 250 points per dollar (or 0.4 cent per point).

  • On travel expenses like cruises and travel packages (your point values will vary based on what you book), or to cover the cost of TSA Precheck for 25,000 points. You can also transfer points, usually at a rate of 3 to 1 with a few exceptions, to participating airline loyalty programs. Bonvoy will kick in an extra 5,000 miles for every 60,000 points you transfer.

  • On a shopping spree, either by trading points for merchandise or gift cards.

APR: The ongoing APR is 15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR.

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Other benefits:

Why you might want the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card


Annual fees are like subscriptions you forgot you still had — they sneak on to your credit card statement so rarely that it doesn't really feel like you're spending money. But a wallet full of rewards cards can get expensive. The $0-annual-fee Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card still earns a generous sign-up bonus that you can redeem in a variety of ways. Trade in points for hotel stays, purchases during a hotel stay, travel packages and cruises, and gift cards and merchandise.

The value you get per point will vary depending on which redemption option you choose, and generally points are worth the most when redeemed for hotel stays. Still, it's nice to have options.


This card gives you Silver Elite status, which gets you late checkout (based on availability), compensation if the hotel can't honor your reservation, free Wi-Fi, a dedicated elite reservation line and a 10% point bonus on eligible hotel purchases.

Ordinarily, to earn Silver Elite Status, you'd have to spend at least 10 nights a year at Bonvoy properties. But this card automatically gives you 15 nights' worth of credit every year, which not only makes you Silver Elite but also gives you a head start on the 25 nights you need for Gold Elite status.

The 10% bonus that comes with Silver Elite status applies to the base points earned during a stay, not on bonus points earned through your credit card. For example, say you charged a $300 Marriott hotel stay to your card and got 900 bonus points from your card and 3,000 base points from Marriott. The 10% bonus for Silver Elite status would apply to the base points earned, so you'd get an additional 300 bonus points from Marriott. In all, you'd earn 4,200 points from this purchase.

How the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card fits into the Bonvoy family

There are three cards in the Marriott Bonvoy universe. Among them, only the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card has a $0 annual fee. As a result, it also offers fewer perks than the others. Most notably: You don't get a free anniversary night every year, and you earn points at lower rates. For more analysis, read NerdWallet's comparison of these cards. Here’s how they stack up.

Why you might want a different card

Limited bonus categories

Don't want to mess with bonus categories? Instead of the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card, a flat-rate rewards card could be a better fit.

The Discover it® Miles, which also has an annual fee of $0, could be a good option. It earns 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. Miles can be redeemed toward a broad range of travel purchases, including stays at any hotel, at 1 cent apiece. There's also a nice bonus offer.

Locked into the bonvoy system

If you don't stay exclusively at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, you might not get as much value out of the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card as you would with a general travel card with versatile rewards.

Consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which earns 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. You can use points to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, or transfer points to airline and hotel partners (which includes Marriott Bonvoy) at a 1:1 value. It offers this generous sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. The annual fee is $95.

Should you get the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card?

With its generous bonus and benefits, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card doesn't feel like "Bonvoy-lite." But for some, a more robust version of this card is the better bet, even with an annual fee. However, if you'd like the option to stay at a variety of hotels, opt for a more flexible travel rewards card.

All information about the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet.


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