Who should (and shouldn't) get the Marriott Bonvoy Bold card?
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Back in 2019, Marriott unveiled its latest credit card offering -- the no-annual-fee Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card.
While it carries some of the features of the three other Marriott Bonvoy cards, you’re naturally not getting all the benefits that come with annual fee products. But in a world of increasing fees, there is something to be said about a no-annual-fee travel card that still offers value without having to pay a single dollar.
So who is this Bonvoy Bold card specifically for? Beginner travelers who are looking for a taste of loyalty perks can stand to benefit from having this card in their wallets.
The Bold card also has a current sign-up bonus of 50,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. TPG values Marriott points at 0.8 cents each, meaning the card’s bonus is worth $400.
Let’s take a closer look at this entry-level hotel card to see if it makes sense for you.
Want more credit card news and advice delivered to your inbox? Sign up for our TPG daily newsletter.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold offers a handful of notable perks -- especially for a card without an annual fee.
First, the card comes with automatic Silver elite status. While that won’t get you upgraded to a penthouse suite, you’ll still get notable benefits such as a 10% points bonus, priority late checkout, free in-room Wi-Fi, mobile check-in and an ultimate reservation guarantee.
The Bold card also gives you 15 free elite nights, meaning it’ll be easier to bump up from Silver to Bonvoy Gold or Platinum. And if you also have a Marriott Bonvoy business card -- such as the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card -- you can get another 15 elite nights for a total of 30 nights.
Other perks include:
- Baggage delay insurance — You can get reimbursed up to $100 per passenger for up to five days for essential purchases made because of a baggage delay over six hours.
- Lost luggage reimbursement — You’re covered up to $3,000 per passenger if you or an immediate family member check or carry on luggage that is damaged or lost by the carrier.
- Trip delay reimbursement — If your flight is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you’ll be covered up to $500 per ticket for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and hotel costs.
- Purchase protection — This covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft (up to $500 per claim and $30,000 per account).
- Visa Concierge — Visa Signature Concierge Service is available 24 hours a day to help you book entertainment tickets, make dinner reservations and more
It’s not often that a no-annual-fee card offers a full suite of baggage and trip delay coverage, making the Marriott Bonvoy Bold attractive for those who end up using it to pay for travel.
Who should get the Marriott Bonvoy Bold card?
The card is best suited for beginner travelers who are looking to become loyal to a hotel chain. And it’s easy to do so since Marriott has a huge global footprint, with 30 brands and more than 7,000 properties across 131 countries and territories ranging from budget to five-star luxury.
The card doesn’t come with an annual fee and, therefore, doesn’t come with many of the valuable perks other Marriott Bonvoy cards offer. However, it can act as training wheels for someone just getting into the travel game who wants to reap the benefits of Marriott Silver elite status when they stay at Marriott hotels.
Chase’s Bonvoy Bold is subject to the issuer’s 5/24 rule, which means to be approved, you cannot have opened five or more personal credit cards across all banks in the last 24 months. If you are under 5/24, consider if the Bonvoy Bold is the next Chase card that is right for you, as it’s a valuable spot in your wallet that you don’t want to go to waste.
Who shouldn’t get the Marriott Bonvoy Bold card?
If you’re a semi-frequent traveler that stays at Marriott-branded hotels, it may make more sense to have a different card (Marriott or otherwise) that better suits your specific needs.
Case in point: The Bonvoy Bold is the only card in the Marriott portfolio that doesn’t include a free-night certificate of any kind. Even the $95-per-year Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card offers an anniversary free-night certificate for a stay worth up to 35,000 points.
The Boundless also provides the opportunity to step up from Silver to Gold status by spending $35,000 in a calendar year. TPG pegs Silver status at just $45 per year and Gold status at $840 per year, so the value of being an elite member starts to really shine through here.
Obviously, if you don't plan on staying at Marriott hotels, then there are better travel card options that offer more flexibility. A transferable points card, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers incredible versatility, with the ability to move Chase Ultimate Rewards points to 13 airline and hotel programs. You could also consider a card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card — which allows transfers to select airline and hotel partners along with the ability to redeem miles for statement credits to offset any travel purchase.
With a current sign-up bonus of 60,000 points and a variety of perks that can easily be worth hundreds of dollars, the Bonvoy card is a compelling no-annual-fee product for beginner travelers.
However, it’s not a card for everyone, especially for those that travel more frequently. The rewards rates and added perks of cards, such as the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless, more than make up for the annual fee. However, true beginners (and maybe those who are absolutely against adding another annual fee to their wallet) could find solid value with the Bonvoy Bold.
Apply here for the Marriott Bonvoy Bold card.