What credit score do you need to get the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card?
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
Marriott Bonvoy has a large and diverse credit card portfolio, with options issued by both Chase and Amex. In particular, Marriott Bonvoy credit cards run the gamut from no-annual-fee cards to premium cards. But the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is popular with many travelers since it sits right in the middle of the pack in terms of fees, perks and rewards.
Today, I'll discuss what credit score you need to get approved for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card.
Get the latest points, miles and travel news by signing up for TPG’s free daily newsletter.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless overview
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card carries a modest annual fee of $95 a year.
And the card currently offers a sign-up bonus of 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first three months of account opening.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card comes with automatic Marriott Silver elite status as well as 15 elite night credits a year to help you qualify for a higher tier. Plus, you'll get an anniversary free night certificate worth up to 35,000 points each year that more than makes up for the cost of the annual fee.
To learn more, check out our full Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card review.
Official application link: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
Credit score required for Marriott Bonvoy credit cards
Although the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless is easier to get than some of the premium travel rewards cards on the market, you may not be able to get approved if you don't have much credit history or have a history of bad credit.
Consumers with good or excellent credit — or anyone with a FICO score of 740 or higher — are more likely to be approved. However, it's certainly possible to get approved with a score outside this range.
Many other factors go into qualification beyond your credit score, including your income and the age of your credit accounts. Another significant factor that’s often forgotten about is your relationship with the bank. For example, if you’ve been a long-time Chase customer and have large balances in your banking accounts with them, reports suggest that you may have better approval odds -- especially if you apply in a branch.
Related: Here’s why you need both a personal and business Marriott Bonvoy credit card
How many card accounts can I have open?
Like most Chase credit cards, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless is subject to the Chase 5/24 rule.
This rule means that if you've opened five or more credit cards in the last 24 months (across all issuers but excluding most business cards), Chase will automatically reject your application. While there's no hard limit on the total number of card accounts you can have open, if you've opened too many accounts in the last two years, it will work against you.
You'll also need to contend with a few Marriott-specific application restrictions before you can get approved for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card. These rules center on whether you've recently had other Marriott cards issued by either Chase or Amex.
Specifically, you are not eligible to earn a sign-up bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card if any of the following apply:
- You are a current cardmember, or were a previous cardmember within the last 30 days, of the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card
- You are a current or previous cardmember of either the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card and received a new cardmember bonus or upgrade bonus in the last 24 months
- You applied and American Express approved you for the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card within the last 90 days
Related: Free nights and easy status: Here’s why I have 4 Marriott Bonvoy credit cards
How to check your credit score
Under no circumstances should you be shelling out cash to check your credit score.
After all, there are many ways to check your credit score for free. For example, some credit cards offer free access to your FICO score. In addition, it's a good idea to check your credit score regularly and track how it changes over time.
You can also easily open accounts on sites including Credit Karma or Credit Sesame. These sites are free and can help you keep even better track of your score and its factors. You can also use these services to dispute any information on your score that isn’t accurate or appears to be fraudulent.
I use Credit Karma and appreciate the regular, automatic updates when my score changes and alerts any time a new inquiry appears on my credit report.
Related: 6 things to do to improve your credit in 2021
Factors that affect your credit score
Before you start applying for any credit cards, it’s essential to understand the factors that make up your credit score. After all, the mere act of applying for new lines of credit will change your score.
While the exact formula for calculating your credit score isn't public, FICO is transparent about what factors go into its calculation:
- Payment history: 35% of your FICO score is made up of your payment history. You can improve this part of your score by making payments on time. Recent and extended late payments will harm your credit score the most.
- Amounts owed (credit utilization): 30% of your FICO score consists of the relative size of your current debt. In particular, your credit utilization is the total of your debts divided by the total amount of credit that you’ve been extended across all accounts. Many people claim that it’s best to keep your credit utilization below 20%, but it’s not a magic number.
- Length of credit history: 15% of your score is based on the average length of all accounts on your credit history. This becomes a significant factor for those who have a limited credit history, such as young adults, recent immigrants and anyone who has avoided credit. It can also be a factor for people who open and close accounts within a very short period.
- New credit: Your most recent accounts determine 10% of your credit score. Having recently opened too many accounts can hurt your score, as the scoring models may interpret this as a sign of possible financial distress.
- Credit mix: 10% of your score is related to how many different types of credit accounts you have. While having a larger mix of types of loans is better than having fewer, no one recommends taking out unnecessary loans just to boost your credit score.
One crucial factor to consider is your average age of accounts. While a lengthier credit history will boost your score, many issuers focus on the one-year cutoff. So, having an average age of accounts of more than a year can go a long way toward increasing your odds of approval. But, you might have trouble getting approved with 11 months of credit history, even if your numerical credit score is excellent.
Finally, if you have any delinquencies or bankruptcies showing on your credit report, Chase might be hesitant to approve you for a new line of credit even if your score is otherwise solid. It’s important to remember that your credit profile is more than just a number. It’s a collection of information given to the issuer to analyze your creditworthiness.
Related: 5 ways to use credit cards responsibly
What to do if you're rejected
One of the worst mistakes people make is giving up when they’re rejected for a credit card.
If you receive a rejection letter, the first thing you should do is look at the reasons given for your rejection. By law, card issuers are required to send you a written or electronic communication explaining what factors prevented you from being approved.
Once you’ve figured out why you’ve been rejected, call Chase’s reconsideration line. Tell the person on the phone that you recently applied for a Chase credit card and you were surprised to see that your application was rejected and you would like to speak to someone about getting that decision reconsidered. From there, it’s up to you to build a case and convince the Chase agent on the phone why you deserve the credit card.
If you were rejected for too short of credit history, you could point to your stellar record of on-time payments. If you were rejected for missed payments, you could explain that those were a long time ago and your record since then has been perfect. Of course, there’s no guarantee that this will work, but I’ve had about a third of my rejections reversed on reconsideration. At the end of the day, it’s worth spending 15 minutes on the phone if it might help you get the card you want.
Related: Are there any long-term problems if you get declined for a credit card — and what you can do about it?
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is appealing because of the annual free night certificate and Marriott elite status shortcuts it offers, all with an annual fee under $100.
While you don't need perfect credit to get the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, you will typically need a good score. But, when it comes to applying for Marriott credit cards these days, you often need to be more worried about the issuer-specific application restrictions than you do about having a high enough credit score.
Official application link: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
Additional reporting by Katie Genter and Chris Dong.