Skip to content

3 reasons why the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless is worth the $95 annual fee

June 09, 2022
6 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.


Hotel credit cards are often overlooked when compared to their airline card counterparts.

Mid-tier hotel cards, with annual fees of up to $100, can be an incredibly valuable addition to any wallet, whether you’re an infrequent traveler, a road warrior or a nonstop jetsetter. These cards tend to have relatively low annual fees yet can provide outsize value in the form of award nights, elite status, increased earning potential and other perks.

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is the Marriott portfolio’s mid-market personal card option, issued by Chase. With a terrific sign-up bonus of 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from your account opening. Certain hotels have resort fees.

But this elevated sign-up bonus isn’t the only reason to consider the Bonvoy Boundless card.

Want more credit card news and advice from TPG? Sign up for our daily newsletter!

Award Nights

(Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

By far, one of the card’s best perks — and what makes the $95 fee seem fairly insignificant — is an annual award night award. Here’s how it works (and why it’s so valuable).

Each year upon account renewal, cardholders receive an award night certificate valid at Marriott hotels that cost up to 35,000 Bonvoy points a night. While you certainly can’t redeem this certificate everywhere, there are thousands of options at 35,000 points a night or less. TPG’s valuations peg the value of 35,000 Marriott points at $294, which is nearly three times the $95 annual fee.

With Marriott's recent switch to dynamic pricing, you may find it harder to use these certificates, but you're now able to combine a certificate with up to 15,000 points to “upgrade” to a higher-priced award room, which should allow for some added flexibility.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Related: 6 great uses of Marriott 35,000-point free night certificates

15 elite nights and automatic elite status

Combine a personal and business Marriott card for 30 elite nights. (Photo by The Points Guy)

Similar to other mid-tier hotel cards from Hilton and Hyatt, Marriott offers automatic elite status with the Bonvoy Boundless.

The Bonvoy Boundless card comes with automatic Bonvoy Silver status. While that is Marriott’s lowest tier and won’t earn you lavish perks such as suite upgrades, it will still get you a 10% points bonus, late checkout and free Wi-Fi.

In addition, to help cardholders jumpstart their way to higher tiers of status (such as Gold and Platinum), this card automatically rewards them with 15 elite night credits per calendar year. You can also earn one credit towards elite status for every $5,000 you spend on the card — a perk that just launched in 2022.

Even better, you can get one set of elite night credits from a Marriott personal card and one more set of elite night credits from a Marriott business card, like the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card. This would earn you Gold status — and place you just 20 nights away from Platinum.

Related: Does it make sense to hold multiple Marriott Bonvoy credit cards?

Trip and baggage insurance coverage

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

The Bonvoy Boundless card also comes with a robust set of travel and baggage protection benefits that can help save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. These are perks that you don’t feel like you need — until something goes wrong.

With baggage delay insurance, Chase may reimburse you for essential purchases up to $100 a day for up to five days. And if a bag is lost, Chase may cover you for up to a whopping $3,000 per passenger. With trip delay reimbursement, if you are traveling on a common carrier that is delayed by more than 12 hours or requires to stay overnight, Chase may reimburse you for incidentals like meals or lodging, up to $500 per ticket.

Just note that you must charge your trip to the card in order for these protections to apply.

Related: How Chase’s trip delay coverage works in practice

Bottom line

With a large sign-up bonus and various perks that can easily be worth hundreds of dollars, it’s a no-brainer that the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless is worth its $95 annual price tag.

Keep in mind, though, that Chase restricts access to the Bonvoy Boundless with its 5/24 rule. The issuer likely won’t approve you for the card if you’ve opened five or more personal credit cards across all issuers in the last 24 months. In addition, there are Marriott-specific rules when it comes to eligibility for any new Bonvoy credit card, so you'll want to make sure you're eligible before you apply.

However, with the world continuing to reopen in earnest and the Boundless card offering a terrific sign-up bonus, now is a good time to apply if you do qualify.


Application link: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card with a welcome offer of 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from your account opening. Certain hotels have resort fees.


Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox and Christina Ly.

Featured photo of the Ritz-Carlton Maldives by Chris Dong/The Points Guy.

Featured image by (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023