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Marriott Launches New Bonvoy Bold Credit Card With No Annual Fee

June 11, 2019
4 min read
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Marriott Launches New Bonvoy Bold Credit Card With No Annual Fee
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If you’ve been thinking about getting a Marriott-branded credit card but didn’t want to pay annual fees, you’re now in luck, thanks to the new Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card. It comes with some of the features of existing Bonvoy cards, but let’s be clear — you’re not getting all the benefits that come with these annual fee cards.

The bonus for this new card is 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $1,000 in the first three months. TPG values Marriott points at 0.8 cents each, meaning the card’s bonus is worth $400.

That welcome bonus is enough for two nights in a Category 4 hotel such as the Aloft Cancun, but isn’t as generous as the bonuses offered when the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card launched.

No surprise here — applicants are facing Chase’s eligibility restrictions that will prevent many would-be card holders from successfully applying for the Bonvoy Bold. This card, like the others, is restricted by Chase’s 5/24 rule, which means you can forget about being approved for it if you’ve opened five or more credit cards (across all issuers) in the last 24 months.

And you can forget about getting the Bonvoy Bold’s new cardmember bonus if: you currently have or have held the Marriott Bonvoy American Express® Card (also known as the old Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express) within the past 30 days; are a current or previous cardmember of either the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex (also known as the old Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express) or Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex (also known as the old Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card), and received a new cardmember bonus or upgrade bonus in the last 24 months. You’re also not eligible for the Bonvoy Bold if you applied and were approved for Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex or the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex within the last 90 days.

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While you’re getting a no annual fee Marriott-branded credit card, you’re giving up the higher points per dollar spent on the three cards with annual fees. With the Bonvoy Bold, you only earn 3x points per dollar spent at participating Marriott hotels and 2x points on other travel purchases, including airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, campgrounds, passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges, highways, parking lots and garages. You’ll earn 1x on everything else. So if you spend regularly on dining, groceries or gas, you won’t earn higher points on this card.

However, you do get Marriott Bonvoy Silver status, but only after receiving 15 elite night credits each calendar year. You also won’t pay foreign transaction fees on this card.

For a no annual fee card, the Bonvoy Bold has some nice travel and protection benefits, including trip delay reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, purchase protection against damage or theft for up to 120 days and 24/7 access to Visa Signature® Concierge services. But what’s missing with the Bonvoy Bold is the annual free reward night, automatic elite status or statement credits for eligible Marriott purchases.

Bottom Line

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold is designed to give loyal travelers an entry-level, no annual fee consumer card for those who don’t want to pay the Boundless card’s $95 annual fee. Some cardmembers may be willing to trade lower points per dollar spent in key categories and fewer perks for a no annual fee card that still rewards you for being a Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program member.

But if you’re not wedded to the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, you’re better off considering a card such as the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card (card no longer available for new applicants), since it offers higher points in more popular spending categories and slightly better perks than the Bonvoy Bold.

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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.