While I recommend checking out my full reviews if you’re interested in applying for one of these cards, in this post I wanted to directly compare the two cards, to provide a side-by-side comparison of the perks.
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Card comparison
Let’s compare various aspects of the Marriott Bonvoy Bold and Marriott Bonvoy Boundless cards, including the welcome bonuses, approval odds, annual fees, points earning structures, perks, and more. Then I’ll try to provide a more definitive answer as to which card is better.
Comparing welcome bonuses
- The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card has a bonus of 30,000 Bonvoy points after spending $1,000 within three months
- The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card has a bonus of 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of card membership
I value Bonvoy points at ~0.7 cents each, meaning the bonus on the Bonvoy Bold Card is worth $210, while the bonus on the Bonvoy Boundless Card is potentially worth up to $1,050.
Winner: The Bonvoy Boundless Card is the clear winner here, as the bonus is potentially 5x as big.
Comparing annual fees
Comparing the annual fees of the two cards:
- The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card has no annual fee
- The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card has a $95 annual fee
Winner: The Bonvoy Bold Card has no annual fee, so will cost you $95 per year less. It goes without saying that card is the winner in the annual fee category, but that doesn’t mean it’s the better option, since you do get something in exchange for the annual fee on the Bonvoy Boundless Card.
Comparing approval odds
Comparing the approval odds, both the Bonvoy Bold and Bonvoy Boundless are Visa cards issued by Chase, so approval odds should be roughly equal. Both cards are subjected to the typical Chase approval policies, including the 5/24 rule.
Furthermore, eligibility for these cards is mutually exclusive, so you’re only eligible to receive the bonus on one of these cards.
Winner: This is a tie between the two cards, as both are issued by Chase and have similar eligibility requirements.
Comparing points earning structures
The two Marriott products have very different points earning structures, which will be a major point of differentiation. On the plus side, neither card has foreign transaction fees.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card earns:
- 3x Bonvoy points at Marriott hotels
- 2x Bonvoy points on other travel purchases
- 1x Bonvoy points on all other purchases
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card earns:
- 6x Bonvoy points at Marriott hotels
- 3x Bonvoy points on dining, gas stations, and grocery stores (on the first $6,000 in combined purchases every calendar year)
- 2x Bonvoy points on all other purchases
Winner: The Bonvoy Boundless Card wins by a long shot here. I wouldn’t use either of these as my primary card for everyday spending, but the return on spending on the Boundless Card is much better, between the better bonus categories and better return on everyday spending.
Comparing status earning opportunities
Both cards offer:
- Bonvoy Silver Elite status for long as you have the card
- 15 elite nights toward status annually, which can help you earn valuable tiers like Platinum Elite status more easily
It’s impressive that a no annual fee card is offering this perk, since that can help you significantly with earning status. However, there are two status advantages with the Bonvoy Boundless Card, as it offers:
- Gold Elite status when you spend $35,000 on the card in a calendar year
- One additional elite night for every $5,000 spent on the card
While those are advantages, I don’t consider them to be that significant. The perks of Gold Elite status are fairly limited, and $5,000 is a lot to spend to earn just one additional elite night.
Winner: Technically, the Bonvoy Boundless Card wins since you can earn Gold Elite status and additional elite nights through spending. I’d say it’s pretty close to a tie as both cards offer 15 elite nights, and that’s particularly impressive for a no annual fee card.
Comparing free night & internet perks
Two other perks set these two cards apart. Specifically, the Bonvoy Boundless offers the following two perks, which the Bonvoy Bold doesn’t:
- A free night award on your account anniversary annually, valid at a property costing up to 35,000 points
- Premium internet when staying at Marriott hotels
Premium internet isn’t the most exciting benefit ever, but the free night is a phenomenal benefit. That free night is the reason to have this card, as it alone more than justifies the annual fee.
Winner: This is where the Bonvoy Boundless wins by a long shot. The annual certificate valid at a property costing up to 35,000 Bonvoy points justifies the annual fee.
Which Marriott Card is better?
However, long term, I can see how some people may prefer the no annual fee Bold Card. Having a no annual fee card while receiving 15 elite nights annually is an awesome opportunity.
As I said, I’ve consistently been able to redeem the free night certificate for hotels that would cost $250+, but I realize that might not be the case for everyone.
But there’s another potential strategy here. The Bonvoy Boundless Card has a better welcome bonus than the Bonvoy Bold Card bonus. That could also be a reason to get the card, and if you don’t like it, you could always downgrade to the Bonvoy Bold after your first year.
If you have either of these two cards, do you prefer the Marriott Bonvoy Bold or Bonvoy Boundless?