Marriott Bonvoy Card Showdown: Bold Vs. Boundless

Marriott Bonvoy Card Showdown: Bold Vs. Boundless

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The Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card (review) and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card (review) are both co-branded personal credit cards issued by Marriott and Chase.

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.

Redeem Bonvoy points at the St. Regis Maldives

Comparing annual fees

Comparing the annual fees of the two cards:

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.

The Bonvoy Bold is a good no annual fee 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.

The Bonvoy Boundless offers 6x points on Marriott spending

Comparing status earning opportunities

Both cards offer:

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.

Score suite upgrades as a Bonvoy Platinum member

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:

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.

I’ve used my free night at The Langley in the UK

Which Marriott Card is better?

I think the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card is the better of the two cards, and that the incremental benefits over the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card more than justify its annual fee.

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?

Conversations (3)
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  1. Michael Guest

    I have had what is now the boundless card for some time. I find the annual free night is easy to justify the fee. When I got the card I needed more credits to keep stays, since then I have earned lifetime tip tier status - twice over - so while I don’t need it for qualification, I keep it for the multiplier on points and the free night. During the pandemic where I went from 250 nights on the road to 25, that free night kept there card active with me.

  2. EugOR97 New Member

    Getting frustrated with Marriott for many of the reasons floating around the points/miles blog-o-sphere. My prediction is that this lifetime Plat will have no cards within a year (save the Ritz) and trying to burn my certs and points prior to deval.

  3. DHL Guest

    One word of warning. I applied for the American Express Brilliant card last August and all the welcome gift was refused for no specific reason except they claimed that I upgraded to a Chase Boundless card 2 years earlier and therefore disqualified for the American Express bonus Bonvoy points. Even after my appeal to the management, they just turned down my request. I will not continue with this card any further after the first year and it was not even free.

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The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Michael Guest

I have had what is now the boundless card for some time. I find the annual free night is easy to justify the fee. When I got the card I needed more credits to keep stays, since then I have earned lifetime tip tier status - twice over - so while I don’t need it for qualification, I keep it for the multiplier on points and the free night. During the pandemic where I went from 250 nights on the road to 25, that free night kept there card active with me.

0
EugOR97 New Member

Getting frustrated with Marriott for many of the reasons floating around the points/miles blog-o-sphere. My prediction is that this lifetime Plat will have no cards within a year (save the Ritz) and trying to burn my certs and points prior to deval.

0
DHL Guest

One word of warning. I applied for the American Express Brilliant card last August and all the welcome gift was refused for no specific reason except they claimed that I upgraded to a Chase Boundless card 2 years earlier and therefore disqualified for the American Express bonus Bonvoy points. Even after my appeal to the management, they just turned down my request. I will not continue with this card any further after the first year and it was not even free.

0
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