Marriott Bonvoy Card Showdown: Bold Vs. Boundless

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Card Comparisons
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The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card are both co-branded personal credit cards issued by Marriott and Chase, and in this post I wanted to provide an in-depth comparison of the two cards.

If you want to read about the individual cards, check out my individual review posts:

Chase Marriott Bonvoy Card showdown

Let’s compare various aspects of the Bonvoy Bold and Bonvoy Boundless cards, including the sign-up 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 sign-up bonuses

Comparing the sign-up bonuses of the two cards:

I value Bonvoy points at ~0.7 cents each, meaning the bonus on the Bold Card is worth $210, while the bonus on the Boundless Card is worth $525.

Winner: The Bonvoy Boundless Card bonus is more than double that of the Bold card; no contest here.

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 Boundless Card.

The Bonvoy Bold is a phenomenal 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
  • 2x Bonvoy points on all other purchases

Winner: The Bonvoy Boundless Card wins by a long shot here. Personally, I wouldn’t use either of these as my primary card for everyday spending, but the return on the Boundless Card is much better, as you’re earning an incremental 3x points on Marriott spending, and an incremental 1x points on everyday spending.

The Bonvoy Boundless offers 6x points on Marriott spending

Comparing status earning opportunities

Both cards offer:

  • Bonvoy Silver Elite status for long as you have the card
  • 15 elite nights towards 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. The only benefit of the Bonvoy Boundless Card is that it offers Gold Elite status if you spend $35,000 on the card in a year. I don’t personally think that’s worth it, as Gold Elite status isn’t particularly rewarding, and that’s a significant spending requirement.

Winner: Technically the Bonvoy Boundless Card wins by a little since you can earn Gold Elite status through spending, though personally, I’d say it’s pretty close to a tie as both cards offer 15 elite nights.

Score suite upgrades as a Bonvoy Platinum member

Comparing Free Night & Internet Perks

There are two other perks that really 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. To me that free night is the reason to have this card; it alone more than justifies the annual fee.

Winner: This is where the Bonvoy Boundless wins by a really, really long shot. The annual certificate valid at a property costing up to 35,000 Bonvoy points justifies the annual fee.

I used my free night at The Langley in the UK earlier this year

Which Marriott Card is better?

Personally, 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 the $95 annual fee.

However, long term I can totally 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. That’s especially true for people who don’t value the free night award at a minimum of $95.

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 significantly better welcome bonus of more than 2x the value of the Bold. 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 Bonvoy Bold or Bonvoy Boundless?

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  1. I have 2 Marriott CC from Amex SPG (personal & business). Will I get approval when applying chase marriott ?

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