At the moment we’re seeing limited time offers on both the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card. These are both co-branded personal credit cards issued by Marriott and Chase, so 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 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:
- The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card has a bonus of 50,000 Bonvoy points after spending $1,000 within three months
- The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card has a bonus of 100,000 Bonvoy points after spending $3,000 within three months
I value Bonvoy points at ~0.7 cents each, meaning the bonuses are worth ~$350 and ~$700 to me, respectively.
Winner: The Bonvoy Boundless Card wins by a long-shot here, as the bonus is twice as big, getting you an extra 50,000 Bonvoy points.
Redeem Bonvoy points at the St. Regis Maldives
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 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.
Both cards are issued by Chase
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
Meanwhile the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card earns:
- 6x Bonvoy points at Marriott hotels
- 2x Bonvoy points on all other purchases
- 10x Bonvoy points on gas and restaurants (valid through September 15, 2020, registration required, and limit of earning 10x points on $3,500 of spending)
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, an incremental 1x points on everyday spending, and temporarily an incremental 9x points on gas and restaurant purchases.
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, since Gold Elite doesn’t get you that much, 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, since 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:
- 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. To me that free night is the reason to have this card, as it more than justifies the annual fee in and of itself.
Winner: This is where the Bonvoy Boundless wins by a really, really long shot. An annual certificate valid at a property costing up to 35,000 Bonvoy points justifies the annual fee for my in and of itself.
I used my free night at The Langley in the UK earlier this year
Which Marriott Card is better?
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.
Like 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 much better welcome bonus, as you earn 50,000 more Bonvoy points, which I value at an incremental ~$350. 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 one of these cards, do you prefer the Bonvoy Bold or Bonvoy Boundless?