Marriott Bonvoy Card Showdown: Bold Vs. Boundless

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Card Comparisons
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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:

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:

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:

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?

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.

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?

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  1. So I noticed something with your math.

    Bold: 50k points for $1k spend = 50 points per dollar for signup
    Boundless: 100k for $3k spend = 33.33 points per dollar for the signup bonus

    But, that spend still earns points. So at the minimum you’d be here:

    Bold: 50k+1k points (1 point per $1) for $1k spend = 51 points per dollar
    Boundless: 100k+6k points (2 points per $1) for $3k spend = 35.33 points per dollar

    Okay, that was the base category. Let’s look at absolutely maxing it:

    Bold: 50k+3k points (3 points per $1 Marriott spend) for $1k spend = 53 points per dollar
    Boundless (Marriott Spend): 100k+18k points (6 points per $1 Marriott spend) for $3k spend = 39.33 points per dollar
    Boundless (Gas and Dining): 100k+30k points (10 points per $1 gas and dining) for $3k spend = 43.33 points per dollar

    So, since you value them at $0.007 each, at minimum you’d be getting, per dollar, the following:

    Bold: min. 51 points per $1, so $0.357 per dollar (or 35.7% return) and at max 53 points per $1, so $0.371 per dollar (or 37.1% return) – average at 36.4% return.
    Boundless: min. 35 points per $1, so $0.245 per dollar (or 24.5% return) and at max (gas and dining) 43.33 points per $1, so $0.303 per dollar (or 30.3% return) – average at 27.4% return.

    Now I will say, the boundless signup bonus gives you most points in one go, but the overall return for the signup on the bold is better.

  2. My black Marriott card was converted to the Boundless after the card consolidation. I use it only for Marriott spend as I use other cards for day-to-day spend. My only complaint is that I regularly have to monitor points credit. Many times I get credited 2X instead of 6X on my stays and Marriott dines.

  3. Be aware that the 10x promo is targeted. We have a few Chase Marriott cards in my family, and none of us were eligible!

  4. Neither. I prefer the old cards that are no longer here. SPG Amex and Ritz Carlton had better benefits than any bonvoy card on the market. Many are annoyed that those types of cards or cards with those kinds of benefits are no longer here.

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