Marriott has a suite of co-branded credit cards issued by American Express and Chase. While the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card is Marriott’s $95 annual fee card, there’s also the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card, which has no annual fee. I wanted to take a closer look at the card in this post.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card Basics For October 2022
Many people go out of their way to only get no annual fee cards, though often you’re forgoing significant benefits when you choose one of those cards over a premium card. That’s why the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card is so interesting, since it’s fairly rare to see no annual fee hotel cards with valuable benefits.
Is this card right for you, and who should be getting this card over one of Marriott’s premium credit cards? Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know.
Limited Time Bonus Of 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card is offering a limited-time welcome bonus of 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $2,000 within the first three months.
I value Bonvoy points at ~0.7 cents each, so to me, those points are worth ~$420. While nothing earth-shattering, it is a good bonus with a very reasonable spending requirement for a card without an annual fee.
Marriott Credit Card Eligibility Restrictions
Given that there are several American Express and Chase Marriott cards, some pretty complicated restrictions are in place regarding eligibility for this card.
The card is not available to those who are:
- current cardmembers of the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Credit Card (also known as Marriott Rewards Premier), Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card (also known as Marriott Rewards Premier Plus), Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card, or
- previous cardmembers of the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Credit Card (also known as Marriott Rewards Premier), Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card (also known as Marriott Rewards Premier Plus), or Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card, who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 24 months.
Furthermore, the welcome bonus isn’t available to you if you:
- are a current cardmember, or were a previous cardmember within the last 30 days, of Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express);
- are a current or previous cardmember of either the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express), Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card (also known as the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card), or Marriott Bonvoy Bevy American Express Card, and received a new cardmember bonus or upgrade bonus in the last 24 months; or
- applied and were approved for the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express), Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card (also known as the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card), or Marriott Bonvoy Bevy American Express Card, within the last 90 days.
This is all in addition to Chase’s 5/24 rule, whereby you typically won’t be approved for a card if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months.
No Annual Fee
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card has no annual fee. You can’t beat not paying an annual fee on a card! You can even add additional card members at no extra cost.
Earning Points With The Marriott Bold Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card has some bonus categories, though this isn’t a card I would use for my everyday spending.
3x Bonvoy Points At Marriott Hotels
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card offers 3x Bonvoy points for spending at Marriott-family hotels globally. For many people, this will be a worthwhile bonus.
Since I value Bonvoy points at ~0.7 cents each, that’s the equivalent of a ~2.1% return on hotel spending. Note that other co-branded Marriott cards offer 6x points, so while this is better than nothing, it’s not the best credit card for spending at Marriott hotels.
2x Bonvoy Points On Travel
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card offers 2x points on all travel purchases. This includes everything from trains to taxis to rental cars to flights. While it’s nice that the card offers bonus points for this, that’s still only a return of ~1.4%, by my valuation.
1x Bonvoy Points On All Other Purchases
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card offers 1x points on all other eligible purchases. This isn’t very good, as that’s the equivalent of a ~0.7% return on spending, by my valuation. Other cards are much better for everyday spending and offer a return of 2% or more.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card has no foreign transaction fees, so it’s a good option for purchases abroad.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card Benefits
While the benefits of the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card aren’t as good as on the premium versions of the card, there still are some decent perks when you consider that this is a no annual fee card. Let’s go over those benefits.
Complimentary Silver Elite Status
Just for having the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card you receive Silver Elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program. Now, don’t get too excited, as this doesn’t exactly come with that many benefits. Silver Elite status ordinarily requires 10 elite nights, and comes with the following perks:
- 10% bonus points on hotel stays
- Priority late check-out
- A dedicated reservations line
15 Elite Nights Toward Status Annually
Personally, my favorite status perk for having the Bonvoy Bold Card is that you get 15 elite nights toward status annually just for having the card. Note that several co-branded Marriott credit cards offer this, and you can only receive the benefit on one personal card per year.
This really makes it more attainable to earn Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, which is where status really gets valuable. Platinum Eliute status requires 50 nights, so if you have this card you’d only need to earn an additional 35 elite nights, and if you also had a business card you’d only need an additional 20 elite nights.
Now, keep in mind that the easiest pathway to Platinum Elite status is with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (review), as the card now offers Platinum Elite status for as long as you’re a cardmember.
One of the great features of Chase cards is access to Chase Offers, which provides savings on purchases with all kinds of retailers. The program can save you a significant amount of money, so it’s especially awesome to have access to this on a no annual fee card.
Protection With Trip Delays, Lost Luggage, And More
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card offers a variety of protection, both when traveling and for other purchases. Among these features is:
- Trip Delay Reimbursement — if your flight is delayed by more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement — be reimbursed up to $3,000 per passenger if you or your immediate family member check or carry on luggage that is damaged or lost by an airline
- Baggage Delay Insurance — be reimbursed up to $100 per day for five days for essential purchases when your bag is delayed by over six hours
- Purchase Protection — covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim, up to $50,000 per account
Make sure you check your cardmember agreement for all of the details since there are terms & conditions.
Is The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card Worth It?
The way I view it, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card has a good welcome bonus for a no annual fee card, and it’s also awesome that a no annual fee card offers 15 elite nights toward status annually with Marriott.
If you’re someone who would benefit from the fast track to elite status but doesn’t want to pay an annual fee, then I think this card is worth it.
But otherwise, I think it’s worth getting one of Marriott’s credit cards with an annual fee instead because I think the benefits more than justify the fees. Furthermore, this isn’t a good card for everyday spending.
Tip: Get The $95 Annual Fee Bonvoy Boundless Card
If you’re going to pick up a Marriott card from Chase, I’d much rather get the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card instead. The card has a $95 annual fee, but for that, you get a lot more benefits. On the most basic level, the card offers:
- A better limited time welcome bonus of 100,000 Bonvoy points after spending $3,000 within the first three months
- A free night award on your account anniversary every year, valid at a property costing up to 35,000 Bonvoy points per night
- A better return on spending, plus the ability to earn elite nights with spending
The other thing is that you can always get the Boundless Card now, and if you don’t like it, you can downgrade it to the no annual fee card after a year. You can learn more about the Bonvoy Boundless Card here and read a comparison of the Boundless & Bold Card here.
Why You Shouldn’t Transfer Points From Chase To Marriott
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review) offers 3x points on dining and travel
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review) offers 3x points on dining, online groceries, and select streaming services, and 2x points on travel
- The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review) offers 3x points on the first $150,000 spent annually on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
- The Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) offers 3x points on dining and drugstores, and 1.5x points on all other purchases, in conjunction with one of the above cards
In some cases, this would be your best bet for earning Marriott points through credit card spending, since you can earn 3x points (or even more) in select categories.
Even so, I wouldn’t recommend transferring Chase points to Marriott. As I said, I value Marriott points at ~0.7 cents each, while you can instead transfer points at the same ratio to programs like World of Hyatt, where I value the points at ~1.5 cents each.
While there are plenty of ways to earn Marriott points with credit cards, there aren’t many ways to do so at efficient or competitive rates.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card is the only option for those looking for a no annual fee Marriott credit card. The fact that the card offers 15 elite nights toward status annually is generous.
However, beyond that, I think getting one of Marriott’s premium credit cards instead is worthwhile. I’d highly recommend getting the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card. It has a much better welcome bonus than the Bold Card, and it offers an annual free night that more than justifies the annual fee. You can always try that card, and if you don’t like it, you should be able to downgrade the card after a year.