Home Credit Cards Credit Card Review: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless (Entry Level)

Credit Card Review: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless (Entry Level)

by joeheg

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card by Chase is the only entry-level Marriott Bonvoy card available to new applicants. Marriott points are useful because of the variety of hotels available in the Bonvoy program in addition to the other ways you can redeem your points with their travel partners.

Sign Up Bonus

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card currently has two sign up offers. We have a referral link for an offer of three free night certificates at a Marriott hotel costing 35,000 points a night, or less if you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months after opening your account.

If you’re interested in this offer, here’s our link (we receive a referral bonus if you sign up and are approved for the card) 

There is also another public sign up offer for 75,000 Bonvoy points if you spend $3,000 in the first three months. This offer may be a better deal if you’re looking to use your points at either a low category or high category Marriott hotel as you have some extra flexibility. You can find a sign-up page for this offer here.

There are some truly confusing rules to sign up for the Marriott Bonvoy cards since there are cards available from both Chase and American Express. First things first. This card, like most Chase cards, is subject to the Chase 5/24 rule. This means if you’ve applied for 5 or more credit cards in the last 24 months, Chase will not approve you for a new card. The Bonvoy cards have their own set of additional rules for new applications. Here’s an explanation:

Eligibility for this product: The product is not available to either:

  • current cardmembers of the Marriott BonvoyTM Premier credit card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier) or Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM credit card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus), or
  • previous cardmembers of the Marriott BonvoyTM Premier credit card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier) or Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM credit card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus), who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 24 months.

If you are an existing Marriott Rewards Premier or Marriott BonvoyTM Premier customer and would like this product, please call the number on the back of your card to see if you are eligible for an upgrade bonus.

Eligibility for the new cardmember bonus: The bonus is not available to you if you:

  • are a current cardmember, or were a previous cardmember within the last 30 days, of Marriott BonvoyTM American Express® Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express);
  • are a current or previous cardmember of either Marriott Bonvoy BusinessTMAmerican Express® Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest®Business Credit Card from American Express) or Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantTMAmerican Express® Card (also known as the Starwood Preferred Guest®American Express Luxury Card), and received a new cardmember bonus or upgrade bonus in the last 24 months; or
  • applied and were approved for Marriott Bonvoy BusinessTM American Express® Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express) or Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantTM American Express® Card (also known as the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card) within the last 90 days.

Annual Fee

There’s a $95 annual fee, that’s not waived for the first year.

Bonus Spending Categories

When spending on the card, you earn points in the merged Marriott Bonvoy program as follows:

  • Earn 6 points for every dollar of eligible purchases at participating Starwood and Marriott Hotels
  • Earn 2 points for all other eligible purchases

Now, I’ll admit that is not a very exciting list of bonus categories. Even at Marriott hotels you only earn 6X points but you can earn 3x points on all hotel spending by using either the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Citi Prestige cards.

Card Benefits

Let’s look at what benefits you get with Starwood for having the card:

  • Free in-room premium internet (when booking directly through Marriott)
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status. Ability to earn Gold Elite status if you spend $35,000 or more in eligible purchases in a calendar year
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits to be used to reach the next level of status.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. The award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 points) at a participating hotel. Select hotels have resort fees
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

Ways to Use Bonvoy Points

Points earned with the Bonvoy Boundless card can be used to stay at Marriott properties. In addition, you’re able to transfer points to many different Airline Frequent Flyer programs (possibly with a bonus, depending on how many points you transfer). That’s not counting the additional options of Marriott Bonvoy Moments (which I explain later in this post).

Hotel Stays

Points can be used for award stays at any of the Marriott hotels. They cover over 30 chains worldwide where you can spend your points:

  1. The Ritz-Carlton
  2. St. Regis
  3. JW Marriott
  4. Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  5. The Luxury Collection
  6. BULGARI
  7. W Hotels
  8. EDITION
  9. Marriott Hotels
  10. Sheraton
  11. Marriott Vacation Club
  12. Delta Hotels
  13. Le Meriden
  14. Westin
  15. Autograph Collection
  16. Design Hotels
  17. Renaissance Hotels
  18. Tribute Portfolio
  19. Gaylord Hotels
  20. Courtyard Hotels
  21. Four Points
  22. SpringHill Suites
  23. Protea Hotels
  24. Fairfield Inn & Suites
  25. AC Hotels
  26. Aloft Hotels
  27. Moxy Hotels
  28. Marriott Executive Apartments
  29. Residence Inn
  30. TownPlace Suites
  31. element

Flights

You can transfer points to the frequent flyer programs of over 30 different airlines. The transfer ratio is 3 points to 1 mile for most airlines and you get a bonus of 5,000 extra miles when you transfer 60,000 points. That means it’s best to transfer only in 60,000 point increments when your 60,000 points will give you 65,000 miles. A change from the previous transfer ratio is with United Airlines. Where previously a transfer to United was a horrible deal, you’ll now get a 10% bonus when sending points to United.

FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAMS POINTS : MILES
Aegean Airlines 3:1
Aeroflot Bonus 3:1
AeroMexico ClubPremier 3:1
Air Canada Aeroplan 3:1
Air China Phoenix Miles 3:1
Air France/KLM Flying Blue 3:1
Air New Zealand Airpoints™ 200:1
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan® 3:1
Alitalia MilleMiglia 3:1
ANA Mileage Club 3:1
American Airlines 3:1
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club 3:1
Avianca LifeMiles 3:1
British Airways Executive Club 3:1
Asia Miles™ 3:1
China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles 3:1
China Southern Airlines 3:1
Copa Airlines ConnectMiles 3:1
Delta SkyMiles® 3:1
Emirates Skywards® 3:1
Etihad Guest 3:1
Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns® 3:1
Hainan Airlines 3:1
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles® 3:1
Iberia Plus 3:1
Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank 3:1
Jet Airways JetPrivilege® 3:1
JetBlue TrueBlue™ 6:1
Korean Air SKYPASS 3:1
LATAM Airlines LATAMPASS 3:1
Lufthansa Miles & More 3:1
Multiplus 3:1
Qantas Frequent Flyer 3:1
Qatar Privilege Club 3:1
Saudia Airlines 3:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer® 3:1
South African Airways Voyager 3:1
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® 3:1
TAP Air Portugal 3:1
THAI Airways 3:1
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles 3:1
United MileagePlus® 3:1.1
Virgin Atlantic® Flying Club 3:1
Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer 3:1

Other uses for Starpoints

There are also other interesting ways for you to spend your points. One of those is the Marriott Bonvoy Moments program. Some of the events they offer a set price are:

  • Access Marriott Bonvoy Luxury Suite for the Billy Joel, The Who, Pink, John Mayer, and Hootie & The Blowfish at Madison Square Garden
  • Watch a Cubs game at Wrigley Field from the Marriott Bonvoy Luxury Suite

Besides the fixed price tickets, they also have auctions for more “once in a lifetime” events:

  • Take part in a charity match at the Manchester United F.C. Home Pitch
  • Experience an evening fine dining at Spago + Kitchen tour with Wolfgang Puck.
  • Live it up at World Price + Stay at W New York – Times Square

For one of the most expensive uses of points, here’s an article by Dan, of the website Dan’s Deals, who won an auction to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 7 of the World Series at Wrigley Field for 1,060,500 Starpoints (the equivalent of over 3 million points Bonvoy points).

Final Thoughts

As far as how to use your points, for years I hoarded Starwood and then Marriott points I earned with this card. I always felt there would be some exotic destination I would want to travel to and I would transfer Starpoints to the airline for the fancy seats on the flights. With limited vacation time, I’ve realized I have enough points and it was time to start spending my points. Luckily, I’ve found that using points for hotel stays can be a great value. I wish we could stay somewhere for 5 nights more often so I could take advantage of the fifth night free on reward stays as I did at the Sheraton New York and the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London.

One of the most common uses of this perk was to stay for five nights at the Swan or Dolphin hotels at Walt Disney World with points for the price of four nights. Marriott has caught on the value people gave these rooms and have placed them into category 6, costing 40,000 to 60,000 points a night (previously they only cost the equivalent of 30,000 points).

Swolfin

I value Marriott Bonvoy points at .667 cents per point. I usually find redemptions worth much more than that, like when I managed to get 2.25 cents per point value booking a room at the Residence Inn in New York over Thanksgiving weekend.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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