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UPDATE: The 100k offer is no longer available, but the current offer is even better! You can find the latest offers here.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card from Chase
Current offer: Earn 3 free night certificates (each valid for a night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. Also earn a total of 10 points per dollar on purchases at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores on up to $2500 in the first 6 months.
Annual fee: $95. The bonus and benefits are worth a lot more than that.
Free night benefit: In addition to the nice welcome offer, you will receive a free night at each anniversary. Starting at your first anniversary of card membership, receive a free night certificate redeemable for one night worth up to 35,000 points (This benefit kicks in at your first anniversary of card membership, not when you open the card).
Though the annual fee is $95, the annual free night can be valuable. We used a certificate to book the Tambo del Inka property (a Luxury Collection Resort) in Peru. This is a great value because the rate on our dates was over $400 per night. So even if we get no other benefits out of having this card, think of it like this: we booked a $400 room for $95.
Silver status: This card also gives the cardholder automatic Marriott silver status, which is… meh. But I thought I would mention it in case anyone cares. If you spend $35,000 per year you’ll receive gold status.
Fast tack to elite status: Receive 15 Elite night credits each calendar year
What is the earn rate on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card?
With the the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card, you earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar at Marriott properties (for a total of up to 17 points per dollar, depending on your elite status), and 2 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar on everything else. The earn rate on this card seems high, but Marriott points aren’t as valuable as other points.
How much are 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points worth?
It depends on how you redeem them. You can redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for free nights at Marriott properties. You can also transfer them to airlines, but the ratio isn’t ideal. More on that in a moment.
I’ll give a few examples below, but the increased offer of 100,000 points can be extremely valuable. Although I do not value Marriott Bonvoy points as much as other points such as Chase Ultimate Rewards points, the benefits and the welcome bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card usually land it on our list of top offers (even when the offer was lower).
The reason Marriott points aren’t as valuable as others is that Marriott has an inflated redemption chart. The highest category is 8, and redemption rates are 70,000/85,000/100,000 (off-peak/standard/peak). On the other hand, my other go-to hotel program, World of Hyatt, also has 8 categories. The rate for a Hyatt category 8 property is only 40,000 Hyatt points, which is less than half of a standard free night at a Marriott category 8 property.
Tip: Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to Marriott at a 1:1 value, but due to Marriott’s inflated chart, it’s usually not a good value. There is another way to redeem UR for Marriott stays, though. You can read more about using Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book Marriott properties here.
Related post: Not all miles and points are equal
With that said, a bonus of 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points has some serious potential. If luxury is your thing, you can book one night at a category 8 property. Category 8 properties can be very expensive ($1,000 or more).
Marriott Bonvoy points will stretch further at category 1-7 properties. To give you an idea of how far 100,000 points will go, here is the redemption chart:
Redeem the bonus points for a stay worth over $1200
UPDATE: This property is now category 6, which means more points are required.
We booked the Tambo del Inka property (a Luxury Collection Resort) in Peru for our trip in a few weeks. We actually ended up booking with a free night certificate (see credit card details above), but this property is category 5. Category 5 properties require 30,000/35,000/40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night (off-peak/standard/peak). I’ll use standard pricing to keep this simple, but depending on your dates, it could be 30,000 or 40,000.
After meeting the minimum spending requirements for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card, you would have at least 110,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. That’s 100,000 bonus points plus 10,000 points from meeting the minimum spending requirement of $5,000 in the first three months ($5,000 X the earn rate of 2=10,000).
At a rate of 35,000 points per night, 110,000 points is more than enough for 3 nights. For our dates, the rate at Tambo del Inka was over $400 per night after taxes. This means that the welcome bonus would have a potential value of over $1200.
Note that we do have to pay the “Destination Amenity Fee” on our free night, but our other taxes and fees are only $3.49:
If you redeem the bonus to book this property (or one of similar value), your out of pocket cost for the 3 night stay is only the annual fee of the credit card ($95) plus resort/destination fees. Not bad for a stay worth at least $1200.
Keep in mind that this is just one example, and a category 5 property may not always have such high paid rates.
Stretch Marriott Bonvoy points even further
When you redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for a consecutive stay of 4 nights, the 5th night is free.
2 player mode more than doubles your redemption potential
If each person opens their own Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card from Chase, each person would have at least 110,000 points after meeting the minimum spending requirement.
Share Marriott Bonvoy points with a partner to get even more value
Marriott allows you to pool points with another Marriott Bonvoy member, up to 100,000 points per year. This is important because of the 5th night free situation. If you do not have enough points to book 4 nights, you and a partner can combine points.
Book a stay in Hawaii worth over $4,000
UPDATE: This property is now category 7, which means more points are required.
A stay at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in Hawaii (Big Island) would be a great use of the bonus. The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (an Autograph Collection property) is Marriott Bonvoy category 6 hotel. A category 6 property is 40,000/50,000/60,000 (off-peak/standard/peak) Marriott Bonvoy points per night.
200,000 points would be enough for a 5 night stay at standard pricing or a 6 night stay at off peak pricing.
Tip: Off peak, standard, and peak pricing varies from property to property and changes on a monthly basis. If you book at a higher rate, keep checking until the date of your arrival. If pricing changes to off peak or standard before your cancellation date, you can rebook at the lower price.
For some dates I found in February, the redemption is priced at the standard rate of 50,000 points per night. For a 5 night stay, you would need 200,000 points. (4 nights X 50,000, then the 5th night is free).
To get the combined total of 200,000 points, Person 2 can transfer 90,000 points to Person 1 (who would already have 110,000 points after meeting the minimum spending requirement) and then you would have a combined total of 200,000 points.
This stay is worth $4,338!!
If you can find off-peak pricing, 200,000 points would be enough for 6 nights! (40,000 X 5=200,000 and one of the nights would be free).
You may be able to stretch your points even further at other Marriott properties in Hawaii. For example, the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort (which is right next to the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel) is a category 5 property. You can book it for 30,000/35,000/40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night (off-peak/standard/peak).
Related post: Marriott properties in Hawaii
Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to airlines, but not at a 1:1 ratio
Hotel points can sometimes be transferred to airlines, but it is usually such a bad ratio that I avoid bringing it up.
Marriott has several airline partners, and the ratio is better than that of other hotel programs (if you factor in the credit card earn rate of 2 points per dollar), but I still try to avoid it. The transfer ratio for most Marriott Bonvoy airline partners is 3:1.
For every 60,000 you transfer, you receive a 5,000 mile bonus. So if you transfer 60,000, then the 3:1 ratio means you would have 20,000 miles. After adding the 5,000 mile bonus, your net would be 25,000 miles. On the other hand, I can transfer bank points such as Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards to several airlines at a 1:1 ratio.
Related post: Best ways to book Hawaii flights on miles and points
Who is eligible for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card and the bonus offer?
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card is a Chase 5/24 card. This means that if you have opened 5 or more credit cards from ANY bank in the past 24 months, you will not be approved for this card.
If you currently have this card or the former versions of it (Marriott Bonvoy Premier, Marriott Rewards Premier, or Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card), you cannot open this card. If you previously had this card or one of the above and received a signup bonus less than 24 months ago, you also aren’t eligible.
You cannot open this card if you have the other Marriott personal card issued by Chase (the Marriott Bonvoy Bold credit card) or if you previously had it and earned a signup bonus on it less than 24 months ago.
Amex also issues Marriott Bonvoy co-branded cards. So 2 banks issue Marriott cards: Chase and Amex. Both banks have restrictions on welcome bonuses. To put it simply, once you open one from either bank, you may be ineligible for another Marriott bonus until you close that card and/or there may be a waiting period before you can get another welcome bonus on another card. To summarize, here are the restrictions on receiving a signup bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card from Chase:
- Marriott Bonvoy American Express card or the former version of it (Starwood Preferred Guest credit card from American Express): If you have or have had this card in the previous 30 days, you’re ineligible for the bonus.
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card or the former version of it (the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card): If you have opened this card in the past 90 days or if you received a bonus in the last 24 months, you’re ineligible for the bonus.
- Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card or the former version of it (the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express): If you have opened this card in the past 90 days or if you received a bonus in the last 24 months, you’re ineligible for this bonus.
If you’re new to this, I still suggest opening a Chase Ultimate Rewards earning card first. If you already have a Chase Ultimate Rewards earning card, opening the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card now would be a great move.
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