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Announced alongside the new Marriott Bonvoy branding earlier this month, Chase has replaced the popular Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card with the newly minted Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card. The card becomes the only Marriott co-brand card from Chase, with Amex taking over issuer duties for the business and premium Marriott cards.
The Marriott Bonvoy Card sports a welcome bonus of 75,000 points, provides an annual free-night certificate good for properties up to 35K points per night, automatic Silver Elite status, a ‘Path to Gold Status’ when you spend $35,000 on the card each year, plus a host of other benefits.
- Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- An additional Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
- Earn 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 6,900 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
- 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
- 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.
- 6X points for every $1 spent at over 6,900 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
- 2X points everywhere else
Marriott Bonvoy Card Signup Bonus and Annual Fee
Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card. The card charges an annual fee of $95, which isn’t waived for the first year.
Points Earning Potential and Category Bonus
The new card receives the same points-per-dollar rate as its predecessor, earning:
- Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at over 6,900 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2X points everywhere else.
- 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
The earn rates on all Marriott co-brand cards are still a bit of a sore point for Marriott/SPG fans. Pre-merger, the SPG co-brand cards were go-to cards for every day, non-bonus spending, earning the equivalent of 3x Marriott points per dollar spent. The Marriott Bonvoy Card (and its Amex counterparts) earns just 2x points on non-bonus spending, a drop of 33%.
The low return on spend means Marriott fans will be unlikely to put much spend on the card, focusing instead on cards with higher earning ratios, and holding onto the Marriott Bonvoy Card for the annual free night and benefits rather than its earning capacity.
Marriott Bonvoy Card Feature Benefits
Free Night Certificate
The hero feature on the Marriott Bonvoy Card is the anniversary free night certificate, awarded every at every anniversary you hold the card. The anniversary free night offered on the Marriott Bonvoy Card qualifies cardholders for a free night in any Marriott property up to the value of 35,000 points, the equivalent of a category 5 hotel priced at standard pricing (category 5 hotels cost 35K standard – 30K off-peak – 40K peak).
“Your Anniversary Free Night Award is valid for a one night hotel stay at a property with a redemption level up to 35,000 points.”
Automatic Silver Elite Status
Just for holding the Marriott Bonvoy Card you’ll earn Silver Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy, and keep it as long as you are a cardmember. Silver Elite status with Marriott is nothing to write home about, but members are entitled to:
- Complimentary in-room internet
- Member rates
- Mobile check-in/services
- Ultimate Reservation Guarantee
- 10% points bonus on base points
- Priority late check-out when available
- Dedicated elite reservation line
While Silver status isn't likely to get you into the executive suite, any status is better than no status when booking stays with Marriott.
Path to Gold Status
For every year you put $35K spending on the Marriott Bonvoy Card, you’ll earn automatic Gold Elite status through December 31 of the following year. If you can knock that spending out in the first couple months of the new year, you could earn Gold Elite status for the better part of two years. In addition to the benefits awarded Silver Elite members, Gold status members receive:
- 25% points bonus on base points
- 2 pm priority late checkout when available
- Bonus points as an in-hotel welcome gift
- Complimentary room upgrades subject to availability
If Marriott hadn’t stripped free breakfast from its list of Gold Elite perks, this benefit would be a lot more attractive. As it stands, $35K spending to reach an elite status you can achieve just by holding The Platinum Card® from American Express (Terms Apply) is a significant opportunity cost for not much gain.
15x Elite Night Credits Each Year
Cardmembers will receive 15 elite night credits to aid in the annual hunt for elite status. Unfortunately, this benefit doesn’t stack with elite night credits from any other card in the Marriott portfolio of rewards cards, closing one of the more useful loopholes for folks chasing free upgrades, late check-out, and free welcome gifts.
In addition to the regular 5/24 policy placed on Chase’s co-brand and Ultimate Rewards earning cards, Marriott has layered an extensive and confusing set of restrictions on its new rewards cards. We go into the restrictions in detail in a separate post, and Award Travel 101 founder Richard Kerr has outlined the best application strategies for the new Marriott cards, but the short of it is; if you currently hold a Marriot, Ritz-Carlton, or SPG co-brand card, or you've held one anytime in the previous 24 months, study these rules in detail before deciding on an application strategy as you may not qualify for the welcome bonus.
There are no significant changes to the new Marriott Bonvoy Card outside of a name change. But, if you can make use of the annual free night certificate, the out of pocket expense to hold the card long term is minimal to $0, making the new cardmember bonus icing on the cake.
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