The key to making the most of the best travel credit cards is always weighing the benefits of the card versus the annual fee. Most credit cards are worth the annual fee for at least the first year, because they generally come with a hefty sign-up bonus.
For a limited time, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is offering a generous 100,000-point bonus after spending $5,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. And although it does have a $95 annual fee, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless benefits and perks can save you a ton of money and give you peace of mind when you travel.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card annual fee may be worth it for the annual free-night certificate that allows you to stay at the Ajman Saray, a Luxury Collection Resort. (Photo courtesy of Marriott.)
Is the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card annual fee worth it?
For a limited time, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless comes with 100,000 Marriott points after completing the minimum spend of $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account. After the $5,000 in spending, you will have a minimum of 105,000 Marriott points, which is enough for multiple nights at many Marriott hotels. But what about after you’ve spent your points?
Marriott elite status perks
First, you will earn automatic Silver Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status just for having the card. This includes the following perks:
10% bonus base points at Marriott hotels
Free premium Wi-Fi
Late checkout (based on availability)
Elite reservations telephone line
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card also comes with 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year so you can achieve higher elite status faster. And if you spend $35,000 or more on the card in a calendar year you’ll earn Marriott Gold status.
Anniversary free-night award
Every year on your card member anniversary, you’ll earn a free-night award. This is a certificate that allows you to stay at participating hotels costing 35,000 points or less each year you renew your card.
This is the key benefit. If you stay at a Marriott hotel once per year, the card is likely worth the annual fee. That’s because Marriott hotels costing 35,000 points can be way more expensive than $95. For example, the AC Hotel Venezia can easily cost $300+ per night, and you can redeem your annual free-night certificate for a stay there.
Other perks from the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card
No foreign transaction fees (that’s likely to save you 3% abroad over a card that charges foreign transaction fees)
Baggage delay insurance – This will reimburse you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing if your bag is delayed for more than six hours. You’ll receive up to $100 per day for five days
Lost luggage reimbursement – You and immediate family members receive up to $3,000 if the airline loses or damages your bag
With the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card, you’ll earn:
6x Marriott points per dollar spent at participating Marriott hotels
2x Marriott points per dollar spent on all other purchases
However, if you want to use this card for daily spending, I wouldn’t recommend it. There are much better hotel credit cards that earn points for daily expenses, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Should you keep the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card long term?
Absolutely, if you can make use of the perks. The card is worth the annual fee just for the anniversary free-night award. As another example, here is a one-night stay at the Salt Lake City Marriott City Center.
A $95 annual fee sure beats paying $239 plus tax.
Instead of paying around $250 for a room, you could be paying only $95. Everything else you earn is simply gravy.
Many people look at annual fees for credit cards and make the decision on the spot if they are going to apply or not. In nearly every case, the annual fee can be recouped by maximizing the perks of the card.
Always do the math — that’s a golden rule in the miles and points hobby. It may seem absurd to shell out money just for owning a credit card, but the benefits often justify the fee. Just make sure you actually use them.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card is worth the annual fee if you use its perks. The annual free night alone is all it takes to convince me to pay the annual fee each year. Several of us on the team have this card, and don’t plan to cancel any time soon.
For more information on how to earn and redeem Marriott points, check out these posts:
Our full review of the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card
The 10 top Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card benefits and perks
How to earn Marriott points
How to set up a Marriott account
How to use Marriott points
Here’s an in depth look at the Marriott award chart
What to expect for Marriott points value
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