Is the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card annual fee worth it?

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.
Bottom line
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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The Chase Marriott Card Bonus Can Be Worth $1,000+ If You’re Strategic (and $100s at Least!)

The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card now comes with 2 free night awards (up to a value of 35,000 points each) after meeting minimum spending requirements.  Depending where you stay, you could get $1,000+ worth of free hotel stays in the US, Europe, or many other popular destinations!
You’ll also get a free night award at select Marriott hotels after your account anniversary date.  This perk alone makes the card worth keeping, and can more than cover the annual fee!
This is a fantastic hotel card to consider, especially if you like staying at Marriott hotels.
You can apply for the Chase Marriott Premier Plus card here.
Use the Chase Marriott Card’s Sign-Up Bonus for 2 Luxurious Nights at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, or 1,000s of Other Hotels Around the World!
Here’s our full review of the Marriott credit card!
Get 2 Free Award Nights With the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Card
Apply Here:   Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card
When you sign-up for the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card, you’ll earn 2 free nights at hotels costing 35,000 points or less after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.  So the total value is worth up to 70,000 Marriott points, depending where you spend your free nights!
You’ll also get:

Free night award (at hotels costing 35,000 Marriott points or less) every year after your account anniversary
6 Marriott points per $1 spent at participating Marriott hotels
2 Marriott points per $1 spent on all other purchases
Automatic Silver Elite Status (10% bonus points on paid stays, late checkout when available)
Gold Elite Status (25% bonus points on paid stays, lounge access / free breakfast, guaranteed late check-out, room upgrades when available) when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year
Starting in 2019, 15 elite night credits each calendar year
Points in your loyalty account never expire as long as you make a purchase with the card every 24 months
NO foreign transaction fees

The card has a $95 annual fee.
This isn’t the best offer we’ve seen for the card.  But if you like Marriott hotels, and have a plan to get big value from the sign-up bonus, it’s worthwhile to save potentially $100s or $1,000+ on a hotel stay.
Note:   If you’ve opened 5 or more credit cards from ANY bank in the past 24 months (excluding certain small business cards and Chase business cards), Chase will NOT approve you for their best travel rewards credit cards.  And the Chase Marriott Premier Plus card WILL count toward your 5 card limit.
What Else Comes With This Card?
The Chase Marriott Premier Plus card comes with ongoing protections for travelers and shoppers that make the annual fee worth paying, including:

Lost baggage coverage – Up to $3,000 per person each trip
Purchase protection – Covers new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account
Trip delay reimbursement – If your trip is delayed for more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you could be reimbursed for up to $500 per ticket for reasonable expenses (meals, lodging, toiletries, medication, and other personal use items)

Pay for Airfare With the Chase Marriott Card to Get Coverage for Delayed or Lost Baggage!
Check out the complete benefits guide for the card for more details, and exclusions.
If you shy away from annual-fee cards, consider the free night award perk can more than offset the $95 annual fee expense. For example, if you redeem the award at a hotel that would otherwise cost ~$200+, you’re coming out way ahead!
Team Member Keith Used His Annual Fee Night at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Paso Robles Atascadero in California. He Was in Town for a Friend’s Wedding and Room Rates Were $350+!
Note:   If you currently have the old Marriott Rewards Premier card (no longer available to new applicants), or received the cardmember bonus from it in the last 24 months, you’re NOT eligible for the bonus on the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus.  And there are other restrictions for folks who have or have had any of the American Express Starwood cards.  You can read about the Marriott card restrictions here.
You Can Get $1,000 Worth of Hotel Stays With This Offer
Standard award nights at Marriott hotels cost 7,500 to 60,000 Marriott points, depending on the category of the hotel.  There will be a new top-tier category added in 2019 with award nights for 85,000 points.
Peak and off-peak award nights will also be in effect in 2019.
New Award Rates Will Begin in 2019. For Now, the Points Value Rates Apply Through the End of 2018
Under the current award chart, you can use the 2 award nights you’ll earn from the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus sign-up bonus at a Category 5 hotel (or anything below).
It’s not out of reach to get $1,000+ worth of hotel stays by earning the Chase Marriott Premier Plus card’s sign-up bonus and meeting spending requirements.
You Could Spend the New Year in Aruba and Save ~$1,593 on 2 Award Nights With This Sign-Up Bonus
For example, I found award nights at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino for New Year’s Eve when the paid rate is $1,500+ for 2 nights!  Doesn’t that sound awesome?
Many other hotels have paid rates of a few hundred per night.  So there’s no reason your sign-up bonus can’t be worth at least $500 – and potentially much more!
Marriott is the largest hotel chain in the world (based on total number of rooms).  This means folks with the Chase Marriott Premier Plus card have lots of ways to earn bonus points on paid stays at these 29 Marriott brands:

AC Hotels by Marriott
Aloft
Autograph Collection Hotels
Courtyard by Marriott
Delta
Design Hotels
EDITION
Element
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott
Four Points
Gaylord Hotels
JW Marriott
Le Meridien
Marriott Executive Apartments
Marriott Hotels
Marriott Vacation Club
Moxy Hotels
Protea Hotels
Renaissance Hotels
Residence Inn by Marriott
Ritz-Carlton
Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Sheraton
Springhill Suites by Marriott
St Regis
The Luxury Collection
TownePlace Suites by Marriott
Tribute Portfolio
Westin
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Plus, it’s easy to see which hotels you can book by running a search on the Marriott website.  Just click “Use Points” when you’re browsing.
Marriott Is a Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partner
You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio.  This is a useful option if you need to top off your account to book another award night.  So pairing the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card with a Chase Ultimate Rewards points earning card can be a fantastic card strategy!
For example, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders earn 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on travel (excluding the $300 travel credit) and dining purchases.  But Chase Marriott Premier Plus cardholders earn 2 points per $1 on all purchases beyond Marriott hotels.
One strategy is to earn lots of flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.  Then, transfer points to Marriott and other travel partners when you’re ready to book an award.
Here are the Chase Ultimate Rewards points credit cards that allow you to transfer to travel partners:

Card Sign-Up Bonus & Minimum Spending RequirementsOur Review

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months of opening your accountRead why this is the top card pick for small business owners

Chase Sapphire Preferred

50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months of opening your accountThis is the #1 card for beginners

Chase Sapphire Reserve℠
50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account
Lots of folks love this premium credit card because of the ongoing perks!

Bottom Line
When you sign-up for the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card, you’ll earn 2 free award nights, worth up to 35,000 points each, after meeting minimum spending requirements.
You can easily use these award nights at a Marriott Category 5 hotel (or lower) to get $1,000 worth of free travel at terrific hotels!  At the least, you could get a stay worth $500+.
The Chase Marriott Premier Plus card has a valuable ongoing perk, which can save you money every year!  You’ll get a free night certificate every card anniversary to use at hotels costing 35,000 Marriott points or less, that can easily cover the card’s annual fee.
You can apply for the Chase Marriott Premier Plus card here.