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American Express wasn’t the only bank to issue a new mid-tier Marriott Bonvoy credit card yesterday. Chase joined in the fun too. Sadly for anyone who has been looking forward to seeing what Chase’s mid-tier Bonvoy card will offer (the card has been rumored for some weeks), it looks like the new card is as big a disappointment as the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card…and I didn’t think that could be possible.
Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ credit card
- Successful new applicants can earn 125,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after they put $4,000 of eligible spending on their new card in the first 3 months of card membership (terms apply).
Note: The welcome offer is not open to all applicants. Please see the specific terms reproduced at the end of this article.
Earning rates (terms apply):
- 6 points/dollar for all eligible spending with Marriott
- 4 points/dollar on up to $15,000 of combined spending at grocery stores and on dining
- 2 points/dollar for eligible spending in all other categories
Key benefits (terms apply):
- Cardholders will earn 1,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points per eligible Marriott stay (must be booked directly with Marriott).
- Holders of the card are given complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status for as long as the card is open and in good standing.
- Cardholders will be given 15 elite night credits per year
- Cardholders can earn a free night award worth up to 50,000 points upon spending $15,000 on their card in a calendar year.
At this point, I should probably admit that this has been a very simple article to write so far because for the most part, I’ve been able to copy and paste the details of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card into the section above because it and the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ credit card are almost identical. They are, therefore, almost equally useless.
I love Chase and the credit cards that it issues. In fact, I love my Chase credit cards so much that if Chase was a person I’d hug them at every opportunity. This credit card, however, is a big fat dud and I have no idea what possessed Chase to launch it in this guise.
To a degree, American Express has an excuse for launching a sub-standard version of a mid-tier Bonvoy card because its only other consumer Bonvoy card is the $650/year Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card (rates & fees) and it can, therefore, argue that by issuing the Bonvoy Bevy card (wow that’s a stupid name), it’s giving its customers who want an Amex card that earns Bonvoy points a cheaper alternative.
Chase has no such excuse.
Chase already issues the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card (review) and in exchange for an annual fee of just $95, it offers this:
- The same earning rate at Bonvoy properties as the new Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ credit card
- A free night certificate worth up to 35,000 points
- 3 points/dollar on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year at grocery stores, on dining, and at gas stations.
- 15 elite night credits per year
- 1 elite night credit for every $5,000 spent on the card
This makes me wonder why Chase thinks that anyone would pay an extra $155/year for the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ credit card?
Let’s take a closer look:
- The Bountiful card doesn’t include a free night certificate of any kind in exchange for its $250 annual fee (cardholders have to spend $15,000 on their card before they get one of those)*
- Yes, the Bountiful card offers Bonvoy Gold status as a standard benefit but Bonvoy Gold status is Marriott’s 3rd tier elite status and isn’t worth very much (link to Bonvoy Gold Elite benefits) and it’s definitely not a benefit worth shouting about.
- As I value Bonvoy points at 0.6 cents each (based on the value that I know I can get out of them with ease), the 1,000 bonus points that the Bountiful card offers with every Marriott stay equates to a rebate of just six dollars. Six. Whole. Dollars. 🙄
- Continuing with my valuation of Bonvoy points at 0.6 cents each, the extra point/dollar that the Bountiful card offers for spending at grocery stores and on dining effectively gives cardholders a rebate that’s just 0.6% higher than the rebate offered by the Boundless card. That’s far from a great reason to choose Bountiful over Boundless#.
- The Boundless card offers 1 point/dollar more at gas stations than the new Bountiful card so, to an extent, that can help offset point 4 (if point 4 is even an issue)#.
*The free night certificate offered by the Boundless card is valid at properties costing up to 35,000 points while the free night certificate that you can earn through the Bountiful card is valid at properties costing up to 50,000 points.
#Considering how many great credit cards there are that offer considerably better returns for spending made at grocery stores, at gas stations, and on dining, you would have to be genuinely desperate to earn as many Bonvoy points as you possibly can to use these Bonvoy cards when spending in these categories.
Still, having said all of that, you could make an argument to say that Chase’s Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ credit card is slightly less woeful than the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card.
- The Chase card is a Visa card and so will be slightly easier to use than the American Express card when you’re abroad.
- The Chase card doesn’t restrict the bonus points that it offers on grocery spending to U.S. supermarkets. Spending at grocery stores abroad will also earn a cardholder bonus points.
- When shopping in the US, the Chase card will earn bonus points on grocery spending at more places than the American Express card as Chase uses a broad definition of “grocery stores” while Amex will not pay out bonus points for spending at some smaller businesses.
Of course, in favor of the American Express card is the fact that it will give cardholders access to Amex Offers which, on the whole, are usually more useful/lucrative than the offers that Chase likes to publish, but I still think that overall, the Chase card probably edges it.
Well done Chase! Your sub-standard card is slightly less sub-standard than the card Amex has come out with!
I really don’t see who the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ credit card is aimed at and while I’m sure that someone somewhere will make an argument in its favor and claim that its existence can be justified, I think it’s a horribly inadequate addition to the Chase credit card line up.
If you want a solid Bonvoy card without paying a hefty fee take a look at the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card. If you’d like something more high-end and usually stay with Marriott more than once or twice a year, take a look at the refreshed Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card (and make sure you can justify the annual fee). Whatever you do, however, please think very long and hard before applying for the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ credit card because I’m reasonably sure there are better options out there for you.
Welcome offer restrictions:
The new cardmember bonus is not available to you if (1) you currently have or had any of the following cards within the last 30 days, (2) you applied and were approved for any of the following cards within the last 90 days, or (3) you received a new cardmember bonus or upgrade bonus for any of the following cards within the last 24 months: Marriott Bonvoy® American Express® Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card, Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express Card, please visit this page