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I currently hold the old (and now unavailable) Marriott Rewards Premier credit card (a.k.a the Marriott Bonvoy Premier card) and Chase has been trying to get me to upgrade to the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card for months.
On a number of occasions, Chase has offered me points (up to 50,000) and a free night certificate (valued at up to 35,000 points) to upgrade my card to the newer Boundless card and I’ve turned down the offer each time. Now Chase is back with a third offer – bonus elite night credits.
Chase’s latest attempt to get me (and probably a lot of others) to upgrade to the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card sees the card issuer offering 10 elite night credits for upgrades made by 31 March 2020 (a single purchase of any size after the upgrade is processed is also required).
As someone with Lifetime Titanium status, this isn’t an offer that interests me (I already have other plans for my Chase Marriott credit card anyway) but this may be of interest to others.
Here’s how the old Marriott Rewards Premier credit card (a.k.a the Marriott Bonvoy Premier card) and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card compare:
For $10 more per year, the Boundless card offers…
- 1 more point/dollar on Marriott spending
- 1 more point/dollar on non-bonused spending
- A free night certificate worth 35,000 points (compared to 25,000 points)
…but it doesn’t offer…
- The ability to earn elite night credits through spending
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
…so who should consider the upgrade and who shouldn’t?
The Upgrade is a bad idea if you use your Bonvoy Premier card to earn extra elite night credits (and the extra credits make a genuine difference to the elite status you earn). The Boundless card doesn’t offer this option so upgrading your card may cost you your preferred elite status.
If you already hold the Marriott Bonvoy Bold credit card from American Express the fact that Chase’s Boundless card offers 6 points/dollar at Marriott properties shouldn’t influence your decision at all (you can use the Bold card to earn at the same rate) and unless you can make good use of the 35,000 point free night certificate that Chase offers you probably have no real need for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card.
With Marriott devaluing the Bonvoy program at every opportunity it gets, the 25,000 point free night certificate that comes with the older Marriott Rewards Premier credit card has never been of less use.
If you can make good use of the 35,000 point free night certificate the increased annual fee ($95 v $85) shouldn’t really matter – you’ll get a lot more than $10 of extra value by booking a 35,000 point property rather than a 25,000 point property.
If you don’t already hold the Marriott Bonvoy Bold credit card from American Express but you stay at Marriott properties on a frequent basis, the extra 1 point/dollar that the Chase Boundless card offers on Marriott spending will cover the increased annual fee pretty quickly and may well make the upgrade worthwhile.
At a valuation of 0.6 cents/point you would only need to spend $1,667 with Marriott before you’ve made up for the $10 increase in annual fee.
You’re Not Giving Up A Welcome Bonus By Upgrading
A commonly held belief is that upgrading a credit card is a bad move because it means that you’re giving up the opportunity to earn a big welcome bonus on the new card. Not only is that a generalization you should ignore (there are plenty of reasons why upgrading a card is a good idea) but it would also not be the case here.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card is currently offering a 100,000 points welcome bonus after a new cardholder puts $5,000 of spending on the card in the first 3 months of opening the card but the welcome bonus isn’t open to anyone who already holds a Chase Marriott credit card….so if you have the older Marriott Chase card that means you.
This offer doesn’t work for me for a number of reasons but I can see it working for some.
The 10 elite night credits that are on offer for upgrading may make a difference to what status you reach this year (and hold through 2021 too), the better free night certificate would get you a noticeably better property (and a greater choice of good properties) and the increased earnings for Marriott spending can quickly offset the increased annual fee…but this offer isn’t for everyone.
Make sure you understand what you’re giving up by upgrading your card and make sure you’re sure that the benefits the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card will give you are benefits that you need and will actually use. Only then should you consider an upgrade.