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Chase issues three Marriott Bonvoy credit cards and the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card is the cheapest of the three. In fact, it’s so cheap that it comes with no annual fee. As a credit card for the most ardent of Marriott fans, this probably isn’t the best choice, but for anyone looking to get a free boost to Marriott Bonvoy status and who stays with Marriott infrequently, this may be a great fit.
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card is a no-frills, no annual fee credit card whose biggest assets are its welcome offer, the 15 elite night credits per year that the card offers all cardholders, and the fact that it can form a very useful part of a 2-card pairing. As a way of boosting a traveler’s path to worthwhile Marriott Bonvoy status economically, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card is hard to beat.
Here’s what you need to know about the Marriott Bonvoy® Bold credit card:
- $0 (zero)
- Earn 30,000 points after putting $1,000 of eligible spending on the card in the first 3 months following account opening.
Note: Ever since Chase and American Express both started to issue Marriott Bonvoy cards the eligibility criteria for Bonvoy co-branded cards have become incredibly complicated and convoluted – there are a lot of restrictions in place to prevent people from getting multiple sign-up bonuses – so make sure you read the eligibility criteria section at the end of this article before you apply.
- 3 points/dollar on spending at all Marriott properties worldwide
- 2 points/dollar on all other travel spending
- 1 point/dollar on eligible spending in all other categories
- 15 Elite night credits/year
- Marriott Bonvoy Silver Status
- No foreign transaction fees
- Baggage delay insurance
- Lost luggage reimbursement
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Purchase protection
If you’re looking for a card with which to earn a lot of Marriott Bonvoy points, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card probably isn’t the card for you. You would almost certainly be better off with Chase’s Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card ($95/year) or the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card ($125/year – rates & fees) both of which offer double the points of the Bold card at Marriott properties around the world (6 points/dollar) and a lot more as well.
If, however, you’re looking for a cheap points boost for your Marriott Bonvoy account or you’re looking to make your path to worthwhile Marriott Bonvoy status a lot easier (without having to spend much money), the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card may be a great card for you.
The welcome offer
For the time being (until we see the full effect of Marriott’s move to dynamic pricing in 2023), I value Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.6 cents each (based on the value that I know I can get out of them with very little effort) so that values the current 30,000 point welcome bonus at $180.
That may not sound particularly impressive (because it isn’t), but when you consider the fact that you’re being given this bonus in exchange for no annual fee, things look a bit better.
The elite night credits
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card gives cardholders 15 elite night credits every year that they keep their card account open, and that offers a significant boost to worthwhile Marriott Bonvoy status.
The normal thresholds to earn Bonvoy Elite status look like this…
- Silver Status – 10 elite night credits
- Gold Status – 25 elite night credits
- Platinum Status – 50 elite night credits
- Titanium Status – 75 elite night credits
… and this means that the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card gives all cardholders Bonvoy Silver Elite status.
Sadly, that status is mostly useless and cannot be considered a worthwhile benefit of this card, but the 15 elite night credits that the card offers are enough to get a cardholder within 10 elite night credits of Gold status and 35 elite night credits of Platinum status (both of which are considerably more useful than Silver status).
Considering this card doesn’t charge an annual fee, that’s a very generous benefit to be offered… but it can get better.
Hold this card as part of a very useful pair
On its own, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card has its uses, but none that are particularly amazing. But it’s probably a little unfair to expect much more from a no-annual-fee hotel credit card. If, however, this card is paired with one other (very specific) Bonvoy co-branded card, the pairing can be extremely useful.
Back in April of 2020, Marriott changed the rules surrounding co-branded credit card elite night credits to allow anyone holding the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card alongside any other Marriott Bonvoy co-branded credit card to earn a total of 30 elite night credits per year, and this was great news for anyone with a Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card.
Anyone who holds both the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card is now given 30 elite night credits every year and has the following key earning rates and benefits open to them (terms apply):
- 6 points/dollar for spending at Marriott Bonvoy properties worldwide
- 4 points/dollar for spending at U.S. restaurants
- 4 points/dollar for spending at U.S. gas stations
- 4 points/dollar for spending on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
- 4 points/dollar for spending on U.S. shipping purchases for shipping
- 2 points/dollar for spending in all other categories
- A free night award every year (valid at properties costing 35,000 points or less)
- No foreign transaction fees
All of the above for a combined annual fee of just $125!
By holding both the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card, a Bonvoy member can earn enough elite night credits for Bonvoy Gold status, enough elite night credits to get 60% of the way to Platinum status, and enough elite night credited to get 40% of the way to Titanium status without setting foot inside a Marriott property.
That’s a fantastic deal.
On the whole, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card is an unspectacular but very economical Bonvoy card to hold and, on its own, would be useful to anyone looking for a cheap boost towards worthwhile Bonvoy status every year.
As part of a pairing with the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, however, the Bold card’s 15 elite night credits become instantly more significant, and as it doesn’t charge an annual fee, it becomes part of the cheapest credit card combination that offers an impressive 30 Marriott Bonvoy elite night credits every year and which earns as many points/dollar at Marriott properties as any of the premium Bonvoy credit cards.
Here are the eligibility rules for the Marriott Bonvoy Bold credit card as published by Chase:
This credit card is not available to you if (1) you currently have any of the following cards or (2) you received a new cardmember bonus for any of the following cards within the last 24 months:
- Marriott Bonvoy® Premier credit card
- Marriott Rewards® Premier credit card
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card
- Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus credit card
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card.
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…
- Marriott Bonvoy® American Express® Card
- The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
… or if (2) you applied and were approved for any of the following cards within the last 90 days or (3) received a new cardmember bonus or upgrade bonus for any of the following cards within the last 24 months:
- 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