Note: the offers mentioned below are subject to change at any time and some may no longer be available.
Most major hotel cards from the likes of Hyatt, Marriott, and IHG carry at least a ~$100 annual fee, but the brand new Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card bucks the trend as a no-annual-fee card with surprisingly strong perks for Marriott devotees.
The Bonvoy Bold offers a 50,000 point welcome bonus after spending $2,000 in your first three months. Marriott Bonvoy points are currently valued at .8 cents a piece according to The Points Guy, meaning this offer is worth about $400 in hotel stays, and potentially more if you play your cards right. That’s less than the 75,000 points on offer from Marriott’s higher-end Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, but those cards carry an annual fee, and require $3,000 in spending in the first three months.
In addition to your welcome bonus, you’ll earn three points for every dollar you spend at Marriott properties, two points per dollar on travel, and one point on everything else. Those rates are lower than you’d get from Marriott’s other cards (notably, the three points per dollar at Marriott properties is only half what you’d earn from the Boundless and Brilliant), but again, it’s a no-annual-fee card.
While the Bonvoy Bold lacks any anniversary free night awards like its premium siblings, it does get you 15 elite night credits per calendar year. Again, for free, with no spending minimum. That automatically qualifies you for Silver Elite status (10 nights/year), and gets you well on your way to Gold (25 nights/year).
Silver Elite members earn a 10% points bonus on paid Marriott stays, priority late checkout (subject to availability), and a dedicated elite reservation line. None of that will dramatically change your Marriott experience, but it’s better than nothing, and again, this card is free.
The card also doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees, and includes trip delay reimbursement and purchase protection.
If you stay in Marriott properties frequently and can afford an annual fee, you’ll get a lot more value out of the Bonvoy Brilliant or Bonvoy Boundless card. But if you consider yourself a hotel free agent, and just want to score a few free nights at a Marriott with the welcome bonus, or enjoy slightly elevated Silver status perks while you’re there, there’s no downside to opting for the Bonvoy Bold. As one of the only hotel-branded, no-annual-fee cards on the market, it’s a strong offering.
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