Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card Review

A good starter card to tap into free nights and perks related to Marriott’s worldwide resorts ​
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Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card Review

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold credit card is a good option for business and frequent personal travelers who sometimes stay at Marriott properties. It’s one of six cards by Marriott and has plenty of perks to make it enticing. You can’t go wrong with this card — whether you use it a little or a lot, there’s no annual fee to worry about. The best part for travelers may be the complimentary Marriott Silver Elite status that comes with card approval.

Redeem your earned points for hotels for as little as 5,000 points per night or combine points with cash. When you redeem four nights’ worth of points, you’ll get a fifth night for free. Besides hotels, you can redeem your points for hotel charges like food or spa treatments, cover the cost of TSA PreCheck, transfer points to airline loyalty programs, or exchange points for gift cards or store merchandise.

Pros
Cons
A no-fee card for earning travel rewards
Automatic Marriott Silver Elite status
Redeem points on more than hotel stays
Locked into the Marriott Bonvoy system for hotel rewards
No free night on your account’s anniversary

Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card Overview

  • Card Type: Hotel
  • Rewards Rate: 3X points per $1 at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 2X points on travel, 1X point on all other purchases
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 30,000 bonus points once you spend $1,000 in the first three months ($300 value)
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR: 17.49%-24.49% Variable APR
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Recommended Credit Score: Good to excellent
  • Additional Rates and Fees:
    • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 5%, whichever is greater
    • Foreign Transaction Fee: N/A

Perks

  • Automatically qualify for Marriott’s Silver Elite status
  • Fifth night free when booking hotels stays
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases overseas
  • Complimentary concierge service

Best for

Personal and business travelers just getting started with travel rewards credit cards who stay in Marriott properties

Not for

Travelers who prefer more flexibility in accommodations

The Competition

Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa Credit Card Chase Freedom Unlimited Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Rewards rate
3X points per $1 at Marriott Bonvoy hotels 2X points on travel 1X point on all other purchases 1.5X points on all purchases 1.5X points on all purchases 1.25X miles on all purchases
Sign-up bonus
30,000 bonus points once you spend $1,000 in the first three months ($300 value)
25,000 online bonus points once you spend $1,000 in the first three months ($250 value)
$200 cash back when you spend $500 in the first three months
20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 in the first three months ($200 value)
Annual fee
$0
$0
$0
$0
APR
Variable 17.49%-24.49%
Variable 16.49%-24.49%
Variable 16.49%-25.24%
Variable 13.49%-23.49%
Other
No introductory APR Redeem for hotels or travel packages 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months Redemptions aren’t limited to specific websites and no blackout dates 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months Redeem for cash or travel through Ultimate Rewards No introductory APR Redeem for hotels or travel packages
View details View details View details View details

All information accurate as of January 16, 2020.

Main Benefits

No fees

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Visa is a low-cost credit card for individuals looking to get started in travel rewards. No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees won’t hurt you if you don’t use your card much, or if you travel overseas often.

Automatic Silver Elite status

You’ll automatically get Silver Elite status when you’re approved for the Bold. You’ll get special perks at Marriott properties, such as free upgraded WiFi, late checkout (if there’s availability), a dedicated Silver Elite phone reservation line, and 10% more points on eligible hotel purchases like room service and spa treatments.

Flexible rewards

You can redeem your Bonvoy points for more than just hotel nights; you can also exchange points for hotel expenses like room service, mini bar purchases, and poolside lunch. Or use your Bonvoy points to buy merchandise and gift cards or book cruises or travel packages.

Possible Drawbacks

Locked into Marriott

This card isn’t right for you if you don’t care to stay at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, since the most important rewards are Marriott-focused. In the case that Marriott hotel stays aren’t on your wishlist, a general travel reward credit card may be more flexible for your needs and will allow you to book hotels and airfare from a larger pool of travel partners.

No anniversary bonus

Unlike other hotel rewards cards, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card doesn’t give you a free night stay on your card anniversary. You’ll have to earn your hotel award nights by spending to earn points, although you do receive a fifth night free when you book four reward nights.

Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card Compared to Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa

Both the Marriott Bonvoy Bold and the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa have a strong sign-up bonus of 30,000 and 25,000 points or miles, respectively, no annual fee, and no foreign transaction fees. They both offer Visa Signature benefits such as extended warranty protection and travel benefits. The BofA Travel Rewards Visa has an introductory offer of 0% interest for the first year, which could be useful if you have large purchases coming up. The Marriott Bonvoy Bold card doesn’t offer an introductory APR at sign-up.

Perhaps the largest difference is who each travel reward card is best for. The Marriott Bonvoy Bold card is ideal if you’re looking for a card to earn free hotel nights and access to Marriott hotels and resorts. If you’re not set on Marriott, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa is more flexible, because you can use it for any hotel chain and for other travel like flights, car rentals, and more.

How to Earn Points

To earn the most Marriott Bonvoy Bold points possible, follow these tips and get your free night stays at Marriott locations worldwide faster:

  • Pay for your everyday purchases with your Bonvoy Bold Visa to maximize your 1X points per dollar in earning potential. Always pay off your credit card balance on time and in full each month or you’ll lose any rewards earnings by having to pay interest charges.
  • Use your card for all travel purchases, since you’ll earn double the rewards points you would on non-travel purchases.
  • If you have to book a hotel stay, choose a Marriott property. Money spent on hotel nights and incidentals at Marriott hotels earns you three points for every dollar spent.
  • If you travel frequently for business, book your hotel nights using your Bonvoy Bold card and ask your employer to reimburse you.
  • If you’re short on Bonvoy points and have a family member who has some, ask them to gift some to you. Bonvoy members can share 1,000 points or more with other members by contacting member support or calling (801) 468-4000.

How to Redeem Points

There are several ways to redeem your Marriott Bonvoy Bold points. It all starts with setting up an account through the Marriott Bonvoy portal, where you can:

  • Book hotel stays for as low as 5,000 points per night during off-peak periods. You can also combine points with cash if you don’t have enough points accrued. Redeem four nights and get a fifth night for free.
  • Pay for other hotel stay charges, including meals, spa services, and drinks.
  • Pay for travel, such as cruises and vacation packages.
  • Transfer points at a rate of three-to-one to participating airline loyalty programs. For every 60,000 points you transfer, Bonvoy will send an additional 5,000 miles as a bonus.
  • Exchange points for merchandise or gift cards.
  • Redeem for Bonvoy Moments such as Super Bowl tickets, concerts, and New Year’s Eve galas.

The Bottom Line

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold card may be free, but it packs in plenty of perks. You’ll automatically earn Silver Elite Status to get special treatment at participating Marriott locations and access to free hotel night stays at Marriott locations worldwide. If you spend more than $10,000 per year on your credit card, it may be worth upgrading to one of the other more robust Bonvoy credit cards with an annual fee and higher earnings potential. Otherwise, the Bonvoy Bold is a good start.