With Marriott offering solid welcome offers on some of its American Express- and Chase-issued cards, now’s a great time to consider adding a Marriott Bonvoy credit card to your wallet.
In particular, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card are the most similar. Still, there are also a few significant differences to be aware of.
Here’s how you can decide whether to apply for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless or the Marriott Bonvoy Business.
Bonvoy Boundless vs. Bonvoy Business comparison
|Card||Bonvoy Boundless||Bonvoy Business|
|Welcome offer||Earn three free night awards worth 50,000 points each (up to 150,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.||Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after spending $8,000 in eligible purchases within the first six months of card membership. Offer expires Nov. 1, 2023.|
|Annual fee||$95||$125 (see rates and fees)|
|Earning rate||6 points per dollar on purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
3 points per dollar on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on gas stations, grocery stores, and dining
2 points per dollar on other travel purchases
2 points per dollar on all other purchases
|6 points per dollar on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide
4 points per dollar at U.S. gas stations
4 points per dollar on U.S. shipping providers
4 points per dollar on U.S. wireless phone services purchased directly from service providers
2 points per dollar on other eligible purchases
|Free night award||1 free award night (at or under 35,000 points) every year after the account anniversary||1 free award night (at or under 35,000 points) every year after the account anniversary with the opportunity to earn another free night award after spending $60,000 in purchases in a calendar year|
|Elite Status||Complimentary Silver Elite status; earn Gold by spending $35,000 on purchases in a calendar year||Complimentary Gold Elite status|
|Other benefits||15 elite night credits a year
Earn one elite night credit toward elite status for every $5,000 spend
Complimentary premium Wi-Fi at Marriott Bonvoy properties
No foreign transaction fees
|15 elite night credits every year
7% discount on standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy
Complimentary premium Wi-Fi at Marriott Bonvoy properties
No foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees)
Bonvoy Boundless vs. Bonvoy Business welcome bonus
The Bonvoy Boundless is currently offering applicants three free night awards worth 50,000 points each (up to 150,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months. The free night awards can only be used toward hotel stays that cost 50,000 points or less a night; however, you can add up to 15,000 points to your free night award by topping up points from your Bonvoy account. TPG values Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.84 cents each, so if you fully maximize these free night awards, you can get a value of $1,260.
On the other hand, the Bonvoy Business is offering a slightly different welcome offer. New applicants earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after spending $8,000 in eligible purchases within the first six months of card membership. TPG values Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.84 cents each, giving the welcome bonus a value of $1,050.
The Boundless welcome offer can only be redeemed for hotel stays that offer free nights at 50,000 points a night, which is excellent for lower and middle-tier properties, whereby the Bonvoy Business offers bonus points that can be applied toward various redemptions. And based on offer history, the Boundless offer isn’t the best we’ve ever seen on the card from Chase. Meanwhile, the Bonvoy Business card’s 125,000-point bonus does match its all-time high (albeit with a higher minimum spending requirement).
Regarding eligibility, the Bonvoy Boundless can adhere to Chase’s 5/24 rule, which will most likely reject an application if you’ve opened more than five cards within the last 24 months. Additionally, American Express restricts you to earning a welcome bonus on a card once per lifetime, so if you’ve already earned the bonus in the past, you won’t be eligible.
Finally, there are some nuanced eligibility requirements for Marriott cards, so be sure to review this guide before applying to make sure you can get a welcome bonus.
Winner: Bonvoy Boundless
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Bonvoy Boundless vs. Bonvoy Business benefits
As mid-tier cards, both offer similar benefits, and you can expect to find most benefits geared toward staying at Bonvoy portfolio properties.
The Bonvoy Boundless is a mid-tier credit card that offers useful benefits with just a $95 annual fee. The card offers complimentary Silver Elite status with the option to earn Gold Elite status after spending $35,000 on purchases in a calendar year. You’ll start each year with 15 elite night credits, and you can earn an additional elite night credit for every $5,000 spent. Silver Elite status includes minimal perks like 10% points on hotel stays and late checkout (subject to availability). However, cardmembers will also enjoy complimentary premium Wi-Fi at Bonvoy properties, and you’ll receive a free night valued at up to 35,000 points every year after you renew your card.
In addition, the Boundless card offers a plethora of travel protections (baggage delay, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement), purchase protection and no foreign transaction fees.
Meanwhile, the Bonvoy Business is a mid-tier business credit card with practical benefits and an annual fee of $125 (see rates and fees). The biggest difference with the Boundless is the automatic Gold Elite status on the card, which TPG values at $805 thanks to 25% bonus points per stay, priority late checkout, room upgrades and a welcome gift. Similarly to the Bonvoy Boundless, the card also provides 15 elite night credits every year, complimentary premium Wi-Fi at Bonvoy properties and a 35,000-point free night award every year at your account anniversary.
However, the Bonvoy Business card also offers the opportunity to earn a second free night award after spending $60,000 in purchases in a calendar year, and you’ll receive a 7% discount on standard rates for reservations at Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
The card also offers a plethora of travel protections, including the following:
- Baggage insurance coverage*
- Purchase protection*
- Extended warranty*
- Secondary auto rental collision damage waiver**
Given the higher elite status, room discount and ability to earn a second free night each year, the Bonvoy Business card wins here.
Winner: Bonvoy Business
*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered, and geographic restrictions apply. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
Earning points with the Bonvoy Boundless vs. Bonvoy Business
The two cards share earnings of 6 points per dollar on purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2 points per dollar on all other purchases outside of other bonus categories. Where the cards begin to diverge is that the Bonvoy Boundless earns 3 points per dollar on the first $6,000 in combined purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and dining and 2 miles per dollar on other travel purchases.
On the other hand, the Bonvoy Business earns 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. wireless phone service purchases from service providers. In addition, there’s no spending cap on these bonus categories, boosting it higher than the Boundless card.
Winner: Bonvoy Business
Read more: Marriott Bonvoy: The ultimate guide for travelers
Redeeming points with the Bonvoy Boundless vs. Bonvoy Business
Both Bonvoy credit cards earn Marriott points through credit card spending, which are automatically deposited into your Bonvoy account. Points can be redeemed for hotel stays, used for Marriott Bonvoy Moments or put toward merchandise with Marriott shopping. You can also transfer points to over 35 different airline programs.
Points needed for a stay vary based on the hotel, room type, occupancy, and cash rate. However, a valuable perk of the Marriott Bonvoy program is the ability to receive the fifth night free when making a reservation of five nights or more.
Transferring points with the Bonvoy Boundless vs. Bonvoy Business
Points can be transferred to any of Marriott’s airline partners. The majority of these transfers follow a 3:1 ratio, where every 3 Marriott points convert to 1 airline mile. However, Marriott gives 5,000 bonus airline miles for every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer to most airline partners, with four exceptions: American Airlines AAdvantage, Avianca LifeMiles, Delta SkyMiles and Korean Air SkyPass.
A rare find in the world of points and miles is the ability to transfer points for free to other accounts. Points can be transferred easily between Marriott Bonvoy accounts, whether between two accounts belonging to the same person or transferring points to a friend or family member.
Transferring points is an excellent way to pool points for an upcoming trip with friends or family. A benefit of pooling is to transfer the points to a person’s account who has the highest elite status to take advantage of potential elite benefits of room upgrades, free breakfast or a welcome gift.
Should I get the Bonvoy Boundless or Bonvoy Business?
The Boundless has a reasonable $95 annual fee and offers introductory benefits to help get you started with the Marriott Bonvoy program. This is an excellent choice if you stay at Mariott properties a few years a year. The Bonvoy Business, on the other hand, offers slightly elevated benefits such as Gold Elite status — for a slightly higher annual fee.
You may be surprised to learn that you don’t have to own a formal business to open a business credit card. Many types of freelancing or side hustles should help you qualify, too — whether you drive for Uber, deliver food for DoorDash or sell items on eBay. If you’re out of Chase 5/24 slots, your only option to open another Marriott cobranded card at the moment may end up being the Bonvoy Business.
Another thing to consider is if you’re eligible for both the Boundless and Bonvoy Business. In this case, why not apply for both? Opening both cards can help accelerate your loyalty with Marriott toward Platinum Elite status by stacking the annual elite night credits from both cards. You’ll also benefit from multiple anniversary award night certificates, and having both cards will diversify how you earn Marriott points.
Related: Opening personal and business Marriott Bonvoy cards
No matter which you choose, both the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless and Marriott Bonvoy Business cards are excellent options with great introductory offers. Once you confirm your eligibility for the card you prefer — based on issuer-based application restrictions and qualifications for a business vs. personal card — you’ll get a much clearer understanding of which card is the right fit for you.
Keep in mind that you could theoretically open both cards if you’re looking for those extra elite night credits and more annual free night certificates. In fact, there are compelling reasons to get multiple Marriott cards — though even one can make your upcoming Marriott stays more comfortable and rewarding.
Official application link: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless
Official application link: Marriott Bonvoy Business
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business, click here.
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