Upgraded Marriott Bonvoy credit card welcome offers with up to 5 free nights for new cardholders – Forbes Advisor
Editorial Note: Forbes Advisor may earn a commission on sales made from partner links on this page, but this does not affect the opinions or ratings of our editors.
Offers for this item have expired. Please see our best credit cards current offers page.
As customers continue to stay at home, travel agencies are rolling out the red carpet with incentives to bring tourists back to their old ways. Southwest Airlines recently offered a free companion pass to catch a flight, for example, and most airlines and hotel chains have both extended their elite status and made it easier for guests to return when they’re ready. Co-branded credit cards have joined the trend, with Marriott Bonvoy launching the first pitch.
Marriott and Chase Take Incentives To The Next Level With Their Unprecedented Marriott Bonvoy Boundless ™ Credit Card Welcome Offer*: Earn 3 free nights (each night worth up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases + 10X total points on qualifying purchases in certain categories.
There’s usually a devil in the details, but the fine print in the Bonvoy Boundless offer looks downright angelic:
- Each night is valued at 50,000 Bonvoy Points, meaning cardholders can redeem their free nights at up to Category 6 hotels at standard rates.
- The nights are good for a year after receiving the service
- The annual fee is only $ 95 for the equivalent of 250,000 Bonvoy points
Usually, when a co-branded hotel card offers a welcome bonus, it is given in points and the hotel chain uses very generous language to describe the benefit. For example: a card may offer a welcome bonus of 25,000 points and the marketing will say “valid for up to five nights”. You need to know something about the program to realize that the hotels the chain has priced at 5,000 points a night don’t exactly make for an ambitious vacation.
This is not the case with this Bonvoy Boundless offer. Each certificate is worth up to 50,000 points, which means that at the highest rates you can stay at a Category 5 property, at Standard rates you can visit a Category 6 hotel and, outside of normal hours. peak, you can have a dream vacation in a luxury category 7 resort.
Best of all, if you’re an elite offering suite upgrades, you can apply them with award nights as long as the hotel has availability. The best news of all, at least in the short term, is that you can expect many hotels to have freed up suite upgrade space and reward inventory at standard or even off-peak levels in an effort to encourage customers to travel again.
An example of an off-peak gem you could enjoy (assuming travel opens by the end of 2021) is the Westin Excelsior in Florence. The iconic hotel sits on the banks of the Arno River and has a rooftop bar with views of the Duomo. With Acqua di Parma toiletries and Westin Heavenly Beds, you’ll feel pampered every minute of your stay.
If you’re looking for something closer to home (and something more suited to social distancing), on standard nights, you can stay at the Sheraton Lakeside Terrace Villas at Lakeside Valley in Avon, Colorado. This property only has villas and 50,000 points will get you a 1400 square foot two bedroom suite with not only a full kitchen and not one, but two fireplaces. Most people think of the area near Vail for skiing, but where there is a ski resort, there are also mountain hikes and amazing views any time of the year.
But don’t worry if you can only travel during peak season: Bonvoy has plenty of attractive choices at the Category 5 level. For a beach vacation, consider the Marriott Hilton Head Resort in Spa, South Carolina. As one of the few Hilton Head hotels to offer oceanfront accommodations, the Marriott is a great base for sunbathing and fun in a destination particularly well-suited for families.
Following the release of the enhanced welcome bonus on the Bonvoy Boundless, American Express has joined in, offering their own enhanced welcome bonuses on their cards for new applicants.
Candidates who apply and are approved between October 15 and January 13, 2021 are eligible for the following new offers:
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ™ American Express® Card: Earn up to 125,000 Bonvoy bonus points. You can earn 100,000 bonus points after making $ 5,000 in qualifying purchases on your card in the first 3 months after opening your account and earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after your card’s first anniversary. Additionally, get Platinum Elite status with your for one year from February 2021, an upgrade to Gold Elite status.
- Marriott Bonvoy Business ™ American Express® Card: Earn 100,000 bonus Bonvoy points after making $ 5,000 in qualifying purchases on your card in the first 3 months and earn up to $ 150 in statement credits for qualifying purchases on US advertising in select media during of the first six months of membership to the card. Plus, earn Platinum Elite status with your card for one year starting February 2021.
Platinum Elite status includes a suite of benefits such as 50% bonus points on stays, free upgraded Wi-Fi in room, late check-out 4 p.m. if available. The welcome bonus on these two cards is not as generous as the offer on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless, as this offer is valued at 50,000 points per night for a total of 5 nights.
But someone looking to expand the value of a welcome offer might find themselves scoring an extended stay at a lower-category Bonvoy property. For example, an off-peak stay at a Category 4 Bonvoy property costs 20,000 points per night and with the free Bonvoy fifth night benefit when you redeem it for four nights, you can spend a six-night stay in places like the AC Hotel New York Downtown in Manhattan, the Westin Panama in Panama City or the Renaissance Toscane Il Ciocco Resort & Spa in Lucca, Italy.
If you are finished 5/24 or just looking to boost your reserve of Bonvoy points, the Amex offers are worth a look. But Chase and Bonvoy, by rolling out such an aggressive welcome offer, made the Boundless much more appealing to new cardholders.
The Bonvoy Boundless is normally a good, but not a good card. The earning rates of 6 Bonvoy points per dollar spent on Marriott purchases and 2 points per dollar on everything else are mediocre compared to other mid-range hotels and flexible point cards. A birthday night worth up to 35,000 Bonvoy points and no overseas transaction fees compare to other cards, but not enough to make the card shine. There is no end date specified for the promotion, but you better not wait. As long as you’re not done 5/24 this offer could be obvious.