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Is the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful card worth the annual fee?


In September 2022, Marriott Bonvoy revamped its credit cards line-up and introduced two cards with an annual fee we’d never seen.

Broadly speaking, most hotel credit cards can be considered “basic” (carrying annual fees under $100) or “luxury” (carrying annual fees of $400 or more). However, the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful Card from Chase has an annual fee of $250, sitting right in the middle.

At first glance, you might assume that it has $150 worth of additional features when compared to more basic cards, but is this really the case?

Let’s take a closer look at what you get for the $250 annual fee on the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful card so you can decide whether the annual fee is worth it.

The information for the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Welcome bonus

New applicants can earn 85,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after making at least $4,000 in purchases on their new card in the first three months from account opening. These bonus points are worth roughly $714, according to TPG’s latest valuations.

THE POINTS GUY

Note that Marriott removed its award charts and moved to a dynamic pricing system in 2022, making it more challenging to know how many points you’ll need to book your trip.

Additionally, if you’ve had Marriott Bonvoy credit cards from Chase or American Express in the past, there are restrictions that will limit your ability to receive a sign-up bonus. Before applying, check out our chart to help you understand which card(s) you may be eligible for.

Related: How to redeem points with the Marriott Bonvoy program

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Elite status and related perks

Bountiful cardholders receive complimentary Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy each year that they have the card. At this level, you’ll receive benefits like upgrades to preferred rooms (but not suites) and a welcome gift of bonus points at check-in and late checkout. TPG values Gold Elite status at $805 annually, so you’ll more than justify the card’s annual fee each year if you’re able to get this value from your status.

Cardholders also receive 15 elite night credits deposited into their Marriott Bonvoy account each year. Elite night credits are what you need to attain higher levels of status with Marriott, and you can stack them if you also hold a Marriott Bonvoy business credit card.

For example, if you hold the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, this card will give you another 15 elite night credits, allowing you to start the year with a total of 30 elite night credits automatically.

The Ritz-Carlton Perth. ERIC ROSEN/THE POINTS GUY

To qualify for Platinum Elite status — where you’ll find benefits like suite upgrades and free breakfast — you need 50 nights per year with Marriott Bonvoy. Holding the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful card and the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business card at the same time would put you more than halfway there, thanks to having 30 nights in your account to start with each year.

However, unlike many hotel credit cards, there’s no path to achieving higher levels of elite status by spending lots of money on your Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful card each year. You can’t spend your way to Platinum Elite status, no matter how much money you spend on this card.

It’s worth pointing out, though, that you can get automatic Platinum Elite status with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, but that card comes with a significantly higher annual fee of $650 (see rates and fees).

Related: Here’s why you need both a personal and business Marriott Bonvoy credit card

1,000 bonus points for each stay

Bountiful cardholders receive 1,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points for each paid stay at a hotel or resort participating in Marriott Bonvoy. TPG values Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.84 cents apiece, so 1,000 points are worth $8.40.

The St. Regis New York. SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY

Unfortunately, these bonus points are not available on stays where you redeem points or free night awards for an award stay.

Related: How to earn lots of Bonvoy points

Annual free night certificate

Many hotel credit cards offer a free night award, deposited automatically into your account on your cardholder anniversary each year. Unfortunately, that’s not the case on the Bountiful card.

Bountiful cardholders who spend $15,000 or more on their cards during a calendar year can receive a free night award worth up to 50,000 points. Great uses for these awards include properties like The Ritz-Carlton Bali, St. Regis Langkawi in Malaysia and the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort in Hawaii.

Westin Hapuna Beach Resort near Kona, Hawaii. JT GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

Due to Marriott’s dynamic pricing, you should perform a calendar search for flexible dates in order to find nights that cost 50,000 points or less. Typically, the most difficult times to use these free night awards will be on or near holidays. However, if you want to use your free night award at a pricier hotel, you can do this by adding up to 15,000 points for additional redemption options.

Related: 13 ways to redeem the Marriott 50,000-point free night award

Other cardholder perks

Earning points on the Bountiful card closely mirrors what you’ll find on other Marriott credit cards. Cardholders earn 6 points per dollar at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, 4 points per dollar on the first $15,000 per year (then 2 points per dollar) in combined purchases at grocery stores and on dining — including takeout and delivery — and 2 points per dollar on other purchases.

Using TPG’s latest valuations, that’s a return of 5.04% on Marriott purchases, 3.36% on dining and grocery stores and a 1.68% return on everyday spending. Those rates aren’t mind-blowing but aren’t bad for a cobranded hotel credit card.

MARRIOTT

Cardholders also have travel and purchase protections on their Bountiful cards that may prove useful. Benefits include baggage delay insurance of up to $100 per day for a maximum of five days (which takes effect after a delay of six hours or more), purchase protection for 120 days, trip delay reimbursement (which kicks in when you’re delayed overnight or for 12 hours or more) for up to $500 per ticket and lost luggage reimbursement of up to $3,000 per passenger.

Cardholders can also take advantage of Chase Offers, which can provide discounts or bonus points through targeted promotions.

Related: Best cards with trip delay reimbursement

Bottom line

The Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful comes with some perks that Marriott travelers will find helpful, but it’s unlikely to give you the best bang for your annual fee buck.

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, for instance, provides automatic Silver Elite status, 15 elite night credits and a free night award for just a $95 annual fee. You can also unlock Gold status with the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business card for just $125 (see rates and fees) — and that card comes with a free night award automatically each year.

For more details, see our full review of the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful. And for other cards you may want to consider, check out our list of the best Marriott credit cards.

For rates and fees of the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business card, click here.

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