(Last Chance) Marriott Launches Massive (250K) New Card Offer: Why I Am Passing On It

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Marriott Bonvoy Boundless 5 Free Night

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless 5 Free Night Offer…Is It Worth It?

Wow, credit card offers have been on 🔥🔥🔥 lately.  Banks have been throwing around 80k offers here, 100k offers there, points and miles everywhere. The Marriott Boundless card is the latest to throw their cap in the ring.  There is a new Marriott Bonvoy Boundless 5 free night offer that dropped today (worth up to 250,000 points).  That sounds super enticing but there is a big snag, they come in the form of free night certificates.  And that is why I am giving the offer a pass myself. Let’s take a look at the offer and I will give you the reasons that I don’t think it is right for everyone.

Update 10/28/20: This offer is ending today 10/28.  If you had considered the offer but were procrastinating then grab it while you can.

Offer Details

Here are the terms of the new offers:
  • Earn 5 free nights after spending $5,000 in the first three months from opening.
  • The nights are redeemable for up to a year after receiving the benefit.
  • Each night is valued at 50,000 Bonvoy Points.
  • That is up to 5 nights at a category 6 hotel (which doesn’t mean a ton with dynamic pricing).
  • $95 annual fee is NOT waived
  • Learn More

card
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

Remember that Marriott credit cards come with a lot of terms to be eligible for the offers:

Eligibility for this product: The product is not available to either:
  • Current cardmembers of the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier credit card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier), Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ credit card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus), Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ credit card, or
  • Previous cardmembers of the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier credit card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier), Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ credit card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus), or Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ credit card, who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 24 months.

And don’t forget you have to be under the Chase 5/24 rule as well.

Breaking Down The Value Of The Offer

Free nights are always tough to put a value on.  If you look solely at the top end of the redemption then this is worth essentially 250,000 Bonvoy points.  If you value Bonvoy points at $0.006 a piece, like I do, then that is a massive $1,500 in value.  That would be right up there with the Amex Platinum card in terms of most valuable welcome offer on the market, and the Platinum offer is targeted where this is not.

Let’s say you hedge it some and value the certificates at 40,000 points a night.  That would put the value at around $1,200, which is still great.

The downside is that these certs are only good for one year and there is no way to extend them like you can with points. I will say that Marriott has been somewhat lenient in the past on extending free night certs but it is not guaranteed.  Should we discount the valuations because of that, because the certificates have an expiring clock on them?

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless 5 Free Night

Why I Am Passing

This offer can give you massive value but I still think I will pass on it.  Why?  Because the offer is for expiring certificates.  I, as well as many of you, am already sitting on a mountain of these suckers across multiple programs.  I am going to be somewhat hard pressed to use them all up before they expire as it is, and this would throw 5 more onto the fire.

People also have had trouble in the past using Marriott certificates because of their dynamic pricing. A property you have your eye could jump up in price when you are ready to book. Especially if it is during a desired travel period.  Maybe this will be less likely with the pandemic but there is still risk there. This is more prevalent with the 35K certificates though and should be less worrisome with the 50K certs.

That brings me to my next point, where would I use these?  Will borders be open in 6-12 months.  I sure hope so but who knows what will happen at this point.  Could I use them somewhere in the US?  Sure, but do I want to plan a trip around these certificates just to use them?

This also excludes the possibility to use Marriott’s 5th night free perk on award stays.  If you use these certs for a week long stay should we discount the offer by 50,000 points or 1 night?  If you break up your usage and use them on weekend trips etc. then this isn’t a consideration.

Final Thoughts

Having said all of this if you have upcoming stays with Marriott and know that you can easily use these certificates then jump on this offer lickity split! This has the potential to be the most valuable offer out there right now.

It is the potential that keeps me away.  If it were in a program I frequent more often, or had plans to stay with, then I would be singing a different tune for sure.  But as it is I don’t think this offer is right for me, even if it is perfect for you.

Let me know your thoughts below – are you giving this Marriott Bonvoy Boundless 5 free night offer a 👍 or a 👎. That is assuming you are eligible 😉.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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24 COMMENTS

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

24 COMMENTS

  1. If you get a pending response after applying, and do not get approved until after October 29, do you not get the offer?

  2. My wife and I are sitting on 5 Hilton, 2 Hyatt, 1 Marriott, and 5 IHG Free night certificates. I also hold 6 Fairmont Category 3 and 4 Ritz anywhere certificates (no expiration thank goodness) that I received on a sales incentive program. The last thing I need are more. What I need are places to spend them on. Now if this was for 250,000 points or the cert’s had a 3 year usage period, I would probably grab a card. But it’s no sale for me under the current situations and 1 year expiration date.

  3. Just a thought here but if I cancel my Bonvoy Premier and reapply a little past 30 days later, will the 15 elite nights stack with my prior nights? I’m about 20 nights shy of Titanium for this/next year and the Silver status with United has gotten me upgraded on occasional award tickets more times than multiple years as a Delta Silver.

    • I honestly have no idea. I feel like it may work but can not say for sure. Do you have a business card? Those 15 nights would stack with the personal card.

  4. Yeah… not getting this. I’m Ambassador Elite, and it seems like they go out of their way to make it worse for you. Suite Night Awards never are honored, upgrades never happen, no way that these certs would work, at least the way you’d expect.

  5. Hard pass for basically the reasons you listed. This offer will get headlines but isn’t really all that great. A 3 year expiration date on the certs or something like that would get me to apply, but otherwise… meh

  6. Screw Marriott. They stole 2 60,000 point certs from my account before they expired and then said they had no way to give them back to me so I lost out on a 2 night stay at the Ritz Carlton this in August. I’m thinking of filing a small claims case against them. I already located their agent to serve them in Los Angeles.

    I will be Platinum for life in a year from now and they still treat me like shit.

  7. I have 7 certificates between my wife and myself that will expire in January 2021. I keep calling for an extension and Marriott refuses. The original purpose was to use at the Marriott Mt. Fuji in Japan for a couple of rooms for multiple nights. We cannot even travel there now. Let alone that we are in late 60’s with health issues and Covid issue. I have no use for further certificates……..Marriott should allow them to be turned into points and be done with it. Very poor company policy when they have hotels sitting nearly empty. My son just stayed on business at the NYC Marriott Marqui. Only 50 rooms out of 1800 were being used.

    • I agree 100%. Marriott sucks even for a Titanium Elite member.

      Switch your loyalty to Hyatt. They really care about their customers. I had to cancel a trip to Japan for my 50th birthday as well and they sent me a gift basket and of course extended my free night certs.

  8. I am Titanium but already have the card. If I get my wife the card can we get my Titanium benefits on stays paid for with these certificates (we’d both be staying)?

    • Usually not. A hotel may work with you at check in etc. but I don’t think they allow you to gift certs like Hyatt does.

    • We have had good luck with getting husband’s Titanium benefits even when staying on a cert in my (Gold) account. Upgrades & breakfast benefits have been offered every time we’ve asked in the last couple of years. JW Austin, RC Kapalua (no breakfast there of course), and a couple of Autograph Collection hotels in Spain are the ones I can think of offhand. But as Mark said, it’s totally dependent on the clerk at check in.

  9. My thoughts are let me take some of those certificates you have off your hands!!! This could be a good deal if you want to visit some US locations with high priced Marriotts. Not a big Bonvoy fan after getting Bonvoyed a few times but I hope the trend of big offers continues.

      • Based on some cursory research, cash prices have cratered, while points seem to have stayed the same. I’ve seen 50k rooms going for $100 and change in multiple expensive cities. I’d lower my expectations for getting great values on redemptions anytime soon. Good time for cash buyers though.

  10. With certificates, do you get the 5th night free or is that only when you book with points ? If it is valid, you could actually get an extra night if you stay 5 nights at some resort. I am with you though. I have a lot of nights to use by the end of next year and who knows when things get back to semi normal and i don’t feel like doing a bunch of travel in nov and dec of 21 just to use the nights before they expire.

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