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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.
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).
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.
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?
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.
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 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.