Free Night Stays from Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card

As part of my Disney for Free Strategy, I opened up a Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card because they used to offer a massive points promotion bonus.

I’ve since banked a lot of points from using the card so I was a little worried when they announced a merger with Marriott – how would the program change? Would it become better? Worse? No change?

So far, not a lot of change (besides a name change to Marriott Bonvoy) and the introduction of a whole slew of hotels.

And now that the program merger details have been out for a bit, we can take a closer look.

(this was just one of a handful of cards offering 100,000 point bonuses!)

Table of Contents
  1. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card – Promotion & Card Details
  2. Other Features or Requirements
  3. Timetable of the Marriott-Starwood Rewards Points Merger
  4. Impact on Existing Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Card Holders
  5. Should You Sign Up for the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Card?

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card – Promotion & Card Details

The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Card includes the following:

  • Get 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases
  • Earn 6X points for every $1 you spend at a participating Marriott Bonvoy hotel
  • Earn 2X points for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • Free Night Award every year after your account anniversary (worth up to 35,000 points)
  • Automatically upgrade to Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year
  • Upgrade to Gold Status when you spend at least $35,000 each year on purchases

Learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card

With Marriott only, you can redeem four nights and get the fifth night free. If you transfer points between Marriott and Starwood, you will get 3 Marriott points for every 1 Starwood point.

Marriott Rewards points will also be transferable to airline frequent flyer miles. The ratio will be 3 Marriott points for every 1 mile. Matching the Starwood arrangement, Marriott will add 15,000 points for every 60,000 transferred to airline miles. That means 60,000 transferred points – totaling 75,000 points with the bonus – will equal 25,000 airline miles.

Lastly, you’ll receive 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year plus a Free Night Award on your anniversary.

Other Features or Requirements

Once you qualify for the bonus, you must allow up to eight weeks for the points to post to your Marriott Rewards account. Your account must be open and in good standing at the time of fulfillment. It must be open for a minimum of six months, otherwise Marriott and Chase reserve the right to deduct the bonus points from your account.

The Free Night Award will also require up to eight weeks from your account anniversary date for your anniversary free night award e-certificate to be deposited into your Rewards account.

“Eligible purchases” do not include balance transfers, cash advances, cash-like transactions, gambling transactions, or the use of checks to access funds on your credit line.

Rewards Points expiration. Your rewards points do not expire unless your account is closed out, or there is no card earning activity or other qualifying earning or redemption activity every 24 months. This is similar to other rewards cards, like Southwest Rapid Rewards Card.

Program qualification. To qualify for this offer, you must have good or excellent credit. The offer is available only to US residents that have a valid permanent home address within the 50 United States or the District of Columbia.

Redeeming your Rewards Points. Points can be converted into airline miles as noted above, used for travel and leisure purchases, used for purchases with participating merchants, or used to purchase gift cards ($200 per 60,000 points).

They can also be used at participating hotel properties for Marriott Rewards Cash + Points:

Other features of the card include:

  • No foreign transaction fee when used internationally
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Lost luggage, up to $3,000 per passenger
  • Trip delay reimbursement, up to $500 per airline ticket
  • Purchase protection on new purchases for up to 120 days against damage or theft of up to $500 per claim, and $50,000 per account
  • Extended warranty protection, extending a manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warrantees of three years or less
  • Zero liability protection – you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges

There’s an annual membership fee of $95, which is great for a Visa Signature card attached to a rewards program.

Timetable of the Marriott-Starwood Rewards Points Merger

The merger is complete but here are historical details of how it worked during the transition. Points can be used at Marriott hotels, including:

  • Courtyard
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites
  • Residence Inn
  • Renaissance Hotels
  • Springhill Suites
  • Ritz-Carlton

And at Starwood Properties hotels, including:

  • Sheraton
  • Four Points by Sheraton
  • Westin
  • W Hotels
  • St. Regis
  • The Luxury Collection
  • Aloft
  • Le Meridien
  • Element Hotels
  • Tribute Portfolio
  • Design Hotels

The full merger will go through in August 2018 with a brand-new merged redemption chart. At that time, Starwood points will be permanently converted to Marriott points. Each hotel will be assigned a category number and beginning in 2019, there will be separate points awarded to each category, based on peak and off-peak seasons.

Free Night Award Chart

(Coming 2019)

In early 2019, they’re adding a Category 8 but until then all those hotels will be placed in Category 7.

Impact on Existing Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Card Holders

There’s a bit of a limitation on the new card offer for existing Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Cardholders. If you are a current or previous cardmember of either the Marriott Rewards Premier or Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit cards, and you received a new cardmember bonus within the past 24 months, you are not eligible for this offer.

If you are an existing Marriott Rewards Premier customer and would like to take advantage of this offer, you need to call the number on the back of your card to determine your eligibility.

Should You Sign Up for the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Card?

If you’re a frequent traveler, this card is definitely worth looking into.

Not only are there generous rewards points offered upfront but they continue year after year. The Marriott – Starwood merger also will give you access to one of the most comprehensive hotel chains in the world, ranging from budget hotels to luxury resort hotels.

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a forty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and farms in Illinois, Louisiana, and California through AcreTrader.

Recently, he's invested in a few pieces of art on Masterworks too.

>> Read more articles by Jim

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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