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It’s that time again! If you’ve been a reader of my blog or followed me on Instagram over the last few years, you have learned about travel hacking right along with me and watched as I got my first credit card since the age of 18 – plus three more over the following years.
We have utilized the credit card points we’ve earned twice so far. Once for a couple nights in Nashville, and once for two weeks in Greece that were book-ended by two nights in Atlanta. I cannot tell you how awesome it has been to book rental cars, flights and hotels using points then experience it all play out during an amazing vacation months later. I kept waiting for something to go wrong with one of the flights or hotel bookings in Greece because it just seemed too good to be true that we could cover 86% of the trip with points, but it never did. Travel hacking really is just that good.
If you have recently stumbled upon my blog through Pinterest or Instagram (hi and welcome!) and aren’t too familiar with travel hacking, I ask you to pause here and read this very long and detailed post to learn what travel hacking is, who can benefit from it, why we do it, as well as the systems we put in place to ensure we never overspend or pay a penny of credit card interest. From there, if you’re interested in learning more about the sequence of cards we opened before we got to the new one that I’m about to announce, check out the links below and come back!
- Credit Card #1 (Personal)
- Credit Card #2 (Business)
- Credit Card #3 (Business)
- Credit Card #4 (Personal)
Alright, now let’s talk credit card #5!
Chase Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM
- Sign-up Bonus: 3 free nights (105,000 points total)
- Spending Limit to Receive Bonus: $3,000 in the first three months from account opening (This is important to remember. The clock starts on the date you’re approved, not on the date you receive or activate the card!)
- 1 free night after account anniversary
- $95 annual fee
- No foreign transaction fees
- 6X points per dollar spent at Marriott Bonvoy hotels
- 2X points per dollar spent on all other purchases
- Points are transferable to more than 40 airline partners
- Points don’t expire as long as card is used every 24 months
- Baggage delay insurance & lost luggage reimbursement
As with my other two personal cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier, the application process was short and sweet, and I was approved instantly. Name, address, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, social security number, gross annual income, type of residence – you can expect to provide answers to these normal questions. If you are already a Marriott Bonvoy member, you can provide your member number while filling out the application too. If you’re not a member, you will be automatically enrolled if approved for the card.
Why this card?
My first two cards are flexible rewards cards and my second two are airline rewards cards, so I wanted to add a hotel points card to the mix. Below is a quick recap of the four cards I had previously signed up for:
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||Flexible Rewards|
|Chase Ink Business Preferred||Flexible Rewards|
|Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business||Airline Rewards|
|Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier||Airline Rewards|
The Chase Ultimate Rewards points from my flexible rewards cards can be transferred to Southwest Rapid Rewards points, which are the type of airline rewards I earn from my second set of credit cards. I wanted to also have the ability to transfer the Ultimate Rewards points to a hotel partner, which narrowed my choices down to three hotel chains – IHG, Marriott and Hyatt.
I didn’t feel that we could really go wrong with any of those three, so I just made a choice. I went with Marriott simply because it is the largest chain of the three and therefore has the most worldwide locations. We are not dead set on where we would like for our next big trip to be, but I feel pretty confident that there will be a Marriott hotel wherever we choose. In addition, I liked that the points are transferable to several airlines, and Marriott will even give you 5,000 bonus points for every 60,000 points transferred to airline miles.
After deciding on this card and clearing it with hubby, I reached out to my friend Morgan from morganizedmoney.com who I knew used this card, and I asked for her referral link to use to fill out the application. Doing this gave her 20,000 bonus points upon my approval at no extra cost to me. If you are interested in also applying for this card, you can do the same favor for me by using this link to apply, and you’ll receive your own referral link after you are approved for the card!
While I’m not sure what card we’ll sign up for next or when, we’re pretty certain that we’re going to cancel the Southwest cards before the annual fees hit at the end of the year. We’ve earned over 106,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points since I applied for these cards in December of last year, and those points remain in Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program regardless of if we keep the cards. Our Companion Pass is valid until the very end of 2020 and we can transfer Ultimate Rewards points earned from our first two cards to Rapid Rewards points. So because of all of this, we don’t see much reason to keep the cards, and canceling them will lower us to three annual fees instead of five.
I think I covered everything you could want to know about my new Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card, but if I didn’t just let me know your question in the comments! And as always, travel hacking is a fun game that allows you to fulfill your dreams of traveling while continuing to fulfill your more important dreams of saving and investing some serious money – but it takes a lot of intent, discipline, awareness and organization. If you have trouble with sticking to your budget, have credit card debt or have trouble developing systems for money management and staying organized, please don’t travel hack!
See you guys soon!