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Chase has temporarily increased the referral bonus for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card to 40,000 points per referral when you refer someone who is approved by May 12, 2021 and they have also increased the annual cap to 200,000 Marriott Bonvoy points earned via referrals. That’s a pretty terrific referral bonus if you have friends or family interested in the card who will also make good use of the 3 free night certificates available via the referral offer. It also requires less spend than the standard offer on the card. In a two-player household, this could potentially be interesting if you’re able to snag both the 40K referral and 3 free nights.
This is an interesting development for several reasons:
- 40K points is a fantastic referral bonus. If you value Marriott points at our Reasonable Redemption Value of 0.72c each, that’s worth about $288.
- The cap of 200K points per year is also huge for those who can generate multiple referrals. By contrast, Amex limits you to earning a max of 55,000 points per year from referrals on a Marriott card.
- The referral offer may be more valuable than the standard offer. While the ordinary offer that we list as the main headline on our Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card page is 75K points after $3K spend, the referral offer requires less spend (only $1K) and comes with 3 free night certificates each good for a night up to 35K points.
Greg and I debated a bit as to which offer deserved to be the headline offer for this card (see our Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card page for full offer details). Both of us prefer points over free night certificates because free night certificates expire in a year and can only be used for one (limited) night each, whereas points can stay alive for years and can be used for a combination of more nights at a lower-tier hotel or towards a top-tier redemption. To us, that makes the points offer worth perhaps slightly more.
On the other hand, Greg has previously found that the free night certificates are worth about $200 each and Marriott has in the past been good about extending them for a second year upon request (no idea how that’ll work moving forward given COVID extensions currently in place). For those who don’t expect to get more than 3 free nights out of the 75K offer (or one really nice night at a higher-tier property), the free night certificates might be more appealing. It is a toss up that comes down to how you’ll put the certs to use. Last year, I had zero interest in collecting more free night certificates given that I had no idea when I would use them. This year, I have a ton of them set to expire, so I don’t really need more in the near term. However, I think it’s likely that I’ll get back to staying in hotels in the not-so-distant future and certainly as we move into next year.
In a two-player household, this offer could potentially be interesting. Keep in mind that Marriott lets you transfer up to 100K points per year to another member, so a 2-player team could transfer points earned from referrals from one person to the other. However, unlike Hyatt, Marriott does not provide a mechanism for gifting your free night certificates. That can be a bummer because, for example, in my household I have Titanium status but my wife only has Gold status. Free night certificates in her account aren’t as useful since we couldn’t get status benefits. On the other hand, if she could refer me for the card (I am not eligible for it, so just imagining here), I could pick up 3 free night certs and she could then transfer her 40K referral points to my account so that we could take advantage of status benefits when we use the points also.
Whether that scenario fits for you and you’re under 5/24 to be approved in the first place (and whether a Chase Marriott card is even worth a 5/24 slot to you) are all additional questions to answer on a case-by-case basis. But the new referral offer certainly does make things interesting.
Keep in mind that Chase does send a 1099 for referral bonuses. They have previously valued the Marriott points at 0.6c each.