Here’s what to know about about Chase’s Marriott Bonvoy Bold credit card

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If you’re obsessed with racking up credit card points, this is your big week: Marriott and Chase are rolling out their new Marriott Bonvoy Bold credit card, and the travel perks will have you instantly dragging your suitcase out of the hall closet. AOL Finance broke down the key points you should know as you consider opening one of your own.

Here are the basics. Earlier in 2019, Marriott’s former rewards programs — Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) — folded into the new Marriott Bonvoy. With 30 hotel brands and international home and villa rentals under its umbrella, there are plenty of price level to choose from. (We can’t all spring for a Ritz-Carlton twice a year.)

There’s no annual fee. It’s an immediate difference from the Capital One Venture Rewards card ($0 for the first year, then $95) and the Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95), both of which are popular for their travel rewards points.

#1: Household bills

If you are already cutting it close for the month, you may be tempted to use plastic to pay the utility, cellphone or cable bill. But if you’re not paying off your full balance each month, the interest you will be charged makes those monthly bills even more expensive.

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#2: Cars 

Car dealers often don’t allow credit card purchases, or may limit the amount of the purchase price you can put on your card. Dealers don’t like credit card payments because they have to pay the 1 to 3 percent fee the card company charges to process the transaction.

You could exercise the cash-advance option. But you’ll pay a fee and a higher interest rate. Also, you won’t get a grace period on the interest — it will begin to accumulate right away.

Instead of using a card, go to a credit union or bank to get financing approved at a reasonable interest rate before shopping for a car.

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#3: Student loans

If you can’t afford to pay your federal student loans, you have options. They include an income-based repayment plan, deferment, forbearance and possibly loan forgiveness. Take a look at “How to Get Free Help With Your Student Loans” to learn more.

Paying your student loan debt with a credit card increases the amount of interest you’re paying on the debt. Even if you have a zero-percent introductory credit card offer, it will expire in time.

And while the federal government will accept a credit card payment for loans in default, many student loan servicers won’t allow this form of payment.

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#4: Retail therapy

Think a new purchase will cheer you up? Perhaps. But remember that cash is king if you choose this mode of “therapy.” Use cash, and you won’t let your credit card balance spiral out of control.

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#5: Medical bills

If you use a medical credit card available through your health care provider’s office to pay bills, be careful to read the fine print about your obligations.

Also consider steps you can take to reduce health care costs. See “10 Ways to Fight High Medical Bills.”

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#6: A night on the town

Handing your credit card to an unscrupulous waitperson equipped with a skimming device isn’t your only worry. If you’re out on the town throwing back drinks, it’s easy to run up a tab you can’t afford.

So when painting the town, it’s best to pay with cash.

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#7: Big-ticket items you can’t pay off immediately

Credit cards offer great purchase protections and should be used for many big-ticket purchases. But buying something on credit when you can’t afford to pay it off right away isn’t smart.

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#8: Credit card payments

You can’t charge your monthly credit card payment on another credit card. But perhaps you’ve been tempted to use a cash advance from a credit card to bolster your checking account so that you can pay other bills.

We’ve already explained the folly of cash advances. Your credit card is not an ATM and should not be used as one.

There are real benefits, however, to transferring high-interest credit card debt to a new card with a generous zero-percent balance transfer offer. Just be aware of the balance-transfer fee and find out how long the offer lasts.

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#9: ‘Sale’ items

Convinced that you might miss out on savings if you don’t purchase a specific item on sale right away? That’s one of the warning signs of an impulse buy.

Wait a day and think about whether you really need the item. Nine times out of 10, the answer will be “no.”

You aren’t saving money by spending it for something you don’t need.

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#10: Unsecured online purchases

When shopping online, make sure the web address has “https” at the beginning. If it doesn’t, that’s your cue to take your online shopping elsewhere.

In fact, do your homework before purchasing anything online to make sure a company is reputable and not the source of many consumer complaints.

Which purchases do you refrain from making with your credit card? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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There’s also no foreign transaction fee. The Chase-Marriott partnership is all about encouraging travel, so while it is a great perk, it’s not so much of a surprise that they’ve eliminated any foreign transaction fees. (For comparison, spending $5,000 internationally would typically cost about $150 in those fees.) So whether you’re in Louisville or London, swipe away. 

How do you get points? You’ll pocket 3 points per $1 spent at any Marriott Bonvoy properties, 2 points per $1 spent on other travel purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. 

New cardmembers can snag 50,000 points. It’s a limited-time offer, but as of June 2019, those fifty thousand are yours for the taking after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

Feeling it? Here’s where to apply.

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