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Old April 26th, 2006, 10:14 AM
Magnolia Blossom Magnolia Blossom is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Central Louisiana
Posts: 965
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Yep, they're all in my name with my husband as an additional user. A few years back when I saw an ad for the card I applied and was approved. Then I decided since I can only get 250 points per month max, there's no point in having more than a $8,250 credit line. Mine was more than that so I called and asked MBNA to split my credit line into two cards. Over the years they keep increasing my credit line and I've continued to split them off to other cards. The beauty of splitting rather than just re-applying, which of course you can do, is that by splitting they do not need to do a credit check, they just do it. It also allows me to have different statement dates which helps my cash flow since I use these primarily for business expenses.

I have looked at the Carnival program and actually have a card which I will close after tomorrow when I use up my points and books a cruise. There are several problems with their program. I'll be happy to address those with anyone interested in how their program works, but suffice it to say it is not nearly as flexible as NCLs. I had a big discussion with the SeaMiles guy yesterday and of course he is of a differing opinion and feels the opposite but of course he would, he works for Carnival/SeaMiles.

Anyway . . . it is difficult to say exactly how many points you need for a cruise with Carnival because it varies so much and there are numerous space/date restrictions (similar to air miles - just beccause there's a vacancy doesn't mean you can have it with air miles). In the case of a 12 day sailing on the Freedom 50,000 points will get me $500 credit. Our friends are using 25,000 for $250 and the minimum is 10,000 for $100.
In order to use "free" sailings BOTH passengers in the cabin must be sailing "free". So unlike their previous program with CapitalOne where you could redeem a free cruise for you and your spouse could pay for theirs, the SeaMiles doesn't work that way. So a free 3-5 day cruise isn't really 30,000 miles as advertised, it's 60,000. And that is only on certain dates. Other dates may be more, and while they tell you it can be less, I've never heard of anyone actually getting a sailing for fewer points.

Ute fan, you are correct, a $500 certificate does require $16,667 in non NCL purchases with a maximum of $1,000 per year. After that, put away the card til your anniversary date rolls around.

Their web site makes it very easy to check your current balance and it apprears on the bottom of your statement each month. Carnival requires you to log in to their cumbersome site or call SeaMiles to check your balance.

Royal Caribbean has a program that requires a HUGE amount of purchases for a free sailing. Can't remember exactly what it is but if memory serves me correctly it is about $125,000 in purchases for a free 7 day cruise for 1 person. You can go to their web site for further info.

I recently got a promotion from Celebrity but it was very vague about how many points were necessary and after my disappointment with Carnival I didn't pursue it any further.

Enjoy!
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