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Old February 19th, 2008, 09:16 AM
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Default Best Credit Card to earn cruise rewards

Hi,

I'm new to this so forgive me if I put it in the wrong spot. Any recommendations on which is the best credit card, rccl, ncl, princess, etc.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 05:15 PM
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I suggest you look at the Seamiles credit card. It is backed by Carnival Corp which is the parent company for Carnival, Holland America, Princess, Cunard, Costa and Seabourn. Your miles can be traded and used on any of these cruise lines.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 05:50 PM
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IMHO, any cards offering rewards are worthless.
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Old February 25th, 2008, 11:15 AM
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Default IMHO

Quote:
Originally Posted by mehawk
IMHO, any cards offering rewards are worthless.
If you don't pay your balance then I agree. If you pay your balance and there are no fees then it can be a great bonus. I've had a lot free benefits from credit cards. I certainly don't agree with credit card debt if that was what you mean.

As for the Sea Miles, there are two Sea Miles cards. The Carnival one is limited to the Carnival brands and has to be booked through a particular agency in order to redeem. The new Sea Miles (Chase Bank) card is good for any line and is redeemed directly through the cruise lines for OBC (on board credit). Princess has just come out with their own card as well. I did get $150 OBC from my Royal Caribbean card in January.

Over all I think the new Sea Miles may be the best as it has more universal use.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 03:32 PM
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I have tried quite a few, and as of the last couple years NCL has the best program. Be careful because usually after a program has been out there a couple years they change the % down and then you find yourself needing to spend $25,000 instead of $12,500 to get a $500 discount. This happened to me when Carnival offered a 4% program then reduced it to 2%, then ended it with MBNA going to Capitol One, then to Barklays...it goes on and on. As a rule of thump RCL, CCL and Princess are offering 1% of purchases toward a cruise discount while NCL is 3%.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 10:03 PM
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I have both Crown and Anchor [RCI] and Carnival Seamiles. Both work well if you save enough points for the free cruise option [you still have to pay taxes, and probably the fuel surcharge]. If you take the "discount" option, their discounted price will be as much as your TA's price, or maybe more.

Also, if you use Seamiles, read every word on the webpage. When RCI says you get a free 4-day cruise for 50,000 points, that is what you get. When Carnival says you get a free cruise for 50,000 points, they mean half a free cruise. For more insight into the differences between RCI and Carnival, read "Devils on the Deep Blue Sea".
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Old March 4th, 2008, 01:56 PM
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Personally I would not bother with any of these cards. A good cash back or air miles card is of more interst to me
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Old March 4th, 2008, 03:35 PM
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As previous posters have said, if you do not pay off your bill in full each month than you will not fully benefit from any premium card.
I have several of these so I can speak from experience.

The best bang for your buck is NCL, now offered through Bank Of America.
It requires $17,000 in purchases (less if they are made on an NCL product) for a 500 dollar certificate. You can earn 2 $500 certificates per year.
There are no restrictions on when/where/what you sail. They are like gift cards you redeem with your TA or directly with NCL. Points are good for 3 years and cert.s are good for 1 year after issuing.

Princess and RCL is similar. It takes much more in spending to earn a certificate of free cruise They also limit which cruises they can be used on. i.e. they can not be used on European or Alaskan voyages.

Carival's SeaMiles is very misleading. Each cruise I've booked that said X points would give me a $500 discount did not Various excuses why but each one gave me only $350. You must book through their travel agency whom I have not found to be competitiely priced. Also, like the airlines they have capacity controls for how many certificate redemptions they permit per sailing. This is very much of a bait and switch. They do ntt however, limit which sailings you can use the points on.

Hope that helps.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 03:47 PM
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one more thing The Carnival SeaMiles card can be used on any cruise line but it requires more points/dollar discount. The Chase SeaMiles does not apprear to discriminate between the lines.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 07:16 AM
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Default Re: Best Credit Card to earn cruise rewards

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonbee73
Hi,

I'm new to this so forgive me if I put it in the wrong spot. Any recommendations on which is the best credit card, rccl, ncl, princess, etc.
Instead of a card consider buying at least 100 shares of stock from a cruise line and you will have a benefit every single cruise without question in the form of a on board credit up to 250.00 per cruise.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 12:58 PM
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I have a cruise rewards card from MBNA. I don't think you can get it anymore. It's good for most cruise lines and is 1 point for 2% of net rewards there is a $500 and $800 level. Once you have 500 points you receive $500 dollars off. point drop off after 2 years. I love this card. I once took a 4 day cruise for $75 per person and got an upgrade from sea view to balcony suite (that was luck). 8) BOFA has an Oliva world points card seems similar but I don't know the details. http://www.bankofamerica.com/creditc...estTimeout=120
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Old April 11th, 2008, 10:15 PM
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We've got a Carnival SeaMiles card. It is definitely not worth it if you don't pay your card in full every month as the interest rate is not that great. Plus, you really have to charge a lot in order to get a decent reward. When I thought we had enough for a cruise, I was told that you have to have enough points to book TWO people for a cabin. You can't earn one fare for yourself and pay for your spouse or whoever. Plus they limit what ships you can use it on, dates, etc. We've finally got enough to book a 'free' cruise. I'll see what happens.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: IMHO

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoozeman
Quote:
Originally Posted by mehawk
IMHO, any cards offering rewards are worthless.
If you don't pay your balance then I agree. If you pay your balance and there are no fees then it can be a great bonus. I've had a lot free benefits from credit cards. I certainly don't agree with credit card debt if that was what you mean.

As for the Sea Miles, there are two Sea Miles cards. The Carnival one is limited to the Carnival brands and has to be booked through a particular agency in order to redeem. The new Sea Miles (Chase Bank) card is good for any line and is redeemed directly through the cruise lines for OBC (on board credit). Princess has just come out with their own card as well. I did get $150 OBC from my Royal Caribbean card in January.

Over all I think the new Sea Miles may be the best as it has more universal use.
No my good friend, that is not what I meant.

I see the rewards of credit card usage as a way to get the customer to create more debt. I used to have a debit card from Chase Bank and it ws covered by Continental Airlines Rewards. I used that card for everything. After all, it was a debit card, not a credit card, and it only cost $25.00 annually to use and no interest. After over three years of usage, I had an opportunity to book a flight to Colorado. I checked about redeeming my miles for a trip reward and was told I didn't have near enough for even half fare. I was totally blasted away at that, I used that card relentlessly, and was really disappointed. The only card I have owned and was rewarded was my AMEX when I purchased items that weren't up to snuff.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 09:25 PM
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I personally use American Express Starwood card. I take the points and use them for a free night at my pre-cruise port destination. You must pay your credit card in full each month to make the percentages work.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 12:44 AM
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As people have stated you need to know how the rewards work and track them. Here are some questions you should ask yourself. All cards drop off old points.
1. So how many years do your points stay before the company drops them off?
2. What percentage of your net purchases become points?
3. What levels or requires do you need to redeemed your points?

For example:
1. My Cards my points are good for 2 years.
2. My card is 2% of net purchases.
3. I can redeem either 500 or 800 points.

So to determine if this card is worth it. I figure how much money I had to spend for the 500/800 points. I need $25, 000 worth of net spending in 2 years to receive $500 off a cruise. If I spend $40,000 in two years I can get to the 800 points level for $800 off a cruise.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 12:10 PM
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Do yourself a favor, forget the credit card. Don't add to our national debt and put yourself in debt.

Plus, this goes against your credit record and lowers your rating.

Sorry, but IMO, screw the banks.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 07:15 PM
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Cassandra,your comments IMHO are NUTS.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 10:49 PM
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Default Carnival seamiles

I placed my post before reading these. I am cruising on Holland America and used my Carnival seamiles. As I said the agent gave me a lower price than expedia, cruise.com, or vacations to go, plus the 250.00 off.
You are right about them changing the points for a trip, when I first got the card it was 25000 for 500.00 off. It took me 3 years to get to 25000.
I understand that all cards can change the rewards at anytime so unless you spend enough to get to the rate quoted quickly, it will probably change. After all, it is a Credit Card Company- you know those people who hope you will be late so they can jack your rate to 24% before you notice it.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 04:21 AM
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Default $$$$$

Look at the interest, if you don't mind paying upwards of 16%.
Your good to go.
PS, Plan on spending over $40 K to get anything worth while.
It's not worth it!
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Old June 10th, 2008, 11:26 PM
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Our AmEx, which we pay each month, lets us accrue points & they can be redeemed for air fare, stuff or cruises. It cost more to redeem them for cruises, 133 points for every $1. less to reddem for air travel.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 05:35 PM
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You have to spend money in life anyway, and if you do pay off the entire balance of the card each month to avoid the interest, then it is worth it. Just get used to using the card instead of cash, and save your cash to pay the bill at the end of the month.

I had a Continental card that I have used three flights on, one from Europe that I needed in an emergency. It was worth it. I still have a lot of points left over, but since movng to Phoenix I don't use them that often.

Many business people who have a lot of sideways cash-flow often pay for everything with a credit card and just rack up the points. In that case, you can get a lot of points very quickly. Many of our cruise agent advertisers pay their advertising bills with credit cards, like Vacations to Go. When you consider how much they advertise everywhere online, you can see how many points they must get.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 12:09 AM
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You have to follow the rules carefully in order to beat them at their own game. If you can pay in full each month, there is no harm.
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