Hey friends...on this past cruise I signed up for the carnival mastercard - MAINLY to get the 25% coupon for the spa service I was getting...lol. However, I hear you get points etc and there is no annual fee. I currently use american express for everything and get points for it (use for flights etc) but pay 150.00 per year for 3 people. Whats the advantage...if any...if any of you have this card? Any suggestions or comments MUCH appreciated. Not sure if I should keep card and transfer some routine things over to it (I get bills paid online auto each month on some things)... or just put aside and continue with my AE. Thanks Friends!!
We have a cruise line credit card and charge alot of things to it to get the points towards cruises, but it does take alot of points to get anything. I also have an AMEX card, but often feel it's not really worth it for what we get. Why should we pay for a credit card when we can use others that don't charge anything? But then again, we are an AMEX agency, so we really need to support them.
But I do have a good friend of mine who has an airline credit card and she charges everything to it every month, including her mortgage, groceries, utilities, car payment, etc. Of course she's very disciplined about it and makes sure she pays it off each month. But with all the points she gets, she's able to fly for free each year in first class to her timeshare in Aruba for two weeks of scuba diving.
So some of these cards can really pay off if you use them correctly and are dedicated to paying it off each month so as not to incur any fees.
__________________ Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/12 yrs exp and 47 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!
I only have the RCL card and the SW card. I am flying to a lot of cruises. SW card charges me $99 per year (there is another SW card for $59 a year, but the yearly bonus is less). They give you a annual bonus of enough miles for a round trip flight. I just booked my 4th free flight in the year and a half I have had this card. I have friends where both the husband and wife both have separate SW cards to get the free flights bonus for signing up and for charging to this card.
RCL has made it so easy to use the points you accrue and you do not have to charge much to get perks which I like about this card. I will never charge enough to get a free cruise, but I can go into my RCL booking and add as little as $50 OBC to my next cruise. No annual fee. I think it said you have to add OBC in increments of $50, so if you have enough points for $180, you can only add $150 OBC and save the rest for another time.
I don't think that Carnival has made the card as easy and you can't apply benefits from just signing into your booking at Carnival.com unless things have changed.
I had to cancel two flights I bought with points earlier this year on my SW card and there was no penalty, very nice. The air miles do not expire. If you book with other airlines there is a charge to change flights.
I have nothing against the carnival card, just that I need the free flight miles right now more than anything else. My next flight to book is to and from San Juan which I'm betting runs higher.
There are so many card choices, but I like these because of the ease to use the points.
I have also used my RCL card for $300 off the price of a cruise, but the TA said this affected her commission and price drops, even though Royal Carnival said no it does not. So, now I just add OBC to my cruises with it lately.
Two credit cards is about all I can keep up with. I don't charge that much to rack up big perks enough to add another card to keep up with. I know people who have the Carnival card though and like it. Carnival sure makes you want to sign up for it when you are on their ships. I can see why you signed up for it. Its hard to resist the sales pitch onboard even for me.
When you signed up for the Carnival card, didn't they give you a $50 OBC on the cruise you were on? That's what I see all the time. I got $150 worth of OBC or money off a cruise for signing up for the RCL card. Very generous.
Im sure for every person what the best card for travel is depends on how much they charge. If they charge a lot it might be worth paying a yearly fee, and getting 2% back, but not for someone like me.
I have a RCCL Master Card and that is all I use except for United when flying to get 2 bags each free. We have taken 2 free cruises for 2 and just booked another one for April. Assume Carnival works the same way, i.e., so many points gets you free cruises and lesser points gets you o/b credit. If you plan on cruising a lot then this would work. If you plan a cruise a year or something like that, then maybe not. It is all what your goal is.
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We have they Carnival, formerly SeaMiles, card. It is a no annual fee card. Essentially ever dollar you spend is worth a penny towards a Carnival cruise. You get double points for dollars spent on a Carny cruise. If you accumulate 100,000 points the they are worth 1.5 cents - their is a calculator one their site. They points can be used for other travel at a lesser rate of return. The points can also be used for other "gifts" per-cruise like items available through the Bon Voyage department.
The good part is you can continue to book travel as you always have and apply points as credit. Under SeaMiles you had to book through them. We have a pretty good pile of points right now. Will probably come close to draining the account on our next Carny cruise and find a different more flexible card.
As Pete mentioned, you really should pay off your card every month. Sounds like you have that discipline if you are using Amex.
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We have the Carnival MasterCard and use it to pay for our cruises and for our onboard S&S account. We earn two points per dollar for all payments to Carnival and for the S&S accounts.
Thus far we've used our points for one free cruise and for OBC of $250 several times.
I use a Capital One Card for just about everything else and the 'erase travel' cost option is usually the best; I just cashed in 48000 points to erase our airfare costs on our last cruise for two of six tickets...
I don't ever use the Carnival MasterCard for anything other than cruise expenses because the 2 points for $1 adds up fast.
The old SeaMiles card sucked big time. The new Carnival Mastercard is much better, but I only use it for Carnival purchases to get the 2 for 1 points. It doesn't take long to get enough points to get OBC's.
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We have one and we love it. If you take many cruises and pay for many Carnival bills with it, you will gather many points. A nice part of the card is that you can credit beck money for any bill in the last 6 months. We cruise 10 times a year on Carnival and use it for everything Carnival related.
When you want to turn in points, it will bring up every charge in a six month period (Carnival expenses only) so you can tailor your points to come out pretty even. It carries a hefty interest payment but we never keep a balance, so there is no charge.
Even if you have paid off completely you can still select a bill or combinations of bills to redeem points for credit off your bill.
We also use the card to pad points by moving $300/day to our S&S bill on a ship in the casino, and then cashing out the last day, bringing it home and paying it off. On long cruises, it gives you a S&S bill of sometimes $3000 in expenses you run through the casino, giving you double points and 6000 points without actually spending anything.
That plus the 10 times a year we cruise does add up to a good dividend for using the card.
We also have a Delta skymiles card for Delta travel - we don't use any card that doesn't give us something back, and seamiles and skymiles we use a lot.
I've had the RCI Visa since 2004 and I use it for just about everything. We have taken 2 "free companion" cruises. It's very easy to rack up the points. You get 1 point for every dollar and 2 points for all charges related to RCI. This card also has a very low interest rate.
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