Here is the info needed for your credit card. You will find that the best value is to get 500 points for a $500.00 credit. Any upgrades are not woth the usage of you points. This is from the credit card appliction.
If you have 2 cards one for wife and or if you have a business you can have one under the business name.
Earn up to 250 points per month and up to 1,000 points each Year. Points expire 36 Months from when they are earned. Points have no monetary value and may not be used to pay any credit card balance. Stateroom upgrades: (a) A one-category upgrade for first person in cabin: 100 points. Value of reward not to exceed $100; (b) A one-category upgrade for first and second person in cabin: 200 points. Value of reward not to exceed $200; (c) A two-category upgrade for second person in cabin: 300 points. Value of reward not to exceed $300; and (d) A two category upgrade for first and second persons in cabin: 400 points. Value of reward not to exceed $400. Cruise discounts: (a) $500 discount: 500 Points; (b) $1,000 discount: 1,000 points; (c) $1,500 discount: 1,500 points; (d) $2,000 discount: 2,000 points; (e) $2,500 discount: 2,500 points; and (f) $3,000 discount: 3,000 points. Upgrade and discount rewards may be used for any eligible NCL,
I am the world's largest fan of the NCL m/c program. They should put me on their sales staff. I have FOUR cards (yep, four). Tom gave you very good information but here's the nuts and bolts of how it works.
I've not found any cruise so far that was not an eligible cruise (unlike Royal Caribbean or Carnivals programs) and I've booked 5 free ( or nearly so)cruises.
When you accumulate 500 points, which you'll see by looking at the bottom of your credit card statement each month, or accessing the mbna website, you call the number given and request a certificate. It will be mailed to you in 2 to 6 weeks. If you're in a bind for a $35 fee you can have it expedited and receive it in 5 days. Now you treat the certificate just like you would a gift certificate. Go to your TA, online or direct to NCL and find your cruise at the best price you can then send your certificates in as payment. Same is true later on for your final payment, in the event that you are booking early and have time to generate another certificate before the final payment is due.
It usually takes about 3 weeks to get your certificates.
Certificates are only issued in $500 amounts so if you are redeeming $1000 points you'll get 2 certificates. This is only noteworthy because if you expedite the process they'll charge you $35 per certificate.
You can only spend whole portions of a $500 certificate. ie. If your cruise fare is $1,300 you can either send in one or two certificates paying the $800 or $300 balance or you can send in 3 certificates but you will forfeit the $200 balance of certificate #3.
Make photocopies of your certificates to keep with your documents.
You will endorse and send the certificates directly to NCL (or your TA will do it for you) and their mailroom is less than efficient so be sure to mailethem certified, return receipt. If the certificate is lost it is replaceable IF you have a copy of the original and it is a major hassle so go ahead and spend the $3 and send it certified.
If you get a TA who is not familiar with the program they may be hesitant thinking they do not get commission but I am told they are the same as cash so far as the TA's commission is concerned.
You cannot use them for onboard credit or expenses.
I'm sure you've figured out this part but in case you haven't - you will need to spend $33,000 in credit card charges to get $1,000 in credits (the maximum per card per year), unless some of those are dollars spend with NCL and then you get 4 point/$100 rather than 3, so they accumulate faster.
I think this is just the best program around because it lets you decide when you want to go, where you want to go, what category of cabin without restriction. How very freestyle of them!
I've got a Carnival and even with their new program it is VERY restrictive and the pitch about free cruising is very close to false advertising in my opinion. And it is a super hassle to deal with their people and you must book your cruise through their travel agency.
Magnolia Blossom, I have the NCL MC too, and we did use a $500 certificate on our last cruise. It was very easy and our TA took care of everything. We booked another cruise (2007) on board and paid the deposit with the card because we didn't have 2 $500 certificates at that time. My question is, if we have enough points accrued by the time final payment rolls around to pay for the entire cruise, would they refund us our $800 cash deposit? We're confident we'll have accrued enough to get a free cruise by our cruise date in '07. Any experience with this scenario?
Yes, they will refund it. That happened to us when they "lost" our certificates and in order to secure our cabin we had to pay by credit card. When the new certifictes were issued they credited our master card.
You know, if there's anything better than cruisin' for free I just don't know what it is! Whole new meaning to FREEstyle.
I'm cutting back on cruising a bit this year because of a new grandbaby who would not get a sufficient amount of spoiling if I was off on the high seas too much, but also because we're saving up to do the Baltic Capitals again in '07. We did it last year - oops I guess that's now 2 yrs ago - on the Dream and had a fabulous time. There was so much to see in St. Petersburg that we want to do it again. This time I want a balcony to fully appreciate the fabulous scenery through the Kiel Canal and while leaving the Swedish archpeligo. Seeing the Dream "flip her funnel" is really neat.
Kenny, sorry forgot to answer your querry in the last post.
Yes, the points expire after 3 years and certificates expire 12 months after issuance. I usually wait til I'm getting ready to book to request my certificates that way there's no problem with the expiration date. I am having an iteresting discussion right now with NCL as I had booked a cruise on the Sun from N.O. in April but now that the ship is sailing from Miami I am postponing that cruise, which was paid for in full with certificates. The question now is that I want to push it waay back to the summer of '07 and do the Baltic Capitals again and they've not yet decided whether they will honor those certificates for that length of time. They are implying that as long as the points haven't expired (like, how would they really know?) they will but it's unclear at this point. We are cruising in April and July so I may be in withdrawal by fall and go ahead and do the Sun in Nov. when she returns to N.O. because I'll have enough points built up for what I want on the Dream by then anyway. Oh, by the way - there is a limitation of $3,000 point per cruise. I'm so frugal there is no way I'd probably ever book a $3,000 base rate cruise anyway, but it is fun to think about!
I'll let you know what NCL decides about moving those points that far forward.