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kimbo April 23rd, 2006 09:24 AM

NCL rewards Credit card
Hi! Does anyone have one of these? We just got ours in the mail, going to use it to pay bills then pay off the credit card as we pay our bills with it so we can cash for upgrades in future cruises. Have you redeemed any of your points? was it difficult? Thanks in advance.

ute_fan April 23rd, 2006 09:55 AM

We've had our NCL credit card for about a year and a half. Only redeemed the points once so far. After 6 months, we got a $500 certificate to help pay for our trip on the NCL Sea last May. We requested the certificate, which came in about 2 weeks, sent it to our TA, who forwarded it on to NCL. They promptly applied it to our account and we made our very small final payment :D .

Since then, we've been accumulating our points. Our final payment for our trip on the Jewel is due in either July or August, and after our next statement we'll have the 1,000 in points needed to pay the final payment. I'll be requesting that certificate within the next couple of weeks, and can update you with how that process goes. We do owe slightly less than the $1,000 -- so I'm hoping to see a small credit put back on our card.

kimbo April 23rd, 2006 06:00 PM

sounds pretty speedy to me ute fan. thats awesome! we made our first purchase on it today...let the points start rolling in! :D

Jimbo_Bost April 23rd, 2006 08:07 PM

What do you get for "points" is it one per cent? Jimbo

ute_fan April 23rd, 2006 11:47 PM

Even better than that :D . It's 3% for non-NCL purchases, with a 1% bonus for any NCL purchases -- deposits for your cruise, onboard account, etc.

I figure I've been averaging about 50 points per month -- maybe a little more. We put several of our regularly occuring monthly charges on it -- including things like the cell phone, satellite TV service, internet access, etc. Several months we've had large expenses -- like car repairs, college tuition, other travel expenses, etc., so it's been mounting up pretty fast. I actually transfer the money over to a savings account about once a week to cover my weekly purchases -- that way I don't have to worry about having the funds available when that rather large monthly bill shows up in the mail!

There is a limit of 250 points per month (I'd probably have a heart attack if I opened a bill where I'd spent enough money to get that many points in a month), and a 1,000 annual point limit. I've read posts on some of the other cruise boards where people will have 2 or 3 NCL cards to maximize their yearly points -- but I just don't spend that much money.

TLoony April 24th, 2006 08:23 AM

And how do you open this card?

ute_fan April 24th, 2006 09:35 AM

NCL makes it really easy to apply -- there is a link on the homepage --

They normally send out a credit card offer sometime after you sail with them -- but it can take a while.

Magnolia Blossom April 24th, 2006 11:00 PM

We got our first MBNA card 3 or so years ago. I now have 5 so I can maximize my points. We have used points on 4 cruises, which have been free or nearly so.

The certificates are usually easy to redeem although I have had times that it took 6 weeks to receive them because they lost my request. You can ask for expedited service for a fee of $35 per certificate (they only come in $500 denominations). When you mail them to your TA or NCL be sure to send them Certified Mail, return receipt requested because if they are lost they are the devil to replace. Also make a copy of your certificate prior to mailing.
You can use them for any air, hotel or transfers associated with your cruise IF you book them through NCL or your TA.

They have to be used in even $500's. Meaning if your cruise is $1,200 you can use one or two certificates and pay the balance or you can use three certificates but you will lose the excess $300. They will NOT apply it for OBC (rats).

Certificates are good for one year from date of issue so let your points build up if you're not cruising often. Although, points themselves do expire 3 years from accrual. (But who can wait 3 years to cruise!!!) Points accrue on a non-calendar year (starts with the month you receive your card) so you need to keep up with your dates and points since after 1,000 points you don't get a thing more til your anniversary rolls around. That's one of the reasons I have numerous cards. 5 cards = $5,000 of sailing. Yahoo!!

If you have any more particular questions, just ask cause I've probably been throuh all the weird situations with these certificates you can imagine.

TLoony April 25th, 2006 10:06 AM

How interesting, thanks. So it is only for NCL? Do other cruise lines have it also? I am using my reward CITI now and I saw some RC offers, could that be the same? Will go check now. Thanks again

TLoony April 25th, 2006 10:15 AM

OK, I've checked...CITIcard gives me Carnival 10 000pts for a $100 off the cruise. Is this as much with MBNA for NCL?
10 000 pts is $10 000 spent.
To get $1000.00 OFF the cruise I need to spend $100.000

You know - I am so happy getting my Applebees $50 gift certificate every few month...I think I will continue with dining. Hundred thousand dollars!!! They must be is Three Hundred Thousand American Dollars for my family to cruise...

ute_fan April 25th, 2006 12:00 PM

If I'm doing my math correctly, you need to charge $16,667 to earn a $500 certificate for non-NCL related purchases. If you were to have only NCL charges, the charges required to earn $500 would be $12,500.

I earned my first $500 certificate in about 6 months -- it's amazing how fast it builds up if you consciously try to charge on the card. Our average bill is somewhere between $1500 and $2000 -- but has been substantially higher the months when the kids tuition and books are due. It really does turn out to be one of the better "travel rewards" cards available.

kimbo April 25th, 2006 09:08 PM

Magnolia...are your 5 cards all in your name? How did you get 5 cards in your name if so?

Magnolia Blossom April 26th, 2006 10:14 AM

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.


kimbo April 26th, 2006 05:03 PM

Thanks Magnolia, very informative. We are very excited about ncl's rewards and will check into splitting the limits.

It's funny you'd mention carnival's program. I just recieved one of thier currents magazines today with a brief description of thier "rewards" program. For a very brief moment I thought about checking into that one as well. But after reading your comments about carnivals various restrictions...problems...with thier rewards system...I was quickly reminded of my last cruise with carnival...NOT!

Thanks again!
Kim :)

Magnolia Blossom April 27th, 2006 03:50 PM

Funny you should bring up the Carnival program again.
I have had 50,000 points sitting in my account and a friend of ours has 25,000 in his. We decided to use 'em up. So we decide to do the Freedom, Grand Mediterannean in 8/07. Especially since the Currents magazine you spoke of had a pretty good deal.

I call them up, get a bunch of run around and then the guy finally realizes he is not going to flim flam me even if I am a blonde from a state with a 50% drop out rate. We finally come to a truce and he decides he can sell me something if he'll just treat me like a human. So, there are about 3 big sales or promos going on and he runs the numbers to find the best deal, which is the past passenger deal, so he begins to figure out my total after redeeming points. The total he gives me is not $500 less than the subtotal figure but about $375. When I questioned this I found that when you use points in combination with a promo or sale you lose some of the value of your points. Grrrrr.

End of story: I booked the cruise at what I felt ultimately was a good deal with an itinerary we are really looking forward to. But . . . will I continue to use my SeaMiles card? Not likely.

Magnolia Blossom April 27th, 2006 09:59 PM

Further update: Since my above posting the TA at SeaMiles has called me back twice. The first time he told me the final figure he gave me (and the one on which we booked) was not right it was $300 more. I got out my notes and we went through all the costs and deductions step by step. He seemed confused but finally agreed, 'yeh, I guess you're right' .

Thirty minutes later he calls me back very indignent and tells me 'the prices I gave you are NOT right and you owe $200 more'. He gives me a figure I've not heard before and I say, 'wait a minute, let's go over this'. He got quite prissy and said he was not going over any more numbers, he had made a mistake before, but this was the correct number and if I didn't like it I should just cancel" So . . I did. He promptly hung up.

He has called back two more times begging me to rebook, apologizing for his behavior, whining about how busy he was all day and that made him miscalculate, etc, etc, etc.

So much for any indecision on my part about SeaMiles future use.

terrykim93 April 28th, 2006 09:38 PM

DANG magnolia! Thats awful they really need to take a few customer service classes dont they?

kimbo April 28th, 2006 09:43 PM

oops thats me kimbo >>>my husband is terrykim must of been logged in

Magnolia Blossom April 30th, 2006 12:29 PM

Yep, I'd say they could use a class or two.

In the meantime I decided to call my regular TA and just see what her rate would be. She can beat SeaMiles rate even without redeeming any miles, still get me the OBC plus her company throws in free travel insurance.

Just shows to go ya', free aint always what it's cracked up to be.

But of course with the MBNA card it is. so there.

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