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Old July 30th, 2008, 06:17 PM
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Default NCL CREDIT CARD: WORTH GETTING?

For those of you that have a NCL Credit Card and have used the benefits, do you feel that the card is worth it? We have been cruising exclusively with NCL but have not got the card yet. In the past, we have had some airline credit cards and never got any flights even though we used the card extensively for all of our bill paying etc. I am going to go into their website and check on the benefits but many times it is better to talk to the voice of experience.
Thanks for your input.

-Jim In Buffalo
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Old July 30th, 2008, 07:05 PM
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I wanted to add some additonal info to my question above and see if everyone agrees with my calculations. According to the NCL Mastercard application, the card holder gets 3 points for every $100 of purchases on the card (factor of .03 times your monthly purchases: $100 x .03 = 3 points). The first level for redemptions is $500 cruise discount for 500 credits. This would equate to a total card purchase of $16,667 in order to get 500 points ($16,667 x.03=500) and get a $500 discount.

Compared to my Sears card, this seems like a good deal since I need to get a $200 gift card for spending $15,000.

I would like to hear from others who have used the card and the discounts for your comments.
-jim
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Old July 30th, 2008, 07:35 PM
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I have to admit, I do not have an NCL credit card, I can only take advantage of so many deals, but if I were to start over, I would say yes, it is a good card to have, especially if 1-you pay it off each month or almost and 2-you are going to continue to sail NCL.

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Old July 30th, 2008, 07:43 PM
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Thanks Nita,
I agree, we always pay off our cards every month so that is not an issue but the key would be if we continue to use NCL as we have in the past. I guess that is the main marketing tool associated with the offer, I.E. if you have the card and want to use the rewards, you are going to go with NCL.

I got a credit card with a major airline a few years ago and after using it for a year, barely got enough points for a flight and found it too difficult to book a flight that cooresponded with our travel plans. I ended up transferring to the Sears card just to get something that I knew I would use.

-Jim
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Old July 30th, 2008, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimInBuffalo
The first level for redemptions is $500 cruise discount for 500 credits. This would equate to a total card purchase of $16,667 in order to get 500 points ($16,667 x.03=500) and get a $500 discount.
I dunno, $16,667 is a LOT of money. Do you charge this much? In a year? Two years? For me, it would take several years to reach that level of credit card use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimInBuffalo
Compared to my Sears card, this seems like a good deal since I need to get a $200 gift card for spending $15,000.
BUT... with the NCL card, you have to travel to use the credit and you are only getting a discount off the price. With the Sears card you can buy anything you feel like and you can even limit your purchase to the $200.

Use the Sears card, buy what you want with the $200 credit, put THAT money into a cruise saving account. You might be better off.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solo1959
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimInBuffalo
The first level for redemptions is $500 cruise discount for 500 credits. This would equate to a total card purchase of $16,667 in order to get 500 points ($16,667 x.03=500) and get a $500 discount.
I dunno, $16,667 is a LOT of money. Do you charge this much? In a year? Two years? For me, it would take several years to reach that level of credit card use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimInBuffalo
Compared to my Sears card, this seems like a good deal since I need to get a $200 gift card for spending $15,000.
BUT... with the NCL card, you have to travel to use the credit and you are only getting a discount off the price. With the Sears card you can buy anything you feel like and you can even limit your purchase to the $200.

Use the Sears card, buy what you want with the $200 credit, put THAT money into a cruise saving account. You might be better off.
I don't think there is a better travel rewards card then the NCL card if you plan to take another NCL cruise. Not sure I understand how getting a $200 Sears card is even close to a $500 voucher from NCL for just about the same spend. Keep in mind you get 4% for all NCL spend.

Spend $25,000 on an airline card and get a domestic ticket you could buy for $300 and restricted to certain flights and days. The NCL voucher allows you to book the best value you can and then apply the the discount.

I used $1000 for my Jade cruise last month and will have another $1500 for my Feb. Gem Cruise.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 09:09 PM
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dittos to Shoreguy's comments.
We have tken 6 cruises now free or for less than $150 just by using our NCL cards.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 09:35 PM
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I really appreciate the feedback. First, I do charge a lot during the year. I own a lot of rental properties and put everything on the card. This is one of the real reasons for asking the question since I feel that I should be getting a reward for high level of purchases that I am sending to the card that I choose.

I think that some of the other comments are really hitting the nail on the head since the real question comes down to (1.) are we sure that we will use the credit by booking with NCL in the future?, and (2.) how do you compare the value of a true, tangible reward from, say a Sear's Card reward (Gift Card at a set monetary amount) compared to the value of the "discount" that you get off of the NCL cruise price.

I have to admit that I am impressed and a bit jeolous reading Magnolia Blossom's success story.

I do think that we could come close to getting a totally free cruise in the future unless those pesky surcharges and taxes don't totally eclipse the price of the actual cruise. When you compare the "list" price of the cruise to the "actual" price with all other charges, it is real sticker shock.

Keep the comments coming, great to hear what your experience is.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 12:59 AM
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Yes, Yes!! $500 of our NCL Sea cruise in May, 2005. Another $1,000 off our NCL Jewel cruise in November, 2006. $500 off the Pearl in May 2007, and another $1,000 of our upcoming Dawn cruise in September. $3000 in savings since getting the card in September, 2004 -- you better believe I think it's worth it.

In fact, I like it so much, I just got my second one so that I don't risk going over the 1,000 point maximum in a year. The one "caution" that I would make is that you do need to make sure you enjoy NCL enough to want to use the points. Luckily, that's definitely NOT an issue for me. As far as your comment about a "discount", the certificates really aren't a discount. You can book directly with NCL or whatever TA gets you the best price, and then the compass rewards certicates are used just like cash to help pay for the cruise.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 10:12 AM
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I remember Shoreguy telling us on our trans atlantic cruise how much her saved by using the NCL card. I would have to agree.

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Old August 7th, 2008, 04:37 PM
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Just and update. Thanks for the responses to my question. I did sign up for the card so that I can start accumulating points. I do have one disappointing issue regarding the balance transfers: The info states that you can make balance transfers from other cards to the new NCL card with 0% APR for the first 12 months. I liked this idea since I could then transfer any charges I made on the old cards until the new one arrives. I pay all of mine off at the end of the month but there would be at least a transfer of about $3000 which would give me about 90 points. However, when you read the small print, it says that balance transfers are charged 3% so it really doesn't give you any benefit on a cost/benefit business case analysis. You could make a case for it being risky since you are paying a "hard" 3% to get back the same amount in "points" that you may or may not use.

Anyway, the cards are on the way and we will be able to charge all of our purchases on the cruise in October to Canada and New England.

Thanks again.
-jim
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Old August 7th, 2008, 07:50 PM
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The only time I ever seen a card pay premium points on balance transfers is a special promotion, and only one time at that.
It is standard not to offer points on transfers or cash advances.
If they did they'd be giving out a whoooole lotta certificates.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 12:06 AM
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I got NCL at 0% for a year and 9.99 after that, bet Sears doesn't offer that
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Old August 10th, 2008, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnolia Blossom
dittos to Shoreguy's comments.
We have tken 6 cruises now free or for less than $150 just by using our NCL cards.
Hey Magnolia Blossom! I'm wondering how did you cruise for free or less then $150 when the vouchers say you have to put down $250 per person per cruise? We Have saved $3000 in vouchers(because we did some home remodeling). We are planning a cruise summer 2009. The cruise for 4 of us is going to be around $2500, but looks like we will have to use $1000 cash down and will only be allowed to use $1500 in vouchers?
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Old August 12th, 2008, 12:09 PM
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The NCL credit card is a great deal for us! We just got it a few months ago and are looking forward to saving for our next cruise.

Some notes -- if you transfer balances and have new charges for the month, your payment will be applied to the balance transfer first, and, thus, your new charges will be subject to the interest rate. For example, if you transfer 5,000 at 0% apr and charge 5000 for the month, and pay 5000 on the card, you are paying the 0% balance first and will have interest on the 5000 in charges (you can't tell them to pay off the charges first!)

Also, as someone has commented, it is very rare that you will get points on any sort of balance transfer.

However, for us, we use the card for charges only and pay in full each month. We should have our first 500 points with next month's billing cycle and we are getting a second card to be sure we don't go over the 1000 point annual limit.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimbo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnolia Blossom
dittos to Shoreguy's comments.
We have tken 6 cruises now free or for less than $150 just by using our NCL cards.
Hey Magnolia Blossom! I'm wondering how did you cruise for free or less then $150 when the vouchers say you have to put down $250 per person per cruise? We Have saved $3000 in vouchers(because we did some home remodeling). We are planning a cruise summer 2009. The cruise for 4 of us is going to be around $2500, but looks like we will have to use $1000 cash down and will only be allowed to use $1500 in vouchers?
You can send in $2500 in vouchers for final payment and they will credit back the $1000 deposit to your credit card.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 08:18 PM
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You have done this shoreguy?
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Old August 12th, 2008, 11:43 PM
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Kimbo,
Yes, they will credit you back your deposit. It some times takes a month or two but you do get it back. Or, if prices have droppd on an upper level cabin, you can put it toward that category.

We have six card so we get a lot of credits.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimbo
You have done this shoreguy?
I have. $1600 due for final and I sent in $2000. I had a credit back on my card in 6 days. As posted the time it takes to show up could be up to two billing cycles if they miss the first one.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 09:55 AM
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Awesome! Thank you for this information!!!
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Old August 16th, 2008, 09:01 AM
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Has anyone had any luck redeeming certificates for MORE than their cost of the cruise? For example, if our total booking comes to $1300, and I redeem $1500 in certificates, is the remaining $200 applied toward our onboard credit, or is it essentially given up and lost?
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Old August 16th, 2008, 11:09 AM
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I've never tried -- but that's a great question. What we ended up doing was booking a more expensive cabin to make sure that we ended up using the entire amount of our certificate. Instead of booking our normal inside, we booked an oceanview, which only cost us about $98 out of pocket.
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Old August 16th, 2008, 11:30 AM
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Also, when I go to redeem the certificates, I've heard that the name on the certificates has to match the name of someone in the cabin the discount is being applied to. Will the name on the certificate always be the name of the cardholder, or when I call to request the certificates, will they ask to whom I would like to certificates made out to?
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Old August 16th, 2008, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumofny
Has anyone had any luck redeeming certificates for MORE than their cost of the cruise? For example, if our total booking comes to $1300, and I redeem $1500 in certificates, is the remaining $200 applied toward our onboard credit, or is it essentially given up and lost?
The $200 goes in the voucher waste basket.
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Old August 16th, 2008, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumofny
Also, when I go to redeem the certificates, I've heard that the name on the certificates has to match the name of someone in the cabin the discount is being applied to. Will the name on the certificate always be the name of the cardholder, or when I call to request the certificates, will they ask to whom I would like to certificates made out to?
They are only issued in the card members name. They can be applied to the total cost of the cabin including those traveling with the card holder. The card holder must book the cruise.

I do recall one person who was paying for his daughters honeymoon using the vouchers but it was his card and him paying for the cruise. That was several years ago.
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Old August 16th, 2008, 04:16 PM
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Shoreguy -- question for you. If I've seen this answered, I don't remember. Our first account is in my DH's name, but I'm an authorized signer. If I ever ended up sailing without him (over his dead body, I'm sure), would they issue the certificates in my name since I'm also a signer?
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Old August 16th, 2008, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ute_fan
Shoreguy -- question for you. If I've seen this answered, I don't remember. Our first account is in my DH's name, but I'm an authorized signer. If I ever ended up sailing without him (over his dead body, I'm sure), would they issue the certificates in my name since I'm also a signer?
It should be no problem I assume you have your card for his account with your name on it. You order the vouchers they should come in your name.

Where it gets tricky is when both of you have sepearate accounts and don't have each other as authorized users on both cards.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 08:55 AM
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Default 2008 end of year points/vouchers

I see from the Bank of America website that the points accumulated prior to the end of 2008 under the old rewards program have or will be sent out before 1/31/09 in the form of vouchers for the amounts earned through 12/31/08.

My billing period ends on the 15th so I should be getting my certificates next week.

Since I was not able to get to the full 500 points needed for the first level of rewards, I am anticipating that I will get certificates for the amount that I did earn (rounded to the nearest 100 points?).

My question, since I was not able to get 500 points to get a $500 credit on my next cruise (NCL Pearl, 2/22/09 out of Miami) what can I use the vouchers for??????
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Old January 17th, 2009, 12:42 PM
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I have gone about 10 rounds with ank of America since 12-26-08. After my December billing cycle I had 383 points. Irequested the balance and paid $35 priority mail for the rewards point balance to be sent so I could apply to by 2-6-09 cruise. B of A sent me 3 individual $100 certificates at $35 for each priority envelope, now bringing my balance to 195 in rewards points! I did complain and received a credit for $70 to my account. As for the remaining 83 points, I have been told they are either forfeited or transfered to the new World Point program....... I did speak with a NCL rep., and was informed that you can only redeem in $500 or $100 increments. So the 83 points are useless at this point. Bank of America does not even understand the program they are participating in. The customer service and follow up does not happen. I have spent hours on the phone trying to resolve this issue. Per NCL the new World Point program redemption is much better, and you virtually don't even have to deal with B of A! If I understood correctly, if you have an odd number of points, such as my 83, they will apply as an onboard credit, where you don't have enough for the $100 or $500 voucher. Due to the poor customer service from Bank of America, I'm not sure just yet that we will continue to use the NCL master card. We are faithful NCL cruisers and will continue with this cruise line. I wish they would use a different bank to partner with for the program.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 07:45 AM
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I am also evaluating if I will drop my Bank Of America NCL Master Card. Using the previous example of the Sears Card that I was using exclusively prior to signing up for the NCL card:
>The Sears card ends up giving me a return of 1.3% of my purchases in the form of a gift card that can be used at any Sears or K-mart store (used like money).
> The NCL card give only1% except for direct purchases through NCL which are 2%. Of course, this return can be used only on future cruise fares, upgrades or on-board credit.
>Previously the NCL Card was returning 3% on regular purchase and 4% on NCL purchases which made a great return for a person like me who charges everything and pays off the bill every month.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>> To state it another way>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
In my earlier posting I noted that I would have to make purchases on the NCL card of $16,667 (x.03) to get $500 from NCL. Now I would have to make purchases of $50,000 (x.01) to get the same award. This is taking into account only non-NCL purchases of course.

I should be getting my certificates this week since my billing ends on the 15th. As of my last statement, I had 353 points that I accumulated in five months with the NCL card. Just wish I had started sooner.

Snowing and 15 degrees in Buffalo at this writing. 1 month and 7 days until we cruise again.
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