Best Credit Cards for Cruises

By Ashley Eneriz. Last updated 17 October 2017. 0 comments

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After taking a cruise for my honeymoon, I am hooked. Cruises are an affordable way to travel around the world. Your travel costs, lodging costs, and food costs are all packaged together for one price while you enjoy an ocean view. Even better, most cruises offer free entertainment each day of the cruise.

Before you book your next cruise, consider one of these credit cards. You will notice that both cruise-specific cards and general travel rewards cards are included in the list. We didn’t want to give you a list of just cruise-specific cards. This is because many cruise-branded credit cards are just glorified and pricy membership cards. They boast perks, but most of the perks are only tied to that specific cruise line. If you are a cruise fanatic but don’t want to be tied to a certain cruise line, here is a mix of options that will get you on your next cruise sooner. (See also: 5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards)

Celebrity Cruises Visa Signature® Card

The Celebrity Cruises Visa Signature® Card comes with a $69 annual fee but you also get a $300 discount on a future cruise of at least 7 nights, after you make at least $5,000 in transactions within your first 60 days. The card also comes with $50 ChoiceAir Airfare Discount, 50% off second guest at any specialty restaurant, and 10,000 bonus points when you make a transaction within the first 65 days, which can be redeemed for a $100 onboard credit

As far as cruise cards go, the Celebrity Visa seems to be connected with the most cruise lines, since it has sister cruises lines, Royal Caribbean International and Azamara Club Cruises. Cardholders earn two MyCruise points for every dollar spent qualifying purchases on Celebrity Cruises and its sister cruise lines, and one MyCruise point for every $1 spent on all other qualifying purchases. There is no foreign transaction fee with this card.

Norwegian Cruise Line® World MasterCard®

The Norwegian Cruise Line® World MasterCard® is one of the best cruise line cards. Cardholders can earn 10,000 bonus WorldPoints, which is worth $100, after they make their first transaction in the first 90 days. The card also earns triple WorldPoints on Norwegian purchases and one point on all other purchases. Unlike many other cruise specific cards, Norwegian’s WorldPoints can be redeemed for awards outside of the cruise line, such as hotel stays and gift cards to over 100 retailers. Cardmembers will also be the first to know about last-minute redemption offers, such as highly discounted cruises.

If you are a fan of Norwegian cruises, I would use the card for the purchase of your cruise and on-ship purchases. However, I would not use the card off of the ship, since the card comes with a 3% foreign transaction fee. There is no annual fee for this card.

Carnival™ World Mastercard®

Fans of Carnival Cruises will love the Carnival™ World Mastercard®, which gives you 10,000 bonus points after your first purchase, worth up to $100. Get double points for each dollar spent on all Carnival Cruise Lines purchases, including onboard purchases charged to Sail & Sign, Carnival's cashless onboard credit system and one point for each dollar spent on purchases everywhere else. You can redeem your points for statement credit toward a cruise, onboard amenities, gift cards, and merchandise. There are no foreign transaction fees for this card and no annual fee.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Feel like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card makes an appearance on every travel card article? There is a good reason. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has an irresistible bonus offer and points can be redeemed towards travel via the Ultimate Rewards portal for 1.25 cents per point. The Chase Sapphire comes with a $95 annual fee, but that fee is waived the first year. Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. You can earn a free cruise after just 3 months of opening the card!

The benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred do not stop there. If you add an authorized user to your account and make a purchase also within the first 3 months, you will earn 5,000 bonus points. Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. Chase’s definition of travel purchases is very lenient, meaning you can earn double points on your daily Uber or Lyft drive to work. Finally, you will not pay any foreign transaction fees, which is helpful if you shop offshore.

Click here to learn more and apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card today!

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card offers unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on every purchase, and new cardmembers get 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1000 in purchases in the first 90 days — redeemable for a $200 statement credit that can be used toward travel purchases. Bank of America® customers get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active checking or savings account with Bank of America. Points can be redeemed as a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, and more with no blackout dates and restrictions. This card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.

Click here to learn more and apply for the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card today!

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is also one of the most popular travel rewards credit cards available. Although you may not, at first, think of it as a card particularly ideal for cruises, its value is in the ability to earn unlimited 2x miles for each dollar spent on all purchases. You can then redeem your miles for a statement credit against travel purchases, which includes cruises. It has an annual fee of $95, which is waived the first year. New cardholders can earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles if you make $3,000 in purchases within 3 months from account opening. This bonus can be used for $500 in travel statement credits.

There is also no foreign transaction fee with this card. Plus, you get other travel benefits such as complimentary upgrades and savings, as well as complimentary concierge service.

Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card today!

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Don’t let the $89 annual fee scare you away from this card; the first year fee is waived. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® offers a generous sign-on bonus of 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 90 days. This is can be redeemed for $400 statement credit towards travel purchases, including cruises. Cardholders will also earn 2X miles on every purchase, and earn 5% miles redemption bonus. For example, if you redeem your 40,000 bonus miles, you will earn 2,000 miles back. Another notable benefit is that this card does not charge foreign transaction fees, so you can shop for souvenirs without worrying about extra fees.

Click here to learn more and apply for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® today!

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