Which cruise line credit card is for you?

by Kristen O'Neal

Which cruise line credit card is for you?

by Kristen O'Neal

Last-minute deals or special offers aren’t the only way to save when you book a cruise. Many major cruise lines have partnered with credit card companies to offer perks for their cruisers. Before you dive right in, make sure to compare these cruise-sponsored cards with other travel credit cards to make sure you're getting the best deal. Read on to find out which card can get you the best perks.  

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Is a cruise line credit card for you? / iStock
Surfing on FlowRider
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Royal Caribbean

Card: Visa Signature

Offer: 10,000 bonus points ($100 onboard credit) if you make a transaction in the first 65 days

Points: Earn two points per $1 spent on purchases with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Azamara; one point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Rewards: Cruisers can earn rewards based on the number of points they accrue, such as room upgrades, onboard credit, onboard amenities, and discounts on packages and specialty restaurants.

Fees: No annual fee. There are foreign transaction fees.

Card: Visa Signature

Offer: 10,000 bonus points ($100 onboard credit) if you make a transaction in the first 65 days

Points: Earn two points per $1 spent on purchases with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Azamara; one point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Rewards: Cruisers can earn rewards based on the number of points they accrue, such as room upgrades, onboard credit, onboard amenities, and discounts on packages and specialty restaurants.

Fees: No annual fee. There are foreign transaction fees.

Celebrity Solstice's Solarium
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Celebrity Cruises

Card: Visa Signature

Offer: 10,000 bonus points ($100 onboard credit) if you make a transaction in the first 65 days

Points: Earn two points per $1 spent on purchases with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Azamara; one point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Rewards: Points can be redeemed for perks such as bonus anniversary points; deals on specialty restaurants, beverage packages, and shore excursions; or discounts on future cruises.

Fees: There's no annual fee for the standard credit card, but the premium card is $69 per year and comes with added rewards. There are foreign transaction fees.

Card: Visa Signature

Offer: 10,000 bonus points ($100 onboard credit) if you make a transaction in the first 65 days

Points: Earn two points per $1 spent on purchases with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Azamara; one point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Rewards: Points can be redeemed for perks such as bonus anniversary points; deals on specialty restaurants, beverage packages, and shore excursions; or discounts on future cruises.

Fees: There's no annual fee for the standard credit card, but the premium card is $69 per year and comes with added rewards. There are foreign transaction fees.

Fresh Air Helps Prevent Seasickness
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Azamara Club Cruises

Card: Visa Signature

Offer: 15,000 bonus points ($150 of onboard credit) if you make a transaction in the first 65 days

Points: Earn two points per $1 spent on purchases with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Azamara; one point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Points expire after 60 months.

Rewards: Points can be redeemed for room upgrades, gifts, and onboard credit — on Azamara, Royal Caribbean, or Celebrity ships.

Fees: $69 per year. There are no foreign transaction fees.

Card: Visa Signature

Offer: 15,000 bonus points ($150 of onboard credit) if you make a transaction in the first 65 days

Points: Earn two points per $1 spent on purchases with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Azamara; one point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Points expire after 60 months.

Rewards: Points can be redeemed for room upgrades, gifts, and onboard credit — on Azamara, Royal Caribbean, or Celebrity ships.

Fees: $69 per year. There are no foreign transaction fees.

Norwegian Escape's Aqua Racer Waterslide
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Norwegian Cruise Line

Card: Bank of America’s WorldPoints MasterCard

Offer: 10,000 bonus points ($100 onboard credit) if you make a transaction in the first 60 days.

Points: Earn three points for every $1 spent on Norwegian and one point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Rewards: Points can be redeemed for perks like stateroom updates, last-minute cruises, onboard credit, and non-cruise travel such as car rentals or hotel stays.

Fees: No annual fee. There are foreign transaction fees.

Card: Bank of America’s WorldPoints MasterCard

Offer: 10,000 bonus points ($100 onboard credit) if you make a transaction in the first 60 days.

Points: Earn three points for every $1 spent on Norwegian and one point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Rewards: Points can be redeemed for perks like stateroom updates, last-minute cruises, onboard credit, and non-cruise travel such as car rentals or hotel stays.

Fees: No annual fee. There are foreign transaction fees.

WaterWorks on Carnival Vista
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Carnival Cruise Line

Card: Carnival World MasterCard from Barclays

Offer: 10,000 bonus points ($100 onboard credit) when you use your card for the first time.

Points: Earn two points per every $1 spent on Carnival and one point per every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Rewards: Points can be redeemed for onboard credit, onboard gifts (like champagne or robes), or cruise discounts.

Fees: No annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

Card: Carnival World MasterCard from Barclays

Offer: 10,000 bonus points ($100 onboard credit) when you use your card for the first time.

Points: Earn two points per every $1 spent on Carnival and one point per every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Rewards: Points can be redeemed for onboard credit, onboard gifts (like champagne or robes), or cruise discounts.

Fees: No annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

Princess Cruises' The Sanctuary
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Princess Cruises

Card: Rewards Visa from Barclaycard

Offer: 5,000 bonus points ($50 onboard credit) when you use your card for the first time.

Points: Earn two points per every $1 spent on Princess and one point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Rewards: Points can be redeemed for discounts on cruises and airfare, onboard merchandise and amenities (like a massage or Champagne breakfast).

Fees: No annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

Card: Rewards Visa from Barclaycard

Offer: 5,000 bonus points ($50 onboard credit) when you use your card for the first time.

Points: Earn two points per every $1 spent on Princess and one point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Rewards: Points can be redeemed for discounts on cruises and airfare, onboard merchandise and amenities (like a massage or Champagne breakfast).

Fees: No annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

Horseback riding in Half Moon Cay
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Holland America Line

Card: Holland America Line Rewards Visa from Barclays

Offer: 5,000 bonus points ($50 onboard credit) when you use your card for the first time.

Points: Earn two points per every $1 spent on Holland America and one point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Rewards: Points can be redeemed for cruise discounts, drinks, onboard credit, classes, spa days, specialty dining, and airfare discounts.

Fees: No annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

Card: Holland America Line Rewards Visa from Barclays

Offer: 5,000 bonus points ($50 onboard credit) when you use your card for the first time.

Points: Earn two points per every $1 spent on Holland America and one point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Rewards: Points can be redeemed for cruise discounts, drinks, onboard credit, classes, spa days, specialty dining, and airfare discounts.

Fees: No annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

Goofy on Castaway Cay
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Disney Cruise Line

Card: Disney Rewards Visa or Disney Premier Visa (chase)

Offer: $50 credit after your first purchase with a Rewards Visa; $200 credit after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months.

Points: Earn one percent in reward dollars on all purchases.

Rewards: Disney Cruise Line perks don’t begin until January 1, 2017.

Fees: No annual fee for the standard card, but the premium card is $49 per year and comes with added rewards. There are foreign transaction fees.

Card: Disney Rewards Visa or Disney Premier Visa (chase)

Offer: $50 credit after your first purchase with a Rewards Visa; $200 credit after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months.

Points: Earn one percent in reward dollars on all purchases.

Rewards: Disney Cruise Line perks don’t begin until January 1, 2017.

Fees: No annual fee for the standard card, but the premium card is $49 per year and comes with added rewards. There are foreign transaction fees.

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