Best Cruise Credit Cards - NerdWallet (2023)

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Thinking of sailing the open sea for fun, food and relaxation? Well, today's cruises can cater to just about any sensibility and budget.

And just as you have many cruise options to choose from, there are several credit cards you can choose to pay with. Cruise line specific cards may seem like an obvious choice, but they aren't always the best. Flexiblerewards credit cardsthey have more redemption options, often offer bigger bonuses for new cardholders, and generally earn more points in many categories.

These are the best NerdWallet cards for cruising, why we like them, and why many co-branded cruise credit cards might not be your best option.

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The Best Cruise Ship Credit Cards

  • Tarjeta Chase Sapphire Preferred®

  • Capital One Venture Rewards credit card

  • Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

  • Tarjeta U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature®

  • O American Express Platinum Card®

  • Branded Cruise Line Credit Card Options

Tarjeta Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Why we like:You earn 2 points for every $1 you spend on travel (including cruises), plus bonus rewards in a variety of popular spending categories, including dining. And your points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel. In addition, it offers travel protections.

Prima: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening an account. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Annual quota: $ 95

Details:HeTarjeta Chase Sapphire Preferred®is a traveler favorite due to its strong rewards rate, versatile Ultimate Rewards® points and mid-range price point. Points obtained inTarjeta Chase Sapphire Preferred®they are easy to redeem. Just use them to book travel directly on the Chase portal for a solid 1.25 cents each for hotels, airline tickets, car rentals, cruises and experiences. (Or transfer points directly to many great travel partners like Marriott, United, Hyatt, and Southwest.)

While it cannot be done online, you can also use Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to book a cruise. Log into your Chase account, navigate to the travel portal and find the "cruises" tab. Some cruise options will be listed there, but you'll need to call Chase's Cruises and Tours department to book. And even if you don't find a great cruise option in a search, you can book cruises that aren't listed by calling Chase.

If you book a cruise withTarjeta Chase Sapphire Preferred®, you will enjoytravel protectionsif the trip is cancelled, interrupted or delayed.

" FORWARD:Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Complete Review

Capital One Venture Rewards credit card

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Why we like:Earn double miles for every dollar spent on all purchases, including travel and cruises. Miles are easy to redeem and the card also offers some travel protections.

Prima: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months of opening an account, equivalent to $750 worth of travel.

Annual quota: $ 95

Details:You'll earn double miles on every purchase, every day. And while you might mistakenly think that miles can only be redeemed for airline tickets, Venture miles are incredibly versatile. You can use your miles as a statement credit to cover travel purchases, book new travel directly through Capital One, or redeem miles for gift cards. All of these redemption options allow you to lock in a fixed amount of one cent per mile.

It's easy to use rewards to book a cruise. Once you've found the best option for you, book on any website using yourCapital One Venture Rewards credit card. Then use your miles to cover some or all of your expenses. Or you can choose to chargerisk milesfor gift cards for Carnival, Princess, Disney and Royal Caribbean cruises, to name a few. Alternatively, you can book a cruise directly on Capital One's travel portal using miles.

HeCapital One Venture Rewards credit cardoffers travel accident insurance and offers up to $100 in application fee credit forPrior TSA check or global entry.

" FORWARD: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Complete Review

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

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Why we like:Earn 2 times more points for every $1 you spend on travel and dining, and 1.5 times more points on everything else. Points are worth the same no matter how you redeem them. Plus, you'll earn more with an eligible Bank of America® account.

Prima: Receive 50,000 Online Bonus Points, a value of $500, after you make at least $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening..

Annual quota: $ 95

Details:HeBank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Cardit offers solid reward earnings and provides flexibility when you redeem those rewards. The earning potential is even better if you are a member ofPrograma Preferred Rewards do Bank of America®, which is open to those with at least $20,000 in combined Bank of America® or qualifying Merrill account balances. Depending on your account size, you can get a boost in rewards from 25% to 75%.

Bank of America® has one of the broadest definitions of "travel" of any credit card issuer. use your ownBank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Cardto pay for your cruise, airfare, parking fees, and some boat rides, and you'll earn at least double rewards on purchases. Points can be redeemed for a statement credit, gift cards, a deposit into a Bank of America® or Merrill account (checking, savings or 529 plan), or travel booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center. Each point is worth 1 cent no matter how you use it.

book with yourBank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Cardand you will receive travel delay reimbursement, trip cancellation coverage and other travel assistance services.

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Tarjeta U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature®

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Why we like:You get an excellent rate of 4X points for every $1 you spend on travel (including fuel) and you'll protect your cell phone while you're cruising (and when you're not).

Prima: Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 on qualifying purchases within the first 120 days of account opening. That's $500 redeemable for travel, gift cards, cash back, merchandise, and more.

Annual quota: $0 intro for first year, then $95

Details:HeTarjeta U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature®it is the middle option in the US family of cards. Bank Altitude. Use the card to book your cruise and earn 4 times more points on your account. Additionally, the card earns 5X on prepaid hotel and car rentals booked through the Altitude Rewards Center, 2X on dining, streaming services and grocery shopping, and comes with a $30 annual streaming credit.

american bank points are worth 1 cent each and can be redeemed for travel (including cruises), cash back or gift cards. (Points obtained in theTarjeta U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature®, however, cannot be transferred to its premium sibling, theTarjeta U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite®. This card allows cardholders to redeem points worth more than 1.5 cents each for travel across the US. Bank).

HeTarjeta U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature®It also comes with cell phone protection, so your phone is protected at sea and on dry land. Use the card to pay your cell phone bill and you'll get secondary cell phone insurance for a damaged or stolen phone.

" FORWARD: Complete Review of the US Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card

O American Express Platinum Card®

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Why we like:It comes with many luxury benefits, extensive travel protections and bonus credits.

Prima: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $6,000 on card purchases in the first 6 months of card membership. Applicable terms.

Annual quota: $ 695

Details:While you won't get the most value possible when redeeming points for a cruise (points will only be worth 0.5-0.7 cents each),O American Express Platinum Card®it can be a great card to book your trip and carry with you during your cruise.

business card holdersO American Express Platinum Card®are entitled to American Express Cruise Privileges benefits when booking at least five nights. You'll have access to perks like a credit of up to $300 redeemable for onboard dining and spa services, as well as amenities like wine, champagne and chocolate. Applicable terms.

The Cruise Privileges program works with a dozen major cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Crystal. When you call this specific American Express office and book with your card, you'll earn double the cruise price points. Applicable terms.

O American Express Platinum Card®it also comes with luxury travel perks that can make your cruise trip more enjoyable when you sign up, like automatic elite hotel status and airport lounge access. Additionally, the card comes with an annual Saks credit of up to $100 for pre-cruise purchases. Applicable terms.

When you pay for your trip withO American Express Platinum Card®, you will be covered for trip delays and cancellations, lost luggage and emergency medical assistance, as well as primary rental car coverage. Applicable terms -verrates and fees.

" FORWARD: Complete Review of the American Express Platinum Card®

Branded Cruise Line Credit Cards

There are many cruise line specific credit cards that can appeal to brand loyalists. Some offer exclusive benefits and discounts you won't find anywhere else, and most charge no annual fees. As many cruise lines have partnerships, the rewards earned on some cards are also interchangeable between various cruise brands.

But the truth is, for most people, these cards aren't the best option for cruising. In general, co-branded cruise line cards are disappointing. They tend to offer poor welcome offers and ongoing rewards, confusing redemption options, and of course the biggest downside is that they force you to use your credit card rewards only on one cruise. When compared to other "flexible currency" cards, their value pales in comparison.

More about these cards:

  • Carnival World Mastercard:It offers a low promotional APR on purchases and balance transfers and provides a 10% statement credit when you book a Carnival Shore Excursion prior to your trip. But its tiered reward redemptions can be difficult to navigate.

  • Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard®:You can redeem points not only for cruise-related charges, but also for airline tickets, cashback, and more. This card is eligible for Bank of America®preferred rewardsprogram, which means you can get a 25% to 75% rewards rate boost if you have an eligible account with adequate funds.

  • Tarjeta Princess Cruises Rewards Visa®:This card offers an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers and points can be redeemed for inflight credits and services, as well as other travel such as airline tickets and hotels. But the number of points needed to redeem varies depending on the size of the cruise purchase, making the program confusing and complicated.

  • Holland America Line Visa® Rewards Card:Like the Carnival and Princess brand credit cards, the Holland America Line Rewards Visa® Card features a tiered redemption program, which means that the value of your points depends on what you choose to redeem and the amount of your purchase. Rewards are worth 1% to 2.5% for purchases on Holland America or 1% for purchases on other cruise lines. You can choose to do a balance transfer and receive an introductory 0% APR.

  • Royal Caribbean Visa Signature® Credit Card:This is a common co-branded card that earns 2X points per dollar on qualifying cruise purchases and 1X points on all other purchases. In addition to a small bonus, it offers a $50 discount on Royal Caribbean's Air2Sea program when you spend $3,500 on purchases in the first 90 days.

  • Celebrity Cruises® Visa Signature® Credit Card:Just like its sister card (the Royal Caribbean Visa Signature® credit card, mentioned above), the Celebrity card offers a little bonus and earns you 2X points per dollar on qualifying cruise purchases and 1X points on everything else. Points earned on the Royal Caribbean and Celebrity versions of the card can be redeemed for purchases on any of the cruise lines.

  • disney credit cards:Disney cruises are among the most popular (and often most expensive) cruise options. There are two versions of the Disney card: theDisney Rewards® Visa® Cardit's himDisney Premier Visa® Card. Both earn Disney Rewards Dollars worth $1 each when redeemed for eligible Disney products or services, and both cards offer an introductory APR of 0%.

To view fares and feesO American Express Platinum Card®, verthis page.

The information related toDisney Rewards® Visa® CardyDisney Premier Visa® Cardthe credit card was charged by NerdWallet and was not reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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