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Best credit card for cruises

Use your card to earn statement credit toward your next cruise line adventure.

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We all know a cruise line vacation can be heavy on your wallet. However, with the right credit card, you can relieve some of that financial burden by earning a signup bonus and accelerated points on purchases. These points can be redeemed for onboard credit, stateroom upgrades, discounts on your cruise line and more.

We compared cruise line credit cards based on their signup bonus offers, rewards rate, redemption value and their additional perks. The cards we selected had the best combination of perks to outshine all competitor cards.

Best cruise line credit cards

Best credit card for highest rewards rate

Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard®

Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard® logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
$1,000
Points welcome offer
Up to 3x
Points
The Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard® lets you earn the highest rewards rate on your Norwegian purchases compared to similar credit cards. And if you're a member of Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, you can almost double your points.
  • Signup bonus. Earn 10,000 bonus points once you make a qualifying transaction in the first 90 days of card membership. This is worth $100 in redemption value.
  • Reward points. Earn 3x points on your Norwegian Cruise Line purchases and 1x points on everything else you buy.
  • Bank of America Preferred Rewards. Earn 25% to 75% more bonus points on your purchases if you're a Preferred Rewards member. This means you can earn up 5.25x points instead of 3x with your Norwegian purchases — the highest rewards rate offered by a cruise line credit card.
Annual fee $0
Purchase APR 14.99% to 22.99% variable
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer 10,000 points after making a purchase in the first 90 days
Rewards 3x points on Norwegian and 1x points on all other purchases

Best cruise line credit card for an airfare discount

Royal Caribbean® Visa Signature® Credit Card

Royal Caribbean® Visa Signature® Credit Card logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
$100
Points welcome offer
Up to 2x
Points
The Royal Caribbean® Visa Signature® Credit Card lets you earn accelerated points on the second largest cruise line company in the world. But what separates this card from the rest is that you earn an Air2Sea airfare discount after meeting spend requirements.
  • Signup bonus. Make a transaction within your first 90 days of account opening to earn 10,000 bonus points worth $100 in onboard credit. This may not be the most generous signup bonus, but it's easy to earn.
  • Reward points. Earn 2x points on Royal Caribbean cruises and on its sister brands, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises. All other purchases earn you 1x points.
  • Air2Sea airfare discount. Spend $3,500 in your first 90 days of card membership to earn $50 discount. You are eligible for this bonus only if you get a Visa Signature credit card.
Annual fee $0
Purchase APR 14.99% to 22.99% variable
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer 10,000x points after making a purchase in the first 90 days
Rewards 2x points on Royal Caribbean and 1x points on all other purchases

Best cruise line credit card for entertainment value

Disney® Premier Visa® Card

Disney® Premier Visa® Card logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$49
Annual fee
$200
Welcome offer
Up to 2%
Cash back
The Disney® Premier Visa® Card is not your standard cruise line credit card, which makes it ideal for Disney vacations. You earn and redeem reward dollars for Disney theme parks, resort stays, shopping, dining and on Disney cruise line packages.
  • Reward dollars. Earn 2% back in Disney Reward dollars on gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and most Disney locations. You also earn 1% back on all other purchases.
  • Signup bonus. Spend $500 in your first 3 months of account opening to earn a statement credit.
  • Special vacation financing. Enjoy 0% intro APR for 6 months on select Disney vacation packages from the date you make the purchase. A revert variable APR of 15.99% applies thereafter.
Annual fee $49
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 6 months on select Disney vacation packages (then from 15.99% variable)
Foreign transaction fee 3% of the transaction value
Welcome offer $200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months
Rewards 2% cash back at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and most Disney locations and 1% on everything else

Best cruise line credit card for high redemption value

Carnival® World Mastercard®

Carnival® World Mastercard® logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
20,000
Points welcome offer
Up to 2x
Points
The Carnival® World Mastercard® lets you earn accelerated rewards points on the largest cruise line company in the world, which includes Carnival, Aida, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, The Yachts of Seabourn, P&O Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia and Fathom. And the great thing is - you can redeem your points on the same cruise lines.
  • Signup bonus. Earn 20,000 bonus points after you make the first purchase after account opening. That's worth $100 and is one of the easiest signup bonuses you can get.
  • Reward points. Earn 2x points on Carnival Cruise Line and World's Leading Cruise Lines purchases. All other purchases earn 1x points.
  • Intro APR period on balance transfers.
    Enjoy 0% intro APR period on balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles. After that, your rate reverts to variable 13.99% to 23.99%. But to use this perk, your balance transfers must post to your account within 45 days when you open your account.
Annual fee $0
Purchase APR 13.99%, 18.99% or 23.99% variable
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer 20,000 points after first purchase or balance transfer
Rewards 2x points on Carnival Cruise Line and 1x points on all other purchases

How to choose the best cruise line credit cards

When you’re looking for the best cruise line credit card, ask yourself:

  • Do you use more than one cruise line?
    If you like to travel different cruise lines, you may want to consider a card that lets you earn and redeem accelerated points on multiple cruise line companies. In this case, the best contender would be the Carnival® World Mastercard®.
  • Do you want to earn the most points on your purchases?
    If you’re looking to stack up on points, the Disney® Premier Visa® Card and the Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard® are worth considering.The Disney® Premier Visa® Card also lets you earn accelerated rewards on everyday purchases such as groceries, gas and dining.
  • Do you want to make balance transfers?
    If you want to earn cruise line rewards and save money on interest, consider a cruise line credit card issued by Barclaycard. All three cruise credit cards in their portfolio offer a long intro APR period on balance transfers.

Compare credit cards with cruise benefits

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card™
N/A
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1% for cash back
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
This popular travel card's signup bonus is worth up to $750. Get even more value out of your travel, dining, and Lyft rewards by transferring them to miles.
Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™
N/A
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1.5% for cash back
$495
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
$550
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
N/A
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare or cash back
$995
Earn 2% point value when redeemed for airfare or cash back through the Luxury rewards program.
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Alternatives to cruise line credit cards

Did you know you could earn rewards with other credit cards and still redeem for cruise lines? Here are some of the alternatives:

  • General travel cards. There’s a variety of general travel credit cards that let you redeem for cruise lines. You can also redeem for flights, hotel stays and car rentals. The most popular travel reward programs are Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou points.
  • Cobranded travel cards. Most card providers offer cobranded cards with an airline or a hotel. For example, you can redeem for cruises with Delta SkyMiles, American Airlines AAdvantage miles, United Miles and Marriot Bonvoy points.

Bottom line

A cruise line credit card could be worth considering if you love taking cruises. You can earn rewards points for onboard credit, stateroom upgrades, discounts, cruises and more. Plus in most cases, you won’t pay an annual fee or foreign transaction fee.

However, if you think a general travel rewards credit card would suit your better, compare your options until you find the right card for your situation.

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