Cruising is one of my favorite activities on this earth. The low price of a weeklong party filled with all-inclusive food and some of the best beaches, a cruise is an attractive vacation for many. Enter the Carnival MasterCard.
Barclays has joined up with the world’s largest cruise line (Carnival operates Carnival, Cunard, Princess, Costa, Holland America, and Seabourn Cruise Lines) to offer up some great benefits for frequent cruisers. Let’s dive in and check them out!
Apply: The Carnival™ MasterCard®
- Sign-Up Bonus Points
When you sign up for the Carnival MasterCard, you’ll receive 5,000 “FunPoints” when you use the card for the first time. These FunPoints can be used towards future cruising, and are worth $50. Also, when you transfer a balance of $5,000 or more into the account, you’ll earn an additional 5,000 FunPoints. So, in total, it’s possible to earn $100 towards your next cruise with these sign-up offers.
- Earning Points
On the Carnival MasterCard, one can earn FunPoints as the “reward currency.” For every Carnival cruise line purchase, including onboard purchases, I can earn 2 “FunPoints” per $1 spent. For every other purchase, I can earn one FunPoint per dollar.
- Redeeming FunPoints
FunPoints can only be redeemed through Carnival, and as such are only used for travel on Carnival or “other World Leading Cruise Lines,” which means Cunard, Princess, Costa, Holland America, and Seabourn. Carnival also offers opportunities to use FunPoints towards spa experiences on board.
- No Annual Fee
There is no annual fee for using this card, so if you have good credit and cruise on Carnival a lot, this may be a good option for you, since there’s not cost of card ownership.
- Zero Percent Opening APR
With the Carnival MasterCard, there are no APR charges for the first twelve (12) months of card membership.
The Nitty Gritty
With the Carnival MasterCard, you’ll have no APR for the first twelve months, as previously mentioned. After that, however, depending on credit worthiness, you will have between 13.99%, 16.99% or 20.99% APR. There is no APR for balance transfers for the first twelve months either, but afterward will fall within the same 13.99%, 16.99% or 20.99% APR rate, but each transfer comes with a fee of $10 or 4% (3% in the first 12 billing cycles). Penalty APR for late payments is 27.24%. Foreign transaction fees are 3% per transaction. Cash advance fees are $10 or 5%, whichever is greater.
If you love Carnival, and spend disposable income each year on a Carnival cruise, this card is for you. However, if you aren’t a fan of cruising, this is an obvious no-go. In addition, those that like to cruise on other brands other than the Carnival family of brands may want to look elsewhere.
I wouldn’t suggest the $5,000 balance transfer for the extra 5,000 FunPoints, since there is a 3% balance transfer fee. This means you’d pay $150 for $50 in rewards. But, if you’re looking to consolidate debt and take advantage of the 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfer fees, it may be worth it.
With no option to redeem for other types of travel, you are predictably stuck cruising as your rewards with the Carnival MasterCard, but I’m sure many of our readers will be happy with this. It’s all about analyzing what you value in a vacation and what rewards you wish to reap from you regular spending.