Last week, I took a closer look at the Royal Caribbean Visa Signature card (see this post). I concluded that it’s not a great card for cruisers, and you can do much better with alternative travel credit cards.
But, are all co-branded cruising credit cards that bad? Let’s take a look at the Carnival credit card.
Carnival World Mastercard
The Barclays Carnival World Mastercard (non-affiliate link) currently has this offer:
- $200 statement credit after spending $500 in the first 90 days
- 10% statement credits for Carnival shore excursions
- 2X Fun Points on Carnival and World’s Leading Cruise Lines (AIDA, Costa, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, P&O Cruises UK, Seabourn, and Fathom)
- 1X Fun Points on all other purchases
- 0% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles
- 0% for 6 months on Carnival cruise purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- No annual fee
- No cap on points, and points don’t expire
The Good and the Bad of this card
Unlike the Royal Caribbean credit card, at least there are no limits on the points you can earn, and they don’t expire. Since Carnival owns so many cruise line brands, the points are a bit more versatile than Royal Caribbean points. Getting 0% for 12 billing cycles is nice if you have a big purchase coming up. Plus, the 0% APR for 6 months on all cruise purchases is a great way to space out your payments. I love my 0% APR for 6 months on my Disney Visa to space out my Disney Cruise Line payments.
However, earning only 1X points on most purchases is not so good. The $200 bonus isn’t stellar. Plus, you’re limited to using your points on Carnival brands. As I mentioned in my Royal Caribbean post, you’re much better off applying for a card like the Capital One Venture Rewards card for the $750 bonus and using a card like the Citi Double Cash for 2X points on all spending. That way, you get a higher bonus, earn more rewards for every dollar and have flexibility to use your points for a variety of travel and cash back.
To sum things up, no, the Carnival card isn’t as bad as the Royal Caribbean card. However, the only reason this card makes sense is if you cruise Carnival often and would make use of the extra 6 months to pay off your cruises at 0% APR. Otherwise, you can do better! Don’t be swayed by the pretty photo on the card. See what else is out there!
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.