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Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the card offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products.

Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone. For a full list of our advertisers, see our disclosure page.

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page.

Carnival Credit Card

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"Low point value stops this credit card from being a good offer."

Carnival Cruise Lines offers a credit card issued by Barclaycard and MasterCard that earns FunPoints rewards towards future cruise vacations. There's a good promotional offer for up to 5,000 free FunPoints with the first purchase and balance transfer made on the credit card. This can be a good card to have for avid cruise passengers, with value maximized in the higher FunPoint redemption tiers. However, if you're just a casual cruiser, then there are other travel cards that offer you greater value for your spending.

Credit Card Benefits & Rewards

How do I earn rewards and FunPoints? You earn twice the FunPoints when paying for cruise trips, purchases of merchandise or services made during life at sea, and charges to your Sail & Sign accounts. All other purchases made on land accrue one FunPoint per dollar charged. The current promotion offered by the cruise line and Barclaycard is 5,000 FunPoints with the first use on your card, and 5,000 more FunPoints for moving a balance over to the MasterCard. Based on Carnival's redemption values, this is the equivalent of $50 towards a fun cruise trip.

Barclaycard representatives state that FunPoints do not expire so long as you maintain the MasterCard account in good standing and active by making payments and using it at least once a month.

MasterCard Specs

Sign-on Promotion Up to 5,000 FunPoints
  • Up to $50 value for signing bonus
  • Twice the FunPoints on Carnival Cruise Lines purchases
  • One FunPoint per all other dollar of spending
  • Redeem towards other cruise lines such as Holland, Princess, etc.
  • No annual fee
  • No 3% foreign transaction fee - great for cruises over international waters!
  • More info
Earnings Rate 2x FunPoints for Carnival Cruise and onboard spending, 1 FunPoint per other dollar of spending
Redemption Rate 0.7% - 1.6% 
Annual Fee None
APR 0% Intro, Regular: 13.99%, 16.99% or 20.99% (Variable)

Reward Redemption

FunPoints earned on the Carnival credit card can be redeemed for free cruise vacations, meals onboard the ship, drinks and cocktails at the bar, souvenirs and merchandise from ship's shops, spa services like massages and skin treatments, or even off-shore excursions and special onboard experiences. Examples of some of the experiences onboard the ship begin at champagne and chocolate delights for 6,100 FunPoints, 7,200 FunPoints for a bathrobe, 12,500 FunPoints for $100 in onboard credits (OBC), or 20,000 FunPoints for a $200 Spa credit (25,000 FunPoints for $200 OBC). At the highest end, passengers can also redeem a $1,250 discount or credit onboard with 75,000 in credit card FunPoints. Some reports indicate that excursions cannot be redeemed in advance, but you can book sightseeing tours or kayaking adventures with FunPoints through guest relations once you've embarked. 

The Reward Return of a FunPoint

To determine the average value of a FunPoint, let's walk through a series of example calculations. For starters, the bathrobe is currently retailing on the cruise line's website for $50. This would mean the value of a point would be $50 / 7,200 FunPoints = 0.7%, or less than a cent. The next tier up, getting a $100 award to spend on the ship will reduce your FunPoints balance by 12,500, which equates to a value of 0.8%, still less than a cent. $200 credits onboard the ship will require 25,000 redemption points, which is still 0.8%. At a higher tier, $200 spa credits / 20,000 FunPoints is a value of one cent. At the highest example available, a $1,250 OBC would be a 1.6% redemption value.

From this, we can infer that the greater the number of FunPoints you redeem, the better the value you're getting out of it. TIP: Consider holding off using your FunPoints to redeem when less than 20,000 points have accrued. The higher the FunPoints balance that gets applied to each item charged, the better. That means even if you're redeeming 75,000 points in total for ten different charges, the value you get for each charge or item will be low. One way to maximize the redeemed value is to pay as much as possible in one credit card transaction (ex: book excursions, onboard credits, decorations, and the cruise room rates all at once) so you can have a high dollar amount purchase to apply a higher FunPoint balance to. 

How to Redeem FunPoints for Award Travel

FunPoints can be redeemed in advance up to fifteen days before the start of the cruise. Otherwise, you'll have to wait once you disembark to apply the points to your credit card purchases online. TIP: We suggest that Carnival cruisemembers apply the points credits retroactively instead of getting credits in advance. This way, you charge the purchases onboard and earn extra FunPoints on top of them versus getting OBC and missing out on the opportunity to earn extra points. Either way, you're going to get the same redeemed value, but the first method squeezes extra FunPoints out of the experience.

Despite the MasterCard being a branded Carnival Cruise lines credit card, FunPoints can be redeemed for discounts or awards on Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Costa Cruises, and the Yachts of Seabourn.

Barclaycard simplifies this process by process by providing a FunPoints calculator, which lets you estimate the dollar award value based on your FunPoints balance. Cardmembers can log onto their account and apply the points retroactively to the charges showing up on their credit card. Note that certain customers have reported differences in what what telephone representatives have said their FunPoints are worth in dollars versus what was actually applied to their credit card account. To be safe, please verify the dollar value with a second telephone representative and the online FunPoints account. 

Review: is the Carnival Credit Card Worth it?

While you do get to earn FunPoints twice as fast for cruises (great for perennial frequent passengers), the value of a point is lower compared to other credit cards. You have to accumulate 75,000 points (that's a lot of spending!) to even attain a 1.6% value on OBCs.

There are a number of other credit cards out there that are carrier agnostic, and give you more redemption value, and faster. Here's one comparison of the Carnival MasterCard to other travel credit cards: Barclaycard's all-purpose Arrival World MasterCard (even the no-fee one gets a higher value). The rewards rate on the Arrival credit card (with fee version) starts at 2%. However, if you are a passionate cruise passenger, or like having their cheerful credit card, then the Carnival World MasterCard would make a nice addition to your credit card rotation - especially since it has no annual fee.

Assumptions Based On Monthly Spend of: $1,430 Edit
General:
U.S. Gas Stations:
U.S. Supermarkets:
Airlines:
Hotel:
U.S. Restaurants:
Office:
Utilities:
Computing:
Card Annual Fee 2-yr Net Rewards Rate

The Net Rewards Rate is equal to the Rewards Value over two years divided by the total spending. The total spending is equal to the values entered into the tool and multiplied by 24 months. See the rewards Value note to see details on how it is calculated.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. All estimates are based on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

Bonus Value

The bonus field shows our estimate for the value of the card’s welcome bonus. If the bonus is point or mile based, we multiply the total bonus points/miles by our estimate for their value to arrive at a dollar equivalent. We display $0 if there is no bonus or if the user doesn’t qualify for the bonus based on the current spending entered into the tool. All estimates are based on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

2-yr Rewards Value

The Rewards value is calculated by adding together the rewards earned from charging purchases to the card over two years and any welcome bonuses (if applicable). They are then multiplied by our estimated point/mile value, with any annual fees (if applicable) subtracted. All values are based on our own estimates for the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using a card and on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
$89 - Waived first year 3.06%
$420
Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
$1,052
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 68,640 x $0.011 = $721
Bonuses
40,000 x $0.011 = $420
Less Annual Fees -$89
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,052

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $89 - Waived first year
APR 17.24%, 21.24% or 24.24% Variable

Card Details

  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 17.24%, 21.24% or 24.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a fee for balance transfers.
Carnival World™ MasterCard®
No Annual Fee 1.15%
$50
Earn 5,000 Bonus FunPoints® when you use your card for the first time
$393
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.01 = $343
Bonuses
5,000 x $0.01 = $50
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 393

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 13.99%, 16.99% - 20.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 5,000 Bonus FunPoints® when you use your card for the first time
  • 2 FunPoints for every $1 spent on all Carnival Cruise Line purchases
  • 1 FunPoint for every $1 spent otherwise
  • Redeem FunPoints towards cruise nights, Sail & Sign purchases onboard, spa or massage packages
  • FunPoints can be redeemed toward nights on Carnival, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Costa Cruises, and the Yachts of Seabourn

Information current as of January 2014

Comments and Questions

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

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Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. 

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products. For more information please see our Advertiser Disclosure.