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Carnival Credit Card

Carnival Credit Card

Low point value stops this credit card from being a good offer.
Editor's Rating: 3.5/5.0
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Editor's Rating

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3.5/5.0

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

Carnival Cruise Lines offers a credit card issued by Barclays and MasterCard that earns FunPoints rewards towards future cruise vacations. There's a good promotional offer for up to 10,000 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 Barclays is 10,000 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 $100 towards a fun cruise trip.

Barclays 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

On Barclays' Secure Website

Carnival World™ MasterCard®

On Barclays' Secure Website
  • 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
  • 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
Annual Fee
No Annual Fee
APR
15.49%, 20.49% or 25.49% Variable
Credit Needed
Good
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

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.

Barclays 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: Capital One's all-purpose Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (even the no-fee one gets a higher value). The rewards rate on the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a solid 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.

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Assumptions based on $1,430 monthly spend
Monthly spending:
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Information current as of January 2014

Comments and Questions

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Info about the following cards: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card, Amazon Business American Express Card, and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

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 are ValuePenguin's alone and for illustrative purposes only. The estimates are not a guarantee, agreement, or commitment to redemption amounts and may not have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).

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