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Norwegian Cruise Line® World MasterCard® Credit Card: Is It Rewarding?

Norwegian Cruise Line® World MasterCard® Credit Card
Norwegian Cruise Line® World MasterCard® Credit Card

Norwegian Cruise Line® World MasterCard® Credit Card: Is It Rewarding?

An unimpressive credit card offering with a low general rewards rate, and few benefits.
Editor's Rating: 3.5/5.0
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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."}

3.5/5.0

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

The Norwegian Cruise Line Credit Card doesn’t offer anything substantial to consumers, unless you're a Preferred Rewards member and using it solely to pay for cruises with the company. It has a rewards rate that ranges between 1% and 2% - though you may probably find yourself in the lower end of that spectrum, unless you use the card to shop directly with the cruise line. With no specific loyalty benefits for Norwegian Cruise customers, we think most consumers will be better off sticking with a general travel credit card, or even a great cash back card, and get higher returns for your purchase.

Good For…

Bad For…
  • Norwegian Cruise Line Purchases
  • Rewards from everyday spending
  • Anyone who needs to use a card outside of the U.S.

Review: Is the Norwegian Cruise Line Credit Card A Good Value?

Like the other cruise-affiliated credit cards we’ve seen, the Norwegian Cruise Line credit card from Bank of America doesn’t offer anything exciting. It has a decent rewards rate of 2% on purchases you make with the cruise company, and an unimpressive 1% on everything else. Most of the best credit cards affiliated with a particular company tend to make up for limited point redemption options by offering above average value; the Norwegian Cruise Line credit card does none of that. Some of the best cash back credit cards already effectively offer 2% cash back on all spending, which equals the highest rate you can earn with this card just on trips with Norwegian Cruise Line.

One final thing we’d like to point out to travelers is that this card has a 3% foreign transaction fee. If you plan to take this credit card with you on cruises outside of the United States, we don’t recommend you use it there. If you do, you will pay a 3% fee with every purchase. Some of the top travel credit cards waive this fee, making them an excellent companion abroad.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a credit card to use on the high seas, and accompany you on your travels, we recommend choosing another travel rewards credit card. The lack of features on the Norwegian Cruise Line Credit Card, accompanied by the low rewards rate, makes it an unappealing choice for most consumers.

Norwegian Cruise Line Credit Card Benefits & Features

The Norwegian Cruise Line credit card from Bank of America earns users 2 rewards points per $1, whenever they make purchases with Norwegian. All other spending nets just 1 point per $1. These points can be in turn used as discounts on future cruises, stateroom upgrades, and on-board credit. On average, you will need 2,500 points to offset $25 worth of charges. That means a single point is worth approximately $0.01.

Norwegian Cruise Line® World MasterCard® Credit Card

  • No annual fee
  • No annual fee
Annual Fee
No Annual Fee
Regular APR
12.99% - 22.99% Variable
Credit Needed
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N/A
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."}

So long as you make a transaction using the card within the first 60 days of opening your account, you will receive a bonus 10,000 points worth approximately $100. Unlike most credit card bonuses, the welcome reward will be triggered by any card activity – including balance transfers. Though we do not recommend consumers transfer a balance to this credit card, it is one of the more unique features of the card.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards

This is the only cruise credit card to be enrolled with Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program. Through it, certain customers can earn anywhere between 25% and 75%  bonus to the points they earn. In order to qualify, you must have a set amount of money deposited with Bank of America and/or Merrill Edge® and Merrill Lynch® investment accounts. The amount of money you hold will determine the bonus you get.

  • Gold $20k to $50k = 25% bonus
  • Platinum $50k to $100k = 50% bonus
  • Platinum Honors $100k+ = 75% bonus

The bonus applies to every purchase you make. For example, if you qualify for the Platinum account bonus, you will earn 1.5 points for every non-Norwegian transaction, boosting your rewards rate to 1.5%.

How Does The Norwegian Cruise Line Credit Card Compare To Other Cards?

The value of one particular card can only be determined in light of other options. To give consumers a better idea of how the Norwegian Cruise Line Visa credit card compares against other available options, we took a look at some other top choices.

Norwegian Cruise Line Credit Card vs Citi® Double Cash Card

The Citi® Double Cash Card is one of our favorite cash back credit card offers. The card gives 1% cash back with every purchase, and another 1% back when you pay that purchase off. Unless you are a Preferred Rewards Client, we calculate that it'll generally be better to pay using the Citi® Double Cash Card over the Norwegian Cruise credit card. Even if you do qualify for any of the Preferred Rewards, you will only come out ahead when paying with the Citi® Double Cash Card on non-Norwegian Cruise purchases.

One thing that the Citi® Double Cash Card lacks is a sign-up bonus. There are no added incentives for signing up for the card, and as a result it becomes a card whose value increases in the long-term. It will take roughly $10,000 in non-cruise spending, before you make up for the bonus that comes with the Norwegian Cruise Line Visa card.

Comparison Tool

If you would like to see how much value you can get out of this card and others like it, our interactive tool will help you do that. Input your estimated monthly spending, and we will calculate for you the estimated rewards value out of each of the cards. By doing so, you can see how the Norwegian Cruise Line credit card compares to other cruise cards, or the two cards discussed above.

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Assumptions based on $1,430 monthly spend
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Comments and Questions

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.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from 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). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred 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).