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

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

Editor's Rating

3.5/5.0

Credit Cards
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Advertiser Disclosure

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.

Contents

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.

This is the only cruise credit card enrolled in the Preferred Rewards program, which allows select BofA customers to earn a little bit more points with every purchase. However, if you qualify for the 25% -75% bonuses that come with this program, we recommend choosing a more flexible BofA credit card, such as the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card – it will provide the better overall savings with its flat 1.5% rewards rate across all spending. 

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
Annual Fee
No Annual Fee
Purchase APR
12.99% - 22.99% Variable
Credit Needed N/A
Foreign Transaction Fee 3%
Details
  • Earn 10,000 Bonus WorldPoints® points if you make your first transaction in the first 60 days
  • 2x points per $1 on Norwegian purchases
  • 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • No annual fee

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 BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card

The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card is BofA’s flagship travel credit card. With a flat 1.5% rewards rate across all spending, it a better choice for most consumers than the Norwegian cruise credit card. While the latter offers a better rewards rate on Norwegian purchases, when it comes to anything everything else, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card is the better general purpose card.

Both the Norwegian Cruise Line credit card and the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card are part of BofA Preferred rewards, which we discussed above. Therefore, you will not miss out on any major benefits, by choosing one card versus the other. Of course, since both come with no annual fee, getting both cards is always a viable option if you have the credit score bandwidth. In that case, you would use the Norwegian Cruise Visa card to pay for cruise purchases, and the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card every other time.

Norwegian Cruise Line Credit Card vs Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

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.

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.

BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
No Annual Fee 2.08%
$200
20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit towards travel purchases
$715
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 51,480 x $0.01 = $515
Bonuses
20,000 x $0.01 = $200
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 715

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

Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 14.99% - 22.99% Variable

Card Details

  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit towards travel purchases
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • Redeem points to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees with no restrictions or blackouts
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Smart chip technology provides greater acceptance and added security
  • No limits or expiration dates on points earned
Royal Caribbean® Credit Card
No Annual Fee 1.29%
$100
Earn 10,000 MyCruise Points after first qualifying transaction
$443
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
0 x $0.01 = $0
10,000 x $0.01 = $100
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 443

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

Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 12.99% to 22.99% Variable

Card Details

  • 2 MyCruise Points per $1 on onboard purchases and qualifying Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara purchases
  • 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee
Norwegian Cruise Line® World MasterCard® Credit Card
No Annual Fee 1.29%
$100
Earn 10,000 Bonus WorldPoints® points if you make your first transaction in the first 60 days
$443
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
0 x $0.01 = $0
10,000 x $0.01 = $100
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 443

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

Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 12.99% - 22.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 10,000 Bonus WorldPoints® points if you make your first transaction in the first 60 days
  • 2x points per $1 on Norwegian purchases
  • 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • No annual fee
Princess Cruises Rewards Visa Card
No Annual Fee 1.15%
$50
Earn 5,000 Bonus Princess Points after your make your first purchase
$393
Graph Card 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% or 20.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 5,000 Bonus Princess Points after your make your first purchase
  • 2 points for every $1 spent on Princess Cruises purchases
  • 1 point for every $1 spent otherwise
  • Redeem rewards towards discounted, reduced, and even free cruise redemptions
  • Points can also be redeemed for special occasions, spa experiences, onboard credits, Princess merchandise, and airfare discounts
Celebrity Cruises® Visa Signature® Credit Card
$69 0.89%
$100
Get 10,000 MyCruise Points after making a transaction within 65 days of account opening; $300 discount off a future cruise of at least 7 nights or more in a Concierge Class stateroom, after $5,000 in transactions within your first 60 days
$305
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
10,000 x $0.01 = $100
Less Annual Fees -$138
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 305

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

Annual Fee $69
APR 12.99% to 22.99% Variable

Card Details

  • 2 MyCruise Points per $1 on qualifying Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Azamara purchases
  • 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees for non-US transactions

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.

Info about the following cards: American Express® Gold Card, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit 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 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, and American Express Cash Magnet℠ 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 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.