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Royal Caribbean® Credit Card: A Poor Offering for Cruise Fans

Royal Caribbean® Credit Card

Royal Caribbean® Credit Card: A Poor Offering for Cruise Fans

An unimpressive credit card, with nothing that can't be outdone by a good cash back card.
Editor's Rating: 3.5/5.0

Editor's Rating

3.5/5.0

The Royal Caribbean credit card does not offer enough value to justify using it over a flat-rate cash back credit card, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card. Unlike most airline and hotel credit cards, this cruise-line credit card does not offer much in the way of loyalty benefits, or anything to distinguish it. We recommend that consumers consider other options, over the Royal Caribbean card - you'll get higher and more flexible reward from other competitors.

Good For…

Bad For…
  • Getting an easy 10,000 point bonus
  • Anyone who wants decent rewards on all purchases
  • Individuals who want to use their credit card outside of the US (3% FX fee)

Review: Is the Royal Caribbean® Credit Card Worth It?

It is difficult to recommend the Royal Caribbean® credit card, especially when other cards – such as the Citi® Double Cash Card – will always provide a better value over more circumstances. At best, the Royal Caribbean card provides a 2% rewards rate – but only on purchases with the affiliated cruise company. Most of the time, using this card will result in just a rewards rate of just 1%. What’s worse is the fact that the rewards are fairly limited – they're only redeemable for more cruises, room upgrades, or onboard purchases. By contrast, a flat-rate cash back credit card can let you earn 2% rewards rate across all types of purchases, and your rewards are pure cash – to be used as you wish on the cruise ship and off.

Frequent travelers, who enjoy vacationing on the open ocean, may do better with a general travel credit card. These can provide rewards rates higher than 2%, on a far wider array of categories than the Royal Caribbean card. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a 2.5% rewards rate on all dining and travel shopping.

The 10,000 point welcome bonus with opening a new Royal Caribbean credit card is one of the best parts of the card. To qualify for the bonus, all you need to do is make any purchase on the card within 65 days of opening your account – this is easier to get than most signing offers. The 10,000 points can be used as a $100 onboard credit, or as a $100 discount towards your next cruise. While this is far from the highest bonus we’ve seen, it is decent considering the fact that it has no minimum spending requirement, and the card does not have an annual fee.

Bottom Line: Outside of its welcome bonus, the Royal Caribbean credit card has no outstanding features or rewards. Most individuals will be better off with a 2% cash back credit card or a travel rewards card.

Royal Caribbean® Credit Card Rewards & Features

The Royal Caribbean® Credit Card awards users 2 MyCruise Points per $1 spent while onboard one of the affiliated cruises, as well as purchases of Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara cruises. All other purchases get users 1 point per $1. MyCruise Points are worth about $0.01, putting this card’s rewards rate at anywhere between 1% and 2%. 

Royal Caribbean® Credit Card
Royal Caribbean® Credit Card
Annual Fee
No Annual Fee
Purchase APR
12.99% to 22.99% Variable
Credit Needed N/A
Details
  • No annual fee

If you buy something using your Royal Caribbean credit card within the first 65 days of account opening, you will also receive 10,000 bonus MyCruise points, worth approximately $100. Balance transfers and cash advances do not constitute a purchase. You must use your card to carry out a transaction with a retailer, vendor, or merchant, in order to qualify.

How Much Are MyCruise Points Worth?

The estimated value of a single MyCruise point is $0.01. This is obtained from Bank of America’s own language – where they state that the value of the 10,000 point bonus is enough for $100 in onboard credit. To obtain the “per point value” we divide $100 / 10,000 = $0.01.

Outside of onboard credit, points can be redeemed for stateroom upgrades, and cruises with any of the three cruise lines associated with the company – Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Azamara. The point value remains consistent across all these redemption options - requiring 1 point to offset $0.01 of charges.

How Does The Royal Caribbean® Credit Card Compare to Other Cards?

The only way to guage the value of the Royal Caribbean credit card is to see what other offers are available. Below you’ll find how this card compares against some other top choices.

Royal Caribbean® Credit Card vs Celebrity Cruises® Visa Signature® Credit Card

The Celebrity credit card is a premium version of the Royal Caribbean® Credit Card – offering every feature of the latter, plus some additional benefits. Firstly, Celebrity Cruises credit cardholders who spend at least $5,000 in transactions within the first 60 days of account opening will receive a $300 discount off their next cruise, of 7 nights or more in Concierge Class. This is a spending requirement that is significantly higher than most credit cards out there – and would only be attainable by the biggest spenders. The other major selling point of the Celebrity Cruises® Visa Signature® Credit Card is the litany of discounts provided for various cruise packages – including 10% off a premium beverage package. However, unless you go on Celebrity cruises annually, this discount will not be enough to justify the long-term cost to maintain this credit card. The Celebrity cruises credit card comes with a $69 annual fee. Therefore, if you're dead set on getting a cruise-affiliated credit card, and your spending doesn't justify a $69 annual fee, we recommend going with the Royal Caribbean® Credit Card.

Royal Caribbean® Credit Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Individuals who are big spenders on dining and travel (averaging at least $10,000 annually) will find the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to be one of the best options available to them. The card is part of the Ultimate Rewards program – one of the best credit card rewards programs. This card is not affiliated with any one particular airline, hotel, or cruise line. Instead, it offers users the ability to transfer their rewards points to a number of different partner programs – including Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, Marriott Rewards®, and United MileagePlus® to name a few. While you can't transfer UR points to any cruise line, they can be used as travel statement credit to pay down cuise expenses. Unlike the Royal Caribbean credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card does come with an annual fee – which is something to consider. If, through your spending, you do not earn enough rewards to justify the annual fee, we recommend looking at other options.

Royal Caribbean® Credit Card vs Citi® Double Cash Card

Throughout this review, we have compared the Royal Caribbean® Credit Card to the Citi® Double Cash Card several times. The Citi card earns 1% cash back at the time of purchase, and another 1% when you pay that purchase off. The only downside of the Citi® Double Cash Card is the fact that it does not have any welcome bonus. However, after just $10,000 of non-cruise related spending, the difference between the Royal Caribbean card and the Citi® Double Cash Card disappears. As a result, in the long-term, we recommend consumers to get the Citi® Double Cash Card over the Royal Caribbean® Credit Card

Comparison Tool

If you wish to find a credit card specifically tailored to your spending profile, you can use our tool below to help in the process. Enter your estimated monthly spending, and our tool will calculate for you the estimated net rewards for the cards - resulting from spending rewards and bonuses.

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95 3.00%
$625
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
$1,028
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 39,840 x $0.013 = $498
Bonuses
50,000 x $0.013 = $625
Less Annual Fees -$95
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,028

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

Annual Fee $0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
APR 17.74% - 24.74% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Citi® Double Cash Card
$0* 2.00%
$0
$686
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 686 x $1 = $686
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 686

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

Annual Fee $0*
APR 15.24% - 25.24%* (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.24% - 25.24% based on your creditworthiness*
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*
Capital One® Quicksilver® Card
$0 1.94%
$150
Get $150 bonus after spending $500 within the first 3 months
$665
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 515 x $1 = $515
Bonuses
0 x $1 = $150
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 665

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

Annual Fee $0
APR 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)

Card Details

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 14.74%-24.74% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 14.74%-24.74% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees

Note: The information in this box was provided by Capital One® and is not part of our independent analysis.

Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®
$89 1.58%
$0
Enjoy 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee
$543
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 $0.01 = $721
Less Annual Fees -$178
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 543

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

Annual Fee $89
APR 17.74%, 21.74% or 24.74% variable based on your creditworthiness

Card Details

  • Enjoy 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase
  • Book travel your way—no airline, seat or hotel restrictions—and redeem your miles for travel statement credits
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • International Chip and PIN for use at self-service chip terminals around the world
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • See Rates & Fees
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

  • No annual fee
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

  • No foreign transaction fees for non-US transactions

Comments and Questions

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

* 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 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, and Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury 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.