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The Best Credit Cards for Cruises of 2022

The Best Credit Cards for Cruises of 2022

With bonus points on travel purchases, including cruises, and a $300 travel credit that cover your cruise expenses, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the best credit card for cruises.

Chase Sapphire Reserve<sup>®</sup>

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Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more. Citi is an advertising partner.

Best overall

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase's Secure Website
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Best cruise privileges program

The Platinum Card® from American Express card

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Best co-branded cruise credit card

Disney Premier Visa® Credit Card

credit card
$300 statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening

Whether you’re looking to set sail on the Mediterranean or to an island in the Caribbean, there’s a credit card that can help you book your next cruise. Our list of best credit cards for cruises includes flexible travel rewards credit cards as well as a rundown of the leading cruise-specific co-branded cards.

Best credit cards for cruises

You may be surprised that some of the best credit cards for cruises are travel cards, not co-branded cruise cards.

Because travel credit cards can offer sizable sign-up bonuses, high earning rates — especially on travel purchases, like cruises — and a more flexible range of redemption options, they top our list of best credit cards to pay for a cruise.


Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

$550

19.24% - 26.24% Variable

720 - 850

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more

Verdict

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card is our top overall pick for cruises because it earns 3X points on travel purchases, including cruises. Plus, its $300 travel statement credit could be used towards the cruise reservation — a larger amount of statement credit offered than most cruise co-branded cards. In addition, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers trip cancellation insurance, which is helpful in case the trip goes awry.

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points in the Chase travel portal at a rate of 1.5 cents per point. While you could redeem your points through the portal to reserve a cruise, the best option is to pay for the cruise with your card and earn points on it.

  • $300 travel credit
  • Earn 3X points per travel purchase
  • Trip protection
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Global Entry/Nexus/TSA Precheck credit
  • High annual fee of $550
  • Points are less valuable when they are not transferred to a hotel or airline partner


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

$95

18.24% - 25.24% Variable

720 - 850

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.

Verdict

If your heart skipped a beat with the annual fee of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, then the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card might be the option for you. Carrying a reasonable annual fee of only $95 and offering the ability to earn 2X points on all travel purchases, including cruises, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers many of the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® — including trip cancellation insurance — with a lower entry point.

In addition to earning only 2X instead of 3X points on travel, the major trade off is that the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card does not have the $300 travel credit. Still, the card earns points in one of the most valuable travel points currencies available.

  • Earn 2x points for travel purchases
  • Trip protection
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee is only $95
  • Lower earning rate than Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • Lower redemption rate through Chase travel portal than Chase Sapphire Reserve®


The Platinum Card® from American Express

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

$695

See Pay Over Time APR

660 - 850

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. And if you fly, you can receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year after you select a qualifying airline and incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at select airports and stadiums.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Verdict

When you pay for your cruise of five nights or longer with The Platinum Card® from American Express, you are entitled to the perks of the American Express Cruise Privileges Program. This program offers you statement credit of $100-$300 per room to use on board the ship. Learn more about the Cruise Privileges Program below.

In addition to the perks of this program, you earn generous points on purchases through Amex travel and the card gives you access to a long list of luxury travel perks, including the best airport lounge access of any credit card.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here

Unlike typical credit cards, the The Platinum Card® from American Express allows you to carry a balance on some purchases, but not all.

  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit
  • Luxury benefits and elite status at a range of hotel partners
  • $200 hotel credit
  • Airport lounge access
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards on travel purchases through the American Express travel platform
  • Terms apply
  • Annual fee is $695 — the highest of travel cards
  • No earning bonus outside of AmEx travel and flights
  • Terms apply


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Card not available

Discover it® Miles

Only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.

Verdict

If you're looking for a travel card with straightforward earning rate and redemption, then consider the Discover it® Miles. All purchases earn 1.5X miles, so there are no bonus categories to keep track of, but it also means that travel purchases don't earn an enhanced rate. The "miles" you earn with this card are actually statement credit, so you can redeem your miles to offset travel purchases, like a cruise reservation.

Finally, the Discover it® Miles' welcome offer makes it enticing. Instead of having to meet a minimum spending requirement to earn a sign-up bonus, Discover will reward you with a miles-for-miles match at the end of your first year as a cardholder. So, if you spend $20,000 on your card in your first year, you'll earn 40,000 miles. Valued at about 1 cent a piece, this would be about $400.

  • First year miles are doubled
  • "Miles" are flexible
  • "Miles" are actually points for statement credit
  • No bonus categories


Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

$95

17.49% - 25.49% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through our Partner Lounge Network
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

Verdict

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is an affordable, flexible travel credit for your next cruise. With a robust welcome bonus and its ability to earn a flat 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 5 Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 5 Miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world’s largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023 — no bonus categories to worry about tracking — it could be a quick way to rack up enough miles to cover your cruise. The redemption methods also make the card attractive: In addition to the Capital One travel portal, you can use your miles to "erase" travel purchases in the form of statement credit, at 1 cent per mile. This could make this card a good option to pay for your cruise.

Finally, it's worth noting that the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. American Express and Chase only offer this credit on their premium cards, so getting this credit on a card with only a $95 fee is a standout feature.

  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit
  • Rewards don't expire as long as you keep the account open
  • Reasonable annual fee of $95
  • Travel accident and lost luggage insurance
  • Bonus categories are limited


Co-branded cruise credit card options

If you want to choose a co-branded cruise credit card, here's a roundup of popular cards offered by major cruise lines. These cards tend to only offer enhanced earning rewards on the branded cruise lines and generally have more limited redemption options in the form of statement credit. Unlike travel cards, they do not earn transferable, flexible points.

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Card not available

Carnival® World Mastercard®

20,000 FunPoints® after your first purchase or balance transfer

Verdict

For Carnival Cruise enthusiasts, the Carnival® World Mastercard® might be worth considering. Its sign-up bonus is one of the highest and easily attainable sign-up bonuses among co-branded cruise cards. You also can earn 10% on statement credit on on-shore excursions, but statement credit redemption is limited to two fixed tiers.

  • Earn 2X FunPoints® for every dollar spent on any purchases with Carnival Cruise Line and with the brands of the World’s Leading Cruise Lines℠
  • Redeem for statement credit at 1.5% for purchases between $1,500 and $5,000
  • 10% back on on-shore excursions
  • Easily attainable sign-up bonus
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Intro APR of 0% for six months on Carnival cruise bookings. on Carnival cruises, followed by an APR of 17.24%, 23.24% or 27.24%
  • Purchases between $1,000 and $1,499 have a lower redemption value, at only 1% statement credit
  • No travel protections
  • Low earning rate on everyday spending


unavailable card art
Card not available

Royal Caribbean Visa Signature® card

10,000 bonus points after your first qualifying transaction within 90 days of account opening, and a $100 statement credit after making $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of account opening.

Verdict

It's hard to recommend the Royal Caribbean Visa Signature® card, even if you are a loyal Royal Caribbean customer, because it doesn't come with any loyalty perks or elite status. Plus, it only offers Earn 2x MyCruise® Points on qualifying Royal Caribbean purchases - plus 1 point per $1 spent on purchases everywhere else., so you might be better off with a generic travel card.

  • Earn 2x MyCruise® Points on qualifying Royal Caribbean purchases - plus 1 point per $1 spent on purchases everywhere else.
  • $0 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Decent sign-up bonus
  • Enhanced earning potential for Bank of America Preferred Rewards customers
  • Low earning rate on everyday spending
  • No loyalty benefits or elite status offered by the card


unavailable card art
Card not available

Princess Cruises Rewards Visa Card

10,000 bonus points after you use your card for the first time

Verdict

Even if you are a Princess Cruises devotee, it's hard to recommend this card. Though it does offer concierge service, with the earning rate you get on this card, a card that earns on general travel spending is going to be a better option.

  • 2 points per $1 spent on all Princess purchases, including onboard purchases, and $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Decent sign-up bonus
  • Concierge service for dining, travel and entertainment reservations and recommendations
  • Introductory APR of 0% for 15 months on balance transfers (followed by an APR of 13.99%, 18.99%, or 23.99% Variable)
  • 0% foreign transaction fees
  • $0 annual fee
  • Low earning rate on everyday spending
  • Balance transfer bonus points offer is cloaked as positive, but actually charges a fee. In effect, you're paying for points.
  • No travel insurance


unavailable card art
Card not available

Norwegian Cruise Line® World MasterCard® Credit Card

Limited Time Offer: 25,000 bonus points after you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

Verdict

Like other cruise line credit cards, the Norwegian Cruise Line® World MasterCard® Credit Card fails to provide enough value to justify it — even with the higher sign-up bonus. With this card, you'll earn 3 WorldPoints® points for every $1 spent on Norwegian purchases, 2 WorldPoints points per $1 spent on eligible air and hotel purchases 1 WorldPoint point per $1 spent on all other purchases. So, unless you're planning to make multiple, regular Norwegian cruise reservations, you're better off with a travel or cashback credit for more flexibility and earning potential. The card is also lacking in loyalty benefits: the cards' WorldPoints do not help you earn elite status on Norwegian and, in fact, are separate from Norwegian's loyalty program, Latitude Rewards.

One caveat, though — if you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you'll earn at an enhanced rate. The rates depend on the amount of your balances with Bank of America, but you could earn as high as 5.25 WorldPoints per dollar. While this could make the card more valuable, you'll have to have at least $100,000 account balances to qualify for this enhanced rate.

  • Higher sign-up bonus than its competitors, worth $250 in statement credit
  • Earn 3 WorldPoints® points for every $1 spent on Norwegian purchases, 2 WorldPoints points per $1 spent on eligible air and hotel purchases 1 WorldPoint point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Can redeem points for upgrades on cruises and onboard credit
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • $0 annual fee
  • No loyalty benefits or elite status offered
  • Low earning for everyday spending
  • High thresholds for redemption options, according to their rewards chart


unavailable card art
Card not available

Holland American Line Rewards Visa Card

5,000 points after first purchase enough to redeem for a $50 onboard credit

Verdict

The Holland American Line Rewards Visa Card is another lackluster cruise credit card. The card offers a low earning rate of 2X points per dollar on Holland purchases and 1X point per dollar on everything else. You can redeem points for statement credit, but redemptions start fairly high, at 3,300 points minimum. The redemption rate is also fairly low; points are only worth about .75 cents. With a low sign-up bonus and a limited ability to earn or redeem points, you might be better off going with a cashback or no-annual-fee travel credit card instead.

  • 2X points per dollar on Holland purchases and 1X point per dollar on everything else
  • Redeem points for discounts on onboard amenities and for statement credit for airfare
  • $0 annual fee
  • 0% foreign transaction fees
  • Low sign-up bonus
  • No elite status or loyalty perks offered
  • Low earning for everyday spending


unavailable card art
Card not available

Disney Premier Visa® Credit Card

$300 statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening

Verdict

Compared to the other co-branded cards on this list, the Disney Premier Visa® Credit Card from Chase is arguably the best credit card for cruises. The card has a decent earning rate: Earn 2% in Disney Rewards Dollars on card purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and most Disney locations. Earn 1% on all your other card purchases. There are no limits to the number of Rewards Dollars you can earn. Its sign-up bonus is also attainable, if you do most of your spending with this card.

Though the card's redemption options are relatively limited — options include statement credit toward air travel or statement credit for Disney theme park, Disney movies, Disney store and the Disney Cruise Line — it could be worthwhile if you're planning to use this card for a cruise reservation. Plus, the card offers an intro APR of 0% Promo for the first 6 months on select Disney vacation packages, including cruises (followed by an APR of 16.24% to 25.24% variable variable).

  • Highest sign-up bonus of its competitors, worth $300 in statement credit
  • Low annual fee of $49
  • Introductory APR of 0% Promo for the first 6 months on certain Disney vacation packages (followed by an APR of 16.24% to 25.24% variable variable)
  • Earn 2% in Disney Rewards Dollars on card purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and most Disney locations. Earn 1% on all your other card purchases.
  • Redemption is limited for statement on air travel and Disney purchases
  • 10% discount carries lots of restrictions on what it can be used for
  • Foreign transaction fee of 3% of the amount of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Compare the best credit cards for cruises of 2022

Welcome offer
Credit score needed
Annual fee
Best overall

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve<sup>®</sup>
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®720 - 850$550
Apply Now
On Chase's Secure Website
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Unlike typical credit cards, the The Platinum Card® from American Express allows you to carry a balance on some purchases, but not all.

How to choose a credit card for cruises

When picking a credit card for your next cruise, here's some things to keep in mind.

Sign-up bonus

Though it's a one-time feature of the card, the welcome bonus the card offers can help towards planning your dream cruise vacation. A welcome bonus worth only a few hundred dollars in statement credit is fairly mediocre.

Earning rate

Long after you've earned the sign up bonus, the card's earning rate is going to be the main way you continue to maximize value from the card. Consider picking a card that doesn't just earn points on your desired cruise brand; cards that also earn for travel, dining, groceries or other, more everyday expenses are likely going to bring you more value in the long term.

Redemption options

When you evaluate cards, ask yourself where can the points or statement credit be redeemed? Can the points you earn only be redeemed on a cruise brand or can you redeem for other types of travel, such as the airfare to get to your cruise departure location? If the card offers statement credit, make sure to check if there are certain spending thresholds to meet or categories of expenses that only qualify for statement credit.

Loyalty benefits

Some co-branded hotel cards offer a free room upgrade, while some airline cards might offer a free checked bag or a free hotel night. Check to see what benefits the card offers to enhance your stay on a cruise. Especially if you're opting for a co-branded cruise line card over a general travel credit card, this is a category you'll want to pay attention to.

No foreign transaction fees

Because cruise excursions might be in a different country, a card that offers no foreign transaction fees is going to save you a lot in the long run. With each purchase coming with a 3% foreign transaction fee, that adds up fast.

Trip cancellation insurance

Though it's not likely your cruise ship will run aground, you want to be prepared for the worst. When you book with a card that offers trip cancellation insurance, you'll be able to receive a refund for a trip that was canceled for circumstances out of your control. Some premium cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, also offer medical evacuation insurance.

How to book cruises and earn points and miles

Several credit cards and airlines that offer travel sites to book cruises through them. Depending on your preferred points currency, these sites allow you the ability to earn points or miles when booking through them. Some also offer the ability to redeem your miles or points to pay for your cruise reservation.

Cruise Privileges Program with American Express Travel

If you're a member of The Platinum Card® from American Express and booking a cruise of five nights or more, you can book through the American Express Travel site to enjoy the perks of the Cruise Privileges Program. This entitles you to statement credit of $100-$300 per room, redeemable for dining, spas or other onboard experiences.

Many of the co-branded cruise line credit cards discussed above are partners of the Cruise Privileges Program — including Princess, Norwegian, Holland and Royal Caribbean — making The Platinum Card® from American Express's statement credit competitive or even more valuable than some of the cruise lines' cards. When you pay with your American Express card, you'll also earn 1 additional point per dollar on purchases through the American Express Travel site.

Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Chase also offers a travel portal site that allows you book cruises. You can either pay for the cruise outright or redeem Ultimate Rewards points. Depending on your card, Ultimate Rewards points are only worth 1.5 or 1.25 cents in the Chase Travel Portal, so they're more valuable if you transfer them to a partner. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® all earn 5X Ultimate Rewards points and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® earns 10X points on travel purchased through the portal, so it's best to pay for your cruise with a Chase card to earn points. Then you could redeem points on your flight to the cruise.

Capital One Venture Rewards Points

Capital One's Travel portal also offers the ability to make cruise reservations. As with Chase and American Express, you'd log in to the travel site and have the option to book with miles or pay with dollars. Depending on the Capital One credit card you use, you may be able to earn 5X or 10X miles per dollar on purchases through Capital One Travel, so it may be worth paying for your cruise with your eligible Capital One card instead of using miles.

United MileagePlus Cruises

The airline United MileagePlus has a cruise booking site that allows you to redeem your United miles for cruise reservations. If you're a MileagePlus card holder, you can also earn 7 miles per dollar spent up to 45,000 miles when you book with your card.

American Airlines AAdvantage

Similarly, American Airlines also offers a cruise reservation site. Though there isn't an option to pay for your cruise with miles here, you will earn 1 AAdvantage mile per dollar spent on cruise reservations, up to 10,000 miles. Sometimes American Airlines will feature cruises that offer opportunities to earn additional bonus miles.

Delta SkyMiles

Delta Air Lines also offers the opportunity to earn bonus SkyMiles on its cruise reservation site, SkyMiles cruises. You'll also earn miles for cruise reservations, though Delta rewards you SkyMiles based on the length of your cruise reservation, not the total dollar amount like United or American Airlines. You cannot redeem SkyMiles to book a cruise.

FAQs about the best credit cards for cruises

What is the best credit card to use to book a cruise?

ValuePenguin recommends the Chase Sapphire Reserve® for booking a cruise because you have a $300 travel credit that you can use toward your cruise reservation. After that amount, you'll earn 5X points per dollar spent on travel purchases, so a cruise purchase can be rewarding for future travel.

What is the best cruise line credit card?

Though ValuePenguin doesn't recommend co-branded cruise credit cards over general travel credit cards, the best cruise line credit card available is the Disney Premier Visa® Credit Card. Not only does the card offer the ability to earn bonus points on everyday spending like gas and groceries, the welcome bonus and redemption for the Disney Cruise Line purchases make this card a strong contender.

When is using a co-branded cruise credit card a good idea?

A co-branded cruise credit card might make sense if the card offers a lucrative welcome bonus, enhanced status or perks (such as a room upgrade) or the ability to earn bonus points on spending outside of just the cruise line brand. Because ValuePenguin wasn't able to find a cruise credit card that met that high bar of criteria, we recommend using more versatile travel credit cards instead.

Can Capital One points be used for cruises?

Yes, when you make reservations through Capital One Travel, you can use your Capital One miles to book cruises.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here

The information related to Discover it® Miles, Carnival® World Mastercard®, Royal Caribbean Visa Signature® card, Princess Cruises Rewards Visa Card, Norwegian Cruise Line® World MasterCard® Credit Card, Holland American Line Rewards Visa Card and Disney Premier Visa® Credit Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

Methodology

To make choosing the best credit card for cruises easier, ValuePenguin looked at over two dozen travel credit cards. Our recommendations are based on sign-up bonus offered, flexibility and value of points, loyalty perks included and any additional fees charged such as foreign transaction fees. Our choices are not influenced by advertisers.

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).