The 7 Best Credit Cards for Cruisers in 2019

We've got the best credit cards to use when you're hitting the high seas

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Cruises are one of the most relaxing types of vacations you can take. And using the right credit card can help you earn discounts and sometimes even free cruise tickets. Most of the cruise credit cards on our best list offers the most rewards when you use your credit card to book cruises with that cruise line. Don’t worry; you can still earn a base amount of rewards when you use your credit card for other purchases. Our list of best credit cards for cruisers includes:

  • Best Overall: Carnival World MasterCard
  • Best Value: Princess Cruises Rewards Visa Card
  • Best for Families: Disney Premier Visa Card
  • Best for Adults: Holland America Line Rewards Visa Card
  • Best for Luxury Cruises: Celebrity Cruises Visa Signature Card
  • Best for Worldwide Destinations: Royal Caribbean Visa Signature Card
  • Most Flexible: Capital One VentureOne

The reward structure for many of the cruise credit cards is the same. That makes it easy to narrow down your choice based on your preferred cruise line. Keep reading to find the best cruise credit card ​for you.

01
Best Overall: Carnival World MasterCard

Carnival World MasterCard
Courtesy of Carnival World MasterCard

What we like: Carnival Cruise Lines has more ships than any other cruise line, giving you a ton of ship options and itineraries to choose from. With the Carnival World MasterCard, you’ll earn 20,000 Funpoints after your first purchase, with no minimum spending requirements.

The points are worth up to $200 toward your next cruise purchase. Ongoing, you’ll earn two Funpoints for every dollar you spend on Carnival Cruise Lines purchases and one point per dollar on everything else. Rewards can be redeemed for a statement credit for cruise or cruise discounts made within the past 180 days.

What we don't like: The Carnival World Mastercard doesn't come with any extra perks or benefits beyond the basic rewards.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: 0% for the first 15 billing cycles on balances transferred in the first 45 days; 0% for 6 billing cycles on Qualifying Cruise Booking Purchases
  • Ongoing APR: 16.24% to 26.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Welcome Offer: 20,000 bonus points after your first purchase

02
Best Value: Princess Cruises Rewards Visa Card

Princess Cruises Rewards Visa Card
Courtesy of Barclays

What we like: With the Princess Cruises Rewards Visa Card, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus points after you use your credit card for the first time. The bonus is worth up to $100 toward your next cruise purchase. There’s no minimum spending amount required to earn the bonus.

Ongoing, you’ll earn two points for every dollar you spend on Princess purchases and one point per dollar on everything else. Get free access to your FICO score.

What we don't like: There's no introductory promotional interest rate for purchases. The card is also skimpy on benefits beyond the basic rewards program.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: 0% for the first 15 billing cycles on balances transferred in the first 45 days; 0% for 6 billing cycles on Qualifying Cruise Booking Purchases
  • Ongoing APR: 16.24% to 26.24%
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Welcome Offer: 10,000 bonus points after your first purchase

03
Best for Families: Disney Premier Visa Card

Disney Premier Visa Card
Courtesy of Chase

What we like: The Disney Premier credit card can let you earn rewards that you can use to book a cruise on Disney Cruise Lines.

You’ll earn a $200 statement credit after you spend just $500 on purchases in the first three months from opening your account. Ongoing, you’ll earn 2% in Disney Rewards Dollars on gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and most Disney locations; earn 1% on all other purchases. You can choose Select your own card design from a selection of favorite Disney characters.

Among other Disney adventures, you can redeem your Reward Dollars at most Disney locations for onboard activities, theme park tickets, souvenirs, and more. Plus, qualify for six months of 0% APR for the first six months on certain Disney vacation packages.

What we don't like: Since the card comes with an annual fee, you'll have to use it frequently enough to offset the cost.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: 0% for the first 6 months on select Disney vacation packages
  • Ongoing APR: 18.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: 3% of the amount in U.S. dollars
  • Welcome Offer: $200 statement credit after you spend $500 in the first three months

04
Best for Adults: Holland America Line Rewards Visa Card

Holland America Line Rewards Visa Card
Courtesy of Barclays

What we like: While Holland America Line’s cruise ships offer programs for teens and kids, adults will find the ship’s enrichment programs enjoyable. Choose from options like cooking demonstrations, Pilates, and digital photography classes.

Ongoing, you'll earn two points for every dollar you spend on Holland America purchases including those you make onboard the ship. All other purchases earn one point for every dollar you spend. You’ll earn a bonus 5,000 points after you make your first purchase. Redeem your points for discounts toward Holland America Cruises whenever you use your Holland America Visa to book the cruise.

What we don't like: Though it's fairly simple to earn, the signup bonus is relatively low.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: 0% for the first 15 billing cycles on balances transferred in the first 45 days
  • Ongoing APR: 16.24% to 26.24%
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Welcome Offer: 5,000 bonus points after your first purchase

05
Best for Luxury Cruises: Celebrity Cruises Visa Signature Card

Celebrity Cruises Visa Signature Card
Courtesy of Bank of America

What we like: With the Celebrity Cruises Visa Signature Card, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus points after you make a qualifying transaction within the first 90 days of opening your account. You can redeem the bonus for a $100 onboard credit.

You can also earn 5,000 additional points after you spend $1,000 within the first three months. Those points can be redeemed for a $50 credit on the ship. Earn two MyCruise Points for every dollar you spend on purchases and one MyCruise Point for every dollar you spend on all other purchases.

What we don't like: There's no promotional rate for balance transfers or purchases. The card also charges an annual fee that can devalue your rewards if you don't earn enough.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: $69
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 17.24% to 25.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $10 or 3% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 3% of the advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Welcome Offer: 10,000 bonus points after making a transaction in the first 90 days

06
Best for Worldwide Destinations: Royal Caribbean Visa Signature Card

Royal Caribbean Visa Signature Card
Courtesy of Bank of America

What we like: As a new Royal Caribbean Visa Signature cardholder, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus points after you make a qualifying transaction in the first 90 days of opening your account. The bonus points are worth $100 in onboard credit. You can also earn an additional 5,000 points if you spend $1,000 in purchases, a value of $50 in onboard credit.

Ongoing, you’ll earn two points for every dollar you spend with Royal Caribbean and sister brands and one point for every dollar you spend everywhere else.

What we don't like: There's no introductory promotional rate for purchases or balance transfers.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 17.24% to 25.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $10 or 3% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 3% of the advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Welcome Offer: 10,000 bonus points after making a qualifying transaction in the first 90 days

07
Most Flexible: Capital One VentureOne

Capital One VentureOne
 Courtesy of Capital One

What we like: The Capital One VentureOne isn't a cruiseline-specific credit card which could work in your favor. You can earn an unlimited 1.5 miles per dollar on all purchases you make on your card. Then, you can redeem your miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases you've made on your credit card - including cruises.

As a new cardholder, you can earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account. The 12-month 0% introductory rate allows you to book a cruise then pay it off interest free.

There’s no limit to the number of rewards you can earn and your rewards don’t expire.

What we don't like: You must redeem rewards for a statement credit towards travel purchases you've made to your credit card and you only have 90 days from the purchase date to make the redemption.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Excellent
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: 0% on purchases for the first 12 months
  • Ongoing APR: 14.24% to 24.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of the transfer amount during the promotional period. None after for balances transferred at the regular APR
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 3% of the cash advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup bonus: 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months