Norwegian (NCL) Mastercard
The NCL credit card earns a solid return of WorldPoints per $1 spent, but fails to provide any real perks specific to Norwegian. Similar to other co-branded cruise line cards, there's no priority boarding, assistance in gaining status, or discounts of any nature. The NCL card is strictly meant for building up your WorldPoints balance, but even then, other reward cards can give the card a run for its money. The best benefit of the NCL Credit Card is the 10,000 bonus points earned from the sign up bonus.
NCL Credit Card Rewards
The NCL Credit Card earns Bank of America WorldPoints which are worth 1 cents on average when redeemed toward travel. Travel including airfare, hotels, rental cars, and of course Norwegian cruise line related travel such as tickets, upgrades, and more. WorldPoints can be redeemed for a lower value of around 0.75 cents each for gift cards and 0.8 cents for statement credits. The redemptions options for WorldPoints begin at 2,500 points. Cash redemptions from points earned on the card can be issued in the form of a statement credit, a check, an electronic deposit to a Bank of America checking or savings account, or a contribution to a Merrill Lynch or Edge Cash Management Account.
The NCL Credit Card features one bonus category that earns extra WorldPoints and that is Norwegian purchases. There is no limit to the amount of WorldPoints you can earn running spend through this card.
Purchases made with Norwegian Cruise Line with the NCL Credit Card will earn 3x WorldPoints per $1 spent. Eligible transactions on the NCL Credit Card statement must appear on and contain either "Norwegian Cruise Line" or the name of a Norwegian Cruise Line vessel. Earning 3x on these purchases at a rate of 1 cent per WorldPoint will give you a simple return of 3%. This is not bad for a no annual fee card. If you're looking to earn WorldPoints strictly for Norwegian purchases, this card would fit the bill.
If you're looking to build points from multiple sources to put towards cruise redemptions, there are a few other reward cards that can be useful. If you're already a frequent traveler, Chase's Ultimate Rewards Point and Cash Back Cards can assist. Chase's cards focus heavy on travel and dining earning returns as high as 4.5% with the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. If you have an Ultimate Rewards Point earning card, their Chase Freedom Card can earn you a 5% return (or higher if you have the Sapphire Reserve) on quarterly categories such as Chase Pay and warehouse store purchases.
If you're not a heavy traveler and spend more running around town, AMEX's Membership Reward Point Cards will be more down your alley. These cards focus heavy on gas stations, supermarkets, and restaurants. You can earn 4% and higher on grocery using the Everyday Preferred Card (4.5%) and Gold Card (4%). The Gold Card also earns a 4% return on restaurants and offers a $220 in annual credits towards airfare and select restaurants!
Any purchases made on the NCL Credit Card outside of the Norwegian Cruise Line will earn 1x WorldPoints per $1 spent. This is a low return of 1% that could be placed on better cards such as a 1.5% return card like the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card or Capital One Quicksilver Card. I do not recommend putting non-category spend across this card unless you're trying to meet the sign up bonus or a few points shy of a redemption.
Perks and Benefits
Preferred Rewards Program
Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients get an additional 25% - 75% points bonus on every purchase applied to the base earn of 1 point per $1 when using the NCL Credit Card. The Bank of America Preferred bonus is based on qualifying combined balances in your Bank of America banking and/or Merrill Edge® and Merrill Lynch® investing and trading accounts.
Sign Up Bonus
The standard sign up bonus for the NCL Credit Card is 10,000 Bonus WorldPoints reward points when you make your first purchases within 90 days of account opening. 10,000 WorldPoints is worth $100. Cardholders can start redeeming rewards at 2,500 WorldPoints ($25).
Credit Card Fees
|Authorized User Fee|
|Foreign Transaction Fee|
The NCL Credit Card does not have an annual fee. You will always come out positive when earning WorldPoints using this card.
Authorized User Fee
There is no fee to add authorized users to the NCL Credit Card. There's not much value to adding anyone unless you have friends or family that consistently purchases Norwegian Cruise Line tickets.
Foreign Transaction Fee
The foreign transaction fee for the NCL Credit Card is 3% meaning you will lose the 3% return for any purchases made outside of the United States. I would not use this card out of country. Besides the PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Card, there aren't any other reward cards that have no foreign transaction fee and no annual fee that gives a good return on general travel. Your better off running this type of spend on a 1.5% cash back card that has no foreign transaction fee.
You can use this rewards calculator to calculate how many points, miles, or cash back you can earn based on your spend per category. This calculator will also give you the dollar value of the card based on rewards earned and how much each benefit is worth to you minus the fees. You can click the Compare A Card button to compare this card against another card in the same calculator.
All category spend entered in the primary card's column will carry over to all credit card pages on the site so you don't have to re-enter the same information over again.
While earning 3x WorldPoints on Norwegian purchases with the NCL Credit Card is not a bad deal, the lack of perks and benefits associated with the card puts it way behind other top travel cards. The NCL Credit Card offers no cruise benefits when it comes to sailing with NCL which really dismisses any real reason of having the card in your wallet. If you're planning on using this card for Norwegian purchases only and you travel with them at least a few times a year, then it could be beneficial only because it has no annual fee. Otherwise, you're better off with another travel card.
If you're looking to earn some points on travel purchases, there's a great deal of cards that fit this criteria. The Citi Premier Card offers 3x ThankYou points (generally worth 1.5 cents each) on all travel purchases. It also earns 2x on both restaurant and entertainment purchases. Another good card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. This card offers 2x Ultimate Rewards Points (worth 1.25 cents each) for all travel and dining purchases. Both of these cards have no annual fee the first year which means you can test the waters and see if they work for your spend.
While the non-existent benefits could be better, if you don't already own a luxury travel card that earns high points on travel purchases such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Citi Prestige Card, you will not find many cards that will earn you the 3% return on Norwegian Purchases that the NCL Credit Card delivers. If you're looking for a card to put non-Norwegian related purchases on, I recommend taking a look for a great Cash Back or Bank Card.
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About These Calculators: These calculators are provided to help you estimate the value of points, miles, and cash back you can earn with various rewards programs and using reward earning credit cards. These calculators are meant to provide an estimate of rewards earned and are not meant to reflect the exact amount of points you may receive. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of any credit card before you apply as benefit and perk changes may not be reflected immediately on this website.
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