Best Credit Cards For Cruise Line Purchases

A list of the best credit cards for general cruise line purchases based on your spend pulled from our database of 250+ cards. Compare. Automatic updates.


There's not many co-branded cruise line credit cards on the market and out of the few that are available, not all of them are worth getting. Unless you're a heavy cruiser, you'll find more value sticking with top travel credit cards.

Cruise Line Credit Cards

If you're considering a cruise line credit card, I recommend getting one only if you're a frequent cruiser. If you cruise once per year or once every other year, grabbing up a cruise line credit card will not benefit you much. Cruise line credit cards offer the best return when you redeem cruise line points for mid to large redemptions. If you don't cruise a lot, you will find it hard to build up enough points to get great value out of your points.

Points earned with Holland America Line can be worth as much as 2.5 cents each when redeemed for cruises. Having the Holland America Visa is the only way you can earn points. In terms of benefits, the card doesn't offer anything. It's strictly for earning points.

MyCruise Points are earned with the Royal Caribbean Visa or Celebrity Cruises Visa and can be worth as much as 2 cents each. Both cards earn on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Azamara cruise line spend. Outside of earning points, no other benefits are offered with these cards.

Carnival is a popular cruise line that offers the Carnival Mastercard to earn Carnival FunPoints. FunPoints are only worth up to 1.5 cents each which is lower compared to other cruise line rewards programs, but the Carnival Mastercard actually offers a 10% refund on excursions whereas most other cruise line credit cards do not have any benefits.

MSC Cruises

General Cruise Line Spend

If you only cruise once per year or if you don't plan on building enough cruise line points to redeem them for the highest value (as in book expensive cruises), you'll be better off with a rewards credit card that earns a great return on cruise line or travel spend.

The Bank of America Cash Rewards and Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Card are great cash back options for travel spend as both cards can earn between 3% and 5.25% cash back per $1 spent based on your relationship with Bank of America and their partners.

If you would rather put your earned rewards on cruise lines towards airfare or other forms of travel, the American Express Green Card and Wells Fargo Propel AMEX Card are two great options.

The Citi ThankYou Premier Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve are also solid options if you spend a little on the higher side and have the spend to make the annual fees worth it.

Best Cards By Category Calculator

The Best Credit Cards By Category Calculator below will find the best credit cards for the listed categories based on your spend and the filter options selected. This will output a list of up to 50 credit cards sorted by total return.

Compare credit cards side by side based on spend, benefits, and fees.

I recommend using the Rewards Calculator which allows you to compare results side by side other cards, factor in sign up bonuses, add authorized users, select elite status (hotel cards), and much more.

Category Spend

Enter your spend per month, year, or quarter for the listed categories. You can then click Get The Best Cards to get the list of results.

Cruise Lines (Generic)

Spend Duration

You can set the duration of the spend for the categories listed above. If you're looking for the best card for only n-months worth of spend, this is where you change the option. If you want to calculate based on a full year, you can leave it set to a duration of 'year'.

Adjust Transferable Points

Some rewards programs allow you to transfer your earned points to airline, hotel, and other loyalty programs. These programs will generally have higher point values when doing such. Since these matter so much when choosing a credit card, you can enter your own point value for these programs to include in the calculations. You can set any of the currencies listed below to 0 to calculate based on the non-transfer value (in which most are 1 cent per point with the exception of Chase's 1.25/1.5 cent redemptions).
When transferring to other programs, you should be able to get 1 to 2 cents in value for most of the programs listed below, so I defaulted most to a low average of 1.5 cents. You can click on the to learn more about the value of the currency (opens in a new tab/window).

Include Annual Credits/Bonuses

Several credit cards feature annual bonuses. These are usually anniversary bonuses for having the card, airline credits, hotel credits, and more. If you want these included in the calculation, you can check thy box below.

Bank

The bank that issues the card. De-select the banks that you do not want in the results.

Network

The network that the card is tied to such as VISA, Mastercard, Discover, or AMEX.

Card Type

The type of card such as a co-branded airline card, bank rewards card, or cash back card. Do note that some store cards will appear under cash back if you're able to redeem cash back like a normal cash back credit card.

Reward Type

The type of rewards the card earns. This will either be points, miles, or cash back.

Personal/Business

Toggle the showing of personal or business cards in the results. Card combinations are also featured on this site. The combo option is only available if it's more than one category you're enter spend for.

Annual Fee

The range of fees you're willing to pay to wield such awesome credit cards. The First Year Free (FYF) / First Year Reduced (FYR) option will only show FYF/FYR cards that has an second year (and onward) annual fee that falls within the range you entered.

Income Requirements

Some credit cards require a certain amount of annual individual or household income. Enter a max income or enter -1 to show all cards.

Foreign Transaction Fees

Toggle whether to include credit cards that have a foreign transaction fee, foreign conversion fee, or any other type of charge that has to do with making purchases outside of the region.

Results

Do note that results may take a few seconds to generate after doing a search.
You can click on the 'Rewards Calculator' for any of the cards listed in the results to calculate even more accurate results. You'll be able to enter spend for other categories, toggle fees, add authorized users, and more.
Results Will Appear Here

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