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Score 15,000 Bonus Amex Points by Booking a $500 Cruise

June 16, 2019
5 min read
Score 15,000 Bonus Amex Points by Booking a $500 Cruise
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

If you're looking to book a cruise this summer, you'll want to maximize your purchase. If you aren't using points and miles to pay for the cruise, it's important that you charge the getaway to the best credit card.

American Express is making a compelling argument for being the card issuer to use for cruises. In addition to ongoing offers — like shipboard credit and other onboard amenities — American Express is offering a few sweet Amex Offers.

For the uninitiated, Amex Offers are opt-in, limited-time deals to targeted cardholders, such as:

But, today we're talking cruises. Now through August 4, you'll get 15,000 bonus Membership Rewards points for spending at least $500:

At current TPG valuations, 15,000 Membership Rewards points are worth around $300. That's an incredible return on a purchase as small as $500.

You only need to book and pay for your cruise by August 4. There's no requirement to take the cruise by this date. The terms and conditions note that the booking must be done directly with Holland America through its US website or by calling 1-877-932-4259. There's a long list of excluded purchases to keep in mind:

Excludes onboard purchases, gift and services, Denali Square, McKinley Chalet Resort, Worldwide Emergency Assistance Services, Cancellation Protection plan, online shops, formalwear rentals and charitable donations. Excludes if not booked at time of reservation: airfare booked through cruise line, excursions, onboard celebrations, luggage valet services, baggage insurance, Flight Ease, travel Insurance, charters. Excludes Ship to Shelter programs and Exploration Café Charges. Excludes Carnival, Cunard, Princess Cruises, Denali North Star Inn, Princess Lodge Costa, Royal Hyway Tours, Seabourn, AIDA, Costa and Fathom.

This offer could be just what you're looking for if you're hoping to earn bonus points from booking the UFO Cruise, which is happening on a Holland America this October.

If you're not familiar with the Holland America brand, TPG resident cruise expert Gene Sloan describes the brand this way:

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Tradition long has been a touchstone for this storied line, which dates to 1873 and is known for carefully crafted, globe-circling itineraries on mid-size ships. But it’s been shaking things up in recent years with lively new venues such as B.B. King’s Blues Clubs. Couples and retirees are the market; families with kids might want to look elsewhere.

Whether or not you have this offer, this is a good reminder to check your list of Amex Offers for other valuable savings:

It seems that this offer is loaded onto many Amex-branded cards. Remember that Amex Offers are targeted, so not every American Express card will be included in this promotion. In order to see if you’ve been targeted — and to enroll in the offer — log in to your account and scroll down to the “Amex Offers and Benefits” section (you may need to click “Load More” to see the offer).

While neither of my co-branded (Bonvoy, Hilton) cards were targeted, all five of my Amex cards are targeted:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
  • The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
  • The Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express
  • The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express (legacy product)

If you've been targeted on multiple cards, make sure you choose wisely. Once you enroll in a particular offer with a specific card, you won't be able to enroll in the same offer again with another card.

Want to learn more about Amex Offers? Here's what you need to know:

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