Get bonus points or cash back on your next cruise with new, targeted Amex Offers
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If you’re considering booking a cruise soon, you’re going to want to check out these offers from American Express. There are several new Amex Offers available that’ll let you score bonus Membership Rewards points — or cash back — for putting your purchase on the right credit card.
Here’s what you need to know.
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World’s Leading Cruise Lines
There are two new Amex Offers for World’s Leading Cruise Lines, which is comprised of several popular brands, including Carnival, Princess Cruises and Holland America. The first is for 10,000 Amex points after spending $500 or more from now through Dec. 31, 2020. I spotted this offer on the American Express® Green Card, which offers 3x on travel purchases, including cruises. The information for the Amex Green card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
The second offer is for a modest $100 statement credit after spending $500 or more.
With either offer, you must book your travel with Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn or Cunard on the respective cruise line’s U.S. website only. You can learn more about the offer at wlcl.com/amex.
There are two new Amex Offers for Celebrity Cruises. The first is for 12,500 Amex points after spending $500 or more from now through the end of 2020. TPG values Amex points at 2 cents each, making this offer worth $250. TPG Senior Editor Nick Ewen spotted this offer on his Platinum Card® from American Express and his Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express.
The second offer is a cashback one, providing $125 back after spending $500 or more, which Ewen found on his American Express® Gold Card.
Regardless of which one you choose, the terms explicitly state that you must book via celebrity.com/amex by calling 1-844-530-3783, using the Celebrity app, or leveraging a travel professional. Even though Celebrity is part of the Royal Caribbean Group, this offer does not apply to other lines under that corporate umbrella — including Royal Caribbean, Azamara and Silversea.
Bear in mind that Celebrity has canceled sailings through at least Nov. 30 at the time of writing, so this offer is most applicable to future cruises in 2021 (or beyond). Also, you’ll want to make sure to hit the spending amount required before Dec. 31. An initial deposit may not be enough.
But is there a risk of booking a new cruise now? Well, going into the coronavirus crisis, all the major cruise companies were in great financial condition, as TPG Cruise Writer Gene Sloan has noted. With solid profits and lots of valuable assets — most notably their ships — the cruise lines could pledge them as collateral when raising new capital.
“The strength of our balance sheet, our assets and our brands has been evident during this pandemic as we raised approximately $6.5 billion in new liquidity since we announced the suspension of our global cruise operations,” Royal Caribbean’s CFO Jason Liberty noted during the company’s August conference call with analysts.
Norwegian Cruise Line offer
Norwegian Cruise Line has two new Amex Offers. The first one is for a whopping 15,000 points after spending $500 or more. TPG values Amex points at 2 cents each, making this offer worth $300. I spotted this offer on my American Express® Green Card. At the same time, Ewen found it on his Platinum Card® from American Express and his Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express.
The second offer is for a $150 statement credit after spending $500 or more, which I saw on my Platinum Card® from American Express. Note that both offers are only valid for qualifying reservations from now through Dec. 31, 2020, and they must be booked at NCL.com or by calling 1-888-438-7114. The offers exclude purchases onboard, Norwegian gift cards, shore excursions and transportation to and from the ship.
While these offers expire Dec. 31, the actual cruise you book can be for any future date. This is especially important to note, since Norwegian Cruise Line has canceled sailings through Oct. 31 — and some travelers may be hesitant to hop on a cruise ship any time soon. Just be aware that your initial deposit may not be enough to reach the $500 spending requirement above, so be sure to submit an additional payment on your targeted card prior to Dec. 31, so you don’t miss out on the offer.
In addition, given the rash of cruise cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic, you may be worried about booking a future sailing. Will it actually happen, or will the line even still be in business? The good news is that most major lines (including Norwegian) are not in imminent danger of bankruptcy. And Norwegian continues to offer flexible cancellation policies for new bookings — though the extent of the flexibility depends on your date of sailing.
How to maximize these offers
It shouldn’t be too difficult to meet the terms of the offers, and with many cruise lines offering unprecedented flexibility for new bookings, this could be a great way to book a prospective trip — with little risk.
If you’re interested in one of the World’s Leading Cruise Lines offers, I found a two-night cruise from Miami to the Bahamas. This package for two guests includes a balcony room and will only cost $740 for a March 2022 travel date.
If you’re interested in the Celebrity offer, a four-night cruise for two adults from Fort Lauderdale to Key West and the Bahamas in March 2022 on the Celebrity Millenium will set you back just over $900 — and includes free drinks for everyone in the stateroom through the line’s Book Now Bonus.
This is a massive discount from the retails price — and adding the Amex Offer makes it an even sweeter deal.
Note that there is a minimum non-refundable deposit for this trip, and it’s just $200, so you’d want to elect to pay $500 during checkout to trigger the offer. Then the remaining $414.94 wouldn’t be due until Dec. 2021.
Norwegian Cruise Line
If you’re instead interested in Norwegian, A five-day cruise on the Norwegian Getaway in February starts at just $530 per person (based on double occupancy). It includes stops in the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.
Select categories of staterooms even include various complementary add-ons — including open bar and credits toward shore excursions and onboard Wi-Fi.
Other ways to save on cruises
In addition to keeping your eyes peeled out for Amex cruise offers, The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders can enjoy unique benefits when booking through the Amex Travel Cruise Privileges Program. You’ll enjoy up to $100–$300 onboard credit per room booked, 1 extra Membership Reward point per dollar spent and additional amenities unique to each cruise line.
Just note that such a reservation likely won’t trigger the above offers — since the terms indicate you must book directly with the given lines to be eligible.
Featured photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
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