Bank of America® issues two versions of the Celebrity Cruises Visa Signature credit card, both of which have decent rewards for fans of Celebrity Cruises or its sister brand Royal Caribbean. However, neither card is a standout, even for those who frequently sail with those cruise lines.
For an annual fee, several general travel cards offer better rewards rates, higher point values for redemptions, travel protections and various travel-related credits.
Alternatively, there are general cash-back cards with no annual fees that earn rewards that can be redeemed for cash, which you can then put toward your next vacation.
Here’s what you need to know about the Celebrity Cruises Visa Signature credit card.
1. There are two versions of the card
There are two versions of the Celebrity Cruises credit card, one with a $0 annual fee and the other that costs $69 a year. The latter card comes with perks that are absent in the $0-annual-fee version, including a $50 annual airfare discount, a one-time $300 discount on a cruise (if you meet the spending requirement), and a 10% discount on premium beverage packages and shore excursions.
Despite the difference in annual fee, both cards have the same rewards structure, baseline sign-up bonus and $0 foreign transaction fee.
2. Rewards are capped and expire
The Celebrity Cruises credit card earns 2 MyCruise points for every $1 spent on qualifying purchases with Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean. Everything else earns 1 MyCruise point.
Rewards earned with the Celebrity Cruises card expire five years from the month the points were earned, and rewards are capped at 540,000 MyCruise points per calendar year. Given that the cap is so high, it’ll likely be irrelevant to most cardholders. Nevertheless, if you want a $0-annual-fee travel card with fewer restrictions on rewards, consider something like the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card. It earns an unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, and those miles never expire. You can also use those miles toward a large variety of redemptions. Speaking of which …
3. Rewards redemption is largely restricted to future cruises
Consumers who prefer to redeem credit card rewards for a direct deposit or statement credit should probably pass on the Celebrity Cruises card. With the exception of charitable donations, MyCruise points can be redeemed only for future travel on items such as cruises, stateroom upgrades and onboard credits.
A few other caveats to note regarding rewards redemption:
Cardholders must have at least 1,000 MyCruise points to redeem.
A cruise reservation and deposit are required to redeem points.
Points may be redeemed only toward travel on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Azamara cruise lines.
One MyCruise point is generally worth 1 cent, but it’s possible to get even more value per point with room upgrade redemptions.
4. The sign-up bonus is good
New cardholders will get 25,000 MyCruise points, equal to $250 in onboard credits, after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening. A $1,000 spend threshold is higher than some other cards that may require only $500 worth of purchases to get the welcome offer, but a $250 credit is one of the better sign-up bonuses among $0-annual-fee cards.
5. There’s no break from interest
If you need to finance your travel costs with a credit card, the Celebrity Cruises card isn’t the best option because it doesn’t offer a 0% intro APR on purchases. As of this writing, both versions of the credit card had APRs that could range higher than 28%. That could get expensive if you’re carrying a balance from month to month.
By contrast, the Discover it® Cash Back card has this intro APR offer: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24%-28.24% Variable APR. It also earns direct cash back, meaning you can redeem your rewards toward whatever you like.