Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard Review

overall rating
3.5

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The Norwegian Cruise Line World Mastercard offers frequent Norwegian cruisers a chance to earn 20,000 bonus WorldPoints after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening as well as 3 WorldPoints per dollar spent on Norwegian purchases, 2 WorldPoints per dollar on eligible air and hotel purchases and 1 WorldPoint on all other spending. It doesn't charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard®

overall rating
3.5
Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard®
On Bank of America's Secured Site.

Current Offer:

Get 20,000 bonus points after you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 3 WorldPoints for every $1 spent on Norwegian purchases. 2 WorldPoints points per $1 spent on eligible air and hotel purchases. 1 WorldPoint per $1 on all other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

Full Review of Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard

Pros
  • Bonus after $1,000 in purchases

  • Additional WorldPoints for Bank of America Preferred Rewards members

  • Redeem rewards for Norwegian cruise benefits

Cons
  • High penalty APR that applies indefinitely

  • Points expire after five years

Pros Explained

  • Bonus After $1,000 in Purchases: You can earn 20,000 bonus WorldPoints after making $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of opening your account. This spending requirement isn’t as large as some other cards have. That said, the bonus isn't as large as some other cards offer, either.
  • Additional WorldPoints for Bank of America Preferred Rewards Members: If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn an additional 25% to 75% bonus points on every purchase. The bonus is applied to the base earning rate of 1 point per dollar spent. Your Preferred Rewards status is determined by the balances you hold in Bank of America bank accounts and Merrill investment accounts.
  • Redeem Rewards for Norwegian Cruise Benefits: You can redeem your WorldPoints rewards for cruise benefits starting at 5,000 points for $50 in onboard credit. You can also use your rewards for stateroom upgrades, money off a cruise, a free cruise for two, additional stateroom guests, and some non-cruise options. If you’re a frequent cruiser, the cruise-related options could make your next vacation more affordable.

Cons Explained

  • High Penalty APR That Applies Indefinitely: If you make a late payment, a variable penalty APR of up to 29.99% will be applied to your new purchases indefinitely. This strict policy could become costly if you tend to carry a balance. Some other rewards credit cards don't have penalty APRs at all.
  • Points Expire After Five Years: The WorldPoints you earn with this card expire five years after the month you earn them. If you’re saving up points for a full cruise fare redemption, which takes at least 80,000 WorldPoints, five years may not be sufficient time to accumulate the number needed. Many other credit cards offer rewards that don’t expire.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse
  • Avatar for Rewards Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
    Rewards Strategist

The Norwegian Cruise Line World Mastercard could be a good fit for people who take a lot of Norwegian cruises. It allows you to earn 3 WorldPoints points per dollar on Norwegian purchases, which could add up quickly with cruises costing hundreds of dollars per person. Since this card does not offer bonus points or redemption options for other cruise lines, people who like to sail on a variety of cruise lines won’t get much value out of it.

Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard's Bonus

This card allows you to earn 20,000 bonus WorldPoints for spending $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. These bonus points could be used for $200 in onboard credit, $200 off any cruise, or up to a four-category upgrade on a five-day or longer cruise. There is a limit of one bonus offer per new account, and the offer does not apply to account conversions. Bonus points post eight to 12 weeks after qualifying for the offer.

Rewards Earning Details

The Norwegian Cruise Line World Mastercard earns 3 WorldPoints per dollar spent on eligible Norwegian purchases. Specifically, it earns 1 base point and 2 bonus points on these purchases. It also earns 2 WorldPoints per dollar spent on eligible airfare and hotel purchases and then 1 WorldPoints point per dollar on all other purchases. The base 1 WorldPoints point earned on every purchase can be increased by 25% to 75% if you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member.

Points expire five years after the month they're earned. If your account is closed for any reason, you immediately forfeit unredeemed points.

Rewards Redemption Details

The WorldPoints you earn can be used for several types of cruise benefits, including stateroom upgrades, money off of a cruise, a free cruise for two, additional stateroom guests, or onboard credit. You can also use your WorldPoints for travel, cash back, and gift cards. Cash back can be issued in the form of a statement credit, a check, or a deposit to a Bank of America checking or savings account or to a qualifying cash management account with Merrill. Cash back and gift card redemption options start at 2,500 WorldPoints. 

Money off on a cruise and onboard credit redemptions value WorldPoints at a penny each. Category upgrades and free cruise values depend on the specific cruise and upgrade you choose. Free cruise redemptions cannot be used for holiday sailings for Christmas and New Year’s, cruises that include Cuba as a port of call, or chartered sail dates.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

Maximizing rewards on your Norwegian Cruise Line World Mastercard requires spending $1,000 in the first 90 days to receive the bonus. After that, put all your Norwegian purchases on the card to take advantage of the 3 WorldPoints per dollar spent on Norwegian cruises and on the 2 WorldPoints on eligible airfare and hotel charges on the card as well. If you have Bank of America Preferred Rewards member status, that will boost your base 1 point per dollar spent on all purchases by 25% to 75%. Regardless of your Bank of America Preferred Rewards status, all non-Norwegian purchases would typically earn more value with a 2% cash back credit card.

Once you’ve earned at least 2,500 WorldPoints, you can begin redeeming your rewards. While most rewards offer a value of a penny per point, some redemption options may provide more or less value than that. Always make sure you redeem your WorldPoints for the highest value option that is useful to you. 

Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard's Outstanding Benefits

  • Bonus of 25% to 75% more per base point earned as a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member

Standard Benefits

  • Exclusive redemption opportunities for last-minute cruises
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cardholder Experience

Bank of America, which issues the Norwegian Cruise Line World Mastercard, scored 798 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. That score is slightly below the national issuer average of 806.

Bank of America offers a free FICO score, updated monthly, through its mobile banking app or website. Customer service is available 24/7 at 800-421-2110 if you have questions about your account.

Security Features

As a Bank of America credit card, the Norwegian Cruise Line World Mastercard comes with chip-and-PIN technology. This technology is useful if you need to make purchases at an unattended terminal overseas that only accepts chip-and-PIN transactions. Otherwise, the card's security features are in line with industry standards.

Fees to Watch Out For

This card doesn't charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fees, but for the most part, its fees are fairly standard. It does charge a variable penalty APR of up to 29.99% if you make a late payment, and the penalty APR applies to new purchases indefinitely.

Our Verdict

The Norwegian Cruise Line World Mastercard can help frequent Norwegian cruisers save money on their vacations. The 20,000 bonus WorldPoints for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days and bonus WorldPoints earned on eligible Norwegian purchases, eligible airfare and hotels as well as the base points earned all other spending can be redeemed for onboard credit, cruise discounts, or free cruises. You could pair this card with a cash back credit card, like the Citi Double Cash that earns 1% on purchases and another 1% when you pay your bill, to earn more rewards on all other purchases and offset even more of your cruise vacation costs.

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For Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard®
on Bank of America's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard®
overall rating
3.5
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate 3 WorldPoints for every $1 spent on Norwegian purchases. 2 WorldPoints points per $1 spent on eligible air and hotel purchases. 1 WorldPoint per $1 on all other purchases.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.