Full Review of Norwegian Cruise Line® World Mastercard
Bonus after $1,000 in purchases
Additional WorldPoints for Bank of America Preferred Rewards members
Redeem rewards for Norwegian cruise benefits
High penalty APR that applies indefinitely
Points expire after five years
- 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.
- 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
Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
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
- Exclusive redemption opportunities for last-minute cruises
- No foreign transaction fees
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.
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.
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.