Norwegian says they're going through a reorganization plan for a portion of their business, including pausing all airline-related rewards and benefits, so the card is currently not available for new customers. The information contained in the article has been updated as of September 29, 2020. You can review our list of the best airline credit cards for alternative options.
Full Review of Norwegian Reward World Mastercard
Easily earned one-time offer
$100 anniversary bonus for high spending
Relatively low rewards on Norwegian purchases
Rewards must be redeemed with Norwegian
- Easily Earned One-Time Offer: The one-time offer offered by the Norwegian Reward World Mastercard is very low, at only $50 value in Norwegian’s CashPoints. Still, it’s easy to earn. You receive it if you spend a modest $500 in the first 90 days. Even easier, if you open a card account at the same time as buying a Norwegian ticket, you get the bonus automatically, even if the ticket costs less than $500.
- $100 Anniversary Bonus for High Spending: If you spend at least $20,000 a year with this card, you receive $100 in points value. The bonus essentially boosts your rewards for the year by an additional half a percentage point, taking your earnings from 2% to a more competitive 2.5% for that spending.
- Priority Boarding: With only a single flight benefit, priority boarding, the Norwegian Reward World Mastercard doesn’t stack up for carrier benefits against pricier cards that offer discounts on in-flight purchases, seat upgrades, and more. But some other no-annual-fee airline cards offer no carrier benefits at all.
- Relatively Low Rewards on Norwegian Purchases: Airline cards—which admittedly usually come with annual fees—typically offer at least three points per dollar spent with their co-branded airline, with each point worth a cent or more. The 2% earnings of the Norwegian Reward World Mastercard fall behind the market, then, even if you spend the $20,000 a year that essentially (and retroactively) earns you an extra 0.5% in rewards on those purchases.
- Rewards Must Be Redeemed With Norwegian: CashPoints can only be redeemed with Norwegian Air. While this is not a unique restriction for an airline card, this limitation in how you can use your rewards is a drawback.
Who This Card Is Best For
The Norwegian Reward World Mastercard best suits those who want a card whose rewards are exclusively used to earn Norwegian Air flights. While the card 2% rewards can be earned on dining and grocery spending, as well as on Norwegian Air purchases, they can be redeemed only on Norwegian Air. Obtaining the card might also be a simple additional transaction to those who are booking a Norwegian Air flight.
It’s not uncommon for airlines to provide richer offers on their flight checkout page. For example, on 6/10/2020 we received an offer for a $50 statement credit + $50 in CashPoints for opening an account and using our new card to complete the booking in process.
Finally, the Norwegian Reward World Mastercard charges no foreign transaction fees, and so would be a good acquisition for those who travel abroad and have no other card in their wallet that omits these fees. And even occasional Norwegian Air travelers may enjoy free priority boarding, which is the card’s main benefit.
Norwegian Reward World Mastercard One-Time Offer
You receive $50 in CashPoints if you spend $500 with the Norwegian Reward World Mastercard in the first 90 days. That spending requirement is waived, and the points awarded more immediately, if you open a card account at the same time you buy a Norwegian Air ticket. Your CashPoints can only be used to redeem for airfare on Norwegian Air.
Rewards Earning Details
The Norwegian Reward World Mastercard has a rewards earning of 2% on Norwegian Air purchases, as well as eligible dining and grocery purchases. Rewards are earned as CashPoints. So, for every $100 spent on eligible purchases, you would receive $2 in CashPoints.
All other purchases receive 1% in rewards or $1 in CashPoints for every $100 spent on eligible purchases.
Norwegian CashPoints normally expire in 24 months. Owners of the Norwegian Reward World Mastercard get twice as long—48 months—before points are removed from their CashPoints account.
Rewards Redemption Details
The CashPoints you earn with this card can be redeemed only for purchases from Norwegian Air. Redemption involves logging into your Norwegian Air account and choosing the flight itinerary you prefer. You can then choose to pay with your CashPoints, as long as your account is in good standing. It’s possible to redeem with no minimum requirement and there are no blackout dates or destination limitations.
The Norwegian Reward World Mastercard doesn’t offer a way to transfer to other partners. Instead, redemption is limited to booking flights via the Norwegian Air website.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
As with most airline cards, you earn the highest rewards rate with Norwegian Reward World Mastercard for purchases from the airline itself. What’s uncharacteristic about the card is that that same highest rate applies to purchases in some other categories, too. As a result, you can as effectively maximize your earnings with the Norwegian Reward World Mastercard by buying groceries or restaurant meals as you can by charging tickets on Norwegian.
In 2018, the average consumer spent $7,923 on food, including dining out and eating at home. Charged to the Norwegian Reward World Mastercard, those average purchases would earn you $158 in CashPoints to use to buy Norwegian Air tickets. You could supplement those rewards with those from buying Norwegian Air tickets.
Even if you don’t make any air purchases, though, you could use the Norwegian Reward World Mastercard for miscellaneous purchases, which earn 1% rewards.
Let’s say you supplemented the approximately $8,000 a year in groceries and dining spending noted above with about $1,000 a month in miscellaneous spending. If you indeed did reach $20,000 in annual spending, you’d earn the bonus of $100 in CashPoints. That extra reward would be on top of the $158 for the food spending and $120 for the miscellaneous spending. The grand total of rewards would be $378, for $20,000 in spending. That represents a decent rewards rate of 1.9 cents per dollar spent.
Norwegian Reward World Mastercard’s Outstanding Benefits
- Priority boarding
- Mastercard Airport Concierge
- Mastercard Global Service
- Mastercard ID Theft protection
Synchrony Bank, which issues the Norwegian Reward World Mastercard, has a middling record for customer service. Synchrony received a score of 780 out of 1,000 in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. That’s a little lower than the national issuer average of 806.
Synchrony offers a mobile app that can be used to manage your account. The Synchrony Bank app has 3.6 stars out of 5 on Google Play and 4.4 stars out of 5 in the Apple Store.
Where major card issuers provide 24/7 customer service, Synchrony Bank’s main customer service line, at 877-295-2080, is available for only 16 hours a day on weekdays. It operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. Eastern to midnight Eastern. Synchrony also offers a FAQ that can help you find answers to common questions.
The Norwegian Reward World Mastercard offers a typical array of security protections, including around-the-clock monitoring to catch incidents of identity theft and a $0 fraud liability policy, so you won’t have to pay for unauthorized purchases. The card also comes with Mastercard ID Theft Protection.
The Norwegian Reward World Mastercard could be a natural and fairly effortless acquisition for those who travel even occasionally on the low-cost international carrier. Opening an account for the card while buying a Norwegian Air flight allows you to instantly earn rewards on the purchase and to receive the card’s bonus of $50 in points without need for the $500 in spending it usually requires. Heavy spending on the Norwegian Reward World Mastercard might earn you a return that’s comparable to those from a better cash-back rewards card.
However, unlike with cash back cards, those rewards would be tied to a single airline—and one that has been struggling in 2020. Those facts raise questions about the security of the rewards you earn with the Norwegian Reward World Mastercard in the long run. For those reasons, consider instead getting a no-fee card that provides comparable or better rewards that can be received as cash. Another plus: bigger one-time offers.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited, for example, provides 1.5% cash back on all purchases and offers $200 cash back after you spend $500 within the first three months. The Capital One SavorOne offers between 1% and 3% in cash back, depending on the category, and gives you $150 cash back, again after you spend $500 within the first three months.