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After years of working hard, years of saving money, you deserve a reward. It’s time for you and your spouse to take a much-deserved break. That dream cruise — a trip to the Caribbean or maybe a leisurely ride to the chillier climate of Alaska — calls.
Of course, cruises are far from inexpensive affairs. There is good news, though. Depending on your credit card, you might be able to save some serious dollars when you book that long-dreamed-of cruise.
A growing number of credit card companies offer discounts or on-ship credits when you pay for your cruise with their cards. Other companies provide you with such perks as extra rewards points or frequent flyer miles if you book a cruise with their plastic.
Before signing up for your cruise, then, take a long look at the credit cards in your wallet. Why, after all, would you spend any more money on your dream vacation than you have to?
Discover Card, through its ShopDiscover online rewards mall, offers several bonuses for consumers who book their cruises with a Discover Card.
For instance, if you use your Discover it Card to book a cruise with Carnival, Celebrity or Disney, you’ll earn a 5 percent cash back bonus on the money you spend. Depending on how expensive your cruise is, you’ll receive a significant amount of dollars back on your purchase.
You’ll earn the same cash back bonus on cruise lines such as Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Viking River Cruises.
You can also use your Discover Card to earn double frequent flyer miles every time you book a cruise with it on the same cruise providers. Again, this is a great way to earn a financial bonus while taking your vacation.
Through its online travel portal, American Express, too, offers its customers plenty of savings on cruises.
For instance, during a recent visit to the travel portal, American Express was offering cardholders a free seven-night stay at a luxury resort when they use their card to book a seven-day or longer cruise valued at $995 or more per person.
American Express also offers its cardholders double rewards points when they book cruises with their American Express cards. Again, because cruises are far from cheap, these rewards points can add up quickly this way.
Chase Ultimate Rewards
The Ultimate Rewards site in April, for instance, was offering cardholders up to 10,000 bonus rewards points when they used their Chase credit card to book cruises to such destinations as the Caribbean and Hawaii.
The ThankYou network from Citi Card can also serve as a source of discounts when it’s time to book a cruise. The network offers a rotating series of cruise packages, many of which come in at lower rates than you could expect to pay when booking on your own.
The ThankYou network also offers travel certificates. You’ll need to earn 3,500 points with your Citi rewards credit card. But once you do, you can use these certificates to help pay for your cruise. By redeeming these points before you set sail, you can again save a significant amount of money on your dream cruise.