Cruise Line Loyalty – Carnival Cruises
In our first post on the loyalty programs of the major cruise lines, we’re going to cover Carnival™. Recognizing that I should probably turn in my frequent floater card for this, I want to be honest and tell you that I’ve never sailed on a Carnival ship. One day when the price and itinerary are right, I will, and that will be blogworthy for sure.
I covered the benefits of elite status with Carnival last year in my “Status Matters” series. Like many cruise lines, Carnival offers a multiple tier system in its VIFP Club with the number and value of perks rising as the number of days you spend on a Carnival cruise rise. Perks range from simple discounts and onboard cocktail parties to complimentary specialty restaurant dinners and priority boarding and disembarking.
You can review more details about the elite status details of Carnival’s VIFP Club here.
But What About Points for Spending?
Like most cruise lines, Carnival does not credit “sea miles” (my term) to an account where you accrue points for “free cruises.” The loyalty program is purely perk based. However, Carnival does offer a credit card program. The Carnival™ MasterCard® is issued by Barclays Bank, and is pretty standard among the cruise line credit card offerings. Cardholders earn 2 FunPoints® per dollar spent on purchases with Carnival Cruise Lines, including onboard purchases, and 1 point per dollar on other purchases. Points can be redeemed for cruises on Carnival™ or other eligible World’s Leading Cruise Lines (Carnival Corporation owned companies like Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Costa Cruises and the Yachts of Seabourn) vacations, hotel or flight discounts, onboard gifts and services, merchandise or gift cards. Currently, the card is offering a first purchase bonus of 5,000 FunPoints®.
The program is pretty basic, you accrue FunPoints® to an account, and redeem them when ready. If you buy a $500 cruise, you’ll need to redeem 50,000 FunPoints® to cover the cost. You can also redeem your FunPoints® for most anything else cruise related from onboard credit and gifts. The Carnival online forums are a good source of information on redemptions options.
The Bottom Line
This is a straight penny per point program. The credit card is free of an annual fee, which is a good thing, but unless you spend the majority of your time sailing Carnival, there are better options out there for paying for your cruise vacation. We’ll wrap up the series with a post on some of those.
Up next, Princess, Holland America, and the other Carnival Corporation cruise lines.
-MJ, September 19, 2014