About Holland America Line Rewards Visa Card

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff
Published on: Nov 7, 2017

Wouldn’t it be great to kick your feet up onto the railing of your balcony outside your suite thanks to perks from your Holland America Line Rewards Visa Card?

Well, that sea-sprayed dream could be a reality via the bonus points and perks that you get with the Holland America Visa. The credit card has an up-front bonus as well as various ways to earn points that you can redeem for discounts on cruise fares, various onboard perks, and airfare.

The main goal of the card is to keep you coming back to Holland America for your cruises, Richard D. Meadows, a Holland America marketing exec said in a press release about the card’s launch.

“We continually search for new programs that give our loyal guests another reason to come back to vacation with us,” Meadows said. “The new Holland America Line Rewards Visa lets guests use their points for the rewards choices they most want from our company.”

All that sounds amazing, but, up to this point, it’s all kind of a theory. Since we don’t know how the Holland America Line card works and what the rewards are like, it’s really hard to say, for example, how quickly you can earn enough discounts to get a balcony stateroom for free.

Understanding exactly how a credit card’s rewards program works is only part of the story, though. Research has shown that consumers, in general, value both rewards and benefits.

So, this review is going to cover the benefits you get with this card since it’s part of the Visa Signature program, as well as its rates and fees and the general public opinion about the card’s features and customer service.

We’re also going to present you with a brief section on the card’s pros, cons and who we think it’s good for.

The Holland America Line Rewards Visa’s Rewards

We mentioned that cruise credit cards provide the opportunity to get some nice perks, upgrades or even free cruises. In this section, we’ll take a look at those opportunities as well as the restrictions.

5,000 Bonus Points

When you make your first purchase with your Holland America Line Visa Signature, you’ll earn 5,000 bonus points that will be added to your rewards balance.

The fine print says that those 5,000 points will be deposited to your rewards account during the same billing cycle in which you make your first purchase.

Standard credit card rewards rules apply here. Balance transfers and credit-card fees don’t count as purchases.

2x Points on all Holland America Purchases

When we say “2x points”, we mean that the points value for Holland America purchases has a ratio of 2:1. If you spend $200, for example, you’ll get 400 points added to your Holland America Rewards account.

How do you get double points? According to Barclays, you earn double rewards points when you use your Holland America Line Visa to make purchases from Holland America, which means purchases made through their website and onboard purchases during your cruise.

1x Points on Everything Else

Nearly every non-Holland America purchase you make will earn one point per dollar. The only exclusions are cash-based purchases like buying traveler’s checks or making deposits into online gambling accounts.

There are a few things you should know about the Holland America Rewards program, though. First, any points you earned on things you returned will be subtracted from your account. So, if you bought a $500 TV with your card and returned it a few months later, the 500 points you earned on the initial purchase would be subtracted from your rewards account.

Second, you won’t be able to earn or cash in on your points for one billing cycle if you don’t use your card for seven consecutive months.

How to Redeem Your Holland America Rewards Points

Your Holland America Line rewards points can be used a variety of ways, all of which have their own unique set of requirements and limitations.

As a Statement Credit

The simplest way to redeem your rewards points is by converting them to cash and applying them to your account as a statement credit.

Each point you have is worth $0.01. If you have 1,000 points, their cash value is $10.

According to the fine print, there’s no minimum redemption amount required in order to use your points for statement credits.

As a Credit Towards Cruise Purchases

The next method for redeeming your points is to apply them as a credit to purchases made through the following cruise lines:

  • Holland America
  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Costa Cruises
  • Cunard Line
  • Princess Cruises
  • Yachts of Seabourn
  • P&O Cruises (Australia incl.)
  • Ibero
  • Aida

This redemption method is a little different than a general statement credit. First, you have to redeem at least 5,000 points. Also, if you don’t have enough points to pay for an entire transaction, then you have to pay in chunks of $50 ($50, $100, $150, $200, etc.).

The beauty of this redemption option is that you can apply your points to purchases made in the past 180 days.

Pro tip: You can also apply your points to airline fares using the same redemption rules as cruise line redemptions.

As a Statement Credit Toward Holland America Line Purchases

This final method of redemption is unique because you actually get bonuses on your points values based on how much you’ve spent on your Holland America purchases.

Like cruise redemptions, your minimum redemption has to be $50.

Here’s a list of those bonuses, as detailed in the Holland America Line Visa’s fine print:

  • $50 - $499: 1%
  • $500 - $1499: 1.25%
  • $1,500 - $2,000: 1.5%
  • $2,001 - $4,000.99: 2%
  • $4,000 and up: 2.5%

These redemption rates are pretty amazing because you can earn as much as 2.5%.

Let’s say, though that you redeem your points for a $2,000 Holland America Line purchase. Normally, that would cost you 200,000 points.

However, with the double redemption bonus, you’d only pay 100,000 points.

Sounds great, right? The only catch is that it can take a long time to earn those 100,000 points. By our research, the average family of four can spend around $30,000 a year on their Holland America Line Visa card.

Throw in the 5K intro bonus and the occasional double points for a cruise and we’d say it would take you about three years to earn enough points to redeem them for a $2,000 credit toward a Holland America cruise purchase.

As Credit Towards Onboard Gifts and Amenities

The final major way you can use your Holland America rewards points is by redeeming them for onboard amenities in conjunction with an existing cruise booking.

We did some digging and found a Holland America brochure that showed the prices of various onboard amenities.

Here’s a list of a few of those items:

  • 55-min. manicure + 55-min. pedicure: $110
  • Couples massage: $269
  • Happy birthday balloon/flowers package: $29
  • Ship coffee mug: $11.95
  • 6 chocolate-dipped strawberries: $9.50
  • Bathrobe with three-letter monogram: $49

The Holland America Line Rewards Visa’s Benefits

The Holland America credit card is part of the Visa Signature program, a benefits package that gives you certain insurance-like protections on car rentals, purchases and, in some cases, travel.

For example, when you use this card to purchase a car rental, you can waive the insurance the rental company offers because you get a complimentary collision damage waiver (CDW) via the Visa Signature program.

Another common benefit is warranty protection. When you purchase something with a manufacturer’s warranty, Visa will, in many cases, add another year onto that warranty for free.

While the website for the card shows no specific Visa Signature benefits, you should find a complete list of them when Barclays, the card’s issuer, sends you your Holland America Line credit card.

The Holland America Line Visa’s Rates and Fees

Here’s a quick list of the rates and fees for the Holland America Visa:

  • APR: 14.99%, 19.99% or 24.99%, depending on your credit scores
  • Intro APR: 0% for 15 months on balance transfers
  • Cash advance APR: 26.24%
  • Late fee: Up to $37
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • Cash advance fee: 5%
  • Annual fee: $0

The rates and fees you see here are pretty standard for a travel-focused card. One of the things we’d like to point out, though, is that the low-end APR on this card is 1% lower than what you find on Chase’s travel cards.

Also, the 0% offer on balance transfers is only good on transfers you make within 45 days of being approved for the card.

Public Opinion About the Holland America Line Rewards Visa

There aren’t too many reviews of the Holland America card. In fact, the reviews we read covered the card’s features and benefits and only one site listed pros and cons.

The main reason for this is that the Holland America card doesn’t have the same appeal as the Chase Sapphire Preferred and other Barclays credit cards like the Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard.

Pros of the Holland America Line Visa

We believe, based on our research, the strength of this card lies in its $0 annual fee, 0% APR on balance transfers and the increasing points value for redemptions for Holland America cruise purchases.

Cons of the Holland America Line Rewards Visa

The main drawback, based on what we’ve seen, is the low bonus rewards you get with this card. We also think the $50 minimum redemption requirement for cruise purchases could be frustrating for cardholders.

Who Is This Card Good For?

We think someone who spends at least $50,000 a year on their credit and is a Holland America Loyalist would love this card. Based on this spending, we believe that, after two years, you’ll have enough points to pay for a $2,000 cruise.

If you’re still undecided about this card’s value, take a moment to read some reviews of cards that can bring you some great cash rewards you can easily apply to cruise purchases without any rules for minimum redemption amounts.

Some of the cards we recommend checking out are the Chase Freedom Unlimited, the Citi Double Cash, and the Capital One Quicksilver.

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