About Princess Cruises Rewards Visa Card

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff Published on: Oct 11, 2017

Wouldn’t it be great to get a free cruise, or at least a nice Champagne breakfast when you wake up the first morning of a 7-day Princess Cruise journey from Florida to Mexico?

The Princess Cruises Rewards Visa can help you meet those goals by awarding you points you can redeem for cruise amenities or, if you’re a big spender, an entire cruise.

Exactly how you go about earning rewards points and redeeming them, as well as all the other stuff that comes with owning a credit card, is what we’re going to help you understand in this review.

Earning Rewards With the Princess Cruises Rewards Visa

It’s pretty easy to earn rewards with the Princess Cruises Visa. You get them two ways.

First, you can earn 5,000 points after your first purchase, which is a nice little perk because most rewards cards, cruise or otherwise, require that you spend at least a few thousand dollars within the first three months of owning the card.

A requirement to spend a few thousand dollars to get rewards isn’t a big deal for most people, but if you’re single and you don’t have a lot of expenses or income, that can be a problem.

Now, that 5,000 points is just a one-time bonus, so it’s important to look at ongoing rewards that will make this card worth it over the long run.

Thankfully, the Princess Cruises credit card gives you the chance to earn points based on the purchases you make. Here’s how it works:

  • 2 points for every $1 you spend on Princess purchases
  • 1 point for every $1 you spend on everything else

This type of 2x/1x rewards structure is very similar to what we see with most airline rewards cards. These cards will give you double points when you buy tickets through their website and one point for everything else. One point equals $0.01.

It Might Take You Two Years to Earn a Free Cruise

Here’s the interesting thing about the comparison between cruises and flights: Cruises tend to be more expensive.

For example, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics puts the average cost of a domestic flight at $351. Average cruise prices are harder to come by, so we did some preliminary Eastern Caribbean cruise searches on the Princess website and concluded that you can expect to pay around $110 a day for a cruise.

Using that logic, you can see how cruises tend to be significantly more expensive than flights once you start cruising for more than three days.

This is important because it addresses the value of the rewards you can earn with your Princess Cruises Visa.

For example, a 5-day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will cost you around $600 if you have someone travelling with you. In order to earn enough points to pay for a $600 cruise, you’d have to spend $60,000 to get the points you need, according to Princess’ rewards charts (more on that in a second).

It would probably take you at least two years to earn that many points for a free cruise.

Now, if you cruise Princess a couple of times a year and spend $3,00–$4,000 doing so, then the card will have more value.

You see, you don’t always have to use your points to pay for a cruise. You have the option of using your points for various perks and amenities.

For example, a Princess brochure we read noted that you could redeem 5,000 points for a Champagne breakfast delivered to your room.

After a little diffing, we found a website that posted the rewards rates chart for the perks and amenities we mentioned. Here are some of the points prices for various amenities:

  • Renewal of vows on the ship: 20,000 points
  • $25 spa credit: 3,000 points
  • Moët & Chandon Extra Dry Champagne: 6,500 points
  • $500 discount off a Princess cruise: 40,000 points
  • $750 discount off a Princess cruise: 60,000 points

You can also redeem your points for airfare.

What You Need to Know About Redeeming Your Rewards

As we mentioned earlier, you aren’t forced to spend your points on cruise purchases. You can use them for a la carte perks like Champagne breakfast.

We read through the Princess Cruises card’s FAQ’s and found out that you can only redeem your points for these services at least 15 days before the cruise. Keep this in mind as you plan your trip.

0% Interest for 15 Months

In addition to the rewards we just mentioned, the Princess Cruises Rewards Visa also gives new cardmembers 0% interest on balance transfers for 15 months.

To be eligible for the zero-interest deal, you have to make the balance transfer within the first 45 days of owning the card. That 45-day timer starts the day you’re approved for the card, not the day you make your first purchase.

Princess says that any perks you purchase with points before the deadline will be included on your booking.

You can redeem your points through your online account or by calling 866-872-6248.

The Benefits You Get With the Princess Cruises Rewards Visa

Another one of the factors that makes a credit card worth holding on to for more than a year is its benefits.

We define benefits as those things which aren’t necessarily related to introductory offers (5,000 points, 0% APR) or rewards systems.

Think of rewards as the paint, trim, and appliances in a home – they’re what catch the eye and draw you in. The benefits are the foundation that keeps everything sturdy and is worth every penny.

Just like rewards, there are cards with better benefits than others. The Princess Cruises Rewards Visa is pretty light on benefits, offering a collection of travel and shopping protections via the Visa Signature program.

Some of those benefits include complimentary car rental insurance as well as extended warranties on certain products and baggage delay insurance. To get the specifics, you’ll have to read through the benefits guide you get along with your Princess Cruises Rewards Visa.

Aside from those benefits, you get the standard zero liability that protects you from fraudulent charges on your account, as well as free access to your FICO score.

The Princess Cruises Rewards Visa’s Rates and Fees

Every credit card you get will have interest rates and fees you might have to pay. Here’s what you can expect from the Princess card:

  • APR: 14.99%, 19.99% or 24.99%
  • Cash advance APR: 26.24%
  • Annual fee $0
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • Foreign transaction fee: $0
  • Late/returned payment fee: None

The APR on this card is actually pretty strong compared to other travel cards. Most of the Chase airline and travel cards carry APRs of 16.99%, which American Express airline and travel cards tend to be in the 16%-range, too.

Also, it’s worth noting the card has no annual fee and there’s no foreign transaction fee, which means when you get off the ship in the Bahamas, you can use your credit card without the typical 3% fee.

What Other People Are Saying About the Princess Cruises Rewards Visa

We like to bring in the overall opinions of experts other than HighYa as well as the thoughts of fellow consumers to give you a broader picture of how people are responding to this card.

Most of the people who liked the card were consumers who cruised often and benefitted from the double points on Princess purchases.

There are very few expert reviews about this card, the main reason being there are other cards on the market that could provide better value than this card.

Let’s go back to the earlier scenario in which we said it would take $60,000 of spending to have enough rewards points to get a free $750 cruise. If you used a cash-rewards card like the Citi Double Cash, you could earn $750 in rewards by spending $37,500 instead of $60,000.

The Pros of the Princess Cruises Rewards Visa

We think this card’s strength is that you can use its rewards points to pay for a la carte, on-board amenities like Champagne, a vow renewal ceremony or spa credits.

Also, we like how the card has no annual fee or a foreign transaction fee.

The Cons of the Princess Cruises Rewards Visa

Based on our research, we believe this card’s greatest weaknesses are its miniscule intro points bonus and the average rewards rates for spending.

Travel credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Capital One Venture card have big up-front bonuses that can be redeemed for $500 and $400 in cash, respectively.

In fact, the Capital One Venture gives you double points on all purchases, too.

So, if you spent $60,000 on the card, you’d get $1,200 in cash rewards along with a $400 up-front bonus. That $1,600 dwarfs the $650 in cash rewards you’d earn with the same spending on the Princess Cruises Rewards Visa.

Another sort of hidden drawback is that the cruise prices we’ve mentioned assume there are two people in your cabin. For this card to have solid value, you’d need to travel with someone else in order to keep the cabin cost down.

Who This Card Is Good For

We believe this card is best suited for someone who cruises with Princess often and has a travel partner who can cruise with them.

If you spend an average of, let’s say, $4,000 a year on cruises in addition to $20,000 in other spending, this card will bring you nearly 30,000 rewards points. Those points are more than enough to add fun little perks to your next trip like spa credits, Champagne and discounts on your cruise price.

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