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Royal Caribbean Visa Signature Credit Card review: Full details


Royal Caribbean Visa Signature® Credit Card overview

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The Royal Caribbean Visa Signature Credit Card entices loyal cruisers with its rewards offerings of cabin upgrades, companion fares, onboard credits and free cruises. The card has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and uncomplicated rewards redemptions. Plus, it offers the additional benefits that come with it being a Visa Signature card. The card does have some drawbacks, mainly the amount of spending needed for the most valuable rewards. Card rating*: ⭐⭐⭐

* Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

Issued by Bank of America, the no-annual-fee Royal Caribbean card typically requires a good credit score of at least 670 for approval.

Royal Caribbean may be known for its megaships and incredible onboard entertainment, but its credit card offering is much less flashy. If you’re looking to get free cruises by signing up for the credit card, you might be disappointed to see how much you’d need to spend on the Royal Caribbean credit card to do so.

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Let’s take a closer look at the Royal Caribbean credit card to see if it might be a good fit for you.

The information for the Royal Caribbean credit card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Royal Caribbean Visa Signature Credit Card welcome offer

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The Royal Caribbean Visa Signature Credit Card is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 25,000 MyCruise bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. The 25,000 points are worth $250 in onboard credit.

THE POINTS GUY

This welcome bonus aligns with what you can generally expect on a no-annual-fee card that requires $1,000 or less in spending. However, you can typically get a much better value from the welcome bonus on most general travel credit cards, especially if you’re willing to pay an annual fee of around $100.

Related: Credit card sign-up bonuses you can earn with $1,000 or less in spending

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Royal Caribbean Visa Signature Credit Card benefits

The card’s two big highlights are that it has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. Having no foreign transaction fees is useful if you frequently make purchases outside of the U.S. Many cards with this perk have an annual fee, so to get this perk with no annual fee is a win.

OZGURCANKAYA/GETTY IMAGES

Cardholders also receive a $50 airfare discount with Royal Caribbean’s Air2Sea program after making at least $3,500 in card purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. (Students are not eligible.)

The Royal Caribbean card includes some additional benefits under its Visa Signature label. You’ll receive access to a 24/7 complimentary concierge (who can assist with travel plans, dining requests and entertainment tickets), plus access to the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection and its benefits, such as special rates and VIP status at select luxury hotels worldwide.

Also, as a Visa Signature card, the Royal Caribbean credit card includes a secondary auto rental collision damage waiver, extended warranty protection and lost luggage reimbursement.

Related: Earn rewards for free with these no-annual-fee credit card strategies

Earning points on the Royal Caribbean Visa Signature Credit Card

The Royal Caribbean credit card earns MyCruise points, which are completely different from the Crown & Anchor Society points you can earn from Royal Caribbean’s loyalty program.

Pool deck on Independence of the Seas. ERICA SILVERSTEIN/THE POINTS GUY

The Royal Caribbean Visa Signature Credit Card falls short when it comes to earning rates. Cardholders earn 2 MyCruise points for every dollar spent on qualifying purchases with Royal Caribbean and its sister brand, Celebrity Cruises, and just 1 MyCruise point for every dollar spent on all other purchases.

And, even though Bank of America issues the Royal Caribbean credit card, it is excluded from the Bank of America Preferred Rewards® program, so cardholders cannot earn extra points that way.

If you’re looking to rack up points, many other credit cards earn more bonus points on specific category spending, such as travel, dining, gas and groceries. The Royal Caribbean Visa Signature card is probably not the card to use for all your everyday spending because it will take a long time to earn a substantial amount of MyCruise points.

Credit card points expire 60 months (approximately five years) after the transaction posting date, regardless of activity on your account. You are also limited to earning a maximum of 540,000 points each calendar year. If you were to accumulate points over the course of five years, the maximum number of points you could earn and redeem would be 2.7 million MyCruise points.

Related: Should you get a cruise line credit card? Here’s a closer look

Redeeming points on the Royal Caribbean Visa Signature Credit Card

You can redeem your MyCruise points for onboard credits and amenities, cabin upgrades, cruise discounts, companion fares, free cruises, merchandise and charitable donations.

Inside cabin on Harmony of the Sea. ROYAL CARIBBEAN

Many of the available rewards (warning: PDF) are valued at 1 cent per point. You can redeem as few as 1,000 MyCruise points for a $10 donation to World Wildlife Fund’s global ocean conservation mission. Cabin upgrades and onboard credit redemptions begin at 5,000 points for rewards valued at $50.

Currently, a free cruise redemption begins at 50,000 points for a three- or four-night Royal Caribbean cruise in an ocean-view cabin. The value of the cruise vacation fare must not exceed $1,000, so this is better than the 1-cent-per-point offerings.

There are date restrictions (no Christmas or New Year’s sailings), and you can’t combine the cruise rewards with other promotional offers or restricted pricing.

In order to redeem your points, you can sign in to your account at royalcaribbean.com/mycruiserewardsonline.

Related: The ultimate guide to Royal Caribbean cruise ships and itineraries

Which cards compete with the Royal Caribbean Visa Signature Credit Card?

Most cruise aficionados will get better value from a general travel rewards or cash-back credit card, such as one of the following:

  • If you want to earn more points on your travel purchases: Check out the American Express® Green Card. It earns 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar on travel purchases, including cruises. This means you’ll earn bonus points on the cruise booking as well as any airfare or hotel purchases you make to get to and from your cruise. The card has a $150 annual fee (see rates and fees) but also includes several travel protections and has annual statement credits for Clear Plus and LoungeBuddy. For more information, read our full review of the Amex Green.
  • If you want to earn flexible rewards: Try the Chase Sapphire Preferred. For a $95 annual fee, you’ll enjoy 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Chase travel portal; 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 2 points per dollar on all travel not booked through the Chase travel portal; and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. For more information, read our full review of the Sapphire Preferred.
  • If you want a flat earning rate with no annual fee: The Citi Double Cash® Card (see rates and fees) earns 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay your bill (for a total of 2% cash back on all your purchases). The card does have a 3% foreign transaction fee, so you’d want to use an alternate card for purchases outside of the U.S. For more information, read our full review of the Double Cash.

For additional options, see our full lists of the best cash-back and general travel rewards credit cards.

Related: The best credit cards for booking cruises

The information for the American Express Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Is the Royal Caribbean Visa Signature Credit Card worth it?

You can only earn a maximum of 540,000 MyCruise points per year with the Royal Caribbean credit card, and it’d take $270,000 in spending each year with Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Cruises or over half a million dollars in spending on other purchases to hit that maximum.

If you have a quarter- or half-million dollars’ worth of purchases to make each year, you can do a lot better than earning 1 or 2 points per dollar on the Royal Caribbean card. You’d get more value from a card with a big welcome bonus or one that offers more points per dollar on everyday spending.

Bottom line

The Royal Caribbean card offers a decent number of benefits as a no-annual-fee credit card, thanks to its Visa Signature label. However, it comes up short on earning rates for spending, plus the points expire after five years. Redemptions are simple to understand, but unless you’re a heavy spender, it will take a long time to earn enough points for a free cruise for two.



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