Four-credit cards with cashback incentives I used to get free cruises for my family of four when I booked them via a travel agency.

  • Please be aware that the deals listed below are get it online current at the time of writing but are not guaranteed to remain so.
  • For those on a tighter budget, budget cruise companies offer a wide range of destinations in the Caribbean, Europe, and worldwide.
  • With the appropriate mix of travel rewards cards, you can pay for all or part of your trip.

Ones to consider for cruises are the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard, Citi Premier®, and Chase Sapphire Preferred®.

I’ve had six trips with MSC Cruises in the past 18 months, all in the Mediterranean. In the Caribbean, we picked three cruises to Antigua, Tortola, and Barbados, while in Europe, we chose the Norwegian fjords, Greece, Croatia, France, and Spain as our last stops before home.

Even though we’ve never considered ourselves “cruise people,” there is something incomparably handy about sailing with children. To provide an example, you get to see various places but just get a taste of each one. Even yet, packing and unpacking just takes a single time, and you don’t have to deal with lugging your bags about as you would on a land-based vacation.

A cruise with children is a fantasy come true.

Babysitting services, such as those provided by cruise lines like MSC and Princess, are available for a fee on certain ships. A few hours of peace every few days, even if you don’t want to leave your children for an extended time, maybe a blessing.

When compared to other forms of travel, cruises are surprisingly economical. At around $2,500 per person for seven nights on the newer MSC Seaside, we were treated to an unlimited-alcohol “drinks on us” package. 

We could have paid less for an interior or ocean view room instead of one with a balcony for that amount. A seven-night stay in a hotel, three meals a day (plus beverages), nightly entertainment, onboard childcare, and transportation to our four cruise ports — Nassau, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Jamaica — are all included in the $2,500 price tag.

Cruising with children is a convenient and enjoyable experience. You may kick back and let someone else “steer the boat” while enjoying the ride. Cooking, cleaning, and running errands are all taken care of, and you even have someone to watch your children! That’s a tough one to beat.

For cruises, there are four reward credit cards to choose from

However, things have improved.

Cruising is always a good deal, but you can make it even better by using your rewards credit card to pay for all or part of your cruise expenses. A sound credit card for cruises — ideally one that offers a substantial welcome bonus — is essential to make this a reality. Each of these cards may be used by both couples to receive two welcome bonuses that can be used on your trip.

These cards can help you save more money if you’re planning a cruise and want to save more than you’re currently holding.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard is one of the top rewards credit cards for cruises. Why? You may use your points to offset the cost of whatever sort of vacation you choose, including cruises.

To take advantage of this current promotion, you must sign up for the card and spend $5,000 within the first 90 days of creating your account. With the card, you get two points for every dollar spent, and each point is worth one penny toward travel.

The $89 annual charge on this card is waived for the first year. The minimum redemption amount is 10,000 points ($100 in travel credit), but you receive 5% of your miles each time you redeem!

The Venture Rewards Credit Card from Capital One.

As with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard, you may redeem your points for travel, including cruises, for one penny per point with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. If you spend $3,000 in the first three months, you’ll get 50,000 points worth $500 in travel.

There is an annual cost of $95 for the service. In addition, a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck is included with this card.

One of Citibank’s most exclusive credit cards, the Citi Premier®

For cruises, the Citi Premier® Card is a good reward option. If you spend $4,000 during the first three months after account creation, you will get 60,000 extra ThankYou® Points.

When redeeming your points, you may utilize the Citi ThankYou travel site to book cruises. Royal Caribbean gift cards may also be purchased at one penny per point.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is also an excellent option, so don’t overlook it.

After making purchases totaling $4,000 during the first three months of account creation, you will get 60,000 bonus points, which may be redeemed for up to $750 in travel—2x points on travel and eating expenditures and a single point per dollar spent on all other transactions. There is an annual cost of $95 for the service.

Chase Ultimate Rewards, like Citi’s travel site, allows you to book cruises directly with their points. However, booking a cruise with Chase Ultimate Rewards often requires a phone call.

Carnival Cruise Lines may be redeemed for cruises booked directly at a rate of one penny per point.


Cruises may be an excellent option for those looking for a holiday where all the details are taken care of. Everything else is a matter of showing up there on time and having a good time.

Fortunately, several reward cards make cruising even more economical. You may even be able to take a cruise for free if you have the perfect combination of cards!

Michael M. Tomlin