Cruise Line Loyalty – NCL
The Loyalty Program
Norwegian Cruise Line is the third biggest cruise line after Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean. NCL pioneered what they call Freestyle Cruising®, with no set dining times, and multiple dining options (some included, some with a fee) around the ship. NCL rewards its most frequent guests through its Latitudes Rewards program. Latitudes is a 4-tier program with Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum status. Loyalty members earn 1 point per cruise night with an additional point for suite or Haven accommodations. You can also earn a bonus point per night for booking 9 months or more in advance, or for booking a Latitudes Insider offer. I’ve covered the Latitudes Rewards program in greater detail perviously in my status matters series on cruise line elite status.
The Points Program
Like most of the big lines, NCL offers a credit card rewards program which is separate from its loyalty program. NCL has partnered with Bank of America to offer the Norwegian Cruise Line MasterCard®.
This card is somewhat unique in that it earns Bank of America WorldPoints®. WorldPoints aren’t universally popular in the loyalty world, and I’ll just leave it at that. I’d add that the popular Fidelity Amex 2% cash back card is actually earning WorldPoints that are then converted into cash. This card earns 2 points per dollar spent on NCL purchases, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Currently, their’s a bonus point offer for new accounts:
- Receive 10,000 bonus WorldPoints® after using your card within the first 60 days – enough for a $100 onboard credit when redeemed prior to cruise or $100 off your next cruise!
- For a limited time only receive $50 Norwegian gift card after you make at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days (students not eligible).
Redemptions are simple and straightforward, if not of extremely value. But like all things, value is in what YOU want. You can redeem for everything from $50 onboard credits to free cruises for two.
A big negative of the card, aside from the earning structure, is that it charges a 3% foreign transaction fee. On the positive side, it is free of an annual fee. In the end, the card is pretty much in line with the other cruise line card products. If you have the room in your card inventory, take it for the quick onboard credit bonus, and sock drawer it. If you’re a Bank of America customer, it can serve as “free” overdraft protection for your checking account too. Next up – MyCruise Rewards.
-MJ, October 11, 2014