How to Book a Cruise Using Points and Miles

Cruise Ship

Have you been considering booking a cruise soon? If you’ve been hesitant because of the cost of going to your favorite destinations, there are a few ways you can save hundreds if not thousands on your next cruise. You can help to defray the costs by using any miles and points you’ve earned.

How to book a cruise using points and miles

According to The Points Guy, there are a lot of ins and outs involved in using points and miles. Some of the issuing companies place limits on points and miles usage while others are more liberal. Most points are redeemable for between one to and a half cents per point for cruises, however, it’s lower than the value you get when redeeming the points for first-class airline seats or luxury hotel booking. Some cruise lines offer branded credit cards with partnerships enabling greater points redemptions when booking on certain cruise lines. Here are the credit card programs with a breakdown that shows you how to book a cruise using points or miles earned.

Amex Pay with Points

If you hold an American Express card with Membership Rewards points, the points you’ve accumulated may be used toward booking a cruise by accessing the Pay with Points program. The current redemption value for booking a cruise is 0.7 center for each point earned. Bear in mind that the points for a cruise redeemed are at a lower value, as TPG values are 2 cents per point for other uses. You will lose over half of their total value if you use them on a cruise. Sometimes it’s better to pay cash for the cruise and use the points where they will save you the most money. Go to the American Express Travel booking portal to find your desired cruise line, and destination before logging into your Amex account.

  • -Select the cruise line, itinerary, and cabin you desire
  • -Enter your personal information
  • -Enter your American Express card and your Membership Rewards information
  • -Choose Yes to use your Membership Rewards
  • -Use the desired number of points toward the cruise and pay the remaining owed, if any, with cash

Other Amex options

If you have an Amex Platinum card with the Amex Cruise Privileges Program, you may find extra perks such as a credit of $300 for stateroom credit on certain cruise lines, or a shore excursion credit of $200 for some cruise lines, champagnes, wines, and other rewards which vary by the cruise line. It pays to do your research before you book to get the most out of your program.

Citi ThankYou portal

If you are a Citi cardholder and have earned ThankYou points you can enter the CitiThankYou portal to use points toward booking a cruise at a value of up to one cent per point, depending on the type of card you hold. It’s important to note that Citi Prestige cardholders earn three points for every dollar they spend on cruise travel.

  • -Enter your Citi account and log into the travel portal. Click on “Cruises” which is located on the travel booking page
  • -Filter the cruise by the Cruise line or destination and select the cruise you want to book.
  • -You be to call Citi ThankYou to speak to a travel specialist at 800 842-6596 to apply your CitiThankYou points toward the cost of the cruise when it’s time for final checkout.

Capital One Venture Rewards

Capital One cardholders may use their Venture Rewards Program to redeem miles at a rate of one cent per mile. You do not need to use a portal to redeem the points. You may book the cruise from a travel agent or directly from the company and still get the extra perks. You may also use the miles in conjunction with promotional packages or discounts. When paying for the cruise package log into your account, select the cover your travel purchases option, then simply apply your mileage balance to receive a credit towards the total cost of the booking.

Chase Ultimate Rewards

The Chase Ultimate Rewards portal offers a higher redemption value for points when booking a cruise. The redemption is 1.5 cents for every point of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card points. If you are a Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholder your points are worth 1.25 cents per point when you book your cruise through Chase. You will need to call the Ultimate Rewards booking hotline to speak to a representative to reserve a cruise as it cannot be complete online.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

Upgraded Points explains that this card is one of the easiest to use for booking a cruise with points. For every dollar spent, you earn two times the points in a straightforward structure. All points redeemed provide you with a rebate of five percent for every point used. When booking a cruise every point is valued at one cent. When used for any travel purchase they show up as a statement credit that erases the value in travel purchases of all types equally. You don’t lose points value when booking a cruise.

Marriott Bonvoy Points

You may use your Marriott Bonvoy points for booking a cruise thanks to the Cruise with Points partnership. The points are hotel points that are flexible for use with all types of travel packages including cruises.

  • Log into the Marriott cruise portal at
  • -Click on About Marriott Bonvey, then Redeem Points, Travel, and Get On Board links.
  • -Click on Redeem points
  • -Search for available cruises, and select a cruise
  • -all to speak to a travel specialist to book your cruise at 800-596-0452. You’ll receive a certificate to apply towards your cruise for points redeemed.

Final thoughts

These are just a few of the ways to use your miles and points to pay for a cruise. Other rewards programs offer miles and rewards points you can redeem. Use them towards defraying the cost of or paying for a cruise. Check out the details of all credit cards and travel rewards programs you hold. Don’t forget to read the fine print to find out what extra perks you might be entitled to receive.

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