My apologies if this forum is not the appropriate place to ask this question. I'm intrigued by previous posts that talk about earning free cruises with the RCL Visa. It appears that the free cruises are all in oceanview rooms. What if you want a balcony? It doesn't show a dollar value if you want to pay the difference. Are the free cruises limited to specific timeframes? Is it difficult to redeem the points? We currently use "cash back bonus" and just apply the cash where we want. I'm intrigued by the points though - especially since we still owe the balance of our cruise, excursions, etc. for our upcoming cruise (double points!).
We have had our RCCL card since April 2003, and are about to earn our second freebie. We applied our outside cabin credit and upgraded to a junior suite on our cruise last week. We received a $2500 credit. It was simple.
We charge everything we can each month; food, gas, charitable donations, auto insurance,....everything we can. The most important part of the plan, though, is to pay it off at the end of each month, and incur no finance charge.
Redeeming the cruise is easy. I went through RCCL and they gave me the highest credit for an outside cabin on our cruise (at the time I booked, which was nearly a year in advance). The amount of credit will likely vary between ships, itineraries, and the time you cruise.
The only heads up you need to be aware of is that once you claim your voucher, you need to book a cruise within 6 months, otherwise it expires.
When you use the RCCL Visa on board, or when booking, you get double the points. We received a quick free cruise because in 2005 I put 11 bookings to Alaska on my card, as well as 11 excursions, tips, etc etc. That turned out to be about 35% of the total points needed for a freebie. Did the same thing last week.
If you have the discipline to pay off the card, in full, each month, it is well worth it. Otherwise, it is not.
No fees. It takes $125,000 in spending to earn the free 7-night cruise to the Caribbean or Mexican Riviera. That's a ton of money, but if you can work in a cruise, charge it, and start charging everything else that you can, it adds up pretty quickly. I had two major home improvements in late 2006 (a new Heat pump system and new windows and sliders to the tune of about $24,000) I put on my credit card, and then paid off when the bill came due. I am down to writing 4 or 5 checks per month for bills.
I like the program, especially since, in some regards, I'm a tight wad; my dad and I were co- inventors of copper wire (we were fighting over a penny---uh, not Penny 3333, but one of those coins).
GC - thanks for the info. We do the same thing with our current credit card - charge everything, pay it off, get cash back bonus. Just trying to figure out whether this would work better. The cash is nice because we can apply it to our credit card balance if needed.
I got my card in 2005, and like the others pay it each month. I think it will take me a little longer than GC to get that freebe, but I am working on it. Man, that almost sounded as if I was on a AA meeting. Heck, my wife already thinks I am addicted to this forum. So, I guess I would not want to disappoint her.
GC, I will be asking you later how you went about redeeming those points
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