Executive Summary -
This part of the review looks at whether American Express Membership Reward points can be used for Carnival Cruise tickets and onboard items. And we also check out the cruise privileges of the American Express Platinum Card.
One of the most common question we get is whether you can use Membership Rewards (MR) points to either exchange for carnival cruises or to book them.
Membership Rewards allow you to transfer points to their airline partners or hotel partners. But they do not have any cruise partners. Instead, you can "pay with points" when you book a carnival cruise trip through their travel portal.
In terms of value, it is the same as Carnival Cruise Fun Points (ie 1%). 100 MR points will get you $1 in value.
Another little know benefit from Amex is that if you are a Platinum Card holder, and you book a cruise through them, you could get a two category stateroom upgrade and you could also get up to $400 in credits (these depend on which cruise you book but you definitely get benefits like these when you book a Carnival Cruise.).
As a recap, though this is a Carnival Cruise MasterCard, you can also use points for Holland America, Cunard, Seabourn and Princess Cruises.
Unfortunately, you will not get any upgrades if if you have a Amex Platinum and use it to book a Carnival Cruise. But ironically, you get their Cruise Benefits when you book the other ones just mentioned. So here is a run-down on the exact benefits.
Princess - 2-category upgrade on staterooms and mini-suites or a $300 per stateroom credit (this depends on the ship and category that you have booked), complimentary dinner in Sabatini's on the first night, welcome champagne bottle and you get double MR points when you book.
Cunard - You get a $300 per stateroom shipboard credit out outside cabins and above. You also get exclusive embarkation and priority check-in. You get a welcome bottle of wine and double MR points
Holland America Line
- With Holland America, you could either get a 2-category upgrade on outside stateroom or a $300 per stateroom shipboard credit. You also get a complementary dinner at Pinnacle Grill for 2 guest on the first night, a welcome bottle of champagne or sparkling wine and double MR points.
Seabourn - With Seabourn, you get a $300 per stateroom credit, "suite turndown" service (just once per cruise), a complimentary bottle of wine and double MR points.
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