Posted September 29th, 2016, 06:31 PM
Last edited by PescadoAmarillo; September 29th, 2016 at 06:33 PM
I got a mailing today that the Princess Cruises Rewards Visa credit card program will "updated to make it even more rewarding" starting in early November. And the best part is: it really does make it better! You will still earn rewards at 2x for purchases on Princess [and also on other World's Leading Cruise Lines -- meaning all Carnival Corp brands] and 1x on all other purchases. But now when you redeem your points against Princess purchases [only Princess, not the other CCL brands] you will get a higher multiplier for larger redemptions. Previously you got 1% up to $500, 1.25% $501–$3,000, 1.5% $3,001–$7,500, and 2% for redemptions above $7,500. Now you bump to 1.5% at $2001, and to 2% at $4,001. [I also note that they no longer charge Foreign Transaction Fees – this seems to be old news, but when I got the card there was a 3% charge]. What these changes mean is that if you use the Princess credit card to book your cruises, you can get a total of 4% discount between the 2x earn and the 2% redemption -- that is a very good deal!
We just received our updated Reward Rules in today's mail. They are written in a very complicated manner (and DH and I have Finance backgrounds) and we've just spent an hour trying to figure it all out. Most confusing is that Points are discussed but the enclosed table only shows Dollars. I'm still confused about that.
My interpretation of these changes are that they are very bad. First, Princess purchases used to always bring 2 points per dollar, plus a bonus over 40000 points. No longer. Now the 2 points per dollar requires at least $4001 in purchases in the prior 180 days
. $4000 or less in purchases offer 1.5 points or less. A minimum of 5000 points is required to redeem the minimum $50 reward (this is the part that confuses us...points vs. dollars).
The changes having a negative impact:
- the 180 day look back for purchases. Redeem within 180 days or lose the points. Don't have 5000 points to redeem? Lose the points.
- the $50 redemption increment. While the new terms specifically state that 5000 points bring a $50 reward (which, again, we can't reconcile to what is stated in the table in the document), if one has 7850 points, one can only redeem 5000 of them. Then, either use the card to get the points up to 5000 again within 180 days
, or lose them altogether.
We had 18750 points yet to redeem. We just today redeemed 10000 of them for $100, under the existing terms. Before 11/1, we will purchase another $1300 from Princess (either FCCs or onboard spending) and immediately redeem another 10000 points. Since we use the card only for Princess purchases, it may not make sense for us to use it at all in the future. That's too bad, as we used to get $500-$1000 back every year on our Princess purchases.
If anyone else has a different interpretation of the confusing new terms, please discuss it here. I want to believe it's not as bad as it seems, but I remain unconvinced that any credit card company really does want to make its terms more advantageous for its customers.
ETA: Also, the 2x points are only on Princess purchases. Points can be redeemed for any CCL brand cruise...but only at 1%. We get at least that much on our other credit cards.
1203 days ~ 121 cruises ~ 29 ships ~ 20 years ~ 6 continents ~ 5 cruise lines
1 happy cruiser!!
My travel diary from Winters spent at sea: