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AARP $500 Gift Card

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Just went to buy 1 of these and see they are not available.   Does anyone know if this is temporary and they will be some available soon, or are they gone for good??

 

On a related note, I keep hearing about a 5 card limit when using gift cards, does anyone know this to be true??   If not, then I can just buy 8 of the $100 cards and pay for my drink package!

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AARP will certainly have the $500 gift cards available again.  They run out sometimes, but in my experience, they'll get more!

 

I am unaware of a limit on the number of gift cards which can be used.  You can use them ahead of time to pay off your cruise, pay for excursions and spa treatments, and pay for specialty drink packages.  You should have no problem paying for Cheers using gift cards.

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I just went there to check too, so ironic to see this post. I just picked up (4) $100 cards. I'll get a couple more later. 

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3 hours ago, ULCajunCruiser said:

Just went to buy 1 of these and see they are not available.   Does anyone know if this is temporary and they will be some available soon, or are they gone for good??

 

On a related note, I keep hearing about a 5 card limit when using gift cards, does anyone know this to be true??   If not, then I can just buy 8 of the $100 cards and pay for my drink package!

I believe some folks on this board have reported Guest Services limiting the number of cards applied to the on board account after boarding but don't recall anyone being limited when purchasing online at Carnival's web site (excursions, Fun Shop stuff, etc.).

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2 minutes ago, joepeka said:

I believe some folks on this board have reported Guest Services limiting the number of cards applied to the on board account after boarding but don't recall anyone being limited when purchasing online at Carnival's web site (excursions, Fun Shop stuff, etc.).

 

Ah, that's what I may have been thinking of.   Thanks for clarifying

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I just bought 3 $500 cards bc they had sold out of $100 cards. I only thought I needed $1200 worth so I was going to mix and match them. 

 

Well...then i redid the budget for a few extra fun things to account for the extra $300 and realized I wish I had another $100. I went back to look and Behold! They had added more $100 gift cards to the store. Problem solved.

 

I read from another CC person that they often restock on Mondays. It was a Monday the day the $100 card returned.

 

Coinky dink? Nah. Probably strategic or logistical. Just check everyday until you run out of time.

 

I cannot imagine Carnival placing a limit on how many cards you can apply to an account. Um, according to the terms and conditions this is like cash!

Edited by niciediva007

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6 minutes ago, niciediva007 said:

I just bought 3 $500 cards bc they had sold out of $100 cards. I only thought I needed $1200 worth so I was going to mix and match them. 

 

Well...then i redid the budget for a few extra fun things to account for the extra $300 and realized I wish I had another $100. I went back to look and Behold! They had added more $100 gift cards to the store. Problem solved.

 

I read from another CC person that they often restock on Mondays. It was a Monday the day the $100 card returned.

 

Coinky dink? Nah. Probably strategic or logistical. Just check everyday until you run out of time.

 

I cannot imagine Carnival placing a limit on how many cards you can apply to an account. Um, according to the terms and conditions this is like cash!

I agree but I know posters here on CC have reported that GS has done that to them (limited the number of gift cards that can be applied in one "transaction").

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27 minutes ago, joepeka said:

 I agree but I know posters here on CC have reported that GS has done that to them (limited the number of gift cards that can be applied in one "transaction").

I cannot understand for the life of me why Carnival would practice this without a clear policy in place? That money is spent, gone. To make customers who are unaware of this practice use another method of payment for their trip is unacceptable. I hope we don’t run into that in 3 weeks when we board.

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5 minutes ago, niciediva007 said:

I cannot understand for the life of me why Carnival would practice this without a clear policy in place? That money is spent, gone. To make customers who are unaware of this practice use another method of payment for their trip is unacceptable. I hope we don’t run into that in 3 weeks when we board.

As I understand the posts here on CC, the GS staff will limit the number of gift cards in one "transaction." If you exceed their limit, you can return later in the day (or another day) to get more gift cards applied to your OBC. Sorry if I wasn't clear on that.

ETA: None of my comments are based on personal experience. We've never tried to apply more than three gift cards to OBC but others have reported GS placing a limit per visit/transaction.

Edited by joepeka

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11 minutes ago, joepeka said:

As I understand the posts here on CC, the GS staff will limit the number of gift cards in one "transaction." If you exceed their limit, you can return later in the day (or another day) to get more gift cards applied to your OBC. Sorry if I wasn't clear on that.

ETA: None of my comments are based on personal experience. We've never tried to apply more than three gift cards to OBC but others have reported GS placing a limit per visit/transaction. Also, there's  the option of using the on board kiosks to apply gift cards to OBC.

 

Edited by joepeka

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32 minutes ago, joepeka said:

As I understand the posts here on CC, the GS staff will limit the number of gift cards in one "transaction." If you exceed their limit, you can return later in the day (or another day) to get more gift cards applied to your OBC. Sorry if I wasn't clear on that.

ETA: None of my comments are based on personal experience. We've never tried to apply more than three gift cards to OBC but others have reported GS placing a limit per visit/transaction.

Okay, gotcha. Thanks for clarifying.

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I bought 7 $500 cards at one time to pay for my cruise( no 5 card limit). They were out when I went to buy them but they were available again the next week. Applied them myself while my PVP was working on my daughters booking.

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11 hours ago, joepeka said:

As I understand the posts here on CC, the GS staff will limit the number of gift cards in one "transaction." If you exceed their limit, you can return later in the day (or another day) to get more gift cards applied to your OBC. Sorry if I wasn't clear on that.

ETA: None of my comments are based on personal experience. We've never tried to apply more than three gift cards to OBC but others have reported GS placing a limit per visit/transaction.


My understanding (again, not personal experience) is that they apply the 5 gift cards, then that night they batch them to make sure that they are valid, much like they do for the credit cards.  As long as they come back as valid, you can add 5 more the next day.  It is not a money limit, you can add 5 of the $500 or 5 of the $100.  It is just a "waiting period" to make sure that they go through.

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14 hours ago, joepeka said:

I agree but I know posters here on CC have reported that GS has done that to them (limited the number of gift cards that can be applied in one "transaction").

I had posted that GS had limited the # of $100 ecards I could redeem in a day on a recent sailing.  I also said that didn't happen the next time I sailed.

 

Fraud prevention was the excuse GS used when I asked why.

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I’m not familiar with using these gift cards. How do you apply them to your account precruise when booking thru a TA? Do you give your TA the gift card number and she uses that when paying your final booking balance? 

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6 hours ago, andio2of5 said:

I’m not familiar with using these gift cards. How do you apply them to your account precruise when booking thru a TA? Do you give your TA the gift card number and she uses that when paying your final booking balance? 

Actually you cannot apply gift cards to your on board account ahead of boarding - you have to do it on board at Guest Services or one of the kiosks. I believe, at some (maybe all?) port check-in's you can do it just prior to boarding.

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Just got off the phone with Roscar from Carnival Funshop and sadly he confirmed that you can only apply 5 gift cards per transaction...which means if you are buying the CHEERS package for two ($418pp total $936) you can only use FIVE of the $100 Gift Cards and you have to pay the rest using credit or debit. I tried EVERYTHING to get around it like adding to the cash account one day and calling back to purchase CHEERS using gift card & cash balance added from gift cards, but the answer was NO!!! If you want to pay gratuity, excursions, etc you should be ok with the 5 Gift Cards ($100) PER TRANSACTION. Hopefully AARP will resume the $500 gift cards (no more emailing of gift cards) AARP is only mailing cards now which limits time frames before sailing.

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2 hours ago, joepeka said:

Actually you cannot apply gift cards to your on board account ahead of boarding - you have to do it on board at Guest Services or one of the kiosks. I believe, at some (maybe all?) port check-in's you can do it just prior to boarding.

Yes, that makes sense for applying the gift cards to your onboard account. I had read in other threads about people using these gift cards to actually pay the balance of their cruise fare when final payment was due and that’s what I really wanted to know how to do. ....especially if you are using a TA and payment goes thru her. Any info on that scenario? Thanks.

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1 hour ago, TulaTula2 said:

Just got off the phone with Roscar from Carnival Funshop and sadly he confirmed that you can only apply 5 gift cards per transaction...which means if you are buying the CHEERS package for two ($418pp total $936) you can only use FIVE of the $100 Gift Cards and you have to pay the rest using credit or debit. I tried EVERYTHING to get around it like adding to the cash account one day and calling back to purchase CHEERS using gift card & cash balance added from gift cards, but the answer was NO!!! If you want to pay gratuity, excursions, etc you should be ok with the 5 Gift Cards ($100) PER TRANSACTION. Hopefully AARP will resume the $500 gift cards (no more emailing of gift cards) AARP is only mailing cards now which limits time frames before sailing.

 

This is not what I wanted to hear.   I see you called in, I wonder if you went to your My Cruise Manager account and purchased online would it also be limited???  If you're in the middle of buying Cheers for 2, and you wanted to use 8 $100 gift cards, would it stop you at 5????

Edited by ULCajunCruiser

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I was told (Roscar Carnival Funshop) that I can only use Carnival gift cards ONLINE to purchase the CHEERS package at the discounted pre-purchase rate. He said the system will only allow 5 gift cards per transaction and since I MUST PAY FOR BOTH IN THE SAME TRANSACTION the limit of 5 AARP $100 gift cards will only cover $500. If the $500 cards were still available 2 of them would cover that plus you can bring the card with the remaining balance to the ship for onboard cash. I did not try to purchase CHEERS yet; as I am waiting for my 5 AARP $100 gift cards to arrive...very thankful I didn’t buy 10...hoping for the return of the $500 value!

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5 hours ago, TulaTula2 said:

I was told (Roscar Carnival Funshop) that I can only use Carnival gift cards ONLINE to purchase the CHEERS package at the discounted pre-purchase rate. He said the system will only allow 5 gift cards per transaction and since I MUST PAY FOR BOTH IN THE SAME TRANSACTION the limit of 5 AARP $100 gift cards will only cover $500. If the $500 cards were still available 2 of them would cover that plus you can bring the card with the remaining balance to the ship for onboard cash. I did not try to purchase CHEERS yet; as I am waiting for my 5 AARP $100 gift cards to arrive...very thankful I didn’t buy 10...hoping for the return of the $500 value!

This scenario is the exact reason to use a travel agent.  I paid my entire cruise off including gratuities and Cheers program for my last Horizon cruise and the same including initial deposit on my future Horizon cruise next August by using a series of gift cards that I obtained through AARP as well as Allstate.  Most were 100 in denomination with a couple of 500 and the balance was in the thousands, so it was two transactions and substantially more than 5 cards per transaction.

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Two weeks ago, I used 12 $500.00 Carnival gift cards to pay the balance on three bookings/cabins for our family cruise next year.  I used a TA.  Had less than $8.00 balance left on one card after that.  10% saving equals $600.00.

 

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14 hours ago, andio2of5 said:

Yes, that makes sense for applying the gift cards to your onboard account. I had read in other threads about people using these gift cards to actually pay the balance of their cruise fare when final payment was due and that’s what I really wanted to know how to do. ....especially if you are using a TA and payment goes thru her. Any info on that scenario? Thanks.

Sorry, I guess I misunderstood. But if you read post number 22 above, that person I think answers your question.

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