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Barclays Carnival World MasterCard – Sink or Swim?


Barclays Carnival World MasterCard is focused specifically on earning Fun Points for Carnival cruises.  However, with the negative publicity of cruise ships getting stranded these days, does this card sink or swim? One of the highlights and selling points of this card is your possibility of earning a free cruise, but is that free cruise worth the amount of money that you need to spend to get it? We’ll address that. First, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of the Carnival World MasterCard.

Barclays Carnival World MasterCard Benefits

The Barclays Carnival World MasterCard claims that you can earn a free cruise by accumulating Fun Points with card usage. As an introductory perk, the Carnival World MasterCard offers a 0% APR the first year, after which your variable APR will range between 13.99% and 20.99%.

The card doesn’t charge an annual fee, and as an additional perk, cardholders are eligible to earn double points on Carnival brand purchases. Earning points toward a Carnival cruise is the main benefit of this card’s reward program.

About the Fun Points Reward Program

The Carnival World MasterCard rewards program may certainly seem interesting to those who like to take cruises, not only on Carnival lines, but other major cruise lines. The credit card application process is easy, and you’ll get your answer within 30 seconds from the Barclays website when applying online for this card.

Keep in mind that your account must remain open and be in good standing in order to redeem rewards. You may lose your good standing if you make a late payment, if payment is not honored by the bank, your account is closed, or if you don’t maintain adequate credit performance. In addition, be aware that you have to use your card at least once every six months or have an account balance every six months in order to be eligible for the rewards program.

You’ll earn two points for every dollar you spend on a Carnival cruise vacation as well as for Carnival vacation club transactions. You’ll also earn two points for every dollar spent on any purchase that you charge to the Sail & Sign account while on board a Carnival cruise ship as well as one point for every dollar spent on other types of transactions.

Be aware that you won’t earn points for ATM withdrawals, cash advances, PIN-based debit card transactions or purchases, balance transfers, money orders, convenience checks, fees, finance charges, and so on.

Be aware that as a card member, you can redeem your points for statement credit toward:

  •  Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Holland America line
  • Costa cruises
  • Cunard Line
  • Princess cruises
  • the Yachts of Seaborne

You can also apply points to hotel or airline transactions. You can also redeem your points for onboard packages and amenities, or for gift certificates, merchandise, and gift cards. You have up to five years to redeem points unless your account has been terminated, and points are redeemed on a first come, first serve basis.

Cardholders can earn Fun Points that go toward a Carnival cruise every time you use your card. For example, you can earn two Fun Points for every dollar you spend on any Carnival Cruise line purchase, including onboard purchases charged to the Sail & Sign (and onboard Carnival charge program) account. More on that in just a bit. You also earn one Fun Point for every dollar you spend everywhere else. Fun Points can be redeemed for cruises not only on Carnival Cruise lines, but other global cruise lines as well.

When you use your Barclays Carnival World MasterCard for the first time, you’ll earn 5,000 bonus Fun Points. You can earn an additional 5,000 bonus Fun Points when you transfer a balance that equals $5,000 or more within one month of opening your account.  That means that cardholders can earn 10,000 bonus Fun Points that can be redeemed for $100 off on your next cruise.

However, as always, it does pay to read the very fine print. For example, it may interest you to know that any card member that redeems Fun Points for a cruise discount or for cruise will receive a discount in the form of a credit applied to their monthly statement.

Terms and conditions that apply to the Carnival World MasterCard Carnival Cruise Lines credit card program are quite lengthy, but it’s important to take the time to read through them in their entirety.

Terms and Conditions

After the 0% introductory APR for the first year or 12 billing cycles after you open your account, you can expect your APR to range between 13.99% and 16.99% or even up to 20.99% based on your credit history and your perceived credit worthiness. The 0% introductory APR rate also applies for balance transfers made within the first 12 months after you open your account.

Be aware that the APR for cash advances is 25.24%, and if you make a late payment, you can expect a penalty APR of up to 27.24%, again based on your credit history. That penalty rate may remain on your account indefinitely.

The Barclays Carnival World MasterCard doesn’t come with an annual fee, but it does come with transaction fees that include balance transfer, cash advance and foreign transaction fees. When it comes to the balance transfer fee, you can expect to pay $10 or 4% of the amount of your balance transfer, whichever is larger. However, during the introductory rate, you’ll pay $10 or 3%, respectively, again, whichever is greater.

For cash advance transaction fees, expect to pay $10 or 5% of the amount of your cash advance, whichever is larger. Expect to pay 3% for foreign transaction fees in US dollars.

A couple of penalty fees also apply. You won’t pay a fee for going over your credit line, but you can pay up to $35 if you make a late payment, and the same applies to returned payments. Be aware that late payment fees and return payment fees depend on your state of residence. Check out the website for additional details.

Bottom Line

As a reward card, the Barclays Carnival World MasterCard is average. As always, do the math and determine whether the money that you must spend to accrue points and rewards is worth the expenditure. Most often, you’ll find that it’s not.

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