(EXPIRED) $150 back on $500 at Carnival Cruises with new Amex Offer [targeted, enrollment required]

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There is a new Amex Offer out today that’s good for $150 back on $500 or more at Carnival Cruise lines. This could work out to be an excellent stack for those who have booked a deeply discounted Carnival cruise thanks to their Fun Match program. Since you can make multiple payments toward a cruise, a multi-player household where 2 or more players have this offer could add up to excellent savings.

The Deal

  • Get $150 back when you spend $500 or more with Carnival Cruise lines via a new Amex Offer [targeted, enrollment required]

Key Terms

  • Expires 11/7/22
  • Valid when you book online at Carnival.com, by phone, or through your preferred travel advisor
  • See offer for full terms

Quick Thoughts

I wrote about Carnival’s “Fun Match” program last year after completing some status matches in Fort Lauderdale and then hearing about a Carnival match via our Frequent Miler Insiders group. The short story is that if you have casino elite status — including Caesars Diamond status, which can be gotten by first getting the Wyndham Earner Business card, which comes with free Wyndham Diamond status, and then matching Wyndham Diamond to Caesars Diamond — you can get a cruise that costs $100 per person plus port taxes and gratuities and it comes with $100 per person in onboard credits. Port taxes really vary by itinerary (some itineraries were less than $100 and some were hundreds) and you’ll pay gratuities separately, but I previously showed how my wife, as just a Caesars Diamond member courtesy of Wyndham Diamond, was able to get this offer for a balcony room on European cruises around the Greek Isles or through the Norwegian Fjords or cruises to Alaska. After taxes and gratuities, a couple can expect to pay around $600-$700 for a balcony room on many different cruises — so after this offer, you could potentially end up with a balcony room on a 9-14 day cruise for two people plus $200 in onboard credit for four or five hundred bucks all-in, which is a solid deal. Read more about it in this post: Status cruising: Saving $2K+ on a cruise to Europe, Alaska, etc with a match.

Those traveling with kids will pay a bit more since additional passengers beyond the first 2 do not get the $100 per passenger deal. Still, a 10-night European cruise in a balcony room that we are scheduled to take this fall came to around $1100 all-in for my family of four before gratuities (about $1650 with gratuities, which was around $2,000 off of the retail price for the 10-day cruise I booked and it comes with the $200 onboard credit).

When I originally wrote about the deal, we booked two cruises. We later cancelled them both (free cancellation was offered in February and we weren’t sure what the COVID situation would be later in the year). We ended up re-booking the fall cruise. I initially put down a $400 deposit and I waited until later to make additional payments, using a few offers for $40 back on $100 on various Chase and Bank of America cards in my household (that targeted offer has come and gone a few times over the past couple of years). I paid off the remainder of the cruise last month using an Amex card on which I was working on a welcome bonus. Funny enough, I didn’t get targeted for this offer — but my wife found it on most of her cards.

I did not prepay my gratuities, hoping for an opportunity like this to save a few bucks. That was fortunate as gratuities add $580 to the price of my cruise — enough to trigger this offer. Waiting to pay the gratuities is going to save me another $150.

If I were booking anew, I would be hoping to find the offer on one of my wife’s cards and one of mine since we would each theoretically be able to sync up the offer. We could then pay part on each of our cards and save a total of $300 on $1,000 between the two of us.

If you’ll be cruising with Carnival, it’s definitely worth taking a look for this offer and syncing it up sooner rather than later. I noticed many new Amex Offers this morning and I updated our Current Amex Offers database accordingly with more than 40 new offers found today.

H/T: A.R. in the MilesTalk Facebook group

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Holly

Did the fun match and going to take advantage of the free interior cabin(with window and view of a rescue boat) for the 9 day Norway Cruise. My total is $495.50. I’ve already added prepaid tips. Seems like everything else is excluded in the terms. Any ideas what I can add to get over $500?

Another Jeff

Heads up anything charged after you get on the ship will not trigger this or the chase/cardalytics offer. It codes as “ship name sign and sail” not carnival. Not sure on prepaying taxes/gratituty.

Another Jeff

Looks like the cardalytics offer did track for onboard charges, credit just hit my account. Still nothing for amex though 🙁

Bobby

Does if cruise cash qualify for this offer?

dan

Are there any data points if this offer tracking for booking excursions? I know the terms state is doesn’t apply, but was curious if in reality it does track. I assume both cruise bookings and excursions booked through Carnival show up as the same biller “Carnival Corp” etc on Amex statements.

kayexalate

I was thinking the same thing, but seems risky to me. I’ll just pay with my Chase Business Ink and get 3x points for travel which at least I know is guaranteed. I was thinking of how to maximize this offer (since P2 and I both have it), but don’t have $1000 worth (or even $500) worth of things to book with Carnival, unless you count shore excursions which it states are excluded

Last edited 3 months ago by kayexalate
dan

I had three transactions from Carnival post to my Amex card. Around $200 final payment, $200 in excursions, and $100 of “Cruise Cash.” Even though the charges were separate and some posted to my Amex as “SHORE EX MIAMI FL” and BON VOYAGE MIAMI FL… I was still credited with $150 from Amex. So in theory you could just buy $500 Cruise Cash to trigger this offer.
I had three transactions from Carnival to my Amex card. Around $200 final payment, $200 in excursions, and $100 of “Cruise Cash.” Even though the charges were separate and some posted to my Amex as “SHORE EX MIAMI FL” and BON VOYAGE MIAMI FL… I was still credited with $150 from Amex. So in theory you could just buy $500 Cruise Cash to trigger this offer.

Last edited 1 month ago by dan
Kayexalate

Do you know if the Amex credit will be triggered by booking offshore excursions with carnival? I have a cruise in November with them and only have another $90 or so to pay. I have the onboard credit of $200 thanks to the fun match offer and was planning on applying that to the gratuities (coincidentally $200) so that eats up that credit.

I’ve never cruised before but it seems like booking excursions on your own would be cheaper. But maybe with the Amex offer it would be better value to book through carnival. That is if these excursions code as carnival and not a 3rd party. Does anyone know?

Any other advice on using up this offer if we don’t have a big balance left to pay on the cruise ? (Both P2 and I have the offer so potentially could get $300 off $1000)

Last edited 3 months ago by Kayexalate
Jim

I have this offer on multiple cards, is there a way to combine them to use on Carnival ?

WR2

I only got the interior room offer, so I was going to pass, but now I’m definitely considering using my casino match now that I have this offer to stack. I’m also going to try a little cruiseship MS to help knock out the rest of my biz plat MSR. I am going to need to be very drunk though, so that I’m not bothered by the Carnival riff raff. $60 a day for drinks seems pricey, but I’m guessing drink prices onboard will be outrageous. I’m sure I’ll get my money’s worth.

Ken

I’d need a lot more than a $150 Amex offer to make me take a cruise with Carnival. They are genuinely the ghetto of the cruise industry.

Ken

IME, Carnival is the “Perkins Family Restaurant” of the cruise industry. It attracts families and people in the lower socioeconomic strata. Kids running around uncontrolled, screaming, crying, whining. Food swept from the tables to the floors and left there. Harried, underpaid and overworked staff. Greasy floors in the toilets. If that’s your thing, you’ll get it in spades on Carnival.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ken
Go Bucket Yourself - Chris

I’ve sailed with them 7-8 times & with the exception of a Spring Break cruise out of Charleston, they have been enjoyable & provide a nice value.
Going off Season or to a place where it’s not just about how many buckets of beer one can drink, I’ve found the crowd & staff are my kind of people.