Travel & Places Cruise Travel

Get Your Money for Nothing and Your Cruise for Free!

Credit cards have a wide variety of rewards programs available.
Points can be used for airline travel, gift cards, cash, or just about any kind of merchandise.
Selecting the best rewards card depends on a number of factors.
Key items to consider are how much you use a card, if there is an annual fee, what the rewards points can be used for, how many points are earned per dollar, and how many points are needed to get a particular reward.
Rewards are typically worth about 1% of the amount you charge.
So if you charged $5,000 in a year you might get something like a $50 gift card.
Some cards offer greater rewards on things like gas or groceries, or even on everything.
I have a Houston auto insurance business.
Between business and personal use I charge close to 200K per year on credit cards.
My wife and I go on one cruise per year with reward points from the Sears premier rewards card from Citibank.
This card currently offers a $2,000 cruise for 125,000 points.
The card has double points for some items so a little over 100K spent on the card will earn that reward.
This is the best program we have found for earning a free cruise.
From Galveston we can go on Royal Caribbean or Carnival for one week with the $2000 reward.
If we don't go in the peak season, that will cover an upgrade to a balcony cabin, taxes, and gratuity.
Or we can get 2 lower cost cabins and the $2000 reward will cover 4 adults.
Here are some notes about the Sears rewards card:
  • The rewards feature was not standard; we had to ask to have that added.
  • There is a small annual fee.
  • Cruise rewards are available at smaller levels with a less generous award percentage of about 1%.
  • The interest rate is high so this is not a good card to carry a balance on.
  • Points expire in 3 years so you would need to earn 40,000+ points per year to reach the 125K points for the $2,000 free cruise.
  • Program rules can change so check with Citibank for current details.
  • The Citibank security department has been a hassle for us.
    If we use the card frequently the fraud department cuts of our credit (even though we are way below our limit, and have never had any fraud).
    Then we have to call customer service, answer security questions, get transferred to the fraud department in India, answer security questions again, answer questions about recent purchases, and beg to have the card turned back on..
Overall this is a good card to earn a free cruise with if you are a high volume card user.
(If you can tolerate abuse from the fraud department)

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