You can get $75 off a $250 spend on Carnival cruises, or $100 off a $500 spend on Norwegian cruises, by taking advantage of bonus offers on qualifying American Express credit cards.
Finding AMEX Offers
I rarely look at my AMEX offers, because I don’t buy much “stuff.” However, I was alerted to a possible deal via the Cruise Critic message boards about an AMEX offer for cruises. I logged into American Express and looked for the offer on my cards. I have three AMEX cards, and found the offers attached to the Platinum card.
I’m going on a Norwegian cruise in about a week, and it’s already paid for (actually it’s a comped cruise via the casino). I doubt we’ll go another Norwegian cruise soon. I’m interested in Carnival right now, because we can take our grandsons on Carnival and put them both in Camp Carnival. The youngest will be two this summer, and Carnival is the only line that allows two-year-olds in their youth programs.
Attaching the Carnival AMEX Offer to the Credit Card
Lower down in the offers I found the Carnival offer, and clicked the Add to Card button. You must have the offer attached to the credit card before you do the spend.
I immediately received an email that I was enrolled in the offer.
Using the Carnival AMEX offer
After I was sure that the offer was attached, I went to an online travel agent and booked a cruise for four of us in December. I wasn’t sure if I should book with a travel agency or directly with the cruise line. Carnival wanted an $800 deposit, but the travel agency only wanted $600, and was offering $25 on board credit. It was also an agency that I’ve been wanting to check out for awhile now. I decided to book online with the travel agency, and I paid the deposit with my AMEX card. Immediately I got confirmation that I would get the credit.
I checked my husband’s AMEX account, and he has the offer attached to his Premier Rewards Gold card. In the next day or so, I will call into the travel agency and pay $250 more on my account, this time using his card, to get another $75 credit.
Final payment is in September. At that time I’ll pay the balance with Carnival gift cards that I’ve gotten at a 10% discount from AARP.
Stacking Discounts for 20% Off
Here’s how the numbers should work out in the end:
- $1200 (approx cruise fare)
- Two $75 discounts from AMEX on $850 paid this week
- 10% discount on $350 worth of gift cards to pay the balance.
- $50 Carnival Shareholder credit
- Net cost of cruise is $965 for a five-day cruise for four people in an outside cabin.
The stars have aligned allowing us to get 20% off our December Carnival cruise!