I am always pleased when I can combine investment goals with schemes to save money on travel. Two examples of this are moving investment funds to Fidelity to earn airline miles, and opening BankDirect accounts to earn American Airlines miles. One of the ways you can do this to save money on cruises is to buy Carnival or Royal Caribbean stock to get on board credit.
I am going to discuss Carnival stock today because I have experience using the on-board credit as a stockholder. To get the credit you must own 100 shares of Carnival stock. The amount of on-board credit that you get depends on how long the cruise is as follows:
♦6 days or less $50
♦7-13 days $100
♦14 days or longer $250
I would not recommend buying stock just for the on-board credit, but Carnival seems to be a good one. I am no stock analyst and most of my portfolio is in index funds. But I did buy 100 CCL shares for the credit.
I bought it about three years ago $36.27/share. It is now at $53.45/share. I’m not bragging about my stock-picking acumen, I just want to emphasize here that I only invested $3662 for the 100 shares, which is not that much of a gamble. The rise of Carnival stock has mirrored the rise of the S&P 500 over the past few years.
The stock is well thought of by analysts.
Best of all it pays a dividend!
Now this is where it gets really interesting. Let’s assume that you are only taking one cruise a year on one of the Carnival brands. If you receive the on-board credit, it juices up your return so that your effective dividend yields are as follows:
- $50 on-board credit 2.75% yield
- $100 on-board credit 3.25% yield
- $250 on-board credit 4.75% yield
This is for just one cruise a year. If you used it more than once a year, your returns would really skyrocket! And if you don’t take a cruise you still have a solid stock in your portfolio.
Using the on-board credit
You can use the credit if you are traveling on any of the cruise lines owned by Carnival Corporation. These are Carnival, Holland America, Princess, Cunard, P&O, Costa, and AIDA.
You can apply for the credit by email or fax.
To apply by email, take a screen shot of your brokerage statement showing your position in CCL. Use one of your editing programs to black out your account number. Send an email to email@example.com. Tell them your name, booking number, ship, and date of travel. Attach your brokerage statement to the email.
To apply by fax, print off your brokerage statement and black out your account number. Fax your name, booking number, ship, and date of travel to 305 406 6102 attention Carnival Guest Services.
If you are working with a travel agent, they can do all of the above for you. To see if the credit has been applied, log into your cruise line account online, go to manage my booking, and click through to documents.
One of the wonderful things about the shareholder credit is that it can be used in addition to any other bonuses or credits that Carnival is giving you.