How American Express Cruise Benefits Work

Certain AmEx cardholders can get onboard credits, exclusive amenities and more when booking through AmEx Travel.
Lee Huffman
By Lee Huffman 
Published
Edited by Giselle M. Cancio

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American Express offers exclusive benefits when you book a cruise through its AmEx Cruise Privileges program.

As a cardholder of The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, you'll receive credits and amenities to enjoy during your trip. Terms apply.

Learn more about these benefits, how to use them and how to maximize rewards on your next cruise vacation.

American Express Cruise Privileges program

American Express cardholders earn rewards and benefits when booking travel through the AmEx Travel portal. The Amex Cruise Privileges program offers exclusive benefits for American Express Platinum members with participating cruise lines.

Offers include complimentary land packages and onboard credits. Additionally, all eligible American Express cards that earn Membership Rewards receive 2x points when booking cruises through AmEx Travel.

Terms apply.

Earn up to 120,000 bonus points with our favorite American Express cards
Check out our nerdy picks for the best American Express credit cards and find the right card for you.

AmEx Platinum cruise benefits

AmEx Platinum cruise benefits vary based on which cruise line you book and the details of your cruise. AmEx cardholders can book online or call AmEx Travel at 866-669-4423 to receive these exclusive benefits.

At the moment, American Express partners with 18 different cruise lines. Each cruise line offers different benefits across a variety of price points, travel dates and selected cabins.

Shipboard credit

As part of the American Express Cruise Privileges program, eligible cardholders receive $100 to $300 of onboard credits per stateroom. These credits are redeemable for dining, spa services and more. They cannot be used for casino charges, gratuities or similar expenses.

The shipboard credits are applied to your final bill at the end of your cruise.

They may be paid in local currency and are subject to foreign currency fluctuations. Any unused portion of your credits is nonrefundable, so travelers should use them fully.

Exclusive amenities that vary by cruise line

In addition to an onboard credit, reservations include exclusive amenities unique to each cruise line. Examples include premium wine, assorted canapés, spa vouchers and behind-the-scenes ship tours.

American Express Royal Caribbean benefits include one bottle of champagne per stateroom, while Regent Seven Seas passengers receive a private gallery tour.

Visit the American Express Platinum cruise deals page to view each program partner's offers.

Terms apply.

» Learn more: The best cruise lines

How to receive American Express cruise benefits

To receive your cruise benefits, follow these steps and ensure your reservation meets the requirements.

Call or book online with AmEx Travel

Your reservations must be booked through AmEx Travel online or over the phone. These benefits are unavailable if you book directly with the cruise line or through a third party, like a travel agent or online travel agency.

Cruise must be at least five days and have double-occupancy

The cruise must be at least five days long, and you must be traveling with at least double occupancy in your room.

Onboard credits and other amenities are available for up to three staterooms per eligible card member, per cruise. So, you can share benefits with fellow travelers if you book all of the staterooms together using your eligible credit card.

Cardholder must travel on the cruise

While you can book additional rooms for travel companions, the cardholder paying for the cruise must be on the trip. Otherwise, those on the cruise will not receive the benefits.

Book an eligible room type

Not all staterooms are eligible for Cruise Privileges program benefits. Requirements vary by cruise line, so double-check eligibility before booking your room to avoid disappointment during your trip.

Use an eligible card to pay

To receive benefits AmEx Cruise Privileges program benefits, you must use an eligible American Express card to pay for your trip. Eligible cards from the U.S. include:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express.

  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

  • The Centurion® Card.

  • The Business Centurion® Card.

Other cards that offer similar benefits, like the American Express® Gold Card or the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, are not eligible for these benefits.

Terms apply.

How to maximize rewards and benefits when booking cruises through AmEx Travel

You'll maximize the rewards and benefits available for your cruise vacation by booking your reservation through AmEx Travel.

Earning vs. redeeming points

American Express Platinum travel cruises earn 2x points on cash reservations. Eligible cardholders can also book American Express rewards cruises using points. Cardholders can redeem points for a portion or all of the cruise cost.

The redemption value of 0.7 cents per point is substantially lower than our average valuation of 2.8 cents each. Due to this low valuation, we recommend saving your points for another redemption and paying cash for your cruise.

Compare credits and amenities among cruise lines

With so many participating cruise lines, travelers have many options available. In some cases, the prices are similar among different lines.

Compare onboard credits and amenities offered to find the best value, even if it means paying a little more upfront.

Waived cancellation fees

AmEx Travel does not charge cancellation or change fees if you need to adjust your reservations. However, the cruise line may charge penalties depending on when you booked, where you're traveling, how long the cruise is and other factors.

Generally, these fees increase as you get closer to your departure date. Before booking your cruise, review the cruise line’s change and cancellation policies to understand what fees may apply.

Terms apply.

American Express cruise benefits, recapped

Eligible American Express cardholders receive exclusive perks on participating cruise lines when booking through AmEx Travel. The AmEx Platinum cruise benefits include onboard credits, exclusive amenities and 2x points on the cash portion of your reservation.

American Express partners with 18 different cruise lines, so there's a strong chance that one of them has a special offer for your desired destination.

Before booking, ensure your trip meets the cruise's requirements to qualify for your AmEx Cruise Privileges program benefits.

Terms apply.

To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.
To view rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Cards for Cruises from our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-5x

5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Points
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

on Bank of America's website

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
4.2
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1.5x-2x

Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Receive 60,000 online bonus points - a $600 value - after you make at least $4,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Points
See more cards for cruises
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