Use Discover Cashback To Save On Your Next Cruise

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Discover Card  Partners Category Cashback Bonus

Saving On Your Next Cruise With Discover Cashback

I am one of those people who just loves to travel. In other words, I want to go anywhere and everywhere via any mode of transport. While many hardcore travelers don’t consider cruising to be real “travel”, I don’t really care. I love it.

Earlier this year I wrote a guest post at MJ On Travel about saving money on cruising. In the post, I talked about using services like Cruise Compete and detailed how I used a future cruise certificate along with the bonus on my Barclay’s Arrival card to pay for a Pacific Coastal Cruise last year. (Read my review.)  I paid $0 out of pocket. It was a fantastic deal.

While the Arrival (Plus) card still remains one of the best ways to pay for cruising, I have found another way to help you save money. If you have a Discover account, you can redeem Discover cashback for a certificate that can be used towards the cost of a cruise at a 1:2 ratio.

Redemption Value

Discover Card  Partner Details2

You can redeem the Discovery cashback cruise certificates in the following denominations:

  • $40 Discover Cash gets you an $80 certificate.
  • $60 Discover Cash gets you an $120 certificate.
  • $80 Discover Cash gets you an $160 certificate.
  • $100 Discover Cash gets you an $200 certificate.

Which Cruise Lines

The great things about these certificates is that they are available for almost all of the major cruise lines. Among the cruise lines available are: Carnival, NCL, Royal Caribbean, Princess & Celebrity. Those five brands comprise about 80% of the cruise market!

Terms & Restrictions

The terms & conditions are identical for all of the cruise lines.
The terms & conditions are identical for all of the cruise lines.

There are a few key terms and conditions. Some are good and some not so good.

The bad:

  • $80,$120 & $160 certificates are good on sailings of 6 nights or more. $200 certificates is for sailings 10 nights or more.
  • Only one certificate can be used per cabin booked.
  • You must book through Cruise & Vacations Desk.
  • Payment must be made with your Discover Card.

The good:

  • No blackout dates.
  • You receive the cruise line’s lowest pricing. This means it shouldn’t cost you more to book than going directly through the cruise line.
  • Can be combined with most cruise line promos such as: past guest fares, senior fares & resident specials.


If you are planning to use a card such as your Barclay’s Arrival Plus, then perhaps this isn’t the best deal. The terms do say that you have to pay with your Discover card to use these certificates. With that said, I am wondering what would happen if you only paid your deposit with the Discover card and then used a different card (such as the Arrival Plus) to pay for the rest.

Despite the restrictions, this does seem like a solid way to use your Discover Cash as long as you are planning a cruise and it results in a better deal then you can find elsewhere. While I wish they allowed the use of more than one certificate per cabin, I certainly understand why they have levied that restriction since they are essentially doubling your money.

Getting A Discover Card

If you don’t currently have a Discover Card, I have a personal referral link that will give you $50 cashback when you signup.  Discover often has the highest portal payouts and comes with other great benefits like a free FICO score.


While this isn’t the most lucrative deal in the world, it is a way to double your Discover Cashback and another tool to save on cruising. I may have a cruise coming up and will see if I can test whether I can figure out a way to pay with a different credit card.

Do you like to cruise? What tips & tricks have you used to cruise for pennies on the dollar? Let me know in the comments!


Shawn Coomer
Since 2007 Shawn Coomer has been circling the globe with his family for pennies on the dollar. He uses that first-hand knowledge and experience to teach others how to achieve their travel dreams for the least amount of money possible.

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  1. Currently Discover has a 5% off if you charge your payments using a Discover card.

    However, I found out if you take the 5% off offer, you could not use the Discover Award certificates. I was planning to use the $100 to get a $200 certificate. Don’t understand why you couldn’t use both but was told by the Discover Travel Agent who handles these discounts that you can use one of the other, not both.

    So you need a calculation. The break even point is $2000 cruise bill due. 5% of the $2000 comes out to $100 – which is what you save using the certificate. If the cruise costs is higher, then the 5% is a better deal than the Discover award certificate.


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