While the new Norwegian Reward World Mastercard might appeal to frequent flyers of the airline, the card offers lackluster rewards when compared to other airline cards.
Dear Cashing In,
Norwegian Airlines has said it is going to start offering a rewards card. I flew them once to Europe because it was a good deal and I like having airline cards. Is the Norwegian credit card worth it? – Stuart
Few airlines have been increasing the number of flights across the Atlantic as much as Norwegian has in the last few years. They have added flights to more than a dozen U.S. cities – and became the largest non-U.S. carrier flying into New York in 2018.
There have been some questions about whether Norwegian can continue expanding, given that the airline has taken on a lot of debt and offers fares far lower than their competitors. But they appear pretty confident in their future.
What you need to know
In November 2019, Nowegian Airlines announced a new rewards credit card in partnership with Synchrony Bank. Most major airlines offer a rewards cards since they make the most sense for frequent flyers.
The new card works with the carrier’s existing Norwegian Reward loyalty program and, as a result, offers credit card rewards in the form of CashPoints. Let’s take a look at the new Norwegian Reward World Mastercard to see how it stacks up.
Norwegian Reward World Mastercard
- Annual fee: None.
- Sign-up bonus: $50 in CashPoints after spending $500 in the first 90 days.
- Earning potential: 2 percent on Norwegian flights and purchases, 2 percent on dining and grocery and 1 percent for everything else.
- Redemption value: CashPoints can be redeemed for any Norwegian flight with no blackout dates or minimum spend requirements.
- Perks: Priority boarding, no foreign transaction fees and rewards points don’t expire as quickly when you have a card.
Pros and cons
While the card has no annual fee and the point redemption seems (mostly) simple and straightforward, things can quickly become complicated due to the carrier’s loyalty program. The program converts your points into Norwegian currency before letting you apply them elsewhere.
Still, you can estimate pretty quickly how much your points are worth and can use them on flights with no restrictions or blackout dates.
On the other hand, the $50 sign-up bonus is pretty meager. Sign-up bonuses on other cards can be worth hundreds of dollars. Other airline cards can also come with bonuses of 40,000 or 50,000 miles, which can often be redeemed for a couple of domestic round-trip flights.
See related: Best airline credit cards
And the rewards redemption, while straightforward, doesn’t offer as much value as other cards. Rewards programs that offer straight-up reductions in the posted cost tend to be less valuable than programs in which you can redeem miles for a particular flight. Plus, the spending bonuses are nothing special.
For instance, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card earns 2x miles on all spending – not just a few categories – and, most importantly, you can redeem those miles on just about any airline (not just Norwegian). Some cards also have bonus categories of 3 percent, others up to 6 percent.
If you fly Norwegian a lot, this card might be worth a look. Otherwise, if you’re looking for a solid travel rewards card, you can probably do a lot better.