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Six Best Vacation Credit Cards

Earn points and perks with these popular destination credit cards

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If you're headed to a resort, theme park or cruise this summer, there's probably a credit card that will make the trip a little cheaper, and let you earn points toward your next vacation. Here are six popular vacation destinations with their own credit cards - and they all have no annual fee.

1. Disney Rewards Visa Card

This card is a must-have card if you're planning a Disney vacation. The rewards themselves aren't out of the ordinary. You earn 1% on all your purchases, redeemable for "Disney Dream Reward Dollars" that are good for Disney merchandise and at Disney theme parks.

The real value in this card is in the discounts and the perks. You get discounts for using the card to book vacations and purchase items at Disney stores, theme parks, vacations and cruises. If you use the card to book a Disney vacation through the Disney Travel Company, you get 0% financing for six months. And your kids can participate in a "Meet 'N' Greet" with a Disney character at a private card member location, including a free 5 x 7 photo. Just present your card to get in.

2. Universal American Express Card

Like the Disney Rewards Visa Card, the perks for this card are as valuable as the rewards. You get two points per dollar spent on select Universal Studios theme park purchases, one point per dollar on all other purchases. You also get two points per dollar spent on the first $400 of gas and grocery purchases each year. If you’re a registered Universal Studios Annual Passholder, you earn triple points on certain in-park purchases.

The card also makes you eligible to receive Universal Express Plus Passes, which allow you to bypass the lines and get special priority boarding access on certain rides and attractions.

There’s also a low 2.99% APR for the first six months, so you can take a few months to pay for your vacation.

3. Sandals and Beaches Platinum Plus Visa Card

If you take frequent vacations at Sandals and Beaches resorts, this credit card can help you earn points toward your next trip. You earn two points per dollar on everything you spend at the resorts, one point per dollar everywhere else. You also earn an upfront bonus of 5,000 points after your first purchase.

You can redeem points for resort vacations, cash, travel, hotel rewards, car rentals, merchandise or gift certificates. Redemptions start at 2,500 points for Sandals & Beaches rewards, cash or merchandise, and 25,000 for air travel.

There's a 0% APR on purchases for the first seven months, which means you can pay for your vacation and not worry about paying interest for a few months.

4. Royal Caribbean Visa Credit Card

The most attractive feature of this card is the upfront bonus. You earn 10,000 bonus points after your first transaction, whether it's a purchase or a balance transfer. You can earn two "Royal Points" per dollar on all Royal Caribbean purchases, either the trip itself or what you purchase on board. You earn one point per dollar on all other purchases.

You can redeem your points for cruises, stateroom upgrades, cruise discounts, on-board credits, cash or merchandise. Reward redemptions begin at 10,000 points.

If you have good credit, the APR on purchases is a moderate 12.99%, rising to 20.99% if you have fair credit.

5. Norwegian Cruise Line MasterCard

This card is virtually identical to the Royal Caribbean Visa card. The only real difference is the cruise line sponsor. You earn the same two points per dollar on all Norwegian Cruise Lines purchases, either the trip itself or what you purchase on board, and one point per dollar on all other purchases.

The upfront bonus is also identical - 10,000 points after your first transaction, whether it's a purchase or a balance transfer. There's a 0% APR on balance transfers for the first nine months, although the balance-transfer fee is a fairly steep 4%.

Purchase APRs range from 12.99% to 20.99%, depending on your credit history.

6. Carnival World MasterCard

You earn two Carnival "FunPoints" per dollar on Carnival, Holland America or Princess cruise lines vacations, as well as on any purchases charged to the Sail and Sign account on board any Carnival cruise ship. You earn one point per dollar on all other purchases.

You can also earn up to 10,000 bonus points. You get 5,000 bonus points after your first purchase. You can also earn up to 5,000 bonus points - one point per dollar - on balance transfers during the first 30 days you have the card. There's a 0% APR on balance transfers for the first nine months. The balance transfer fee is 3% during that period, 4% after that. According to the card's website, 5,000 points is enough for $100 off your next cruise.

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