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FrankieSue

Shop card vs shipboard credits

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19 hours ago, 0bnxshs said:

Do we know that they mail cards or just send email certificates?

 

We received one of these card yesterday, a week after disembarking from an X cruise. It is (and has been several times) an actual plastic card issued by a company representing the C big box store. 

 

In the past, we’ve simply walked to the customer service desk and received actual cash in exchange for these cards. Will test it again soon with this new card. If we can’t, no problem, since we live ten minutes from the store and shop there often for gas, food, etc.

 

I can understand why the card may seem less desirable than OBC to those who don’t live near a store, but one point to note is that it can be used for online purchases from the big box website, too. There is a statement to that effect, card number and pin number on the back.

 

We’ve bought items large & small from the online store including big TVs, mattresses and furniture with white glove delivery, and always have been very satisfied.

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19 hours ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

Don't have time to respond to everything but wanted to address this point. The 2% I was referring to was the rebate for using your store credit card, which gives a 2% rebate on store purchases. The 2% Executive Member rebate would work no matter how you pay.

 

If you Google the store's name and Shop Card you will see that they do not expire and highly doubt they have an inactivity fee.

You are again assuming one has and uses the Citi credit card that rewards 2% for purchases made at the store.  It is not a store credit card, it's a Visa credit card.  There's no requirement to have/do either in the US.

 

I know that the store's policy is to not expire their gift cards but only the Canadian site indicates there is "no expiry date" and that non-members may use the cards to enter and shop there.  The US site has no such language.  In any case, these are "Shop Cards" which seem to be different in use than the current "Cash Cards" and have different restrictions.  I won't assume anything with these new cards but most states have laws that govern how this class of card can expire and/or include fees, or not.

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55 minutes ago, Caribbean Chris said:

 

...

In the past, we’ve simply walked to the customer service desk and received actual cash in exchange for these cards. Will test it again soon with this new card. If we can’t, no problem, since we live ten minutes from the store and shop there often for gas, food, etc.

.....

 

The "Shop Cards" that are for sale on the site say "Not Redeemable for Cash" right across the front of them.  Does yours look different?  I'm sure many would at least like to have the option to simply cash them out.

 

I'm not opposed to this change personally.  Like you, I live quite close to one and am typically there weekly.  And many don't seem to know that for other lines, this bb store has long been providing their "Cash Cards" rather than OBC when booking through them; we've received them for RCCL and X cruises too, so for some this will be nothing new.

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28 minutes ago, 0bnxshs said:

The "Shop Cards" that are for sale on the site say "Not Redeemable for Cash" right across the front of them.  Does yours look different?  I'm sure many would at least like to have the option to simply cash them out.

 

No, and ours says (name of store) CASH in big letters. Ours have always been from X cruise purchases. So these “shop cards” for HAL may well prove to be different.

 

We have a March cruise booked with some generous big box OBC. I suspect if we tried to change anything, our OBC would turn into a shop card.

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Not living close to a BB store is not a big deal. Our closest one is 5 hours away. We order online all the time, stop when we are traveling, book travel, etc. it would be interesting to know if the card can be used when you book travel.

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Don't like it. Normally I will re book a few times to optimize. It will be interesting to see what happens in "my" future. I believe this is driven by HAL. They do have that kind of control. Same sort of reason that you can't book Viking thru "the BB"". Probably to tighten the circle for other TA's.

 

The big difference is weather I get the money back on my CC or the wife gets it for gas and shopping. ☹️

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19 hours ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

If you're the sort of person who sees OBC and says "I gotta spend it all" then it will be better for you. if you're the sort who looks at the OBC and their first question is "how much is refundable" and realize that you can get that back in cash, then this is not a good deal. Or if you're the sort who gets the $300 gift card in the mail and says "time for a new TV" or something else you weren't planning to buy, then it's also not a good deal.

 

As you might imagine, I am the person who does not spend refundable OBC unless it's something I really want, so I would not like the cash card.

 

I have only cruised a few times and the OBC has always been consumed with gratuities or items I would buy anyway online pre-cruise  or a few drinks I buy.

 

I use the shop card for either planned big ticket items or every few weeks for groceries so its cash I would spend anyway.

 

I want the lowest net cruise cost and I count the cash cards as a cash reduction of the cruise cost.

In the past I have also received cash from the cards in store.

 

In the past I also consider the 5% cash back I get for using their card as a reduction in the cruise cost, even though it is delayed to two different dates. This year I prepaid most of a B2B on  their CC  to take advantage of the CC travel insurance. That benefit ended in September so when I canceled with Royal and booked with HAL I used that credit towards HAL and opened a CC with travel benefits and paid some of the unpaid amount with that CC to get the 50k miles bonus for purchases in the first 4 months.

 

I also book direct with the cruise line and move the reservation  to big box which nets cruise line OBC and benefits and big box cash back.

 

If I had a lot of OBC I would not go to the onboard stores and just spend the money because I had it which I imagine a fair amount of people do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, wyobean said:

Not living close to a BB store is not a big deal. Our closest one is 5 hours away. We order online all the time, stop when we are traveling, book travel, etc. it would be interesting to know if the card can be used when you book travel.

 

These are the terms and conditions on the Big Box Agency Canadian website with respect to the "shop cards":

The exact amount of the benefit will be calculated during the online booking process. The Costco Shop Card offer is one per stateroom based on double occupancy, is valid for dates specified and is only valid for bookings made through Costco Travel. Offer is nontransferable and may not be combined with any other offer or coupon. The card, which you'll receive approximately three weeks after you return from your cruise, may be used toward merchandise or gas at any Costco warehouse throughout the United States, or toward online purchases at costco.com. The only way lost cards can be replaced is by presenting your original vacation or cruise invoice to Costco Travel. Neither CWC-Gift Card Co. nor any of its affiliates are responsible for use of this card without your permission. Gift card balances cannot be applied as payments to any account or redeemed for cash, unless required by law. Costco Shop Cards cannot be used for travel purchases.

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Note that in the T&Cs quoted above, the shop card cannot be used for travel purchases.  

 

I hope they'll update their terms & conditions as most Canadians will find it challenging to use a CAD shop card only in the US or on the US website!

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I just did a comparison of my three future cruises between the OBC that I am supposed to receive and the Shop Card that is currently offered on the same cruises.  In all three cases, the shop card value is higher than the OBC I am to receive so that makes me think that they have (kinda, sorta) taken into account the exchange rate differential for Canadians.  At least, I hope so.

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1 hour ago, Alberta Quilter said:

 

These are the terms and conditions on the Big Box Agency Canadian website with respect to the "shop cards":

The exact amount of the benefit will be calculated during the online booking process. The Costco Shop Card offer is one per stateroom based on double occupancy, is valid for dates specified and is only valid for bookings made through Costco Travel. Offer is nontransferable and may not be combined with any other offer or coupon. The card, which you'll receive approximately three weeks after you return from your cruise, may be used toward merchandise or gas at any Costco warehouse throughout the United States, or toward online purchases at costco.com. The only way lost cards can be replaced is by presenting your original vacation or cruise invoice to Costco Travel. Neither CWC-Gift Card Co. nor any of its affiliates are responsible for use of this card without your permission. Gift card balances cannot be applied as payments to any account or redeemed for cash, unless required by law. Costco Shop Cards cannot be used for travel purchases.

Does this mean I can use the Canadian shop card at a US store at par?  More difficult than cash but since we spend a lot of time in the US it would work for us.

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1 hour ago, Alberta Quilter said:

Note that in the T&Cs quoted above, the shop card cannot be used for travel purchases.  

I see that now.

 

My favorite TA said some cruise lines were not allowing 'discounts' but were allowing 'rebates'.  This TA defined a 'rebate' as a refund of a portion of the cruise fare given after the completion of the cruise.  This TA further stated that it would be very difficult for any cruise line to disallow 'rebates'.  Once the funds are transferred to the TA, the TA is free to do whatever they wish with the proceeds.

 

This would mean the cash cards are a perfect example of a 'rebate'.

Although 'discounts' and 'rebates' have the same effect on total price, this means that instead of a discount given 90 days prior to the cruise, you have to wait 2-4 weeks after the cruise.   Your funds are tied up for maybe four months additional.  That isn't a big deal  with today's interest rates.

Edited by RocketMan275

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1 hour ago, bennybear said:

Does this mean I can use the Canadian shop card at a US store at par?  More difficult than cash but since we spend a lot of time in the US it would work for us.

 

I would doubt that but good try!

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1 hour ago, RocketMan275 said:

I see that now.

 

My favorite TA said some cruise lines were not allowing 'discounts' but were allowing 'rebates'.  This TA defined a 'rebate' as a refund of a portion of the cruise fare given after the completion of the cruise.  This TA further stated that it would be very difficult for any cruise line to disallow 'rebates'.  Once the funds are transferred to the TA, the TA is free to do whatever they wish with the proceeds.

 

This would mean the cash cards are a perfect example of a 'rebate'.

Although 'discounts' and 'rebates' have the same effect on total price, this means that instead of a discount given 90 days prior to the cruise, you have to wait 2-4 weeks after the cruise.   Your funds are tied up for maybe four months additional.  That isn't a big deal  with today's interest rates.

But the “discount” wasn’t given prior to the cruise. The way it was done, you paid (or charged) for the cruise in it’s entirety, then when you boarded those funds were made available to you for use onboard. If you didn’t spend it then, it went back on your card. 

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8 hours ago, AlanF65 said:

If I had a lot of OBC I would not go to the onboard stores and just spend the money because I had it which I imagine a fair amount of people do.

 

 

I agree, in which case I don't understand why the claim is that HAL was the one who initiated the change. I'm sure that most people do not realize that TA OBC is almost always refundable and instead spend it on the ship on stuff that they might not otherwise. So it's beneficial to them for you to get OBC to spend. It benefits the big box store to pay it in the form of a gift card that has to be used at the store.

Edited by MisterBill99

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17 hours ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

I agree, in which case I don't understand why the claim is that HAL was the one who initiated the change. I'm sure that most people do not realize that TA OBC is almost always refundable and instead spend it on the ship on stuff that they might not otherwise. So it's beneficial to them for you to get OBC to spend. It benefits the big box store to pay it in the form of a gift card that has to be used at the store.

I agree - I seriously doubt that it was HAL's idea to make this change as they now get credit for the extra purchases.  After the change, the big box gets the sales!

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On 11/30/2019 at 4:53 PM, MisterBill99 said:

 

I agree, in which case I don't understand why the claim is that HAL was the one who initiated the change. I'm sure that most people do not realize that TA OBC is almost always refundable and instead spend it on the ship on stuff that they might not otherwise. So it's beneficial to them for you to get OBC to spend. It benefits the big box store to pay it in the form of a gift card that has to be used at the store.

So I sent in the transfer paperwork yesterday and it was moved to Big box TA today. Online if I book through big box I get a shop card. They are giving me $500 in refundable OBC. 

 

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21 minutes ago, AlanF65 said:

So I sent in the transfer paperwork yesterday and it was moved to Big box TA today. Online if I book through big box I get a shop card. They are giving me $500 in refundable OBC. 

 

Now that's interesting.  I have a cruise to move over to the BBA in the next couple of weeks (before the 60 days is up) so hope that happens for me, too.  Thanks for posting.

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6 minutes ago, Alberta Quilter said:

Now that's interesting.  I have a cruise to move over to the BBA in the next couple of weeks (before the 60 days is up) so hope that happens for me, too.  Thanks for posting.

Royal tells you it takes 8-10 days and it takes the full time. I was surprised it moved so fast (less than 24 hours).

Make sure you use the latest form

Transfer Request Form - FINAL 091919.pdf

 

You can also request the form and then reply to that email with the completed form.

 

Thanks

alan

 

Edited by AlanF65

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1 hour ago, AlanF65 said:

Royal tells you it takes 8-10 days and it takes the full time. I was surprised it moved so fast (less than 24 hours).

Make sure you use the latest form

Transfer Request Form - FINAL 091919.pdf 226.94 kB · 4 downloads

 

You can also request the form and then reply to that email with the completed form.

 

Thanks

alan

 

Thanks, Alan.  My last HAL transfer took eleven days in mid September.  Apparently, they changed the rules and one has to go through one's PCC first so they can agree to the transfer - not that anyone bothered to tell me that.  It was only after I inquired about it, I was told about it.  Yet your form (which is the one I have) says to send it directly to World Cruise Reservations which is what I did.  I'll email my PCC first and see if there are any other changes.

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1 hour ago, Alberta Quilter said:

Thanks, Alan.  My last HAL transfer took eleven days in mid September.  Apparently, they changed the rules and one has to go through one's PCC first so they can agree to the transfer - not that anyone bothered to tell me that.  It was only after I inquired about it, I was told about it.  Yet your form (which is the one I have) says to send it directly to World Cruise Reservations which is what I did.  I'll email my PCC first and see if there are any other changes.

I just emailed world_cruise_reservations@hollandamerica.com and asked the form and then replied to that email with the filled out form.

 

I don't know who my PCC is, I booked online and then made some changes on the phone and cancellation once I knew what I wanted.

Thanks

Alan

 

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7 hours ago, AlanF65 said:

So I sent in the transfer paperwork yesterday and it was moved to Big box TA today. Online if I book through big box I get a shop card. They are giving me $500 in refundable OBC. 

 

Was your original booking thru HAL before or after Nov. 26? The date of the original booking may have impacted the receipt of OBC or a card. Just a guess on my part. 

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26 minutes ago, yerdua said:

Was your original booking thru HAL before or after Nov. 26? The date of the original booking may have impacted the receipt of OBC or a card. Just a guess on my part. 

Hi,

Before 11-26 (10-31), I made a deposit of $25.

 

I guess we wait until 1-26 to see what happens to new bookings transferred

 

Thanks

Alan

 

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On 12/5/2019 at 5:30 PM, yerdua said:

Was your original booking thru HAL before or after Nov. 26? The date of the original booking may have impacted the receipt of OBC or a card. Just a guess on my part. 

 

Your guess is correct.  I just re-fared a cruise due to a significant price drop.  I still receive the TA OBC but it was reduced a bit due to the price drop. (Standard procedure).  The agent that I spoke with did indicate that cruises booked prior to Nov 26 would still receive OBC and those booked afterwards will receive the shop card.  

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On 12/5/2019 at 1:08 PM, AlanF65 said:

I just emailed world_cruise_reservations@hollandamerica.com and asked the form and then replied to that email with the filled out form.

 

I don't know who my PCC is, I booked online and then made some changes on the phone and cancellation once I knew what I wanted.

Thanks

Alan

 

 

Since you booked online, they wouldn't have needed to check with anyone, like a PCC.  I usually book with a PCC and for some reason they need him to authorize th transfer.  I'll be chatting with him next week prior to transferring another cruise.

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