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xcell

Trying to buy $1000 USD OBC but can't...

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I have done this in the past so not sure why I can't do it now but trying to purchase $1000 USD OBC but since I am Canadian, they are telling me after the conversion rate I am paying $1338.86 and that's more than $1000, so their computer won't let me purchase another $500 USD because the Canadian value is over $1000.

 

Does this make any sense?

 

Trying to explain to the CSR that it is still $1000 USD regardless what currency conversion, I should still be able to buy $1000 USD.

 

Not sure why their computer system can't distinguish USD vs CDN $1000.   I have purchased $1000 USD OBC in the past, so not sure why it is happening now.

 

Any one had this issue before?

 

Side note: I like to buy OBC so that I can use it to buy FCC onboard, so that I don't get dingerby my credit card the exchange fee, as well as the 2.5% service charge to convert CDN to USD.

 

 

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Would it work if you purchase $500.00US today and then in a few days purchase another $500.00US.  Just a thought since it is all done by computer and likely functions on one transaction at a time.

 

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I bought $500 a month ago, and then tried today for the other $500.

 

I called NCL and they said it can't be over $1000 in any currency -- which is not what the website said -- $1000 USD.

 

I could only buy $725 USD because in CDN it was $960.

 

 

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I remember in the past when the limit was first implemented that the reasoning was because of the very favourable exchange rate being offered at the time. I would not say that the rate of exchange you mentioned would fit in this category.  If I recall correctly, due to the cruise line  not having a flexible rate of exchange, people were making somewhere around 15% by purchasing OBC before the trip.

 

Obviously this is not the case today but the ‘block’ put in place appears to still be in effect, or causing some sort of glitch. If the terms state the limit is $1000.00 US, than that is what everyone should be able to purchase.  With the current set up someone purchasing using the British Pound would be able to purchase $1328.74 US as that is the exchange for £1000

 

There needs to be a fix that hopefully a supervisor might be able to help you with.

 

Rochelle

 

 

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Serious question- why would you want to buy OBC? why not just charge to your room what you need and pay at the end? I get spending OBC that you earn for a door prize or as part of a promo, but to me, buying OBC forces you to spend that amount on the ship rather than see if you actually need that much.

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Just now, NancyW12 said:

Serious question- why would you want to buy OBC? why not just charge to your room what you need and pay at the end? I get spending OBC that you earn for a door prize or as part of a promo, but to me, buying OBC forces you to spend that amount on the ship rather than see if you actually need that much.

 

Some Canadians were using NCL's favorable exchange rate to boost the value of their OBC. The OBC is refundable, and there was at least one person posting here who was buying a LOT of OBC with the favorable exchange rate and then cashing it in at the end of their cruise. The number I remember is something like $5,000 worth. They were making 10 - 15% on the "spread" between the favorable rate on NCL and the real exchange rate at the end of the cruise. I looked and with the new software I can't find that old post; it may be archived off or something.

 

Anyway, sometime in 2015 or 2016 NCL limited the amount of OBC you could buy to $1,000 to avoid continuing to lose 10 to 15% of the OBC amount with each transaction. Like most "stop the bleeding" policies they made it too strict; people on 3 day cruises could buy $1,000 and people on 21 day cruises could still only buy $1,000 at the favorable exchange rate. So the rest of the Canadians, who weren't gaming the system, lose out on a deal that worked kind of like a regional discount.

 

I think NCL sets (or used to set) the exchange price quarterly, so it was easy to tell if your Canadian dollars were going to buy more US dollars than you would get by charging it to your Canadian credit card. So they still get a deal, but it's a much smaller deal that it would have been.

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27 minutes ago, NancyW12 said:

Serious question- why would you want to buy OBC? why not just charge to your room what you need and pay at the end? I get spending OBC that you earn for a door prize or as part of a promo, but to me, buying OBC forces you to spend that amount on the ship rather than see if you actually need that much.

Among the other reasons presented, the worst thing about a vacation is having to pay for it after the fact.   Pay as much of it  up front before the vacation and one will find that the benefits of the vacation are far more long lasting.  We even get around the $1,000 OBC limit by purchasing Shore Excursions we know we are going to cancel the moment we embark.   I think the rule of thumb is you should expect to pay as much on the excursions you take and other incidentals such as spa services as you spent on your cabin.   If you stay in a balcony or Haven it can be harder to do that.   

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15 minutes ago, Hotspring said:

 I think the rule of thumb is you should expect to pay as much on the excursions you take and other incidentals such as spa services as you spent on your cabin.

 

Holy rule of thumb! 😳 Until I started doing cruise next my on board spending was drink tax the first day + the DSC. Even with cruise next I'm still always well short of what I paid for my cabin. 

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20 minutes ago, smplybcause said:

 

Holy rule of thumb! 😳 Until I started doing cruise next my on board spending was drink tax the first day + the DSC. Even with cruise next I'm still always well short of what I paid for my cabin. 

Sure wish my spouse was like you.  She does not want to miss out on all the spa services offered each day,  gambling, game cards in the atrium, shopping, and other special events.   

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I believe that the NCC maximum purchase is $1000.00

4 $250 certificates or 2 $500

Designed to be use one at a time on future bookings -

2 at a time exception for certain times and categories of cabins.

2 $500 ($1000) maybe applied at any time for Suites & Havens satisfying minimum down payment requirements.

 

Copy of the NCC purchase form found at the end of the eDocs: 

img20191217_01263895.jpg

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It is exactly like Rochelle and fshagan said. A Canadian was trying to take advantage of the exchange rate ( very favorable at the time). They were trying to profit off it so NCL started limiting the amount of OBC.

 

 

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6 hours ago, NancyW12 said:

Serious question- why would you want to buy OBC? why not just charge to your room what you need and pay at the end? I get spending OBC that you earn for a door prize or as part of a promo, but to me, buying OBC forces you to spend that amount on the ship rather than see if you actually need that much.

 

As a Canadian, unless I have a USD credit card, I get dinged an extra 2.5% conversion fee on top of the dollar exchange rate.

 

I use the OBC to buy the future cruise credits, excursion, misc meals (I have the dining package, I get a couple of free meals because of my status, but I also have kids that I have to pay a la carte for), gift shop purchae (alcohol), and maybe the casino (but that's a 3% loss).

 

I think the exhange rate 1 USD = $1.33 CDN is similar to the bank -- bonus is I don't have to carry around a lot of cash.

 

And if I don't use it, it is refundable back to my credit card.

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Canadian here too and love to travel in US so, I have both US funds CC and bank account. Having both means I put money into the bank account when our dollar is up and use it to pay off anything owing on my CC. Not sure if that would work for you. 

Cheers from snowy Niagara. 

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8 hours ago, don't-use-real-name said:

I believe that the NCC maximum purchase is $1000.00

4 $250 certificates or 2 $500

Designed to be use one at a time on future bookings -

2 at a time exception for certain times and categories of cabins.

2 $500 ($1000) maybe applied at any time for Suites & Havens satisfying minimum down payment requirements.

 

Copy of the NCC purchase form found at the end of the eDocs: 

img20191217_01263895.jpg

 

Not sure that's true. When I last bough them I asked the guy if I could only buy 1, 2 or 4 and he said nope buy as many as you want! I ended up getting 3 and all three got the $125 OBC (though for some reason it was in 3 separate lines of 100, 125, and 150). 

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Pay now or pay when you disembark...I don't see the difference.  Other than NCL has your money pre cruise, and you do not.

 

 

Edited by PTC DAWG

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12 hours ago, NancyW12 said:

Serious question- why would you want to buy OBC? why not just charge to your room what you need and pay at the end? I get spending OBC that you earn for a door prize or as part of a promo, but to me, buying OBC forces you to spend that amount on the ship rather than see if you actually need that much.

I'm not Canadian, so there is not exchange thing that comes into play with us. HOWEVER, we always beef up our OBC prior to sailing so at the end our bill isn't so large. We actually budget so much a month prior to a cruise for our vacation and then purchase OBC/gift certificates to make our end bill minimal...if anything at all. Our last 5 cruises we have actually walked off the ship WITH money! Then, our credit card doesn't get hit, no interest rate, and money in our pockets!

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4 hours ago, PTC DAWG said:

Pay now or pay when you disembark...I don't see the difference.  Other than NCL has your money pre cruise, and you do not.

 

 

I used to pay after with my Canadian credit card, which then means I get charged the conversion rate (whatever it is at the time of processing and then a 2.5% processing fee.

 

When I buy the OBC online with NCL, I'm locked into a rate (at present it is $1USD - $1.33CDN) and I am not charged the 2.5% processing fee. Right now my bank is charging 1.35 (which with the processing fee makes it 1.38).

 

In reality, it's not much money...

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This still doesn't make sense. Here's why:

Book and pay for your cruise. Paid.

Free at sea tips and DSC can be paid ahead of time. Paid.

Spa services you know you will use, like a massage or thermal suite can be booked and paid for ahead of time. Paid.

Beefing up your specialty dining program to more nights can be done and paid for before boarding. Paid.

So before you board, the cruise, the tips, the increased specialty meals, the wifi, the booze, the excursions, and the spa can all be paid for ahead of time. Anything you think you want to buy can be bought ahead of time and paid for to where there is no need for a cash outlay. Regardless, they make you put a CC down for incidentals (the same CC you're using to buy the OBC) so why prepay for sunglasses in the shop via OBC instead of just charging it to the exact same card at the end of the cruise? Quite honestly, it seems to me an excuse to shop at overinflated souvenir shop pricing (honey, I have OBC to spend. Let's go shopping). But for the poster above who said "It's refundable", it makes even less sense.

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, NancyW12 said:

This still doesn't make sense. Here's why:

Book and pay for your cruise. Paid.

Free at sea tips and DSC can be paid ahead of time. Paid.

Spa services you know you will use, like a massage or thermal suite can be booked and paid for ahead of time. Paid.

Beefing up your specialty dining program to more nights can be done and paid for before boarding. Paid.

So before you board, the cruise, the tips, the increased specialty meals, the wifi, the booze, the excursions, and the spa can all be paid for ahead of time. Anything you think you want to buy can be bought ahead of time and paid for to where there is no need for a cash outlay. Regardless, they make you put a CC down for incidentals (the same CC you're using to buy the OBC) so why prepay for sunglasses in the shop via OBC instead of just charging it to the exact same card at the end of the cruise? Quite honestly, it seems to me an excuse to shop at overinflated souvenir shop pricing (honey, I have OBC to spend. Let's go shopping). But for the poster above who said "It's refundable", it makes even less sense.

 

 

 

 

Sort of like that TV Insurance commercial  - "ONLY PAY FOR WHAT YOU NEED" !

 

You are paying for everything in advance - well and good - don't or can't use it - it is refundable but therein

this causes issues of how to refund - back to CC - cash to account holder - cash on disembarking - check

mailed to residence - and consider currency conversion country of origin !

Recommended - K. I. S. S. - keep it simple and sane

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16 hours ago, xcell said:

I used to pay after with my Canadian credit card, which then means I get charged the conversion rate (whatever it is at the time of processing and then a 2.5% processing fee.

 

When I buy the OBC online with NCL, I'm locked into a rate (at present it is $1USD - $1.33CDN) and I am not charged the 2.5% processing fee. Right now my bank is charging 1.35 (which with the processing fee makes it 1.38).

 

In reality, it's not much money...

I see your point. I can buy $1,000 today and pay $1,330 CAD or I can wait until I am onboard and spend $1,000 for Cruise Next Certificates and pay $1,380 CAD. Savings of $50 CAD is better in my pocket than the banks. I know I'll be spending $1,000 on the certs, so I wont have to worry about where the refund goes. I guess the only variable is what will the exchange rate be when I sail? Could be better, could be worse, bit of a gamble but our CAD is probably never going back to par like the good old days.

Tony

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So I called tech support and they said that there in the process of changing such that you can only purchase $1000 OBC of the currency your cruise is booked in.

 

They said as someone said prior, they are doing this to minimize people working the exchange rate loop hole.

 

 

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