I obtained a Carnival Funpoints Mastercard in 2005 during a Carnival cruise to the Caribbean. Information distributed at that time said points could be redeemed for cruises, airline expenses, hotel bills, and more. At one point I did in fact obtain reimbursement for an international airline ticket.
Now in 2011 I have 180,911 points, worth perhaps almost a thousand dollars. When I went to redeem them on August 28, 2011, using the Sea Miles redemption phone number, 800-SEAMILES, I talked to Alex, who identified himself as located in the Philippines and an employee of Barclay's Bank, which hosts the card. Alex stated that the program had changed and points could be applied only to cruises and, moreover, my points were not "qualifying points" and could not be used even for cruises. He stated unambiguously three times that my points could not be used for any purpose whatsoever.
I then called to cancel my card and received a different story. I was told that I could use the points toward a cruise, but not toward airline, hotel, or other expenses. I am left with a different option than that which I signed up for. I can buy a cruise on my Mastercard and hope that Alex gave me erroneous information and that I will be credited. On the other hand, Alex may be correct and the points may prove worthless when I seek to redeem them.
I also note that when I have checked on cruises, points can only be used for certain ones, not including cruises on sale at savings greater than that afforded by points discounts. Again, the card is worthless.
For these reasons, buyers should beware. Personally, I have switched to a credit card which gives at least 1% back in cash and feel this is a much better way to get credit card rewards.