How to Save on Your Disney Trip Using Easy Credit Card Perks

Oct 07, 2016 | Be First to Comment!

Ken Wolter /

Want to squeeze the most magic out of your visit to Disney’s Magic Kingdom -- and not break the bank? Here are two smart deals, looking at prices for a family of four (two adults and two children) to stay four nights at a Disney hotel (includes theme park tickets) in mid-January.

  • Disneyland: $2,456.66
  • Walt Disney World: $2,344.44

Furthermore, those costs exclude airfare, so you should anticipate a starting total cost of $3,000 to $4,000. You might be fretting the pain to your wallet right now. Fortunately, we’ll show you a few credit card perks out there that can help you save money and improve the experience when you visit “The Happiest Place on Earth.”

Captivating sign-up bonuses

When you’re traveling to a Disney attraction, airfare is likely to make up the bulk of your vacation costs. Popular travel rewards credit cards such as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® and the Capital One® Venture® Miles Rewards Card offer 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. These miles can be redeemed for a statement credit worth $400, which can help erase part of the cost of the flight to a Disney location.

Another favorite is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which is currently offering a promotional sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after $4,000 in spending within the first 3 months. It’s worth $500 cash back! It can be worth $625 if you redeem the bonus through Chase's online travel portal.

Just by paying for your Disney booking with one of these cards, you’re well on your way to meeting the spending thresholds.

Magical Disney benefits

Disney Credit CardThere’s a plethora of activities and merchandise that you can buy at a Disney theme park. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to pay for them, which adds to the overall cost of your dream vacation.

Let Disney’s very own branded credit card come to the rescue. Now, it’s widely known that the Disney Premier Visa Card has a rather underwhelming rewards program. But, don’t count it out.

Actually, the card’s greatest strength is its list of Disney-related perks that can generate significant savings if you’re a Disney fanatic.

The card’s noteworthy benefits include:

  • Advance notice of the “Free Dining” meal plan
  • Private Disney Character Meet ‘N’ Greet for cardmembers
  • 10% off on select merchandise, Disney dining locations and recreation experiences
  • 15% off guided tours

On occasion, Disney offers an elusive promotion that provides free dining when guests book their Disney trips. The dates of this popular “Free Dining” promotion is never set in stone, but Disney Premier Visa Card customer get advance notice of the upcoming promotion. Any regular Disney-goer will confirm this as a hot deal -- worth a bunch in savings.

Disneyland Guided Tour

Furthermore, the discount privileges can help to minimize the cost of the Disney experience. For instance, the “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” Guided Tour costs $109 per adult, but it costs $16 less for cardmembers. The savings add up if you go on a few tours and purchase a few Disney items here and there.

A friendly helper

One the hidden treasures of many credit cards is free personal concierge service, which is commonly found with any credit card that has the Visa Signature or World MasterCard® logo (see the bottom right corner of your credit card). We actually tested these concierge services ourselves to give you an idea of how they work.

Essentially, the service provides an agent who almost acts as a personal assistant. He or she can help you research travel options, make reservations at restaurants and hunt down that item that you want to buy. (They never use your card information to make a purchase on your behalf without permission.)

Not staying at a Disney resort? Ask personal concierge to find a suitable hotel accommodation for the entire family. While you’re at it, ask the agent for local food options if you don’t want to eat every meal at a Disney restaurant.

You can realistically save $300 to $500 by lodging in a hotel near the Disney park. You’ll also save a good chunk of change if you choose to dine outside of the Disney property and don’t forget the comfort of eating with smaller crowds.

By tapping these credit card perks, you could reduce the cost of your Disney trip by $1,000 or more. It’s hard to argue against a 25 to 35 percent savings on your dream vacation.

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