In our previous post we detailed on how to stay 5 nights in a Disney World hotel for free, but we all know EVERYTHING about Disney World is expensive. So we are here to help…
The other biggest expenses are park tickets and flights.
Let’s start with park tickets as they are the easiest. This method is very simple. The Barclay Arrival Plus currently offers 50,000 miles sign up bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Now, miles are used loosely here as this card is essentially a cash back card. If you use cash back for travel related purchases, then each mile = 1 cent. If you use it for non-travel related purchases 1 mile = 0.5 cents.
You also receive 5% of redeemed miles back, so if you redeem 10,000 miles on your next trip, you will receive 500 miles back. The card earns 2x miles for every dollar spent.
This card is very similar to the Capital One Venture Card but the sign up bonus is bigger. So with the sign up bonus of 50,000 miles and minimum spend of 2x*$3,000 (in the first three months)= 6000 miles you will have a total of 56,000 miles to spend on your next trip, which is worth $560 in travel related purchases.
This can be used for airlines, hotels, etc. But, there are other reward programs for that. This is the important part…
They can also can be used for Disney park tickets.
This step is important too, do not buy park tickets directly from Disney, but instead use Under Cover Tourist.
Tickets bought directly from Disney will not code as travel but ticket bought from Under Cover tourist do. Don’t worry tickets are generally slightly cheaper and they are one of the few authorized sellers of Disney park tickets (They sell Universal Studios Tickets as Well; Can I say Harry Potter World WOOP WOOP!).
We have used them several times for Universal Tickets (Cough**our Honeymoon**Cough) and they are great.
Looking at their website a 3day park hopper ticket with extra day fee (this is the same as a 4 day ticket) is $431.95 which includes tax. For a couple the total cost would be $863.90 but using our Barclay travel credit we can reduce that amount by $560 bring our total cost to $303.90. If you are feeling really adventures each person can apply for their own Arrival Plus, bringing the total cost to $0.
This comes with meeting the minimum spend twice though so make sure you can spend the $6,000 (2x $3,000) in a timely manner.
Now that you know how to get tickets (above) and a hotel (click here), how do you get there?
Well, this depends on where you live, but let’s look at the Orlando International Airport (MCO). All of the major US airlines (Delta, American, United, and Southwest) and smaller airlines (Frontier, Virgin America, Spirit, Jetblue) also operate out of MCO as well as many international carriers.
I have found tickets to Orlando generally tend to be inexpensive so award programs where the cost in miles is tied to the ticket price seem to fare better for us.
Generally, if ticket prices are in the $200-$300 range it is better to book through Southwest or Jet Blue. Jet blue points are worth around 1 cent to 1.4 cents and South West miles are worth around 1.4 cents as well. Therefore, a $200 ticket should cost around ~14,000 miles for either airline.
Both Airlines have cards.
Card links here:
Southwest Rapid Reward Plus 50,000 miles bonus after $2,000 spend. $69 annual fee not waived
Caution This card falls under chases 5/24 rule!
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier 50,000 miles bonus after $2,000 spend. $99 annual fee not waived. Caution This fall under Chase’s 5/24 rule
Barclay Jet Blue Card Plus 30,000 miles after $1,000 spend $99 annual fee not waived
If you live where there is a direct flight on American Airlines, it is probably best to book through British Airways. Our post on British airways can be found here. If your home airport is 1,150 miles or less from Orlando, then you can expect to pay 15,000 miles roundtrip. If your home airport is 2,000 miles of less than you can expect to pay 20,000 miles round trip. British Aiways also has a card which offer 50,000 miles sign up which is enough to get 2 people to Disney World. One thing to note is that the British airways card is not under 5/24, so if you are unable to get the Southwest or other Chase cards this is still an option.
If you plan on using Southwest or British Airways and you haven’t come near the 5/24 rule, we recommend starting with the Chase Trinity. The points earned from these cards can be transferred to Southwest and honestly these are the best longterm cards in our opinion.
If you and your spouse/partner/dog (jk jk don’t give your dog a credit card…) both signed up for the Barclay Arrival Plus, then you can use the remaining miles not used on the park tickets to help pay for some of the airline tickets as well.
Are you leery about all these credit cards? Then you could pay for flights (Gasp!!!). I know, I know but from time to time we pay for flights especially if they are inexpensive. But hey when your hotel and park tickets are free…you are still getting a pretty great deal.
**We are loyal customers to these credit card companies and are in no way financial advisors. Use your discretion when applying for new cards. Some of the links are affiliated, not all. Affiliated means that we are compensated in some small way for signing up through our links. We are not asked to advertise for these companies.**