Disney vacations are the happiest places on Earth and all things magical, but let’s face it they can be pricey. We have been 3 times now and have a fourth trip to WDW booked for October and a Merrytime Cruise for December. That’s a lot of dollars sent Disney’s way so it would be nice to get a little of that back, right? Well, we can! Here’s 3 ways that will reward you for saving for that Disney vacation.
Disney Vacation Account
This is different from the Disney Vacation Club which is Disney’s version of time sharing. A Disney Vacation Account is just that- an actual savings account that Disney manages that helps you save for your current Disney dream vacation account.
With the Disney Vacation account you can plan your Disney vacation with a date of up to 5 years in advance and it will give you an estimated budget for the trip. Based on that amount, you can set up your Disney Vacation Account with a debit or credit card. You can choose to make monthly or bi weekly contributions or an instant contribution at any time. You can also withdraw all of your money at any time. There are no fees for the Disney Vacation Account. Once you reach your goal you can use your Disney Vacation Club to book your vacation either over the phone or online.
How It Pays You:
Once your account is active for 120 days, you will be eligible for a $20 Disney gift card for every $1000 you spend on the vacation up to $500 in gift cards prior to December 31, 2017 (Disney’s discretion to extend the date.). Be sure and request your gift cards 4-6 weeks in advance to allow them time to arrive before your trip. The gift cards are basically the equivalent of 2% interest which isn’t great but it’s something and there’s something to be said for using the Disney budgeting tool for accuracy and ease of transfer of funds. And it kind of feels one step closer to Disney when they’re the ones in charge of savings. 🙂
Let me start this one by saying credit cards aren’t for everyone and can be a slippery slope so if it’s not for you, scroll on down to number 3. It took us years to pay off our credit card debt so I am by no means advocating anyone getting into debt to go to Disney (or for any reason for that matter), however if you use it and are disciplined enough to pay it off, the Disney Visa does have its perks.
How It Pays
The big payout for the Disney visa is that you can earn a $200 Disney gift card after you spend $500 within the first 3 months of opening the account. You can also earn another $50 Disney gift card for adding an authorized user such as a spouse within the first 3 months of opening. That’s $250 in Disney gift cards! However, that’s a one time perk so be aware that once it’s done, it’s done. The reward dollars earned are 1% which is actually lower than the Disney Vacation Account, however, there is no limit on the amount you can earn. You can redeem your rewards dollars for all things Disney for everything from resort stays and park tickets to merchandise. There are other credit cards out there that actually give greater financial rewards (I will leave you to research those because as I mentioned a CC is a personal decision), however, my Disney loving friend, they do not offer the Disney perks of the Disney Visa. There are card holder only character experiences, merchandise discounts, and private Star Wars experiences. This is your old pal Kathy telling you though, get those rewards but pay it off. No one wants to be paying on a vacation long after it’s over. Also, read the terms and conditions and this card has a fee.
Disney Gift Cards Purchased w Target Red Card
As convoluted as that heading sounds this one is easy to do and actually pays/saves you the most. If you have a Target Red Card (and I do because I love the Bullseye!) simply buy Disney gift cards with it and you will save 5% on that gift card. That 5% beats either of the other two options by quite a bit and if you get enough gift cards to pay for your whole trip you are saving 5% on your vacation! When you’re talking about a trip that is thousands of dollars, a 5% savings is not insignificant. I have a certain amount budgeted out of each paycheck to grab my gift cards and once per month I combine those gift cards into one big gift card through DisneyGiftCard and make a payment to my travel agent. Easy peasy 5% saved on our favorite vacation spot and another reason to go to Target. 🙂
We save with a combination of these. Do your homework and pick the one(s) that work best for your family. Disney vacations make for wonderful family memories, but when you can save for it and get rewarded for it too, they’re even more magical.