Using Disney Gift Cards for Your Disney Vacation

Did you know?

Did you know you could use Disney gift cards for anything Disney related? This means even paying off your vacation, or for food or merchandise in the parks. This is a great option to save money on your trip (I’ll detail how below).

Keep in mind that it does have a downside in that if you pay for your trip with gift cards and need to cancel, you will only get refunded in the same form you paid. We paid for a trip in March 2020 predominately with gift cards. Then we had to cancel trip due to the covid shut down. So, we were stuck with thousands of dollars of Disney gift cards. However, it worked out ok. We rescheduled the trip at a lower cost, used the gift cards to pay it off, and still had leftover to pay for things while on our trip like food.

Ask for gift cards from friends and family

If you have a birthday or holiday such as Christmas coming up, ask your family for Disney gift cards! This way you can use them to apply towards your balance on your vacation, thus saving you money.

It’s also a great way for grandparents or other family to give a gift to your children for souvenirs. Kids LOVE being able to spend their own “money” in the parks to get what they want! Or they can use it to do a magical extra like build a light saber, or attend a party. You can even use it for dining with characters.

Purchasing Disney gift cards at a discounted price

Did you know you could get discounted Disney gift cards? This is a great way to save money on your trip!

First option is at Target. If you are a Target Red Card holder, you get 5% off all purchases, and that includes Disney gift cards! So, a $500 Disney gift card will only cost $475. That savings can really add up! If you have a $3000 package you purchase 6 $500 gift cards for, that’s a savings of $150.

Next up is Sam’s club. Most of the year, their savings is a little less than Target. But with Target, you only get the savings if you have the Red Card. Most people have a Sam’s club membership or know someone who does. Here’s the breakdown:

1 $500 gift card is $484.98 for a savings of $15.02

3 $50 gift cards are packaged together for $144.98 for a savings of $5.02, if you need to spread out your purchase of them more.

Also consider this….they often discount these gift cards even more for Black Friday. And check the math because in the past, it has been more savings the lower the gift card amount.

Here’s how we put it to use for our trip….First we applied for a brand new Disney Visa. At the time, they were running a promo where you received a $300 credit when you spent $500 in the first month. They run promos like that often. We then went to Sam’s Club on Black Friday. Their sale had the largest savings the smaller the gift card. We bought enough $25 gift cards to pay off our entire trip, and paid for it with our Disney Visa, earning the credit they had offered. So in the end, we saved around $500 on our trip.

Manage Your Gift Cards

You can go to www.disneygiftcard.com to manage your gift cards. You can create an online account where you can register your gift cards and move funds around from card to card. You can have up to six different cards with a balance of up to $1000 per card at one time. You can also check card balances.

If you are using the cards to pay off a trip, it will be much easier for you in the long run as well as your travel agent when making the payment, if you combine those cards….especially if you end up purchasing smaller card amounts.

A Final Word about the Disney Visa

Do your research before deciding if the Disney Visa is right for you. Yes, it has amazing benefits! This includes special meet and greets, vacation discounts, no interest for certain time periods on certain Disney vacation purchases, and restaurant discounts. We also earn great cash back, that we cash into a card while at Disney to use for more savings. They also almost always have a really great signing bonus of some sort.

However, to get most of these benefits, it does have an annual fee. There is a version of the card that does not have a fee, but it doesn’t have nearly as many benefits. So you need to decide…is the annual fee less than what you will save? And to continue to keep the card open, it’s only worth it if you take Disney vacation at least each year. Keep all of these things in mind when applying for your own Disney Visa. Otherwise, you may end up losing money rather than saving.

Published by Emily Trempe

I am a mom of 2 boys ages 11 and 14, and have been married to my wonderfully supportive husband, Brian for 14 years. I work full time in the billing department of a large opthamolgy practice in Michigan. I have not just a love for all things Disney that started from birth. My boys sometimes call it my Disney problem, but my husband and I fondly refer to it as my Disney passion. I have a side gig as a travel advisor. I can help plan almost any vacation, but as you can guess, I specialize in Disney and Universal.

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