There’s no denying that a trip to Walt Disney World is expensive. When you consider the lodging, tickets, airfare or gas prices, and dining, a family of four could spend several thousand dollars on one vacation.
Fortunately, there are some ways to save money if you’re willing to put in a little effort. Most of these tricks will require a little finagling, but the savings can be worth it.
As a caveat, I’m going to recommend that you not do any of these hacks too far in advance and not tie up more money than you can afford. If you’re paying interest on credit cards to fund this, you’re defeating the purpose. Plus, it would be better to make actual investments that will earn money then make these purchases closer to the time of your vacation.
Also, use these methods at your own risk! Rules change – be sure the process still works as expected before you commit.
1. Raise.com & Target Red Card
With a Target Red Card, get 5% off of every purchase in store and online just by using your card. Plus, having a card can save you some money. The Target Red Card, by virtue of this one deal, is better than the Disney Visa for Disney fans. Using the trick below, you can save about 10% off of Disney Gift Cards at Target with the Red Card.
In order for this hack to work, you’ll need the Target Red Card and a raise.com account. Raise.com is a gift card retailer that buys and sells gift cards at a discounted rate. There are several of these companies out there, but this happens to be one of the best.
Step 1: Go to raise.com and search “Target” gift cards.
Step 2: Sort gift cards by percentage discount.
The discount is usually between 2% and 4%, but I recently found it to be as high as 5.3% on higher dollar gift cards.
Step 3: Purchase the Target gift card(s) using a credit card.
By purchasing with a credit card that allows you to build either cash back or miles, you’ll be expediting the money-saving process.
Step 4: Go to target.com.
Once there, make sure that your Red Card is loaded on to your account to make you eligible for the %5 off your purchases.
Step 5: Add Disney gift cards to your cart.
Step 6: Purchase the Disney gift cards using the Target gift cards you purchased on Raise.com.
You don’t have to use your Red Card to get the 5% off; it only needs to be loaded on your account. Before you finalize your purchase, make sure that the 5% off is showing. Sometimes there’s a glitch and the Red Card is removed from the purchase.
I should mention that all of this requires a bit of Internet savvy and the use of a credit card, so if you aren’t comfortable making purchases online or you don’t have a credit card, this is probably not the right trick for you.
2. Fuel Points
A much easier tip to save some money on all kinds of gift cards is to use a grocery store’s fuel points program. Many retailers including BI-LO, Kmart, Winn Dixie, Giant, Kroger, Giant Eagle, and Safeway, to name just a few, offer such programs.
Here’s how it works: You buy gift cards at the grocer and you earn points for money off gas. That’s it!
If you can combine this with other savings, that works great too. For example, buying the gift cards with a credit card that offers cash back at grocery stores, cash back on purchases, or flyer miles can increase your savings margins.
What’s more, some stores sell Target gift cards. So, if you aren’t comfortable using raise.com, you can buy Target gift cards at another retail with a fuel rewards program and use those gift cards to purchase Disney gift cards at Target.
3. Warehouse Clubs
Warehouse Clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco occasionally have Disney gift cards in packs. You might be able to get four $25 cards for say 5% off. It’s not a huge savings, but it is a completely safe and risk free way to buy gift cards.
Again, layering savings is the best way to make this purchase. If you have a Chase Freedom card, you probably know that warehouse clubs are one of the 5X rotating categories. If you use your Chase Freedom card to purchase the discounted gift cards at the warehouse club, you might save 10%.
4. Disney Vacation Account
A Disney Vacation Account is a savings account with Disney that allows you to estimate the cost of your vacation and set up automatic deposits or make manual deposits. You can also make deposits via gift cards.
If you have a bunch of Disney gift cards either that you received as gifts or that you’ve purchased by the means discussed above, this is a great way to consolidate them.
Although you do get an account number, there’s no actual card, and you can have the money refunded at any time.
So how does this help you actually save money? Well, the DVA gives 2% cash back on every $1,000 deposited. Therefore, if you deposit $2,000, you’ll get $40 in Disney gift cards applied to your account.
Officially, the DVA can be used for vacation package purchases including hotel accommodations, the Disney Dining Plan, and tickets. Based on this information, it can’t be used at restaurants or for room charges or purchases in the parks. However, the account number can theoretically be used like a gift card, and people say that they’ve used the account for room charges and to pay DVC dues!
Do you have hacks to save money on Disney Gift Cards?