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Step-By-Step Guide To A Free Disney World Vacation

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Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Disclosures.

Walt Disney said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” And he’s right! It might seem impossible but using credit card points to earn Disney rewards for a free family vacation is absolutely possible!

A trip to Walt Disney World is the quintessential American family vacation. A typical family can expect to pay anywhere from $3,600-$5,500 in airfare, hotel, and tickets to enjoy four days at the House of the Mouse.

You can turn your Disney dreams into reality and book a trip to the Magic Kingdom for a fraction of the normal cost. All it takes is faith, trust, and a little bit of pixie dust–all in the form of travel rewards!

Quick Steps:

  1. Each parent opens a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and earns the sign-up bonus–this will cover airfare
  2. Each parent opens a Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card and earns the sign-up bonus–this will cover hotels
  3. Each parent opens a Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and earns the sign-up bonus–this will cover park tickets

For more detailed information see below!

Using Disney Rewards For A Family Vacation

Let’s say you are shooting for an October 2020 Disney vacation. It will be four people (two adults and two children) on economy flights to Orlando with a five-night hotel stay and four, four-day passes to Disney World.

Basic Rules

  1. Earn the sign-up bonus by putting existing expenses on the new card. Avoid spending money to meet a minimum spend, just to earn the sign-up bonus.
  2. Pay off the balances on time and in full every month. Travel rewards only make sense if you avoid paying interest to the card issuer every month!

How To Get Free Airfare To Disney

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of our favorite cards. It has a sign-up bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards Points after spending $4,000 in the first three months after account opening.

Points are worth 1.25 cents, so this bonus is worth $1,250 when redeemed in the Chase Travel Portal. Although the annual fee for this card is $95, the value of the bonus more than makes up for it.

Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) can be used just like cash to pay for travel. When using the Chase Travel Portal, there are no blackout dates, so points can be used to book any available flight, making it ideal for family travel.

Flights from most major US cities to Orlando can be found for $350 or less. With this one credit card sign-up, two family members should be able to book flights to Orlando. However, both adults in a household are eligible to sign up for their own Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and earn the corresponding sign-up bonus. So that should cover all four family members.

Helpful Tip: Don’t worry if there’s only one adult in the family earning a paycheck. Use household income when applying for credit cards even if you aren’t the one earning it.

Learn how to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card here

How To Get Free Hotel Stay At Disney

You earn 3 Free Nights (up to 50,000 points each) after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card.

Orlando has more 450 hotels to choose from, but when using points to visit Disney World, we recommend focusing on Marriott for a few reasons.

  • Marriott gives the fifth night free when redeeming points
  • Two on-site Disney Resort to choose from
  • Shuttles to the parks

Staying on-site provides guests with a few extra perks that can make paying the premium worthwhile, such as Extra Magic Hours, FastPass+, package delivery, and on-site character dining.

On-site options:

  • Walt Disney World Dolphin: Standard rate is 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points
  • Walt Disney World Swan: Standard rate is 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points

Or choose to stay off-site and spend even fewer points. Some of these nearby off-site options include free breakfast, free shuttles to the parks, or kitchens/kitchenettes.

  • Sheraton Orlando Buena Vista Resort
  • Fairfield Inn and Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista
  • Delta Hotels Lake Buena Vista
  • TownePlace Suites Orlando at Flamingo Crossings
  • SpringHill Suites Orlando at Flamingo Crossings

Helpful Tip: To book with points and receive the fifth-night free perk, all the points need to be in one Marriott account. Marriott allows the transfer of 100,000 points per year to another Marriott Bonvoy member by calling Guest Services at 1-801-468-4000.

Learn how to apply for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card here

How To Get Free Disney World Tickets

Yes, you can use credit card reward points for theme park tickets! Miles earned with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card can be redeemed toward travel purchases made with the card. Simply make the purchase with the card, log in to the account, and redeem the points for a statement credit against travel purchases.The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card will earn 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.  The annual fee is $95.

Most Flexible Travel Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards can be used for almost any travel expenses.
Details: $95 AF | $3k spend in 3 months to earn $600 in travel

The trick to making this work:

Point redemptions can only be made against travel purchases. To qualify, the purchase must code as “travel.” Tickets purchased from the Disney website do NOT code as travel. Fortunately, theme park tickets purchased from the authorized seller, Undercovertourist.com, do code as travel.

Bonus: Undercovertourist.com tickets are often cheaper than when buying through Disney!

Learn how to apply for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card here

The Step-By-Step Path To Disney World Rewards

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Step 1: Parent 1 opens a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and meets the minimum spending requirement for the sign-up bonus. Total earned: 100,000 sign-up bonus + 4,000 points from spending

Step 2: Parent 2 opens their own Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and meets the minimum spending requirement for the sign-up bonus. Total earned: 100,000 sign-up bonus + 4,000 points from spending

Helpful Tip: For easier booking within the Chase Travel Portal, Chase Ultimate Rewards points may be combined between members of the same household.

New To Travel Rewards? This Card is For You!

If you are ready to unlock a world of free travel, start with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Welcome bonus is worth $1,250 of travel, more if you transfer them to partners like Southwest Airlines or Hyatt hotels.
Details: $95 annual fee | $4k min spend in 3 months to earn 100k Chase UR Points.

Learn how to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card here

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Step 3: Parent 1 opens a Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card and meets the minimum spending requirement for the sign-up bonus. Total earned: 3 free nights (up to 50,000 points each per night)

Step 4: Parent 2 opens their own Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card and meets the minimum spending requirement for the sign-up bonus. Total earned: 3 free nights (up to 50,000 points each per night)

Helpful Tip: When additional Marriott points are required, Chase Ultimate Rewards Points can be transferred to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio.

Learn how to apply for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card here.

The Captial One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Most Flexible Travel Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards can be used for almost any travel expenses.
Details: $95 AF | $3k spend in 3 months to earn $600 in travel

Step 5: Parent 1 opens a Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and meets the minimum spending requirement for the initial sign-up bonus. Total earned: 60,000 Venture Miles + 6,000 miles from spending

Step 6: Parent 2 opens their own Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and meets the minimum spending requirement for the initial sign-up bonus. Total earned: 60,000 Venture Miles + 6,000 miles from spending

Step 7: Log in to the Chase Travel Portal to book airfare to Orlando. Fares are listed in both dollars and points. When booking through the portal, the ENTIRE fare may be paid with points making it 100% free. No separate taxes or TSA fees!

Step 8: Login to Marriott and search for the Disney World area hotel you are interested in. Reserve with your Marriott Bonvoy points.

Helpful Tip: Marriott allows you to make points reservations before you’ve earned all the points. If you know your dates, you can make a reservation and lock it in while still working toward your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card sign-up bonus.

Learn how to apply for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card here.

Undercover Tourist

Step 9: Purchase Disney World tickets at Undercovertourist.com with your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Cards and then redeem your Venture Miles points for the purchase.

Summary

With some planning, a free trip to Disney World is totally possible. It will take a little bit of effort and coordination to open and coordinate spending so that you can earn the sign-up bonuses but the memories you will make will be worth it.

If you want to learn more about travel rewards ChooseFI has a free travel rewards course that will teach you everything you’ll want to know about travel rewards. Check it out here.

Top Travel Rewards Offers


Top Travel Card

Ready to unlock a world of free travel? Start with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Details: $95 annual fee | $4k min spend in 3 months to earn $1,250+ of travel.


Most Flexible Travel Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards can be used for almost any travel expenses.

Details: $95 AF | $3k spend in 3 months to earn $600 in travel.


Flexible Chase UR Points & Cashback Card

The Chase Freedom Flex has no Annual Fee (AF) and earns Chase UR points.

Details: No AF | $500 spend in 3 months to earn $200.


Best Card for Side Hustlers and Business Owners

Side hustlers! The Ink Business Preferred can earn you $1.25k+ of free travel!

Details: $95 annual fee | $15k spend in 3 months to earn $1,250+ of travel

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Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Disclosures.
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