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Martin Terentyev
Martin Terentyev

Can You Use Disney Gift Cards To Buy Tickets


Many families travel to Disneyland and Walt Disney World on a budget so we aim to provide as many budget tips as possible here on Mickey Visit! One of my favorite budget tips is one I use quite often and the best way to save money on Disney gift cards. There's a few ways to do this and you don't even have to use a credit card to do it. Keep reading to find out how I save $5 for every $100 spent on the trips I take to Disneyland.




can you use disney gift cards to buy tickets



First it's helpful to know what you can spend your Disney gift cards on at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. You can spend them on park tickets, dining, shopping, and Disney property owned hotels. There isn't much that is excluded from the use of Disney gift cards.


When you use your Target Red Card (debit or credit) at Target stores or Target.com, you will receive 5% off on your purchases. And since Target sells Disney gift cards, that means you can use that 5% on those gift cards! Gift cards are not excluded from that discount which makes this option our favorite way to save money on Disney gift cards.


So for every $100 you spend, that's $5 saved and that adds up quickly when it comes to knocking some dollars off your dining and shopping budget for your Disneyland trip. If you budget to spend $1000 on dining for your family on your trip and purchase that amount in Disney gift cards, that's $50 saved. That amount does add up and it's really simple to utilize.


Here's an example of what the Disney Gift Card discount looks like in the shopping cart. You have a maximum of three $500 e-gift cards you can purchase at a time but you can purchase multiple orders. For each $1500 you spend, you will save $75 dollars. This adds up pretty quick, especially if you're using the gift cards to pay off a Disney resort stay!


For example: if your Disney Grand Californian Hotel Stay is $4875 and you purchase $4800 in Disney gift cards you will save 5% off $4800 which means you'd save $240 off your hotel stay. You can call Disney ahead of time and pay off your stay with the gift cards if you don't want to deal with paying for it when you arrive.


Once you're a Red Card holder you can watch the mail for additional discounts. Every few months Target will send out an additional 5% coupon that you can combine with your existing 5% discount to get a total of 10% off your transaction. People usually report having more success using this coupon for Disney gift cards on the website as opposed to going into the store.


Another thing to watch out for is as a new Red Card holder sometimes you're set a limit, for the debit card anyways, as to how much you spend in one transaction. Splitting the purchase of your gift cards into multiple transactions is the best way to avoid any hassles. I usually divide my total amount I want to buy in gift cards between two-three transactions over a couple months to make sure I don't run into any issues. It's a pretty unknown variable as to what your account limit is and they don't tell you when you sign up. The longer you have a Red Card though, the more this amount will increase. When I first opened a Red Card I was still able to purchase up to $500 in gift cards but when I pushed that number to $700 I got denied. Just be warned so you don't have surprises at the checkout. Some guests report having better luck with that unknown variable on the website and not running into any issues. Either way, be prepared to split your purchase up into different transactions if you encounter problems.


This is a great and easy way to save money on Disney trips and it really takes no time at all to do it! You can easily do everything online if you don't live near a Target from applying for the Red Card to purchasing the gift cards.


Once you purchase your gift cards head over to the Disney Gift Card website and make an account. Once your account is set up you can register your gift cards to the account (up to five max) and then you can transfer balances between them right from the website. Each card can hold a maximum of $1000 on it at a time and there are no service fees. Disney gift cards also never expire!


One thing I like to do is buy three physical gift cards in the store and then buy e-gift cards online for the rest of our spending money. Then I register my physical gift cards on the Disney Gift Card website. I load all my money onto two separate cards and divide the balances into two categories: shopping and dining. This way I can keep my money organized and it also helps me to stay within my budget if I know my shopping money is only set for a certain amount on this card. This also works great for kids. If my son earns money for a trip, I give it to him on his own personal gift card so once it's gone- it's gone!


You can also just use the e-gift card from your phone or print it out on a piece of paper. Whatever works best for you but I've found using the physical gift cards to be the easiest for me. Each time you make a purchase at Disneyland, the cast member will print out a receipt with the remaining balance on the bottom so you can easily keep track.


One popular option for guests is to utilize the Kroger Fuel Points at local Kroger owned stores (King Soopers, etc.) and use that as a way to stockpile your Disney Gift Cards. Essentially, you're saving money on gas but you're doing that as you're buying gift cards for your trip. Every dollar you spend at Kroger earns 1 fuel point on regular purchases and 2 on gift card purchases. Sometimes they will offer 4x fuel point coupons to watch out for which can help make those fuel point savings add up. For every 100 fuel points you can save $0.10 on every gallon of gas.


Another way that guests can save money on Disney gift cards is to watch for deals at Costco or Sam's Club. Occasionally they will sell four packs of Disney gift cards at a discounted rate of up to 6% usually.


Did you know that you can pay for your entire Disney vacation with Disney gift cards? Why would you want to do this? Because if you buy discount Disney gift cards, you are in essence saving money on your Disney vacation.


What you won't often find in your quest for savings are Disney gift cards on sale directly to consumers with significant discounts. In order to get meaningful savings, you'll need to leverage a variety of "stacking" strategies where you utilize two or more financial tools or programs. Many of the below strategies are proven to always work, while others have fleeting success on a cyclical basis.


Target coupons and Target Circle (formerly called Cartwheel) offers, in my experience, always exclude gift cards and that is hard-coded at registers, preventing additional savings on Disney gift cards. Of course, 5% is better than 0%, so this is a tried and true way to save a few bucks.


TPG regularly reports on the best Amex Offers that show on American Express cardholder accounts. On a regular basis, that list includes a store that hosts a large, third-party gift card rack. For example, one recent Amex offer was 3,000 Membership Rewards points for spending $300 or more at Best Buy. The Best Buy gift card racks sell Disney gift cards and the offer tracked when using your enrolled Amex card to buy gift cards at Best Buy. TPG values Amex Membership Rewards at 2 cents each, meaning you earn $60 worth of points on a $300 Disney Gift card, effectively equating to a 20% discount.


I then would try and stack this by seeing if I could order Disney gift cards on BestBuy.com and go through a shopping portal for Best Buy on the off chance it tracked. Because there are also often limits to gift card orders online, it's rare that a stack like this would work on a larger scale.


A few words of caution for Amex Offers: Just because this strategy worked in the past does not mean it will continue to work. American Express almost surely gets level three transaction data from merchants, meaning it can tell what you buy in-store. Just this year, Amex went back and removed credits earned from Amex Offers when cardholders had used the same offer across multiple cards (a strategy no longer possible). Even if you earn the points or statement credit now from Amex, the company has already proven it can (and will) come back at a later date and take away the points or credit. If the terms of an Amex Offer specifically excludes gift cards purchases, it may or may not work out for you in the end.


There are also permanent bonus categories on some cards that can be very useful when earning a bonus on Disney gift cards. For example, if you have a credit card that awards a bonus at office supply stores (such as Staples and Office Depot), that can help you rack up bonus points on Disney gift cards.


Buying gift cards gives you the ability to earn big fuel rewards points you can use for discounted fill-ups at many gas stations. While it may not be instant cash back in your pocket, you'll still save money the next time you fill up your car.


Grocery stores like Kroger, Safeway, Albertsons and Giant (and associated brands) routinely offer bonus fuel rewards for buying third-party gift cards from their racks. It's usually 4x points per dollar, with 100 points equal to 10 cents off per gallon the next time you fill up. A $500 Disney gift card at my local Kroger during 4x fuel point offers equates to 2,000 Fuel Rewards or $2 per gallon in savings. You can only use a maximum of 1,000 points per fill-up, or $1 off on up to 35 gallons. If you can fill up all 35 gallons twice, that's $70 in savings on a $500 card, or a 14% discount before any credit card rewards are added.


I like to save at least 10% on Disney gift cards if I am going to go through the effort with some of the above techniques. But saving 10% off a family Disney excursion can result in significant money back in my pocket.


If I purchase gift cards online for email delivery can I link them as a form of payment attached to a Magic Band? If you link multiple gift cards will the balance combine or do you have to go through the gift card transfer process on the website then link? 041b061a72


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