How to Put Money Aside for a Disney Vacation and Save 15% in the Process!

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I’ve been looking into creative ways to put money aside for a future Disney vacation for my sister, who wants to visit Disney World more frequently with her family. Of course I’m looking for a way to do this that will also save money in the process!

The best money-saving way I’ve found to put funds aside for a Disney trip is to buy Disney gift cards at a discount with a credit card that will earn considerable cash back on your purchase. Using the approach I’ll describe below, you can save 15% off the cost of your Disney vacation!

So below I’ll walk you through a few different scenarios for setting up a Disney trip fund while saving money in the process.

Save 5% on Disney Gift Cards at BJ’s Wholesale

My  first suggestion is to buy discounted Disney gift cards to build your Disney savings fund. BJ’s Wholesale Club sells $100 Disney gift cards for $95 on their website. You DON’T need to be a member to purchase these gift cards, and there is no tax or shipping charges added to the total cost! So right away, here is an easy way to save 5% off the cost of your trip.

If you are trying to be disciplined about saving for a future trip, I suggest making an automated schedule for purchasing gift cards. Saving is much more likely to happen when it is automatic! So I suggest buying one each time you get paid, or one each month, to help build your fund.

You may want to designate a special place in your house to store your gift cards, making sure it is secure since they are like cash.

Use a Rewards Card to Pay for Your Purchase

I’m someone who doesn’t shy away from using credit cards to help save money on travel (you can read about my favorite cards for free travel here). If you are willing to use a credit card to pay for your purchase, you can save a lot more on your trip. If using credit isn’t your thing, you can at the very least save 5% off your trip just by getting your gift cards through BJ’s.

The Discover It Cash Back card is a no-annual fee card that earns 5% cash back in rotating categories throughout the year. From January through the end of June, card holders have been able to get 5% cash back on purchases from Wholesale Clubs such as BJ’s. You DO have to remember to activate the bonus each quarter, but you’ll get email reminders to help.

Additionally, cardholders will have their cashback doubled at the end of their first year. This turns your 5% savings into 10%, though you won’t get the savings until the end of your first year, and only for your first year. Add this 10% cash back to the 5% you’ll save from BJ’s and you’ve saved 15% on the cost of these gift cards!

Since you’ll only get 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases, the most you can expect to save is $150 per quarter. However since Wholesale Clubs were including for quarter one and two this year, you could potentially save up to $300 total so far this year.

What I like most about this card is that there’s no minimum spending requirement to meet and there’s no annual fee. You could essentially just use this card to purchase discounted Disney gift cards, which might make it easier for some folks to manage!

If you feel like you can handle a more complicated credit card, you can potentially save even more. My top choice for buying discounted gift cards to help fund your trip would be the Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa.

After you meet the minimum spending requirement of $4,000 in the first three months of opening the card, you’ll earn bonus points that you can redeem for statement credit. You can use the bonus to basically “erase” purchases on the card, giving you $540 in cash back. If you use this card to purchase discounted Disney gift cards from BJ’s, you’ll dramatically increase your savings.

There is a $95 annual fee for this card that is waived for the first year. There really isn’t much benefit for the annual fee, so after having the card for a year my husband and I both downgraded to the no-annual fee Chase Sapphire card.

How to Use Disney Gift Cards to Pay for Your Trip

You can use Disney gift cards to pay for most expenses associated with a Disney trip, so they are pretty versatile. First of all, if you want help planning your Disney vacation at no additional cost to you, I recommend getting a free quote from Destinations in Florida, my recommended Disney travel agency. You can use Disney gift cards to pay for your trip even if you book it with their agency, so you’ll save money AND have someone do all of the hard work for you!

You can use Disney gift cards to buy your theme park tickets from Disney and to pay for a package or room-only reservation booked directly with Disney. You can use them to pay for any purchases you make in the parks, including your dining.

You can use gift cards to pay for the Disney Dining Plan, too. Even if you choose to rent DVC points to save money on a stay at a Deluxe resort, you can use Disney gift cards to add the Dining Plan to your stay after it is booked!

I hope you found this post helpful and that it inspires you to set up a savings plan for your next trip! Questions? Please leave a comment below!


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