Using Rewards To Get You on Your Way To Disney World Plus Other Ways to Earn or Save

Disney World is most often thought of the most magical place in the world. If you've been there you've seen and felt the pixie dust. If you haven't you might be holding back because yes magic seems to come with a price tag. The great thing about Disney World is that there is vacation for everyone. The more you plan, the more you'll save so starting a year or so in advance will rev you up and get you your best deals or "magic you way".

I've seen some great articles and other blog posts with great tips for saving. Most of them I have visited applied mostly to our American friends. Even so, visiting the sites got me thinking of ways to reap some "rewards" too. In the US they have have options like a Disney Visa that rewards you with a cash back style reward in Disney Dream Reward Dollars. They also offer huge incentives (bonus for signing up) to get you a jump start. Target had entered Canada for a short time and they have their own credit card where it gives you a 5% back on purchases. They include gift cards so you can use your savings on cards and you can get $50 gift cards for $47.50. Not much, but adds up and you can use the Disney gift cards to pay for vacation on their website or use them to buy souvenirs, meals or anything at any of the parks

Speaking of Disney Gift Cards I've just got onto them here in Canada too. Currently I have redeemed 3 cards that were $50 each to test out. Disney World charges you at US rate so when you use the Canadian card they just use latest rate and don't charge a fee like most credit and debit cards do. When you book on their site you can slowly pay down instead of having to pay for vacation up front like most Travel agencies expect and you change your reservations or get full refund up to 30 days prior.

You may be wondering where can you get a Disney gift card other then those few Disney stores (that are few and not in my area nor easy to come by). Well I have found them at WalMart, Real Canadian Superstore and Canadian Tire to name a few. The stores I have mentioned all have their reward systems too. At Walmart if you use their Walmart MasterCard  credit card you get 1.25% on purchases their and 1% elsewhere which you can redeem cash to take off shopping. You can get up to $25 as a bonus to sign up. Not one of the best in reward cards but if you do most of your shopping there it can be very beneficial and add up quickly. I'm not sure if you can use the rewards directly for gift cards. However, you can buy card as you are making another purchase and take the money off the other purchase etc. You may have to buy card on separate receipt. That is the case with PC Optimum points from the Loblaws chains and Triangle rewards at Canadian Tire unfortunately points can't be directly used on  gift cards. 
If you are not onto Triangle but go there a few times a year, consider getting the card and/or the app. They often give offers like spend $100 and get $25 in points. You can opt for their Triangle Mastercard too which has perks on collecting more.
If you shop at any of the Loblaws chain stores PC Optimum Points are another cash back rewards system. They are always bonus offers and promotions for extra points too. You can sign up with their PC MasterCard and gain even more especially with the Elite card. It also has no fee and has other perks like Travel insurance that make it even more useful.
I haven't actually seen Disney Cards at Metro and Sobey's although I have read they are available there. Again if you have "Cash Miles" you can't use on gift cards. I have a good chunk of Airmiles but they are dream miles and not able to use at store. Although, depending on what you are looking for in your vacation at Disney you can get a 5-7 day base ticket from Airmiles as well starting at 4,800 miles for child and 5,100 for one 5 day ticket. It is a savings of over $500.

One of my favourite rewards right now is the Scotia Rewards because you can use it for part or all of your travel, you can book travel and then use points towards bill after or you can use towards Disney Gift Cards they mail to you. They have many options and although I haven't used yet (but will be for our trip in Dec) I have been checking the options out. I feel the most value on points though is to book travel or flights directly through them. They are comparable to all the discount travel agency so you always have a great price too. We have the Amex Gold which gives you 4% on gas, groceries and entertainment. There is an annual fee for this one though but is worth it to us because in my husbands business and the fuel he uses. You'd have to make sure that you really make enough in points money to offset the fee.

With credit cards and rewards, a lot of cards offer you a bonus for signing up. I'm talking large points or dollars. I know the last time we went to Disney I had signed up to credit cards just to get big bonus of like 2000 miles. which can be around $200 approx value. You can cancel cards after a certain amount of time too. Sometimes if there is a fee associated (usually free first year too as incentive) I'll join to get bonus and cancel before annual fee. If you do opt to cancel you'll have to read fine print because you have to have card for so long to keep incentive and make sure you are able to cancel before fee is up.

Of course, if you are not good with credit cards you can be creating debt rather then saving for your trip so be sure you can manage and pay off your bills monthly with no balance. If you are keeping balances on any of the cards you are likely not gaining anything. A lot of the rewards have other means of collecting without credit for free and it's still worth getting something.

Another tip for saving or more like making money for  Trip is to clear out some of those items you no longer use but are of value. I purge on kijiji and put it in a Disney collection jar then I plan to buy gift cards and exchange some for US dollars. This is a win two ways because you clean up clutter and unwanted items and make some money back. I've been lucky though and have a 5 and 10 year old which I have purged all baby stuff, toys and other items that just don't get used.

A great tip for earning extra savings that is way too underrated has been using  coupon sites to save as well. Some example are Ebates, Checkout 51 and Caddle. If you haven't joined Ebates yet, they offer $5 just to join which is free. You basically download their app and do your online shopping through the app to get money back. They have a ton of stores participating. You get a percentage of purchase price and it varies pending on the store and if additional offers. If you can get someone else to join and purchase through referral code they'll give you more cash. $5 a referral and after 2 you can get $40 bonus! That's $50 already! It's free and easy to use. I recommend the app or browser addition though because there is many times I had forgotten to log in on site first and missed out on the savings.
Checkout 51 and Caddle are both a coupon site. You buy your products and then take a picture of receipt to claim coupons. Just like in store, you need to verify and read that you are getting the correct product. After you hit $20 minimum you can cash out. They mail you a cheque when you put in the request. I have earned back over the last few years $496 on Checkout 51 alone. Those cent coupons add up and the great thing is you can use your in store coupon and their coupon on same item and at places like Costco where they don't take coupons other then their own. They sometimes have bonus offers too that boost up your savings. Again, free and nothing to lose to join. 

If you have any of your own tips or other great money back opportunities you'd like to share, please do so in a comment below!


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