Rewards cards are a great tool for saving on any Disney vacation. Choose the right credit card, and you will achieve significant savings on the sign-up bonus alone, and some even include great ways to save while you’re at Disney.
Here are the top 3 credit cards for saving on your next Disney vacation.
Best for Saving on Your Flight to Disney
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to some great airline travel partners like Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, or United Airlines. Based on domestic market share, this represents the largest (Southwest Airlines), 4th largest (United Airlines), and 6th largest (JetBlue) airlines in the United States, not to mention other large international airlines such as British Airways, Emirates, and Singapore Airlines, to name a few.
If you are able to get approved with this offer, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is not only our favorite card to save on flights to Disney, but it now becomes (for however long the offer lasts) the best card for all of your travel needs including Disney Hotels and Tickets.
I love the flexibility of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program as cardholders can choose to redeem points in a variety of ways. My 3 favorite options are:
- 1:1 to a variety of airline and hotel frequent travel programs. For example, need another 100,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards miles? Transfer your sign-up bonus Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest.
- For travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards website and travel center with each point valued at $0.0125 (1.25 cents), which means 60,000 points equal $750 in redemption value
- For cash with each point valued at $0.01 (one cent), which means 60,000 points equals $600 in redemption value
60,000 points redeemed in any of these 3 ways is worth at least $600 when redeemed for cash, and you will receive $750 in free flights on your Disney vacation simply by using Chase’s travel center. The most lucrative redemption if this fits your travel plans, is to convert your Ultimate Rewards points to airline miles which are typically worth about $0.015 (1.5 cents) per point, allowing you to achieve $900 in airfare.
As if that is not enough, Chase also partners with 3 hotel chains: Marriott, Hyatt, and IHG. The Marriott partnership is a particularly valuable benefit for travel to Walt Disney World as they operate the Swan and Dolphin resort which is conveniently located between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. Additionally, IHG operates Holiday Inn Orlando-Disney Springs Area also conveniently located on Disney property.
This credit card comes with a host of additional benefits and Ultimate Reward point-earning opportunities, which are spelled out on the Chase website.
You’ll get 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months. These points can be transferred to 13 different travel partners or used to book travel through Chase’s own booking site (powered by Expedia).
This card comes with a $95 Annual Fee
Best for Saving on Disney Hotels
The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has a sign-up bonus of 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points worth approximately $750 that you can use to pay for 3 of the 6 Disney Springs Hotels on Walt Disney World property plus 9 Disneyland Good Neighbor hotels, including the Hilton Anaheim which is only 2 blocks from Disneyland Resort!
With the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Cardholders earn the following:
- Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status (the highest level of status Hilton offers)
- One weekend night reward upon approval and an additional free weekend night every year after renewal
- $250 Hilton Resort Statement Credit per calendar year
- $250 Airline Fee Credit per calendar year (for qualifying incidental purchases, NOT the initial cost of the ticket)
- and more
If 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points isn’t enough, this American Express card provides cardholders with a whopping 14 points per dollar spent on Hilton Hotels & Resorts, 7 points per dollar on select travel and dining expenses, and 3 points per dollar on everything else.
This credit card comes with a host of additional benefits and Ultimate Reward point-earning opportunities, which are spelled out on the American Express website.
The American Express card earns 150,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days.
This card comes with a $450 Annual Fee
Best for Saving in Disney Parks
The Chase Disney Visa card comes in 2 varieties. If you choose to pay no annual fee, the card comes with a $150 sign-up bonus after you spend $500 in the first 3 months. Alternatively, you can opt into the Disney Premier Visa Card that offers a $300 sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months AND carries a $49 annual fee. The other key difference between the two cards is the earning rates on purchases which are set at 1% or 2% depending on which card you choose.
While the sign-up bonuses are a nice initial benefit, the real value of the card is found mostly in the perks you’ll receive while you’re on your Disney vacation.
You’ll get 10% off at select dining locations and off merchandise purchases of $50 or more. You can also save at Joffrey’s Coffee and on tours, hayrides, and more. Plus, there are special character meet & greets reserved for cardholders, and they give you free photo downloads.
I also love that the Disney Visa card offers special financing on select Disney vacation packages.
I own and regularly use all 3 of the cards listed above. My personal spending strategy is to use the Chase Sapphire Preferred card as my wife’s primary go-to card so she can accumulate Chase Ultimate Rewards points which we use for our airfare. If I were to apply for only one card today, I would apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card due to the incredible sign-up bonus and then make sure I use it exclusively so that I meet the spending requirement.
The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is my own go-to card based on the incredible earnings rate I achieve, which goes towards hotel stays. Finally, a valuable but admittedly least used card of the three is the Disney Visa card which I reserve for shopping and dining purchases while on a Disney vacation.
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If you have any of these Credit Cards let us know in the comments below how you have used them to save money on your travel to either the “Happiest Place on Earth!” or the “Most Magical Place on Earth!”