Friday, October 3, 2014

Saving Money at Disney With Gift Cards

By: Melissa

I don’t know about you, but I’m all about saving money, especially on vacation. Stretching our dollars means more fun! You might be familiar with a way to save money on Disney Gift Cards at Target. But if not, let me see if I can explain it without our heads swimming.

Saving Money1

If you shop at Target very much, I’m sure you’ve been asked if you want one of their RED debit cards. I resisted for a long time, and then realized that if I set up a RED debit card (so the funds would come out of my existing checking account) I could save 5% on all my purchases without having to do anything. I was in.

Then, I found out the 5% applies to what Target calls “entertainment cards.” Those are the pre-loaded gift cards (for Starbucks, iTunes, etc.) you can find at most registers or in the Electronics department. This does not apply to Target gift cards. Target is one of the few places that sell Disney Gift Cards. They’re in $50 denominations. These are not Disney Store Gift Cards – those are just for the store. The Disney Gift Cards are for all things Disney.

Why would you want Disney Gift Cards? You can use Disney Gift Cards at: the Disney Store in person or online, most souvenir shops at Disney, most dining locations at Disney, and even to pay your Disney vacation balance!

So let’s think about this for a second. If I walk into Target and purchase a $50 gift card with my RED card, it will actually cost $47.50. That’s a savings of 5%, or $2.50. That’s not a lot when you’re buying one gift card. But if you use Disney Gift Cards to pay a large portion of your vacation balance, or for all your souvenir purchases, you could save quite a bit.

Let’s say, for instance, that I’m going to budget $100 for souvenirs for each person in my family. That’s $400 total. If I purchase Disney Gift Cards from Target to cover the souvenir purchases, here’s how it works out:

GiftCard1

I could still charge things to my account with a MagicBand, and then use the Gift Cards at the resort Concierge desk to pay the balance before check-out. Saving $20 isn’t a ton, but it’s enough for a fast food meal for my family while we’re driving to Disney. Actually, I could think of several fun ways to spend an extra $20 at Disney, can’t you? How many cappuccino cupcakes is that? I digress.

Now, let’s talk about paying a vacation balance with Disney Gift Cards. After you’ve booked your vacation, you can access your account details via My Disney Experience through the app or the Disney World website. You can check your vacation balance and make payments, among many other things. You can use Disney Gift Cards to make payments toward your vacation balance here, or you can call and speak with a Cast Member.

Let’s say you’ve already paid your $200 deposit, and you have a $2,500 balance. If you purchase $2,500 in Disney Gift Cards from Target using your RED card, here’s what it would look like:

GiftCard2

On a $2,500 balance, you would save $125. True, it’s not a lot of money on the overall total, but small savings can add up, and every little bit helps.

A side note: most Target stores are not going to have $2,500 in Disney Gift Cards (50) available for purchase at once. You would likely have to purchase in batches or from a couple of different stores if you wanted to purchase them in the same day. They can also be ordered from Target’s website, but we’ll talk more about that next week.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment or contact us via email, Facebook, or Twitter. Next week, we’ll talk about ordering online and “double dipping” to earn credit card points/rewards.

What’s your favorite way to save on your Disney trip?

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