Planning a Trip to Walt Disney World on a Budget: Saving with Gift Cards

Disney World vacations can be expensive. Really expensive. One of my favorite ways to save a little cash towards my trip is to use Disney gift cards. Gift cards can be used to buy park tickets, park merchandise, food, and even your hotel room or package.

There are numerous ways you can get Disney gift cards at a discount.

Target Red Card

If you are a Target Red Card holder you can use your 5% discount on Disney gift cards. The cool thing about the Red Card is you can sign up for either a credit card or a debit card that withdrawals directly from your bank account. So if you don’t want to add another credit card to your wallet you can get the Debit Red Card and the purchases come right out of your bank account.

If you do end up opting for the Red Card credit card, make sure that you are able to pay off the balance for the gift cards before interest hits on the card. The interest rates on this card are pretty high (no matter how great your credit score is). So it’s only worth it if you can pay it off every month. I personally like to buy a card or two at a time. $50 here and there can add up quickly towards your vacation! And it’s a fun way to save up for an upcoming trip.

Sam’s Club

If you are a Sam’s Club member they often sell packs of Disney gift cards at a discounted rate. I don’t have a Sam’s Club membership, but it is my understanding that you can a 3 pack of $50 gift cards ($150 value) for $143.97.

Third Party Gift Card Purchases

I also like to buy gift cards websites like cardkangaroo.com or cardflip.com. These are sites that purchase gift cards from people who don’t want them. Then they turn around and sell them at a discounted rate to you. I have gotten up to 10% off of gift cards by doing this. A word of warning though, don’t buy from a source you don’t trust. Do your homework before buying. A trusted site will have good reviews and guarantees. If you feel uneasy about a site then trust your gut and move on.

Similarly you can often find gift cards for sale on eBay. The same rules apply if you are going to buy a gift card off of eBay. Check the sellers reviews. If they don’t have any reviews then I would NOT buy from them. Also make sure you pay via PayPal. Should they not send the card it will be simple to dispute and get your money back. Interestingly, eBay Buy It Now is your best bet when buying gift cards. Buy it Now is when the seller just places it for sale at a set price instead of having a traditional auction. Auctions often end up being bid OVER the value of the card! So don’t waste your time on those.

Savings Catcher

While you can’t use a gift card to buy another gift card (for example you can’t use a Walmart gift card to buy a Disney gift card at Walmart), you CAN use Walmart Savings catcher towards gift cards. If you buy groceries at Walmart you can use a free service called Savings Catcher. Download the Walmart app on your phone and whenever you make a purchase you type your receipt code in to savings catcher. If anything you purchased is on sale or cheaper at another store, Walmart will give you the difference back in a savings catcher gift card. As of right now they will allow you to use these savings to purchase a Disney gift card. The Walmart in my area lets me do curbside pickup (I am OBSESSED with it. Not having to drag my kids in the store is the best… but that’s another story). Even with curbside pickup you are eligible for the price match. Your emailed receipt will have the code to enter in the Walmart App in the savings catcher link.

Combining Gift Cards

When you buy gift cards you can combine them using disneygiftcard.com. Cards can be combined up to $1000 on a single card. If you have (or buy) a card that has a partial balance you will NOT be able to combine it. So if I buy cards from a third party I only purchase cards that have whole values (example: $50 card I would buy. A card with $48.93 I would not buy as I cannot combine it).

If you are using multiple cards you will have to call to use them to pay for your trip. Only 1 card can be used online when paying.

Airline Gift Cards

These tips work for Disney gift cards, but guess what? You can also use these same tricks for airline gift cards. Target specifically sells Southwest Airlines gifts cards, and they are also eligible for the 5% discount. So if that’s the airline that you use that can be a nice chunk of savings. If you are using gift cards for airline purchases check with your airline if there are restrictions on how many cards you can use BEFORE you purchase.

Happy shopping! See you at the parks,
-Julie

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