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

saving money with discounted 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.

Did you know that even if you book your trip through aDisney travel agent, you can still use gift cards to pay for your trip? That means that you'll have someone discount watching, and you'll get the discount from the gift cards. Stacking those discounts can save you huge amounts of money. Get your quote from a travel agenthere.

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


I was hesitant to start using SwagBucks. It almost sounds like a made up or fake thing! But after using it for some time, I can tell you that I am hooked. Here is how it works:

  • You sign up for an account
  • You answer surveys for points
  • You make your regular online purchases through their affiliate links (and earn points)
  • You watch videos for points
  • You cash in your points for gift cards or a PayPal cash transfer

It's really that easy. You can take as many surveys, watch as many videos, do as much shopping, etc as you want. The point system is very easy. 1 point = 1 cent.

Sign up here and you'll even get bonus sign up points.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I have seen several other blogs and articles saying that you should use your SwagBucks to purchase discounted gift cards for store like Best Buy or Walmart, and then use those to buy Disney gift cards. I do NOT recommend doing this. Most retailers are no longer allowing you to use a store gift card to purchase another gift card. You are better off using your points for cash or a Visa Gift card towards your vacation.

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. The discount rate on gift cards at Sam's Club can vary, but recently a 3 pack of $50 gift cards ($150 value) was being sold there for $143.97.

Third Party Gift Card Purchases

I also like to buy gift cards websites like or 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 or with a credit card that you can dispute if an issue arrises. 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.

Combining Gift Cards

When you buy gift cards you can combine them using Cards can be combined up to $1000 on a single card.

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!

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See you at the parks,

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