If you’re reading this, you’ve probably realized that Disney World, Disneyland, and other Disney vacations can get pretty pricey. Since Disney discounts are few and far between, it’s important to find multiple avenues to help you save money on your trip. If you want to maximize savings on your Disney vacation, you’ll want to learn how to buy Disney gift cards at discounted prices. Every little bit of money saved counts when it comes to Disney!
Disney gift cards can be used to pay for any part of your Disney vacation, from the deposit on a hotel package to your mobile order meals in the parks. That means if you buy a Disney gift card for 5% off you’ll be saving 5% on your Disney vacation. That means for a $3000 Disney vacation you’ll be saving $150, enough for a table service meal for a family of four.
In this post we’ll cover the basics you need to know about Disney gift cards and how to score consistent and reliable discounts. While some of the following Disney gift card discount methods seem complicated at first, don’t be intimidated. With some organization and experience you will be saving money on your Disney vacation in no time.
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FAQs about Disney Gift Cards – The Basics
Where can I use Disney gift cards?
Versatility tops the list of reasons we love Disney gift cards. Disney gift cards can be used to pay for any portion of a Disney vacation, from hotels to tickets and everything in between. You can not only use a Disney gift card to pay for your reservation, you can also use Disney gift cards to pay for purchases while you are at the parks. Every Disney shop, restaurant, or hotel at Disneyland or Walt Disney World will accept Disney gift cards. You can even use Disney gift cards at many of the retail shops at Disney Springs in Orlando, even the ones not owned by Disney.
Disney gift cards can also now be used for mobile orders at both Disney World and Disneyland, a welcome addition since both resorts reopened. Be aware, however, that the apps for the parks won’t allow you to store or save a Disney gift card as a payment method. You’ll need to re-enter the card number each time you check out. (Tip: If you have a larger gift card denomination you are likely to reuse for multiple mobile order purchases, save the card number as a note to your smartphone and simply copy and paste it when you check out in the app.)
Disney gift cards can be used beyond the theme parks as well. If you’re thinking of sailing on Disney Cruise Line, you’ll definitely want to consider using Disney gift cards to offset the high cost of cruising with Disney. They can also be use for a Hawaiian getaway at Disney’s Aulani Resort. Finally, Disney gift cards are also accepted at Disney stores around the country.
Where can I buy Disney gift cards?
You can buy Disney gift cards almost anywhere gift cards are sold. Some popular places to buy Disney gift cards include the grocery store, wholesale clubs, department stores like Target, electronics stores like Best Buy, and even some home improvement stores. Depending on the particular outlet, you may be able to purchase Disney gift cards in store, online, or both.
Disney gift cards are generally sold in denominations of $25-$500, both as fixed denomination cards and variable denomination cards. A variable denomination gift card will require you to tell the cashier how much money you want to put on the gift card (generally between $25-$500).
Do Disney gift cards expire?
Disney gift cards do not expire.
Can I track my Disney gift cards online?
Disney recently updated its gift card website, disneygiftcard.com. You log in with your existing Disney account login and can manage and track up to six different Disney gift cards on the website. You can also buy gift cards directly from Disney at the same site.
Can the value of Disney gift cards be combined?
Yes! You can combine different Disney gift cards up to a maximum of $1000 total on an individual card. You do this at disneygiftcard.com. Click on the gift card you want to add money to and then click on “add funds from another card.” As long as the total when you combine two cards does not exceed $1000, you can combine the values of the cards to keep everything on one card. It’s a lot easier to manage one $200 gift card than 8 different $25 gift cards!
Can I link Disney gift cards to my Disney MagicBand or Disney MagicMobile?
As of right now, you cannot directly link a Disney gift card to your MagicBand or the Disney MagicMobile system.
However, if you’re staying at an on-site Disney World hotel you can pay your hotel room bill with a Disney gift card. Any purchases you make on your MagicBand will be billed to your hotel room so you can use a Disney gift card to pay for those purchases, albeit indirectly. You will have to visit the front desk and say you want to pay some of your balance with a gift card. We typically do this before check out day to prevent our credit cards for being auto charged for our hotel balance.
How to Save Money on Disney Gift Cards
We’ve learned the basics about Disney gift cards, but the real fun starts when we learn how to save money when buying Disney gift cards. Buying Disney gift cards at full price works well for budgeting purchases (example: give your child $25 to spend on the trip via a gift card so they can’t overspend). But why pay full price when you can save some money? Let’s look at how to save some money when purchasing Disney gift cards!
The most consistent and easiest way to save money on Disney gift cards is via the Target RedCard. There are two versions of the Target RedCard, a credit card and a debit card version. The debit card version has the advantage of not even needing a credit check. You link it directly to your bank account.
When you pay for a Target purchase with your RedCard online or in store you receive a flat 5% off. This includes Disney gift cards which you can purchase in store OR online. That makes using your Target RedCard to buy Disney gift cards at Target a consistent way to save 5% off of all your Disney gift card purchases.
Wholesale clubs like Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club are also great options for buying Disney gift cards. Depending on the store, you can save up to 4-6% on Disney gift cards just for buying it at the store (or online, if applicable).
Wholesale clubs become an even better source of savings when you can stack your purchases with credit card rewards. Cards like the Chase Freedom often include wholesale clubs in their 5% cash back category so you can “stack” the savings from both your credit card and the sale price at the wholesale club. We’ll discuss stacking strategies further down in the article.
Grocery Store Fuel Rewards
Grocery stores like Kroger, Safeway, and Stop and Shop have fuel rewards programs. In general you earn one point per dollar spent at the grocery store and 100 points will give you a savings of 10 cents per gallon on a fill up. In recent years many stores have given customers the ability to redeem fuel rewards for fuel or groceries, giving us even more flexibility with our rewards points.
You can often do better than 1 fuel reward per point. Grocery stores will often run 2X, 4X, or even 5X fuel rewards points earned on gift card purchases, including Disney gift cards. The best way to stay on top of these deals is to check your weekly circular. The circular will indicate if bonus points are being offered for gift card purchases and at 5X fuel rewards points you’re essentially saving 5% on your Disney gift card purchase. Make sure Disney gift cards are included in the sale before you purchase.
AMEX and Chase Offers
If you hold an American Express card, you will have access to AMEX offers. American Express offers cardholders discounts and savings at many stores. To use an AMEX offer, you simply log in to your online American Express account and “add” the offer to your card.
We’ve never seen Disney in an AMEX offer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save money on Disney gift cards through AMEX offers. The above offer gives 1 extra Membership Reward point per eligible dollar spent at Best Buy. Since Best Buy sells Disney gift cards, we can purchase Disney gift cards from Best Buy and earn extra points. Sometimes you will see offers that give you 10% back on your purchase which represents a significant savings. Remember Home Depot, Lowe’s, Bed Bath and Beyond, and many other stores that don’t scream “Disney” sell Disney gift cards, so be sure to check your AMEX offers to see what discounts you can get.
Chase, Capital One, and other credit card companies have gotten into the offers game – recently we saw a modest cash back offer on Disney gift cards via Chase Offers at Best Buy. So definitely check your credit card’s website for shopping offers to find ones that might help you save money on Disney gift cards.
Cash Back Portals
One simple way to save money when shopping online is via cash back portals. Cash back portals such as Rakuten and Ibotta earn you a small percentage of cash back whenever you click through the portal to get to the retail website you make your online purchase from. While gift cards generally are excluded from cash back portal terms and conditions, sometimes gift card purchases will track for cash back through these portals so they are always worth experimentation and a try. Use cashbackmonitor.com to search for the best cash back portal for your purchase.
Credit Card Bonus Categories
Many travel rewards and cash back credit cards offer bonus categories. Some, like the American Express Everyday Preferred Card, will offer you a flat 3X points in categories such as groceries. Others, like the Chase Freedom or Discover it® cards offer quarterly bonuses. The Chase Freedom, for example, offers quarterly bonuses of 5% cash back in rotating categories up to $75 in cash back earned per quarter.
Credit card bonus categories help you earn a little bit more back when you’re buying Disney gift cards and are a key component of “stacking” rewards when buying Disney gift cards. So let’s finish things up by taking a look at how you can stack discounts together.
How to Stack Rewards and Discounts for Bigger Savings
The concept of stacking rewards and discounts is simple: whenever possible, try to stack multiple discounts and rebate methods to save the most money possible when buying your Disney gift cards. Let’s take a look at some examples of discount stacking.
Grocery fuel points + credit card bonus category
One simple stacking method is to use a credit card that earns bonus points at grocery stores in conjunction with grocery fuel points bonuses. For example, my local Stop and Shop chain in New England often offers 5 fuel points per dollar for gift card purchases, including Disney gift cards. I also carry the American Express Gold card which earns 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets.
So if I buy a $500 Disney gift card at Stop and Shop during a promotion I will earn 2500 fuel points and 2000 Membership Rewards points. My 2500 fuel points entitle me to 25 cents off per gallon of gas. I fill up 12 gallons on average so that represents a savings of $3. Membership Rewards points can be cashed out for one cent a piece, so to keep things simple let’s say the 2000 points I earn are worth $20. That means I effectively bought a $500 Disney gift card for $477, a savings of 4.6%. My savings would be even more if I get more value out of my Membership Rewards points or if I have a larger gas tank.
Wholesale club discounts + credit card bonus category
An even easier stacking method is combining wholesale club discounts with credit card bonus categories. BJ’s, for example, regularly sells Disney gift cards online at a discount of 4%. When the Chase Freedom’s quarterly 5X bonus is for wholesale clubs, you can buy three $500 Disney gift cards from BJ’s and stack your savings. With the 4% discount, you will pay $1440 for $1500 worth of Disney gift cards and earn $72 cash back from your Chase Freedom. You are spending $1368 for $1500 of value at Disney, an effective savings of 7.8%!
Store discounts + credit card bonus + cash back portal
When you are stacking store discounts with a credit card bonus, try to go through a cash back portal to obtain the holy grail of stacking discounts. In all likelihood, it won’t track but if it does you’ll save even more money. Following up on the above example, I checked cashbackmonitor.com and saw TopCashBack is offering 1% back on purchases made at BJs Wholesale Club.
Now the terms and conditions say gift card purchases should not qualify for cash back, but writing and practice are two different things. The reality is our purchase probably won’t track but if it does we save an extra $14.40 – not too shabby for two extra clicks. This of course would be even more lucrative during times when cash back is elevated. Bottom line, give cash back portals a try and see what sticks.
Saving money on Disney gift cards can really take the sting out of the cost of your Disney vacation. But like anything when it comes to Disney and saving money, the process isn’t always easy.
If you’re interested in saving money through discounted gift cards, we recommend you start simple – start with saving 5% back using your Target RedCard. Then as you get more and more comfortable you can branch out and start experimenting with some stacking possibilities. Some things won’t work but many will, so give it a try. Good luck and good hunting!
For other money-saving ideas for your Disney vacations, check out these related posts:
- Travel Hacking Tips to Save on Your Family’s Disney Vacation
- Best Credit Cards for Disney Travelers
- Top 7 Money-Saving Tips for Disneyland
- How Much Does a Walt Disney World Vacation Cost?
How to Save on a Walt Disney World or Disneyland Vacation!
No matter what Disney coast you are visiting, saving money is always a welcome bonus! Trusted Trips with Tykes partner Get Away Today sells park tickets at a discount, helps you find great deals at both on-property and off-property hotels, and provides expert customer service from representatives who visit Disneyland and Disney World all the time.
To snag discount park tickets that easily link immediately with your Disney app and Disney’s reservations systems, click here:
For even bigger package discounts with on or off-property hotel deals, use these links:
- Request a discount Disney World package quote (Disney World packages include Get Away Today’s concierge service!)
- Browse and book Disneyland hotel+ticket vacation packages (use code Tykes10 to save $10 extra!)
About the author: Contributing writer Joe Cheung loves traveling with his wife and three children. He has been writing about using miles and points to reduce the cost of family travel since his wife was pregnant with their first child. He loves traveling all around the world with a special place in his heart for travel to Asia and all things Disney. When he’s not writing, you can find Joe chatting about Disney World on the Disney planning podcast Disney Deciphered that he and Leslie co-host or working as a travel agent specializing in Disney destinations. You can contact him by e-mail at email@example.com.